Senators News: April 24th

-It was a good night off for Ottawa as they now need only two points to make the playoffs.  Winnipeg (who lost to Washington last night) has one game left, so despite owning the tie-breaker against both the Sens and the Rangers, they need to win and have some help to make it into the post-season.  If the Jets lose their final game then the Sens make the playoffs by default.  The Rangers (who lost to Florida last night) have two games remaining while Ottawa has three, so any way you look at it the Sens are in good shape.

Erik Karlsson will travel with the team to Washington, but no decision has been made on whether he will play or not.  I expect the Sens will leave his participation vague until the last moment.

Dave Young is concerned about the Sens scoring woes, as surely everyone is, but doesn’t reflect on how little we should be surprised.  What was surprising was how much Ottawa scored in the absence of Jason Spezza, Karlsson, and Michalek.  Scoring is cyclical however and I expect the Sens will break out; they should not be expected to be a high scoring team without the former two players.

Nathan Lawson was the only Binghamton player to miss practice.  Luke Richardson said:

He’s getting better and progressing, hopefully progress a little more tomorrow. Right now at this time of year if you’re not 100 percent, you don’t play. We want guys that are 100, 110 percent ready to go.

Matt Weinstein speculates that Cody Ceci and Buddy Robinson have done enough to be part of the playoff lineup.

-There’s still no indication that Louie Caporusso has been brought to Binghamton, so I wonder if his time as part of the organisation is over.  It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the case, as his performance has not warranted the Sens re-signing him.

-Central Scouting has released their final rankings and here are the top players from their various categories (CSS splits players into North America/Europe and skaters/goaltenders):

North American Skaters

1 SETH JONES PORTLAND WHL D 6′ 3.5″ 205
2 NATHAN MACKINNON HALIFAX QMJHL C 6′ 0″ 182
3 JONATHAN DROUIN HALIFAX QMJHL LW 5′ 10.5″ 186
4 DARNELL NURSE SAULT STE. MARIE OHL D 6′ 3.5″ 185
5 SEAN MONAHAN OTTAWA OHL C 6′ 2.25″ 187
6 HUNTER SHINKARUK MEDICINE HAT WHL C/LW 5′ 10.25″ 181
7 VALENTIN ZYKOV BAIE-COMEAU QMJHL LW 5′ 11.75″ 209
8 FREDERIK GAUTHIER RIMOUSKI QMJHL C 6′ 4.5″ 214
9 MIRCO MUELLER EVERETT WHL D 6′ 3.25″ 184
10 ANTHONY MANTHA VAL-D’OR QMJHL RW 6′ 3.75″ 190
11 SHEA THEODORE SEATTLE WHL D 6′ 1.75″ 178
12 RYAN PULOCK BRANDON WHL D 6′ 0.5″ 211
13 ZACH NASTASIUK OWEN SOUND OHL RW 6′ 1.25″ 190
14 CHRIS BIGRAS OWEN SOUND OHL D 6′ 0.5″ 186
15 BO HORVAT LONDON OHL C 6′ 0″ 206
16 RYAN HARTMAN PLYMOUTH OHL RW 5′ 11″ 181
17 KERBY RYCHEL WINDSOR OHL LW 6′ 0.75″ 205
18 WILLIAM CARRIER CAPE BRETON QMJHL LW 6′ 1.5″ 198
19 MAX DOMI LONDON OHL C/LW 5′ 9.25″ 197
20 CURTIS LAZAR EDMONTON WHL C/RW 5′ 11.75″ 190
21 JAMES LODGE SAGINAW OHL C 6′ 0.5″ 166
22 NIKITA ZADOROV LONDON OHL D 6′ 5.25″ 221
23 SAMUEL MORIN RIMOUSKI QMJHL D 6′ 6.25″ 202
24 IAN MCCOSHEN WATERLOO USHL D 6′ 2.5″ 205
25 MORGAN KLIMCHUK REGINA WHL LW 5′ 11.25″ 180
26 ADAM ERNE QUEBEC QMJHL LW 6′ 0.5″ 210
27 JOSHUA MORRISSEY PRINCE ALBERT WHL D 5′ 11.75″ 186
28 LAURENT DAUPHIN CHICOUTIMI QMJHL C 6′ 0″ 165
29 JOHN HAYDEN USA U-18 USHL C 6′ 2.5″ 210
30 JASON DICKINSON GUELPH OHL C 6′ 1.25″ 179

