-Ottawa faces the New York Islanders (13-12-3) tonight; the Isles are lead by John Tavares (31 points) and backstopped by Evgeni Nabokov (13-8-3 2.89 .902). Ben Bishop will get the start in goal.
–Bruce Garrioch Tweets that Milan Michalek has had knee surgery.
–Jakob Silfverberg talked about his progress this season:
I feel like I learn something new every day, and I have a coach that believes in me and wants me to play good. I get stronger and stronger on the puck every day and make better decisions, so yeah — the confidence is getting higher and higher.
–Paul MacLean also talked about Silfverberg‘s progress:
Jakob, in the AHL, it was a similar type of production for him until the 20-game mark, then his production and consistency came around. He’s learned to play in the league and what he has to do to be successful. He really shot the puck (against Winnipeg) which is good to see, and something he does well. His play up and down the rink has been excellent all year. He learned to play without the puck, which is important to have success with the puck. He’s consistently getting opportunities, and he’s starting to finish. I knew from watching him in Binghamton he just had to feel his way through the league. It was just a matter of time for him to find his way. We just felt we had to keep putting him out there.
–Bryan Murray continues to indicate that he doesn’t expect to be a player at the trade deadline, as he wants a top-six forward, but doesn’t want to give up a top prospect to get that player.
–Scott had the scoring chances 25/14 in the Winnipeg game.
-I mentioned yesterday that I thought Robin Lehner had outdueled Ben Bishop and that Bishop‘s time with the Sens was running out. Sylvain St-Laurent wonders about the same thing today, but doesn’t offer an answer the question, instead stating the obvious in that it’s an academic debate until Craig Anderson is healthy.
–Amelia L goes into the numbers to see how Paul MacLean’s approach to young defensemen varies from Cory Clouston, with the conclusion being MacLean gives his young players more sheltered minutes.
-With the Sens recent signings there has been some limited discussion over Ottawa’s contract situation. NHL teams are allowed 50 contracts per season and Ottawa is very close to their limit. There are, however, quite a few players who are in the last year of their contracts. They are (those in red are the ones I expect to be let go or traded before the year is out):
Kaspars Daugavins (RFA)
Erik Condra (RFA)
David Dziurzynski (RFA)
Patrick Wiercioch (RFA)
Ben Bishop (RFA)
Stephane Da Costa (RFA)
Mike Hoffman (RFA)
Corey Cowick (RFA)
Mark Borowiecki (RFA)
Louie Caporusso (RFA)
That’s 18 players whose contracts could disappear at season’s end, with (by my estimation) 9 disappearing, leaving plenty of space for additions to the NHL and AHL rosters.
-The WTYKY boys debate Paul MacLean’s shot at the Jack Adams award and it’s well worth combing through.
-Yesterday I took a look at free agent prospects in Europe.
–Bobby Kelly takes a look at the week that was for Ottawa’s prospects and agrees with me that Chris Wideman seems to have turned a corner in his development.
-I like Pierre LeBrun, but I have no idea why he’s stunned that Anaheim was able to retain both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The team had the cap room and the success to pitch both of them–I would have been surprised if they were moved.
–Stu Hackel outlines the topics for the upcoming GM’s meeting, but expect nothing particularly worthwhile to come out of it (goaltending equipment changes would be at the top of the agenda for me, along with some safety provisos). It amuses me that GM’s are more concerned about players faking boarding calls then the serious injuries that are the result from boarding.
–Sarah Kwak believes the Sens stock will fall before the season ends because…well, you know, injuries:
With forwards Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, defenseman Erik Karlsson and goalie Craig Anderson all on injured reserve, Ottawa is ailing to say the least. It’s a wonder that with so many injuries they remain fifth in the East. Head coach Paul MacLean should be commended for the job he’s done keeping things together, but the wear is bound to catch up with the Sens. They’ve been able to eke out points by just making it through regulation — nine overtime games this season — but if this playoff race comes down to tie-breakers, as I suspect it will, those shootout wins won’t help.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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