Senators News: November 28th

Luke Richardson talked about Jakob Silfverberg:

Well, Silfverberg has been a great forward for us all year. He’s a talented guy and I know that everyone thinks that means offence, which he does have – he has got unbelievably quick hands. Defensively, penalty killing, he has been one of our most consistent, best forwards. What we have asked of him to do this year, maybe with the smaller rink size that takes a little bit away from his offence at the beginning until he finds some comfort in the surroundings of the small rink. But the other night when we played Toronto, he basically won the game (for us) in the first period. He set up Shane Prince for a beautiful goal on a forecheck and then stole the puck on the blue line from a strong Toronto team and raced down the ice with a guy basically on his back. A quick one-two move with his quick hands (before) firing it home and that was it. He really controlled that first period and set the tempo of that game. I know the next game, we played the next night against Syracuse and they were all over him. I guess they read the clips. They know who he is and they really tried to play physical against him but to his credit, he made some really smart dumps and just drew people to him and got them out of position. He just gave other people room and he’s a real smart player. It won’t be long before Ottawa sees him.

Yet more confirmation about the strength of Silfverberg‘s play.  About Mika Zibanejad he said:

Zibanejad just had some wisdom teeth taken out this week, so hopefully he won’t be out for very long at all and reacts well to that. I know that was bothering him a little bit in the last week, but he had a really strong start. He has gotten a little frustrated in the last little bit. He hasn’t been able to score. He has hit some posts and he has created some chances and just hasn’t been able to finish (them) off. But again, we ask him to do a lot on the defensive side – in killing penalties and winning faceoffs in the (defensive) zone. He’s been great at both.

Pretty much on par with his other comments about Zibanejad.  About Mark Stone he said:

Mark Stone unfortunately had a bit of an upper body injury after the first few games. I think he got it in the first game and then he had to play through it for a while but then he missed some games. He has been back for a few and he is probably our…I don’t know if you want to call it the smartest forward with your stick if you want to talk about it like that. (He) is almost like a defenceman. He knocks every puck down that is around him. He is so good with his hands that he is almost like a lacrosse player. He has had the same thing, countless stolen pucks that he has just shot over the net and he probably should have three or four more goals at least. But still, he is a really reliable player. A real smart player. Engaging. He is always listening and trying to learn. He is doing a great job. We have got him on a line with Derek Grant and Dave Dziurzynski and they check the other team’s best line and they have been doing a great job of that and they’re also putting some offence on the board. So those three forwards, there are lots of great things to come from them and they’re just getting better as the more reps they get and the more games they get. Unfortunately, they’re in an organization where there is a lot of great young forwards so they’re going to have to battle against each other. But it is healthy competition and they’re great teammates; they just push each other harder.

Clearly Richardson is very happy with Stone.  He also provided an injury update on Stephane Da Costa:

He banged up his leg when he came back from his first injury – the broken finger.

Nichols writes about the Sens being an older team as defined by their core players with a graph that makes my eyes bleed.  His point is that a team’s average age doesn’t tell you how old the core players are, but rather than just stating who those players are and looking at their ages there’s a graphing system because…reasons?  I don’t think the team versus team comparison is all that relevant–where Ottawa sits in relation to the rest of the league in terms of core age only seems meaningful in a league where player movement is impossible.  The team has two players approaching retirement (Gonchar and Alfredsson) with another (Phillips) on the downward side of his career, but the Big Rig is not a core player anymore.  Projecting forward (which seems the only value of the graph) is risky business since the unknowns of progression and regression are simply that–unpredictable.

Forbes estimates the Sens are worth 220 million dollars (16th in the league).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)