European Skaters

1 ALEKSANDER BARKOV TAPPARA FINLAND C 6′ 3″ 209
2 VALERI NICHUSHKIN CHELYABINSK RUSSIA RW 6′ 4″ 202
3 ELIAS LINDHOLM BRYNAS SWEDEN C 6′ 0″ 192
4 RASMUS RISTOLAINEN TPS FINLAND D 6′ 4″ 207
5 ALEXANDER WENNBERG DJURGARDEN SWEDEN-2 C 6′ 1″ 190
6 ANDRE BURAKOVSKY MALMO SWEDEN-2 LW 6′ 1″ 178
7 JACOB DE LA ROSE LEKSAND SWEDEN-2 LW 6′ 2.25″ 190
8 ROBERT HAGG MODO JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 6′ 2.25″ 204
9 ARTTURI LEHKONEN KALPA FINLAND LW 5′ 11″ 163
10 PAVEL BUCHNEVICH CHEREPOVETS 2 RUSSIA-JR. LW 6′ 1″ 176
11 BOGDAN YAKIMOV NIZHNEKAMSK 2 RUSSIA-JR. C 6′ 5″ 202
12 MARKO DANO BRATISLAVA RUSSIA C 5′ 11″ 183
13 LINUS ARNESSON DJURGARDEN SWEDEN-2 D 6′ 2″ 187
14 VIKTOR CRUS RYDBERG LINKOPING JR. SWEDEN-JR. C 5′ 11″ 190
15 WILHELM WESTLUND FARJESTAD JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 5′ 11.25″ 184
16 LUCAS WALLMARK SKELLEFTEA JR. SWEDEN-JR. C 5′ 10.5″ 175
17 ANDREI MIRONOV DYNAMO MOSCOW RUSSIA D 6′ 2″ 176
18 CARL DAHLSTROM LINKOPING JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 6′ 3.25″ 211
19 VIKTOR ARVIDSSON SKELLEFTEA SWEDEN LW 5′ 9″ 172
20 ANTON SLEPYSHEV UFA RUSSIA LW 6′ 2″ 194
21 RUSHAN RAFIKOV YAROSLAVL 2 RUSSIA-JR. D 6′ 2″ 181
22 EMIL DJUSE SODERTALJE SWEDEN-2 D 6′ 0″ 185
23 JUUSO IKONEN BLUES FINLAND LW 5′ 9″ 169
24 ALEXANDER HENRIKSSON FARJESTAD JR. SWEDEN-JR. LW 6′ 1.75″ 190
25 ANTON CEDERHOLM ROGLE JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 6′ 1.5″ 204
26 NIKLAS HANSSON ROGLE JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 6′ 0.5″ 175
27 FABIO HOGGER KLOTEN JR. SWISS-JR. C 6′ 0″ 169
28 PETER CEHLARIK LULEA JR. SWEDEN-JR. LW 6′ 2″ 192
29 VICTOR OHMAN MODO JR. SWEDEN-JR. C 5′ 8.5″ 170
30 SERGEY STETSENKO CSKA 2 RUSSIA-JR. D 6′ 3″ 191

North American Goaltenders

1 ZACHARY FUCALE HALIFAX QMJHL 6′ 1.0″ 181
2 ERIC COMRIE TRI-CITY WHL 6′ 0.75″ 167
3 TRISTAN JARRY EDMONTON WHL 6′ 1.25″ 183
4 CALVIN PETERSEN WATERLOO USHL 6′ 2.0″ 183
5 SPENCER MARTIN MISSISSAUGA OHL 6′ 2.25″ 198
6 EAMON MCADAM WATERLOO USHL 6′ 2.25″ 188
7 PHILIPPE DESROSIERS RIMOUSKI QMJHL 6′ 1.25″ 182
8 PATRIK BARTOSAK RED DEER WHL 6′ 1.0″ 187
9 ANTOINE BIBEAU PEI QMJHL 6′ 2.5″ 207
10 AUSTIN LOTZ EVERETT WHL 6′ 0.0″ 188

