Ottawa 1 Montreal 2

Today’s Ottawa-Montreal was watched with the mute button firmly pressed–I didn’t want my ears assaulted by the lamentable Bob Cole.  The game itself was a decent one, albeit the Sens continue to get no love from the officiating crews (Greg Kimmerly and Brian Pochmara–we remember Kimmerly very well from his past performances) and unfortunately they affected the outcome of the game with a bad no-goal call in the third period.  Here’s the boxscore.

Game Notes
-It was a great pass and a great shot by Patrick Wiercioch and Jakob Silfverberg for Ottawa’s first goal (a rebuttal to Adnan‘s invisible claim if nothing else)
Mark Borowiecki continues to struggle with decisions in his own end, abandoning the front of the net which allowed the Habs to tie the game
Peter Regin has completely lost his confidence (he was a team worst -2), as he choose to make a one-time pass rather than shot with a clear lane after Silfverberg served him up
Regin wasn’t the only one over passing, as several chances in front were botched by last ditch pass attempts (Jim O’Brien and Erik Condra come to mind)
-Unfortunately the only thing fans will be talking about in this game is the phantom call that negated the goal–I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: NHL officiating is awful–you just have to accept it and work through it because it’s not going to change

The Goals
1. Silfverberg (Wiercioch, Turris) (pp)
Fantastic pass from Wiercioch gives Silfverberg the breakaway and he makes no mistake
2. Montreal, Desharnais
Borowiecki leaves the front of the net no one covers for him, leaving Desharnais all alone to slide the puck under Anderson
3. Montreal, Cole
Anderson over commits to the cross ice feed and the deflected puck gives Cole a wide open net

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: February 3rd; Binghamton 0 St. John’s 1

Paul MacLean reflected on their loss to Carolina:

I think our execution level again is something we need to continue to work at. I thought the game was pretty fast I thought they were at times quicker than we were, especially on their forecheck, which led to some poor execution by us. But at the same time, it was a 1-0 game and we had an opportunity to tie it late in the game

I have to agree wholeheartedly with MacLean that a lack of execution was a big problem in the Sens loss.  Scott had the scoring chances 16-21, which seems about right.

-MacLean expects no lineup changes played for this afternoon’s game against the Habs (5-2-0); Montreal is lead by Andrei Markov and Raphael Diaz (8 points each) and backstopped by Carey Price (5-1-0 1.82 .932).

Nichols wonders both about the long term future of Jason Spezza as well as the short-term impact on the Sens this season.  In terms of the latter, I agree with Nichols that it’s a excellent opportunity for the centers in the organisation to try and impress.  Fans need to remember the organisation is still in the midst of a rebuild and making the playoffs is more of a bonus than a necessity (particularly given how good the draft class of 2013 is).  In the former case, the future, I think the Sens have to hope that Kyle Turris can step into Spezza‘s shoes, given that I agree with Nichols that Jason‘s injury history is a big red flag.

-It was a rare telecast of the Binghamton Senators last night (a 1-0 loss to St. John’s; here’s the boxscore) and I caught the action and have a few thoughts:
>Robin Lehner was excellent
>the dumb penalty quotient was high, with Danny New, Derek Grant, Chris Wideman, and Darren Kramer all taking them; Kramer‘s was by far the worst as it not only lead to a goal, but it was the first of four straight which killed whatever momentum Binghamton had at that point
>the team had an awful start and didn’t generate a scoring chance until the 14 minute mark of the first period
>Eric Gryba was far and away the best defenseman for Binghamton, although he did get burned on the IceCaps only goal as O’Dell simply skated around him
>Ben Blood continues to struggle; losing battles along the board and getting lost positionally
>It was a game of ups and downs for Jean-Gabriel Pageau; he had some golden chances in the game, but also made a brutal turnover in the third period that lead to a 2-on-1 for St. John’s; he also ate a huge hit by Arsene and I’ve noticed throughout the year that he struggles to avoid open ice hits
>Pat Cannone needs something to change; his body language is terrible and he clearly lacks confidence (even failing to make an open five-foot pass on the powerplay)
>Hugh Jessiman was completely invisible for two periods
>Tyler Eckford‘s only notable play was to make a lazy turnover on the PK in the third
>Grant had the best chance offensively for Binghamton

-Elmira defeated Evansville 3-1 last night; Louie Caporusso picked up a goal

Stu Hackel looks at Gary Bettman’s 20-years as NHL commissioner and its worth reading.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)