Senators News: March 20th; Ottawa 5, New York Islanders 3

-Ottawa came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Islanders 5-3 last night; Ben Bishop made 26 saves for the win (allowing a couple of goals he would like back), while Matt Kassian (!), Jakob Silfverberg, Zack Smith, Sergei Gonchar, and Guillaume Latendresse (empty-net) scored the goals.  Marc Methot was hurt during the game.  Peter Regin rose out of the dog house to play quite a bit.  Here’s the boxscore.  Final thought: not a great night for the officials (Chris Rooney and Ian Walsh), with several phantom calls–Rooney has a track record of rough times calling Sens games.

Sylvain St-Laurent thinks Gonchar‘s recent success is partially tied with being paired with Methot.

-Speaking of Methot, Paul MacLean says he may play tomorrow.  Mike Lundin is apparently ready to play if Methot can’t go, while Robin Lehner is going to get the start against Boston.

-Here’s my look at Ottawa at the 30-game mark.

-Confirmation has finally come through that the Sens have signed collegiate goaltender Andrew Hammond to a two-year ELC, who was rumoured to be signed two days agoNichols echoes my point at the time that the signing is an indication that the team is ready to move one of their goaltenders (my guess remains Bishop).

Corey Pronman offers his two cents on free agent prospect Andrej Sustr (RLR‘s opinion can be found here):

His skating is average, but notably above-average for a 6′8′’ defenseman. His mobility has seen significant advancements in the last 12-24 months. He’s a good puck-mover too, showing nice touch with the puck and the offensive instincts to make unusual offensive plays for a player his size. For Nebraska-Omaha on the man advantage I’ve seen him be used in front of the net as a screen or a primary quarterback up high. This combo of traits make Sustr a very desirable asset with the potential to be a #3 if not a #2 defenseman. He is not a player without warts though, for one even though he’s a huge player with a good wingspan, he isn’t all that physical. His decisions in both ends, while not a major issue, could use some work as he can make the odd bad turnover or be off with his positioning.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Ottawa Senators at the 30-Game Mark

Ottawa has reached the 30-game mark and it’s time to take stock and see how the team has performed.  The Sens went 4-2-4 (here’s the previous ten games) which puts them 5th in the conference and drops them to 3rd in the division (opening a window on how much fun the new playoff format will be next season).  Their 77 goals is twelfth in the conference while their 65 goals against remains second.  Ottawa’s powerplay rose to 11th overall (19.8%); and they now have the 2nd best penalty killing in the league (88.4%).  The Sens are the 2nd most penalized team in the league and they have the 10th best 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio (1.10).

Player’s stats (INJ=games missed due to injury, SCR= scratched, SUS=suspended, AHL=games in the AHL):

Sergei Gonchar 10-1-12-13 +4 TOI 24:40
Patrick Wiercioch 10-4-4-8 +3 TOI 15:18
Kyle Turris 10-4-3-7 -1 TOI 19:23
Zack Smith 10-3-4-7 -2 TOI 15:50
Daniel Alfredsson 10-2-5-7 +2 TOI 19:04
Jakob Silfverberg 10-4-1-5 +3 TOI 16:23
Guillaume Latendresse 5-3-2-5 +4 TOI 15:08
Chris Phillips 10-1-4-5 +6 TOI 21:01
Mika Zibanejad 10-3-1-4 +3 TOI 13:08
Andre Benoit 9-0-4-4 -2 TOI 16:02 SCR 1
Chris Neil 10-0-3-3 +1 TOI 14:09
Jim O’Brien 9-1-1-2 -1 TOI 11:31 SCR 1
Colin Greening 10-1-1-2 Even TOI 14:10
Milan Michalek 2-0-2-2 Even TOI 18:23 INJ 8
Erik Condra 10-0-2-2 -3 TOI 13:39
Matt Kassian 3-1-0-1 +1 TOI 4:44 [AHL 4-1-0-1]
Kaspars Daugavins 5-0-1-1 -2 TOI 11:09 SCR 5
Peter Regin 8-0-1-1 -1 TOI 11:49 SCR 2
Marc Methot 10-1-0-1 -7 TOI 22:39
Eric Gryba 10-0-1-1 -4 TOI 21:37
David Dziurzynski 4-0-0-0 -1 TOI 12:26 INJ 6
Mark Stone 4-0-0-0 -1 TOI 10:00 [AHL 5-1-2-3]
Erik Karlsson (injured)
Jason Spezza (injured)
Jared Cowen (injured)

Robin Lehner 2-0-4 1.90 .946
Ben Bishop 2-2-0 2.62 .921
Craig Anderson (injured)

Gonchar has enjoyed a remarkable run over this period, taking up the offensive load left by Karlsson‘s absence.  Wiercioch has also stepped up his game.  In general, after suffering through a period of sputtering offence the Sens have ramped up their goal scoring–Turris finally scored again and Smith rewarded Paul MacLean’s faith in him.  Phillips lead the plus/minus charge (+6) while surprisingly Methot (-7) is at the bottom.  Among the depth players it appears as though Regin gets the nod over Daugavins, although he remains maddeningly inconsistent.  Lehner has been fantastic since Anderson‘s injury and earned the team at least a point in every start.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)