European Goaltenders

1 JUUSE SAROS HPK JR. FINLAND-JR. 5′ 10.25″ 178
2 EBBE SIONAS AIK JR. SWEDEN-JR. 5′ 10.25″ 183
3 LUKA GRACNAR SALZBURG AUSTRIA 5′ 10″ 185
4 MARCUS HOGBERG LINKOPING JR. SWEDEN-JR. 6′ 4″ 205
5 IVAN BOCHAROV MVD BALASHIKHA 2 RUSSIA-JR. 6′ 2″ 172
6 VILLE HUSSO HIFK JR. FINLAND-JR. 6′ 2″ 192
7 MELVIN NYFFELER GCK ZURICH SWISS-2 5′ 10″ 172
8 RENE SVOBODA VITKOVICE JR. CZREP-JR. 5′ 9″ 170
9 ANDREI FILONENKO CSKA 2 RUSSIA-JR. 6′ 5″ 220
10 MAROS MIKOLAS ZILINA JR. SLOVAKIA-JR. 6′ 2″ 196

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 23rd; Ottawa 1 Pittsburgh 3

-Ottawa lost 3-1 to Pittsburgh last night; Craig Anderson made 21 saves in the loss and clearly needs a break; Patrick Wiercioch scored the only goal.  Here’s the boxscore; Darren M was unimpressed by the team’s effort.  Scott had the scoring chances 17/16.  I can’t say I’m surprised the Sens lost; above and beyond the Pens being a good team, it seems like whenever Ottawa has a huge distraction (like Matt Cooke) they’ve stumbled.  I thought Robin Lehner should have played this game (which may not have changed the outcome), but MacLean wanted to go with his top goaltender even if he struggled in his prior start.  Regardless, it’s not the end of the world, but the playoff race is definitely more interesting (there were already plenty of reasons to not want to face Pittsburgh in the post-season and last night just emphasized the point).

Bobby Kelly offers us his Binghamton playoff preview, but rather than making predictions he provides us with a look at their opponent Wilkes-Barre:

The WBS Penguins are led on the stats sheet by Chad Kolarik, an AHL veteran who has played a grand total of six games at the NHL level. He came over to the Penguins halfway through the regular season and has been very good since- their very own Rob Klinkhammer. Riley Holzapfel and Trevor Smith are important pieces to the Penguins’ offence as well. Jeff Zatkoff back-stops this team, and does it very well. After 49 regular season games, Zatkoff is showing off a .920 save percentage and 1.93 goals-against-average.

Bob Howard writes about the Binghamton-Wilkes-Barre rivallry which he points to beginning with the Penguins upset of the Jason Spezza era B-Sens.

Duncan Keith took some stupid pills and he told reporter Karen Thomson:

[You’d be the] First female referee – You can’t probably play either, right? But you’re thinking the game, like you know it? See ya.

I want to think Keith‘s comment is connected to Thomson saying that she can’t skate, but he has to know better than throwing her gender into the equation.  His argument doesn’t make much sense either; playing the game can give you some insight, but it’s not a prerequisite to understanding it.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 22nd

-Ottawa plays Pittsburgh (34-10-0) tonight; the Penguins are lead by Chris Kunitz (49 points) and backstopped by Tomas Vokoun (12-4-0 2.54 .915).  No lineup changes are expected for the Sens.

