December 4, 2013
The Senators held practice Wednesday morning in Tampa Bay, Florida. Here were the lines.
D-pairings – Methot-Karlsson, Phillips-Corvo, Cowen-Gryba (Wiercioch)
December 4, 2013
It looked as though it was going to be another rough night. The Senators fell behind rather quickly, surrendering 2 power-play goals midway through the first period. But the Sens regrouped and slowly chipped away, tying it by the end of the opening frame and taking the lead for good in the second.
It was fluky but they’ll take it. The eventual game-winner came when Joe Corvo’s shot deflected off Colin Greening’s leg and into an open net. Corvo, Erik Condra & Bobby Ryan also scored for the Senators.
Craig Anderson was solid, making 30 saves, including a sprawling pad effort that prevented a goal in the second period.
December 2, 2013
A day after losing to Daniel Alfredsson and the Detroit Red Wings, the Senators took to the ice at the CTC for practice. Beforehand, there was a bit of a roster shuffle as Mark Borowiecki & Derek Grant were re-assigned to Binghamton, while Mike Hoffman was brought up to the big club. Here’s how the lines looked after the shakeup.
D-pairings - Cowen-Karlsson, Wiercioch-Gryba, Phillips-Corvo.
Afterwards, Coach MacLean would not confirm his goaltender for tomorrow. He did, however, mention that Marc Methot skipped practice due to the flu that forced him to miss last night’s game.
December 2, 2013
As you can imagine, my weekend was quite busy with the return of Daniel Alfredsson. I doubt there is much more I can add to what was undoubtedly one of the most important games in Senator franchise history.
The organization did it right. Acknowledged the importance of the long-time captain, while not going over the top. Yes, Alfredsson was a pillar in the community and will likely be the most popular player ever to suit up for Ottawa. BUT, he is still in the league and playing for a different organization by choice – short and sweet was the right call.
Having said that, it was great to see him in the building again. I covered him during my first 4 seasons here in Ottawa and he had been nothing but professional. Seeing him walk the halls of the CTC again brought back a lot of memories.
I made sure to be on ice level when the tribute was given to Daniel Alfredsson. Here’s a pic I snapped.
As for the game, just slate it amongst those that have been harped about all season long. Of course, Daniel Alfredsson threw even more salt in the wound with an assist on the opening marker and scoring the empty netter that put the contest to bed.
November 28, 2013
Another game, same story for the Senators Thursday night.
After an inspirational team effort Wednesday night against the Capitals, Ottawa couldn’t protect a 1 goal lead and fell completely apart in the second period. In a span of 1:16, the Senators gave up 2 goals and deflated the entire building.
Nobody was particularly good on this night but Craig Anderson certainly had a weak game. Anderson allowed 4 goals on 15 shots and was pulled midway through the middle frame. While the Senator goaltender admitted to having hurt his knee & head in plays prior to the pulling, he did not think that those injuries were the reason he was taken from the game.
The Senators have a day off tomorrow before practice on Saturday.
Ottawa and Vancouver did unveil their Heritage jerseys Thursday morning at the Canadian Tire Centre…take a look.
November 27, 2013
It looked grim after one period of play.
The Capitals were up 3-1, outshooting the Sens 18-11 and looked to be in firm control.
But things changed in the second.
It began with a scrap. Colin Greening, who has been much more physical as of late, duked it out with Aaron Volpatti just 2 minutes into the period. Then, on a power-play, Chris Phillips took a pass from Kyle Turris and unleashed a rocket that went up and over Braden Holtby’s shoulder. It was the Big Rig’s first of the season and first since March 25th. 3-2.
That was followed by yet another Colin Greening contribution. Midway through, No. 14 shot the puck through a crowd in front and was able to find a hole through Holtby to tie the game. It was Greening’s first of the season as well and finally kicked the monkey off his back.
Ottawa would go on to dominate the rest of the period. They treated the Capitals like their opponents have treated them so far this season. They controlled play in the offensive zone and got multiple changes on the Washington net. Shots finished 19-3 and it seemed like they had even more.
They kept coming in the third. On yet another power-play, Jason Spezza’s slapshot banked off Mika Zibanejad’s knee and into the net to give the Senators their first lead of the game. It was their 3rd power-play goal of the contest in just 5 tries (ended up 3 for 6).
