Senators News: February 5th

-Ottawa plays Buffalo (3-5-1) tonight; the Sabres are lead by NHL leading scorer Tomas Vanek (19 points; no one is mocking his contract this season) and backstopped by the always opinionated Ryan Miller (3-4-1 3.11 .906).

Paul MacLean talked about the tendency of the team to over pass the puck:

I call it ‘Give it to Johnny’, because we’re always trying to pass to the other guy, because Johnny has a better shot than I have or Johnny is in a better place. I thought we were tight, I didn’t think we were loose and confident with the puck.

I think the confidence comment is the right one–there are a lot of Sens right now who are afraid to shoot.

Nichols shares thoughts on Stephane Da Costa‘s recall and he’s exactly right that he’s in Ottawa because Peter Regin isn’t performing.  I’m with Nichols in liking Regin, but he’s a player who has clearly lost his confidence and in the absence of Jason Spezza he does have to start producing.  I’m not sure Da Costa is really ready for prime time, but he is an offensively gifted player who could help.

Varada has a rambling piece which I think is about the rebuild, but there isn’t much meat on the bones.  I did want to comment on one thing he said:

Silfverberg and Stone both kind of came out of nowhere, projected to either be lower pairing players or not play in the NHL at all.

Admittedly Varada might mean fans had this perspective, but that’s not true within the scouting community or the organisation.  Stone is a surprise, but his stock was badly hurt in his draft year due to injury and playing on a stacked team, while Silfverberg was always projected as an NHL player (you can read Pierre Dorion‘s comments here and scouting thoughts on Stone here).

-Former NHLer Brett Ledba has signed a PTO with Binghamton; Ledba was playing with Rockford (27-0-11-11) where he sported an ugly -12 rating.  With Robin Lehner around to clean up his mistakes he looks like a useful addition to Binghamton’s depleted blueline.

Bobby Kelly looks at the weekend that was for Binghamton and makes a good point that David Dziurzynski is missing out on an excellent opportunity to see some NHL action.  After receiving praise last season he’s struggled this year and has been unable to step up in the absence of so many of Binghamton’s top players.

-I’m starting to think virtually every draft year (excluding 2010 which was considered a stinker throughout) is going to start with praise for its depth and then see that opinion change.  The Sens have done pretty well in these circumstances under Bryan Murray, but it is food for thought.

-Here’s a very long blog about the Penguins move away from European players–Don Cherry must be proud!

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)