Ken Campbell writes a glowing assessment of the Senators:

If the Ottawa Senators can hold on for one more week and make the playoffs this season, it will be almost impossible not to vote for Sens coach Paul MacLean for the Jack Adams Award. But more importantly, it will mess things up from now on for teams who use injuries as a crutch. Come to think of it, if the Senators don’t buckle, no team will ever be able to use injuries as an excuse ever again. As the Senators have displayed this season, an organization can insulate itself against the effect of devastating injuries by having three things in place – an elite coach, superior goaltending and organizational depth. The Senators have used 13 skaters this season who fit the rookie criteria, a number that would be one higher if first-year defenseman Andre Benoit were not 29 years old. Of those 13 players, nine were original Senator draft picks, two were signed as free agents and two were acquired in trades.

If I were to pick one factor that made the most difference for Ottawa it has to be goaltending.  Excellence between the pipes hides a lot of mistakes which allows young players to grow.

Mark Parisi provides his ups and downs for the week that was and his opinions are sound (although it’s interesting reading his comments on Chris Neil in light of those from Varada below).

Scott has the scoring chances in the Toronto game 19/11.

WTYKY guys have an entertaining and look at Ottawa’s season.  It’s hard to encapsulate the entire discussion, but James’ wondering about Jason Spezza‘s health going forward and how it impacts the center position along with Varada’s Chris Neil thoughts are the most interesting (I’ll quote the latter):

Can I take a moment to hate on Chris Neil? [He] is just driving me crazy out there – should we really be giving him those 14 minutes a night? Are they really not better served by an enthusiastic prospect who doesn’t take more penalties than he draws and have mediocre possession numbers against other teams’ third line? His numbers aren’t bad for a pest (credit where it’s due: 3 of his whopping 4 goals are game winners) but at this point I feel like the guy gets a pass for always outperforming terrible expectations.

I’ve been critical of Neil for lacklustre defensive play before and in an ideal world he would not be seeing the ice time that he is, but he’s not someone who gets frequently criticised.

-Here’s a look at Binghamton’s final six games.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Binghamton’s Final Games (71-76)

The Binghamton Senators’ season has ended so it’s time to take stock of their last six games and see how the team and the players are doing (for the previous ten games go here).  Binghamton went 4-1-1, finishing 4th in their conference and 2nd in their division.  The B-Sens 227 goals-for are 4th in the conference, as is their 188 goals against.  Binghamton will play Wilkes-Barre (42-30-4) in the playoffs.

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

Mark Stone 6-3-5-8 +3
Corey Cowick 6-3-3-6 +6
Pat Cannone 6-2-4-6 +5
Cole Schneider 6-3-2-5 +5
Buddy Robinson 5-2-2-4 +2 SCR 1
Shane Prince 6-1-3-4 +4
Brett Lebda 6-1-3-4 +1
Hugh Jessiman 5-0-4-4 +3 INJ 1
Stephane Da Costa 6-1-2-3 +3
David Dziurzynski 6-1-2-3 +2
Derek Grant 2-1-1-2 +1 INJ 4
Cody Ceci 3-1-1-2 +2 [OHL 12-1-9-10]
Chris Wideman 6-0-2-2 +7
Fredrik Claesson 6-1-0-1 +4
Dustin Gazley 6-1-0-1 -1
Mark Borowiecki 6-0-0-0 -2
Danny New 5-0-0-0 +2 SCR 1
Michael Sdao 3-0-0-0 +2 SCR 3
Tyler Eckford 3-0-0-0 +2 INJ 3
Jakub Culek 3-0-0-0 Even SCR 3
Darren Kramer 3-0-0-0 Even SCR 3
Wacey Hamilton 3-0-0-0 -2 SCR 3
Matt Puempel 2-0-0-0 +1 [OHL 10-3-4-7]
Jack Downing 2-0-0-0 Even [ECHL 1-1-0-1]
Louie Caporusso [ECHL 3-1-3-4]
Ben Blood [ECHL 3-0-0-0]
Andre Petersson (injured)
Brad Peltz (DNP)

Nathan Lawson 2-0-0 2.19 .938
Marc Cheverie 2-1-1 2.80 .907
Scott Greenham (DNP)
Andrew Hammond (DNP)

Stone lead the final charge offensively, while Cowick was able to thrive without his regular line mate Pageau and Cannone enjoyed his 0first spurt of production since being taken off Silverberg‘s line in the fall.  Robinson has been excellent since arriving from college, while consistency continues to plague Da Costa.  I’m not sure what’s happened to Eckford, but his offensive game has completely disappeared since the early part of the season.  Wideman lead the team on the plus side of the ledger, while Borowiecki and Hamilton were on the negative side.  Gazley is firmly back to earth offensively, while Lebda lead the charge from the blueline.  It was a strong finish to the year for the B-Sens who have held the line extremely well despite losing so much talent to their parent club.

