Senators News & Notes

Ary M takes a look at Ottawa’s 5-2 loss to Tampa, while RobFeature wraps up their 4-2 win over San Jose on Friday.

[Just a quick update: Ryan Dzingel was just recalled and that’s well deserved.]

pierre dorion

Nichols ponders the future if Bryan Murray steps down and Pierre Dorion becomes the Sens next GM.  The big question is: will Dorion be progressive, or will he continue the lamentable dedication to using an ‘eye test’ for players and favour “good in the corners” guys over those with skill?  It’s impossible to know because Dorion has to follow the party line publicly, so it’s a guessing game if/until he’s handed the reins.  What is clear is that Murray is done–the game has passed him by and he’s a drag on the organisation.

Ary M offers a lengthy prospect update which is well worth reading through.  A couple of notes:
-I’m dubious that Andreas Englund has the puck-skills to help Binghamton next season (or Ottawa in the future)–you can read what scouts said when he was drafted here
Gabriel Gagne was taken before everyone‘s projections (the Central Scouting number Ary references is narrow, only comparing him to other non-goaltending NA skaters); you can read about him here


Binghamton released Darian Dziurzynski from his PTO (apparently losing out to Flanagan as a fill-in).  This seems like the right move if you compare the two players prior AHL-numbers.

It was the same lineup for the BSens (plus Driedger) against Syracuse on Friday night and it was a complete disaster.  The play-by-play:
-Great stop by Driedger on a 2-on-1 down low (Fraser took a penalty on the play–the BSens broadcast crew lay into him for how dumb it was, which of course, it was)
1. On the PP Kostka gets caught out in no-man’s land leaving a man open who makes a nice tip in the slot
Dzingel has a great chance in front and in the following sequence the team draws a penalty and Paul has another great chance
Kostka gets the poke-check in to prevent a breakaway chance (this while the BSens were on the aforementioned PP)
-Another great save by Driedger as a man is left alone in front (Stortini‘s check, but he couldn’t keep up)
O’Dell with a great chance in the slot
-Nice back check by McCormick
2. Driedger is beaten on a soft wrist shot through a screen
McCormick with a brutal giveaway in his own zone, but Driedger bails him out
-Nice D from Penny
-Great point-blank save by Driedger
Claesson is kicked out of the game after a second fighting major
Schneider scores, but the goal is wiped out because Fraser was pointlessly wrestling with a Crunch player behind the play
3. Robinson picked up a holding-the-puck call putting the BSens down 5-on-3 and not long after a great save by Driedger (back to 5-on-4) the Crunch score off a soft wrist shot from the point
-Alone in front Dzingel can’t bury it
Greening takes a needless penalty in the offensive zone
Lepine takes a dumb, selfish penalty behind the play
4. On the PP the Crunch score on a nice tip

This was a prototypical Binghamton game–struggling with offense, defense, and discipline.  Other than Dzingel and O’Dell the forwards generated virtually nothing.  Fraser continues to be Fraser is continues to be exasperating.  The BSens hadn’t scored a powerplay goal since Lindberg‘s injury six games ago, incidentally.

On Saturday night the BSens beat Leigh Valley 2-1.  Initially the only lineup changes were Matt O’Connor starting and Tobias Lindberg magically healthy (overcoming the Richardson Flu?) as Max McCormick was out with injury.  However, Richardson juggled all four lines and I liked most of the changes (Stortini on the fourth in particular, although the lumbering enforcer is still inexplicably on the powerplay–which hasn’t scored now in seven games now).  The play-by-play:
-An exhausted Schneider can’t keep up with his check who rushes all alone in front, but baubles the puck and can’t put a shot on goal
Harpur passes to the wrong team, but fortunately Leigh Valley throws a weak wrister at the net
-On the BSens broadcast there was a funny (but accurate) comment about the defense: “we know Binghamton’s defense so we know he [O’Connor] will be tested”
Flanagan takes a dumb tripping penalty in the neutral zone; Harpur went off with an injury at the time (after falling in the corner earlier)
-Binghamton can’t score with a 5-on-3 advantage (best chance was for Puempel down low)
O’Dell makes a great defensive play by lifting the stick right in front
Mullen is out of position leaving a Leigh forward wide open in front and O’Connor makes a great save
-Nice defensive play in front of his own net by Mullen intercepting a pass
Claesson makes a brutal pass behind his intended target, but fortunately nothing comes of it
-Good chance for Paul from the bottom of the circle
-Nice cross-ice pass by Lindberg for a Schneider one-timer, but his shot is deflected high
Greening is all alone in front but can’t cash in
1. Mullen breaks up the rush and Dzingel picks up the loose puck and scores (inexplicably O’Dell was given an assist and Mullen was not)
Paul with a great tip in front
-Wonky shot by Lepine deflects a couple of times and almost sneaks in
Puempel appears to be hurt after being run into the boards (he returned in the third)
Flanagan takes another dumb penalty (this time in the offensive zone)
-BSens have back-to-back odd-man rushes shorthanded but can’t get a shot on either of them
Kostka throws the puck away on the PK, but nothing comes of it
Kostka passes to the wrong team in front but Paul deflects the shot wide
Lepine gives it away, but the BSens recover the puck
Fraser is turned into a pylon and O’Connor has to make a great save
Robinson with a chance all alone in front
-Great play by Mullen to break up a 3-on-1
-Fantastic save by O’Connor on a one-timer
2. O’Dell gets turned inside out and then can’t take the stick or the man as the rebound gets banged in
3. Fraser‘s weak wrist shot is deflected into the slot by Lindberg and Paul makes no mistake for his first AHL-goal
-BSens broadcast talked about Lindberg and Paul being scratched back in October for “apparent lack of effort”, which is ridiculous

You could see the difference in having three competent forward lines made for Binghamton, as they had much better possession during the game.  O’Connor rarely had to be spectacular (although the defensive gaffes in front of him continue to be mindbogglingly regular), but I’m starting to believe he’s turned the corner (at last).


Evansville beat Indy 2-1 on Friday, with Scott Greenham picking up the win.  A look at the goals:
1. Greenham is beaten by a rocket far side just inside the top of the circle
2. Fawcett steals the puck and Wideman fires in a one-timer
3. A pair of plays at the blueline keep the puck in and off the second turnover Sims bangs in a rebound

It was a solid effort by the IceMen all around.  The game saw the end of Troy Rutkowski‘s hot streak (3-2-4-6), although he was instrumental in the game winning goal.

The IceMen lost their re-match with Indy 3-1 (Greenham taking the loss).  No lineup changes.  The goals:
1. Rumble throws the puck away and then Greenham deflects the puck into his own net
2. Rumble loses sight of the puck and provides the perfect screen on Greenham
3. MacDonald bangs in a rebound (although this goal was credited to Fawcett for some reason)
4. On the PP Himelson passes to the wrong team right in front of his own net

Evansville had an enormous edge in play, but their weak defensecorps continues to plague them.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)