Senators News: April 9th

-Ottawa plays Tampa (16-20-2) tonight; the Lightning are lead by Steven Stamkos (49 points) and backstopped by Ben Bishop (9-7-0 2.37 .927).  Craig Anderson will get the start.

Darren M takes a look at the numbers of Mika Zibanejad‘s rookie campaign thus far, which everyone is raving about (his demotion to Binghamton back in February is largely forgotten).  As per the Paul MacLean norm for young players, Zibanejad is receiving favourable matchups and ice time.  Darren remarks that he’s surprised to find Zibanejad‘s numbers where they are and I don’t think he’s the only one.  Mika had a slow start (both in Binghamton and Ottawa), hampered by injury, so that it has taken awhile for his consistent production to become noticeable.  Zibanejad himself offered up the following:

I think it’s all about confidence. Especially now that I’m playing with two great players [Silfverberg and Conacher]. It’s working out fine. We’ve got good chemistry. I feel like I know where to be and how to work and all that and you’re getting confidence with the points that are coming in, too. Unfortunately, we haven’t won these last four games, but I’m trying to help by putting up points or scoring goals.

The most interesting thing to me is that Zibanejad has been much better as a center (interesting because the Sens wanted to convert him to the wing).  This positional change may well mark the end of Stephane Da Costa‘s ambitions with the Sens, because with a healthy NHL lineup there’s no room for him in the middle and I don’t see him transitioning as a winger.

Scott had the scoring chances in the Florida game 21-6, which is an indication of how unlucky the Sens were to lose that game.

Jack Downing has been loaned to Elmira by Binghamton.

Bobby Kelly takes a look at the week that was for Sens prospects and remarks (as I did on Sunday) on the improvement in Cole Schneider‘s play.  I like Bobby’s inverse between Schneider and Pat Cannone this year, although they are different players at different stages of their pro careers.

-A bit off topic, but Michael Grange takes the Leafs to task for their backwards approach to concussions, which reminds me of Randy Carlyle‘s own bizarre theory about them:

I have a theory on concussions. I think the reason there’s so much more of them obviously the impact and the size of the equipment and the size of the player—but there’s another factor: Everyone wears helmets, and under your skull when you have a helmet on, there’s a heat issue. Everyone sweats a lot more, the brain swells. The brain is closer to the skull. Think about it. Does it make sense? Common sense?

This is so idiotic I have to hope someone in management talked to him afterwards and it won’t be repeated, but you have to wonder how many other people in the hockey business approach the issue like this.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)