Senators News: April 21st; Ottawa 1 Toronto 4

-Ottawa lost 4-1 to Toronto last night in a game in which they heavily outshot the Leafs (50-22).  It wasn’t a great night for Craig Anderson; Jakob Silfverberg scored the only goal for Ottawa.  Here’s the boxscoreAmelia L echoes the general sentiment that the Sens played well, but suffered from bad penalties, subpar goaltending, and unfortunate puck luck.  I agree with her that Marc Methot should play more than Chris Phillips in all instances and that Matt Kassian just shouldn’t be dressed.  On the latter point I wonder if Paul MacLean will finally scratch the pugilist permanently (I remain suspicious that Latendresse has some lingering physical ailment and simply needed the rest).

Nichols (who gets points for working in both an Ilya Zubov and Pat Elynuik reference) compares Erik Karlsson‘s eminent return with Dominik Hasek‘s abductor issues back in 2006.  I agree with him that Bryan Murray would not be teasing us or the team about Karlsson‘s return unless he was sure it would be coming soon.

-Binghamton beat Hershey 4-2 yesterday; Marc Cheverie made 24 saves for the win, while Shane Prince, Brett Lebda, Stephane Da Costa, and Mark Stone (empty net) scored the goals.  Here’s the boxscore and the highlights.

-The B-Sens play Syracuse (43-21-11) this afternoon; the Crunch are lead by Tyler Johnson (65 points) and backstopped by Riku Helenius (17-14-0 2.57 .900).

-The Binghamton Senators handed out their team awards yesterday:
Top defenseman: Mark Borowiecki
Top defensive forward: Derek Grant
Star of the Year Award (most top stars each game): Robin Lehner
Seventh Man Award: Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Man of the Year: Hugh Jessiman
Rookie of the Year: Jean-Gabriel Pageau
MVP: Derek Grant

-I didn’t think the Ken Hitchcock honeymoon in St. Louis would last forever and if Bruce Garrioch can be trusted (iffy given that the Blues have won three straight), Hitch’s antics are wearing thin this season.  Speaking of Hitchcock, does anyone remember him saying that Alexander Pietrangelo was a better player than Erik Karlsson?  Look it up for some LOL’s.

-I’m not a big Brian Burke fan, but the Toronto team that clinched a playoff spot last night is his team.  Burke sewered himself by consistently talking about a fast rebuild, but in the end it took roughly five years which is about what you’d expect.  I don’t envision the Leafs going very far in the playoffs (especially if they play Boston), but making it is enough.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 20th

-Ottawa plays Toronto (24-15-5) tonight; the Leafs are lead by Phil Kessel (46 points) and backstopped by James Reimer (17-6-5 2.46 .922).  The only lineup change for Ottawa is Matt Kassian playing instead of Guillaume Latendresse, which is one of those things you read a few times and still can’t believe.

-There’s a great deal of interest in Eugene Melnyk’s CSI activities and Scott offers us an update after he was asked about it by The Score:

Will his interest in the “case” lose steam if Karlsson gets back into the lineup in the coming weeks? Will it drag on for years and years a la Heatley grievance?

I think we can count on at least one or two more silly statements before the matter completely goes away.

Scott had the scoring chances in the Washington game 17/10.

Adam Proteau thinks the Sens and Islanders are the most surprising teams this season.

