-Ottawa fell 5-4 to Toronto last night in a game where (for once) goaltending let them down. Ben Bishop made 23 saves in the loss (he thought two of the five goals were bad ones), with Mika Zibanejad, Zack Smith, Daniel Alfredsson, and Colin Greening scoring. The Sens fought back from 3-0 and 5-2 deficits, but did not have enough to pull even with the Leafs. The game was marred by the knockout of David Dziurzynski in an early staged fight with Frazer McLaren (for those wondering, McLaren has 55 career fights as a pro while Dziurzynski has 16–it reminded me a little of Corey Cowick‘s AHL rookie year where he accepted a fight from John Kurtz which resulted in Cowick getting hurt). Here’s the boxscore. I thought Mark Stone was solid, while both Eric Gryba and Patrick Wiercioch struggled defensively; Peter Regin played a team low 8:17.
–Daniel Alfredsson summated the team’s performance succinctly:
We gave a good push in the third. Unfortunately, it just turned out to be late. We know we’re not going to quit. We put ourselves in a tough hole. We didn’t execute well in our own end, especially in the first half. We hung in there and at least we scored four goals.
-The Dziurzynski knockout came after one of Don Brennan‘s idiotic “Sens should fight more” columns. The final score must be wrong somehow given that Ottawa fought twice last night…. Jeremy Milks makes the irrational conclusion that the problem with the fight was the Sens didn’t sign Matt Carkner or someone like him (because Jeremy understands how it is, but fans don’t–apparently he understands the game, but if you disagree with him you don’t). Frazer McLaren showed some class after the fight (not acting like an idiot ala Arron Asham) and in his post-game comments said:
It was a lucky punch. It happens sometimes. You know, if you catch someone in the right spot, it doesn’t have to be the hardest punch. You can knock someone out easily. I’ve been knocked out myself, it happens . . . I know how it feels.
I do have to wonder why McLaren didn’t ask the more experienced Zack Smith or Chris Neil to fight (both on the ice at the time) rather than the rookie. Incidentally, for fight fans here’s an epic battle involving former Sen Francis Lessard. Given that one of those teams had to win, I think it augments Brennan’s argument that fighting equals winning….
–D. J. Powers takes a look at (in his opinion) the top NCAA free agents. His list (no order implied, with Red Line Report‘s listings from last year indicated where applicable):
Greg Carey (32-26-22-48, LW, St. Lawrence, junior)
Dan DeKeyser (33-2-13-15, D, Western Michigan, junior) – Shawn Simpson reported last year that the Sens had interest in him; RLR listed him as the top NCAA free agent last year
Eric Hartzell (1.49 .936, G, Quinnipiac, senior)
Eriah Hayes (34-18-13-31, RW, Minnesota State, senior) – RLR had him at 15th
Antoine Laganiere (29-12-12-24, RW, Yale, senior)
Drew Leblanc (34-11-33-44, C, St. Cloud, senior) – RLR listed him 12th
Rylan Schwartz (33-15-27-42, C, Colorado, senior)
Andrej Sustr (34-8-14-22, D, Nebraska-Omaha, junior) – Tim Wharnsby (link above) reported the Sens interest last year (to be fair, every NHL team had interest in him last year); RLR listed him 11th
Shayne Taker (36-1-12-13, D, Notre Dame, junior)
Ryan Walters (34-20-28-48, LW, Nebraska-Omaha, junior)
Powers also includes Trevor Van Riemsdyk (32-7-18-25) among his notables who has a Sens link in that he attended their rookie camp last summer. Under Bryan Murray the Sens typically only target a couple of NCAA players.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)