Senators News: January 17th; Binghamton 5, Rochester 1

Chris Phillips talked about the team playing young defensemen this season:

Everybody talks about that inexperience all the time, but look at Cowen last year. These guys have been playing in the AHL and doing well all year. They’re ready, comfortable with it. I don’t think it should be any concern at all. The biggest thing is to be patient and calm out there and don’t try and over impress the people that are watching you.

-Binghamton rolled over Rochester 5-1 last night in a game I was unable to watch.  Nathan Lawson picked up the win with a 35-save effort, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Corey Cowick had three point nights, while Mika Zibanejad had his first point since returning from injury.  Cowick and Da Costa had two goals each while Jack Downing scored the other.  Here’s the box score and the highlights.

-Elmira defeated Kalamazoo 2-1 last night with Louie Caporusso picking up the only point among Binghamton signees.

Eric Duhatschek talks about league parity and includes good comments from Detroit GM Ken Holland:

Somebody asked me the other day, ‘who are the Cup contenders?’ and my answer was, ‘the Cup contenders are the 16 teams that make the playoffs. If you make the playoffs, you’ve got a chance to win the Stanley Cup. In ’05, when the salary-cap world came into being, part of that was for economics, but part of it was for parity – to give everybody an opportunity. That’s the beauty of the league right now. It’s wide open. The disparity between the best and the worst players in the league, in relation to 10 or 20 years ago, is far less than it once was. Then you think about coaching. We call it ‘backside pressure’ now, but all it really is, is back checking. When you think back to the 1990s, how often would you see a three-on-two? How often do you see odd-man rushes now? Then you see the D-zone coverage and all the shot-blocking that goes on. Then you think about the goaltending and how that’s evolved. I think everybody is better managed. Coaches are going to seminars and sharing information. The Europeans, they used to come over and were a little awed and intimidated at first. Well now, with the world juniors and Olympics and all the games they play here, when the Europeans come over, they’re ready to go. When you start to put down the laundry list of all the things that changed, it adds up to parity. It adds up to a league that’s really close – where every night, it’s a one-goal game. Somebody’s going to make the playoffs in a photo finish and somebody’s going to miss the playoffs in a photo finish and the team that misses, if they had gotten in, they might have gone on a playoff run.

I hear a lot of complaints about parity, but I think it’s good for the league.  Knowing that each season every team has a chance if it’s managed well means the fan base can always hope, grow, and look forward to each year.  Having lived during the dynasty period in the 1980s the seasons were a largely pointless exercise as the same bloody teams won year after year–it’s tedious unless your team is winning (I’ve found most fans of the dynasty era supported a team that was successful during it).

-For the poolies out there both TSN’s Scott Cullen and ESPN’s staff have posted their player point projections.  Their take on the Sens listed:
Jason Spezza 45 (ESPN) 41 (TSN)
Daniel Alfredsson 39 (ESPN) 31 (TSN)
Erik Karlsson 37 (ESPN) 35 (TSN)
Milan Michalek 33 (ESPN) 28 (TSN)
Guillaume Latendresse 25 (ESPN)
Mika Zibanejad 23 (ESPN)
Sergei Gonchar 20 (ESPN) 22 (TSN)
Colin Greening 20 (TSN)
Kyle Turris 19 (ESPN) 25 (TSN)
Patrick Wiercioch 14 (ESPN)
Jakob Silfverberg 8 (ESPN) 2o (TSN)
Chris Phillips 5 (ESPN)
Craig Anderson 20 wins (ESPN)
Ben Bishop 6 wins (ESPN)
Robin Lehner 5 wins (ESPN)

Ryan Kennedy offers his mid-season 2013 draft rankings:
1. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax
2. Seth Jones, D, Portland
3. Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax
4. Aleksander (Sasha) Barkov, C, Tappara
5. Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas
6. Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa
7. Robert Hagg, D, Modo
8. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS
9. Hunter Shinkaruk, LW, Medicine Hat
10. Adam Erne, RW, Quebec
11.    Darnell Nurse, D, Sault Ste. Marie
12.    Curtis Lazar, C, Edmonton
13. Valery Nichushkin, LW, Chelyabinsk
14.    Anthony Mantha, LW, Val d’Or
15.    Josh Morrissey, D, Prince Albert
16.    Morgan Klimchuk, LW, Regina
17.    Jacob De La Rose, LW, Leksands
18.    Ryan Pulock, D, Brandon
19.    Frederik Gauthier, C, Rimouski
20.    Valentin Zykov, RW, Baie Comeau
21.    Zach (Zachary) Fucale, G, Halifax
22.    Nikita Zadorov, D, London
23.    Artturi Lehkonen, LW, Kalpa
24.    Max Domi, C, London
25.    Steve Santini, D, USNDTP
26.    Jason Dickinson, LW, Guelph
27.    Ian McCoshen, D, Warterloo
28.    Eric Comrie, G, Tri City
29.    Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgardens
30.    Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)