Jared Crozier writes a long article disagreeing with Red Scarf Union’s (a Sens fan group) decision to have a Matt Cooke Hatefest for the next game against Pittsburgh.  Crozier’s lengthy discussion of the issue focuses on Cooke‘s intentions (which seems about as sensible as Melnyk’s CSI investigation), but eventually he moves onto this:

Sure,  Boo Coke [Cooke] if you want, just like Leafs fans boo Daniel Alfredsson.  We all know how much we like that now don’t we?  What if it had been Chris Neil finishing his check on Kris Letang and the Penguins fans started a “Chris Neil Hatefest”?  Sens Army would lose its collective mind.

Does anyone lose their mind over Leaf fans booing Alfredsson?  I should hope not (I’ve always found it hilarious, like Ranger fans booing Denis Potvin).  Regardless, this is a more interesting argument, but frankly I think the entire debate is pointless.  If fans want to boo Cooke I say more power to them, but I’m not sure what impact the effort is meant to have.  I don’t imagine it will affect Cooke‘s play.  For my part it’s more irritating having the home rink filled with Leafs and Habs fans, but that’s an issue that only time will solve.

-Binghamton lost 2-1 to Manchester last night, but more importantly, lost starting goaltender Nathan Lawson to injury part way through the game.  Marc Cheverie took the loss, while Pat Cannone scored the only goal.  Binghamton fired 38 shots on Martin Jones and should see more production if they can keep that up.  Here’s the boxscore and the highlights.

-There wasn’t much news on Lawson‘s injury; Luke Richardson would only say:

Nate just pulled something in the lower body and we thought it best if it was hurting him to get him out now and get him back recuperating as quick as possible. We got quality goalies here so it was the right thing to do.

-Binghamton faces Hershey (35-30-9) tonight; the Bears are lead by Jeff Taffe (70 points) and backstopped by Philipp Grubauer (14-8-2 2.23 .921).

-The B-Sens recalled Ben Blood (his season with Elmira having come to an end).  I haven’t seen the same official notice for Louie Caporusso who was also in the ECHL.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 19th; Ottawa 3, Washington 1

-Ottawa defeated Washington 3-1 last night in a game they dominated; Craig Anderson made 18 saves for the win, while Kyle Turris (2) and Cory Conacher scored the goals.  Here’s the boxscore and Ryan Classic‘s summary.

Mark Parisi takes a look at how the Sens have filled their two long term needs (goaltending and a second line center), with a specific focus on Mika Zibanejad.  It’s well worth reading his article in full and I agree with him that in the short term Zibanejad will fill the third line slot when Jason Spezza returns.

-There’s a lot of excitement around the team because Erik Karlsson practiced today, but should we expect a quick return?  Bryan Murray says Karlsson is 100% healthy and just needs to get into game shape, which on the one hand is very encouraging, but on the other quite vague.  Karlsson said:

It’s only been nine weeks or so. We expected it to take a lot more time. Right now it’s just about getting that normal feeling back being back on skates, getting around and getting the timing back. I’m still taking it day-to-day. I haven’t been able to do a lot of lower body work for a period of time but I think ever since I’ve been able to walk frequently I’ve been trying to keep in shape. Even if I don’t come back and play it’s still good to be in good condition going into the summer. There’s not a timeline, not right now. I don’t think anybody expects more than anything than trying to skate as much as possible and trying to get normal feeling back in my leg. The more I skate, the better I’m going to feel. When the time comes it’s probably going to be a decision made the same day.

Jared Crozier says the Sens have not pulled any of their goaltenders this year, which is an interesting bit of trivia (I’m not sure it means much more than the goaltending has been good).

-Binghamton plays Manchester (35-31-7) tonight; the Monarchs are lead by Linden Vey (65 points) and backstopped by Martin Jones (25-25-4 2.58 .917).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 18th

-Ottawa plays Washington (24-17-2) tonight; the Caps are lead by Alexander Ovechkin (48 points) and backstopped by Braden Holtby (20-11-1 2.67 .917).  Craig Anderson will get the start and the Sens lineup remains unchanged.

Scott had the scoring chances in the Carolina game 19/16.

