Senators News: January 16th

Peter Regin is honest in his self-assessment:

There’s been talk about me playing a second-line role for the past two years, but I’ve run into some bad luck every time I’ve got the opportunity. And sometimes I haven’t produced when I’ve got the chance, so it’s not only the injuries. I feel like I have decent skill, to play on the second or third line, and be the second-hand scoring.

I like that he’s not making injuries an excuse for his lack of production (as well as acknowledging the opportunities he’s had).  He’s a good player if he can stay healthy.

-ISS has released a prospect primer leading into the shortened season (it was clearly written in the summer) and here’s what they have to say about Ottawa:

Mika Zibanejad: A terrifically talented forward with a deadly shot, Zibanejad is a hard working player who doesn’t hesitate to make teams pay for missing assignments. He has great hands, a strong powerful stride and can throw some huge hits on top of his offensive abilities.

Jakob Silfverberg: An excellent two-way winger who has taken the Swedish Elite League by storm, Silfverberg is highly competitive and highly skilled. He continues to show better and better power elements in his game and has the capacity to put up big numbers.

Mark Stone: A big powerful forward with a great shot, Stone is a beast around the net and always seems to find ways to be a goal scoring threat. On top of his shot, Stone also shows great hands and is very good at maintaining possession of the puck in tightly contested areas of the ice.

Kevin Allen predicts the Sens will finish 6th in the east, saying:

With 84 points, C Jason Spezza played a role in more than one-third of Ottawa’s goals. But he’s still the second-most-important offensive catalyst behind Norris Trophy winner Karlsson. The Senators attack usually starts with Karlsson skating or passing the puck out of the Ottawa zone. General manager Bryan Murray has said he expects Karlsson, 22, to be a better offensive and defensive player this season. With Karlsson as the fire starter, the Senators have an intriguing offensive team. They were tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring last season. Spezza, Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson (likely playing in his final season) are proven scorers, but it was the secondary scorers such as Colin Greening, Zack Smith and Chris Neil who put Ottawa over the top. Those three players combined for 44 goals. Kyle Turris could mature into a scoring center, and Swedish rookie Jakob Silfverberg could play in the top six. The Senators hope are hoping offseason addition Guillaume Latendresse, if he stays healthy, will boost their offense. Arrival Marc Methot is expected to help provide a stabilizing presence on the blue line.

Allen doesn’t delve into the Sens depleted blueline so this may be another article shelved from the summer, but it’s certainly an optimistic look at the team.

Luke Fox see’s the Sens in a dog fight to make the playoffs, believing it’s unlikely that both Spezza and Karlsson will be in the NHL’s top-eleven in scoring.

Scotty Bowman believes the shootout will be particularly important in the shortened season and points out that five of the top six shootout teams last season made the playoffs.

Nichols takes a look at the available UFA blueliners and doesn’t like what he see’s (neither do I), approving of Bryan Murray’s decision to stay the course.

-Binghamton plays Rochester (19-14-3) tonight; the Americans are lead by Kevin Porter (30 points) in the absence of T. J. Brennan who is attending Buffalo’s training camp; David Leggio (18-11-1 2.90 .913) backstops the Amerks.  Binghamton defeated Rochester 2-1 in their last meeting a couple of weeks ago.  Wacey Hamilton Tweeted that he’s in the lineup tonight.

Bobby Kelly provides his assessment of Luke Richardson through the first half of the AHL season and I highly recommend reading through the entire thing.  Here’s a sample:

Has [Richardson] implemented the style [Paul MacLean’s 200-foot posession game] he said he would? Emphatically, no. Has the team played well? Resoundingly, yes. More on that later. Predictably, we are left with a mixed bag. On one hand, the team has not been the puck possession squad fans expected. On the other hand, Richardson clearly has his team playing a certain style, and they’re winning hockey games. Most of them. Your team is on top of the league and you’ve been recognized to be a coach at the AHL All-Star Game. Meanwhile, your team spends too much time on a nightly basis hemmed in its own end chasing the puck, when fans thought the team would possess it.  The Binghamton Senators have an impressively structured means of restricting oppositional play to the perimeter, collapsing around their goaltender and clearing the puck from danger when necessary. However, as much as this is all positive, it has some severe limitations.

