-Ottawa plays Tampa Bay (2-1-0) tonight; the Lightning are lead by the trio of Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, and Cory Conacher (5 points each) and backstopped by Anders Lindback (1-1-0 3.50 .905). Here’s the NHL’s preview.
-There are a number of lineup changes for the Sens ahead of tonight’s game: Ben Bishop gets the start, Mark Borowiecki will play instead of Patrick Wiercioch (who was largely invisible last night), and Kaspars Daugavins slides in for Guillaume Latendresse who tweaked something and is injured.
We feel fortunate to come out with the win. We stuck to it. We didn’t get frustrated when things didn’t go our way. We found a way to get momentum back on our side. I thought we established our game in the third and that made a big difference.
–Nichols takes a look at other free agent defensemen the Sens might be interested in besides KHLer Viktor Antipin, suggesting 22-year old Danny DeKeyser (21-2-8-10, whom Shawn Simpson reported they were interested in last year) and 22-year old Andrej Sustr (24-6-10-16; teammate of Sens prospect Bryce Aneloski; Tim Wharnsby linked him to Ottawa last year). Sustr was ranked #195 in North America in 2010 by Central Scouting (#264 RLR), while DeKeyser was not ranked by anyone. Red Line Report considered DeKeyser the top college free agent last year while Sustr was #11 (RLR’s prognostication on that score has to be taken with a grain of salt, as you can gauge by looking here).
[Just a quick update: here’s what Red Line Report said about both players last year:
Danny DeKeyser: He plays a simple, defence first, stay-at-home game. He’s not flashy at the offensive end, but moves the puck well and gets it to the right spots by making good decisions. Efficiently gets the puck out of the zone with crisp outlets. He’s physical and wins the battles down low, keeps the crease clear, and plays with a bit of a nasty edge. He’s an outstanding penalty killer who blocks a ton of shots.
Andrej Sustr: Towering puck-moving defenceman with a game-changing reach. One of the best collegiate defencemen at passing the puck – zips it hard and accurately on the tape. Smooth skater despite being so lanky. Calm and poised – never seems hurried. Sees the ice well and makes good decisions. Can play the power play and utilizes his reach to create shooting lanes and put pucks on net. Reach is also his best defensive asset and he effectively clogs up the middle and forces the puck to the perimeter. Should be more physical.]
–Bruce Garrioch chimes in on the Ben Bishop rumours:
The Edmonton Oilers have interest in backup G Ben Bishop, but the Senators aren’t ready to make a move. They want to see how Bishop performs once he starts playing — which could be as early as Friday vs. Tampa Bay — and if the market increases once Vancouver Canucks G Roberto Luongo is dealt.
-Binghamton faces Syracuse (24-10-5) tonight; the Crunch are lead by Tyler Johnson (37 points) and backstopped by Dustin Tokarski (17-6-3 2.35 .903).
–Sarah Kwak reminds us that it’s the large number of powerplays being handed out that are the main engine for increased scoring in the NHL right now. Just like the end of the last lockout the league is cutting back on the obstruction. I wouldn’t expect it to last, but it’s worth noting.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)