Senators News: May 7th

-As the Sens gear up to play game four against the Habs tonight there is a buoyant mood in the capital.  What would the reaction be if Montreal tied things up?  Looking period by period the Habs have been the better team overall, so will that trend continue, or was the third period of game three a watershed moment allowing the Sens barrel through Montreal?  It remains to be seen, but so far the main story of the series is that Craig Anderson is outplaying Carey Price.

Nichols offers a brief overview of the series and talks about how gratifying it is to have the tougher team after the Sens series’ against Toronto back in the day.

Wayne Scanlan wonders if Michel Therrien can keep his emotions in check.

Sean Gentille is upset that Rene Bourque was not suspended for his elbow to Cory Conacher.  He’s right of course, but I never doubted that the league would do nothing about it–the rulings have always been inconsistent and arbitrary.  Ken Campbell is also upset, writing:

The referees, who seem intent on removing any punitive measures for crosschecks to the back and have, generally speaking, been atrocious in this playoff, should be embarrassed. The NHL should be embarrassed that director of player safety Brendan Shanahan has become the most-scrutinized person and the biggest star of these playoffs.

He’s right as well, but it’s not going to change how the league operates (there is even more criticism from Travis Yost).  The only time the league cracks down in terms of punishment is if something attracts attention outside the NHL bubble–then there is handwringing and promises of change, but nothing actually changes.  It’s the sad state of things, but it is how it is.  I’d also keep in mind that the league isn’t happy with Eugene Melnyk’s CSI act in regards to Matt Cooke, nor does Brendan Shanahan (or Colin Campbell) deal well with criticism, so none of the negative feedback is going to benefit Ottawa.

Bobby Kelly offers his overview of Binghamton’s playoff series with Wilkes-Barre along with a brief season recap (echoing my points from yesterday).

Patrick Wierioch is singled out by the Hockey’s Future staff as part of their look at prospects who are exceeding expectations.  They write:

Wiercioch was invaluable to the Ottawa Senators this season. An extremely productive prospect at the NCAA and AHL levels, the 22-year-old defenseman was thrust into a prominent role when Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson went down in February with a partially severed Achilles tendon. Fortunately for all involved, Wiercioch was more than up to the task and performed admirably in his expanded role. Through 42 regular season games, he managed five goals, 14 assists, and a plus-nine rating while averaging over 15 minutes a game. With Karlsson recently returning to the lineup, Wiercioch has seen his role and ice time scaled back. He nonetheless remains an important part of the Senators future. He will be up for contract renewal at the end of the season.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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