In essence Bobby doesn’t believe the team can sustain being badly outshot with winning.  This does make sense, but I wonder if part of their success is that they’ve gotten into the heads of their opposition.  Binghamton plays a ton of its season against a small group of teams (ten games against Wilkes-Barre alone!) and after doubling up on the B-Sens in shots but still losing I suspect shooters are squeezing their sticks a little tighter.  I’m interested to see how the roster does with a denuded blueline, but I think the calibre of the goaltending won’t slip much as I expect Robin Lehner to be returned and to play the bulk of the games going forward.

-Elmira beat Cincinnati 3-1 last night with Louie Caporusso and Dustin Gazley had two points while Darren Kramer had a single.  Elmira faces Kalamazoo (16-18-3) tonight; the Wings are lead by Eric Kattelus (32 points) and backstopped by Joel Martin (14-15-3 2.74 .914).  Brad Peltz‘s Trenton Titans are in action this afternoon against Reading, but he is not playing.

-Elmira signed defenseman Steven Kaunisto (SPHL 23-1-8-9) and he played last night.

-The ISS draft rankings for 2013 have been updated (for the previous list go here):
1 – Jones, Seth – D – Portland – WHL (+1)
2 – MacKinnon, Nathan – C – Halifax – QMJHL (-1)
3 – Drouin, Jonathan – F – Halifax – QMJHL (+1)
4 – Barkov, Aleksander – F – Tappara – FinE (-1)
5 – Monahan, Sean – C – Ottawa – OHL
6 – Lindholm, Elias – C – Brynas – SweE
7 – Nichushkin, Valery – F – Chelyabinsk Chelmet – RusS
8 – Ristolainen, Rasmus – D – TPS Turku – FinE (-2) (+2)
9 – Zadorov, Nikita – D – London – OHL (+2)
10 – Nurse, Darnell – D – S.S. Marie – OHL (-1)
11 – Lazar, Curtis – C – Edmonton – WHL (+1)
12 – Hagg, Robert – D – Modo – SweJE (+5)
13 – Dickinson, Jason – F – Guelph – OHL (+2)
14 – Shinkaruk, Hunter – F – Medicine Hat – WHL (-6)
15 – Erne, Adam- F – Quebec – QMJHL (+4)
16 –Valentin Zykov – RW – Baie-Comeau – QMJHL (NR)
17 – Pulock, Ryan – D – Brandon – WHL (-4)
18 – Burakowsky, Andre – F – Malmo – SweAl (-4)
19 – Gauthier, Frederik – C – Rimouski – QMJHL (+3)
20 – Morrissey, JT – D – Prince Albert – WHL (-2)
21 –Alexander Wennberg – C – Djurgarden – SweJr (NR)
22 –Bo Horvat – C – London – OHL (NR)
23 – Santini, Steve – D – USA U18 – NTDP (-7)
24 – Lehkonen, Artturi – F – Kuopio – FinE (-3)
25 –Ryan Hartman – RW – Plymouth – OHL (NR)
26 –J. T. Compher – C – USA Under-18 – NTDP (NR)
27 – Rychel, Kerby – F – Windsor – OHL (-4)
28 –Max Domi – C – London – OHL (NR)
29 – Thompson, Keaton – D – USA U18 – NTDP (-5)
30 – Anthony Duclair– LW – Quebec – QMJHL (NR)

Falling out of the top thirty were Jacob De La Rose (20), Ryan Kujawinski (25), Madison Bowey (26), Hudson Fasching (27), Justin Bailey (28), Theodore Shea (29), and Samuel Morin (30).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)