Gus Katsaros takes a look at Ottawa’s season (as well as Boston’s and Toronto’s), concluding:

When taking the injuries into consideration, it’s incredible that the Senators have as many positive Corsi games.

-I’m a bit puzzled by Senschirp‘s idea:

How do you reconcile the notion of a rebuild when there’s a constant stream of Sens drafts pick in their regular lineup?

Isn’t the nature of a rebuild involve a constant stream of young players enter the lineup?  Are there rebuilds made up of a constant stream of veteran players?  Senschirp wonders if the Sens have truly gone through a rebuild, but I think only he can answer that question as I’m not sure what his understanding of a rebuild is (I assume the confusion is because of how fast the Sens have returned to contention, but that actually has nothing to do with his question).

-As expected Cody Ceci and Matt Puempel have been added to Binghamton’s roster.

-Some housekeeping matters: Binghamton has changed radio station’s (which only impacts our friends south of the border); they’ve also had their playoff schedule posted despite not knowing their opponent.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 17th; Ottawa 3, Carolina 2

-Ottawa defeated Carolina 3-2 last night; Craig Anderson made 32 saves for the win, while Mika Zibanejad, Milan Michalek, and Chris Neil scored the goals (the latter’s first since February 5th).  Jared Cowen‘s return to the lineup was punctuated by a hit that knocked Jeff Skinner out of the game and resulted in him fighting both Chad Larose and Kevin Westgarth.  Here is the boxscore; Amelia L offers a Star Wars-referenced recap.

-Something of note from the game is the size on Ottawa’s blueline–Sergei Gonchar at 6’2 is the smallest player, with 6’3 Chris Phillips and Marc Methot, 6’4 Eric Gryba, and 6’5 Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiercioch.  I don’t think Ottawa has ever iced such a large group of defenders.

Bryan Murray fuelled speculation that Erik Karlsson might return this season, but I don’t think too much can be read into comments like this:

Maybe next week, if he feels that he’s close enough to go out and spend 15 minutes at the early part of practice with the team, that would be a good thing for him and obviously a little motivation for the group.

I’m not sure how quickly Karlsson is supposed to transition from a few minutes of practice with the team to playoff action.

-I have to agree with Bobby Kelly‘s theory that Scott Greenham‘s PTO signing by Binghamton must be connected to a potential injury to either Nathan Lawson or Marc Cheverie.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 16th

-The Sens-Bruins game was cancelled in light of the attack on the Boston marathon.  Nichols speculates the game will be re-scheduled to April 28th or 29th.

-Ottawa plays Carolina (17-22-2) tonight; the Hurricanes are lead by Eric Staal (44 points) and backstopped by Cam Ward (9-6-1 2.84 .908).  Craig Anderson gets the start and Jared Cowen returns to the lineup in place of Andre Benoit; there will be no Matt Kassian tonight.

-Binghamton signed Scott Greenham (ECHL 11-19-3 3.39 .908) to an ATO.  Greenham participated in the Sens development camp in 2011 and played in their rookie tournament in 2012, but I’m puzzled by the signing given that the B-Sens have three goaltenders already in place.

-Elmira was crushed 7-2 by Florida and were knocked out of the playoffs, losing the series 4-2.  Louie Caporusso (6-2-8-10 +7) and Ben Blood (6-0-1-1 +2) will presumably be recalled by Binghamton.  We should also expect Cody Ceci and Matt Puempel to join the B-Sens sooner than later.

-There was no update/explanation for Bryce Aneloski‘s play in the CHL in the Sens latest prospect update.

Tyler Dellow writes a terrific article about the management change in Edmonton and puts his finger on the primary problem for the Oilers in that they’ve failed to surround their players with quality depth.  I’ll also highlight this for toughness fans (via Craig MacTavish):

Grit’s always a huge part of it.  But, also, grit without skill, as I mentioned, is not something’s that’s going to move the dial of our team forward.  There are a lot of areas we’re going to look at over the next little while to try and improve, whether it’s scouting but more prominently player acquisition.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)