Unfortunately, after Zack Smith drew a kneeing penalty, John Carlson’s point shot deflected off Derek Grant and past Craig Anderson to tie the game with under 4 minutes left. However, just 1:04 later after the Caps had capitalized on his penalty, Zack Smith took a pass from Chris Neil and put one through Braden Holtby that he probably should’ve had to regain the lead. Bobby Ryan’s empty netter put the icing on the cake as the Senators grabbed a huge 2 points.
November 26, 2013
The Senators held practice Tuesday morning prior to leaving for Washington to meet the Capitals Wednesday night. Lines were the same as the previous game. Afterwards, Coach MacLean said he had selected a goaltender for tomorrow evening’s game but would not announce it until morning skate.
In other news, Kevin Westgarth was suspended 2 games for his hit on Mark Borowiecki Sunday night. Borowiecki left the game with a neck strain and did not return. The Senators defenceman did practice this morning and says he’s feeling good. Coach MacLean expects him to be available against the Caps.
November 25, 2013
All it took was a 10 minute lapse in effort.
After playing a solid first period, one which saw them get an early lead thanks to Jason Spezza, the Ottawa Senators looked to be on their way to victory. The team was moving the puck, extracting it from their defensive zone quickly and forcing Cam Ward to make several big saves. There was only one problem – they lost a player for the remainder of the game.
While retrieving the puck along the boards, Mark Borowiecki slipped and fell. On his way up, he looked down in hopes of finding the black rubber, keeping his head and back bent towards the boards. Hurricanes forward Kevin Westgarth then hit him from behind, slamming Borowiecki’s head directly into the boards, sending him to the ice. Borowiecki was able to skate off under his own power but looked a bit woozy. He would not return due to what the club called a “neck strain.”
Borowiecki’s absence created multiple issues for the Senators. A team defence that had played the night before was now down to 5 tired men. Not only did that mean more minutes for everyone, all 5 were forced to play outside of their pairings. Coach MacLean couldn’t be picky – his ability to hide those with flaws was greatly reduced as there had to be 2 on the ice at all times.
The second period would expose the side effects of the loss. Patrick Dwyer, Tuomo Ruutu & Elias Lindholm all scored within a 6 minute span. On all 3 goals, defensive coverage could be questioned as many Senators were shown either out of position, being beaten to the puck or taking the wrong man. It took the wind out of their sails and led to yet another defeat.
It was another inconsistent effort by the league’s most inconsistent team.
November 23, 2013
As Paul MacLean mentioned during his media availability prior to leaving for Detroit, this year’s version of the Ottawa Senators has no issue with getting up for games against the league’s elite teams. After stellar efforts against the likes of Detroit and Boston earlier in the season, they proved it once again Saturday night, defeating the Red Wings 4-2.
While the Red Wings have only won 1 game in their past 9, they have earned points in 6 of them and are still considered to be one of the NHL’s finest franchises. With that, and the added Daniel Alfredsson motivation, the Senators came to play and ended a three game losing streak.
Clarke MacArthur scored 2 goals, while Bobby Ryan, Erik Karlsson & Patrick Wiercioch all recorded 2 points apiece. Robin Lehner made 34 saves and was the backbone of a penalty kill that was successful in fighting off 2 of the 3 Detroit 5 on 3′s.
After the game, numerous Senators complained about the Red Wings’ diving. Clarke MacArthur said, “I don’t know if their skate sharpener was broken over there or what? There was a couple where they went down pretty easy” while Robin Lehner quipped, “It was like there was water out there with how much they were diving.”
The Senators head to Carolina for the second half of their back-to-back weekend games. Coach MacLean will announce his starting goaltender in the morning.
November 23, 2013
The Senators held pregame skate at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit this morning in preparation for their game this evening. There were no changes to the lines from practice yesterday.
D-pairings – Karlsson-Methot, Cowen-Wiercioch, Phillips-Borowiecki (Corvo-Gryba)
Lehner – Anderson
Afterwards, Coach MacLean revealed Robin Lehner as tonight’s starter. He will be up against Jimmy Howard, who was chased from the net the last time these two teams met. While Daniel Alfredsson & Stephen Weiss have told the Coach Babcock they are ready to go, neither will play this evening. Alfredsson says he hopes to play Sunday, but if not, Wednesday for sure.