Senators Prepare for Season’s Biggest Game

SensChirp March 13, 2014 115
Senators Prepare for Season’s Biggest Game

Another day of practice for the Ottawa Senators as they prepare for a massive game on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens.  A quick glance at the forward combinations put together by Head Coach Paul MacLean shows what looks like some of the strongest combinations the Sens have put together all season.  With Clarke MacArthur back, Matt Kassian comes out of the line up, allowing the team to put together four pretty strong lines.

The next challenge will be distributing the ice time accordingly.  We know MacLean loves that Greening-Smith-Neil line but they really seem like they would be more effective if used as a fourth line.  Which would also mean more even strength ice time for what looks like a lethal top six.  The margin for error is so small right now that Ottawa needs to be using their best players as much as possible.  Hopefully MacLean sees it that way.

It looks like the defence will remain unchanged as Cody Ceci was on the ice and taking part in drills at today’s practice.  That seems to indicate that Patrick Wiercioch will spend another game in the pressbox.  Here’s how the Sens lined up today.

Michalek-Spezza-Hemsky
MacArthur-Turris-Ryan
Hoffman-Zibanejad-Condra
Greening-Smith-Neil

Methot-Karlsson
Phillips-Ceci
Cowen-Gryba

  • my2sens

    Those are some nice looking lineups!! If for some reason we are not scoring, perhaps swap Michalek and Greening?

    Also, as someone had suggested last post, would be nice to see Zibby on the PP a la Alfredsson… lining up at faceoff circle, get fed a pass and fire a rocket!

    Here we go! Drive for the playoffs!! We sit at 12% according to that dreaded site…

    GSG!

    • Sens613

      How about swapping Hoffman and michalek?

    • BeJamin

      Possibly the worst idea of all time. Greening is terrible. Statistics on him are getting embarrassing at this point. The guy is not an NHL player except in the meaningless capacity as a 6 minute a night 4th line plug. Even then we have more than 5 guys who are better than him playing in Bingo…

  • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

    Still wish weircioch was in for either Philips or Cowen… But Cowen is slowly redeeming himself…

    • my2sens

      I would rather see Wire in for Philly…

      • Hax

        Okay, but not paired with Ceci. If Phillips is out you pretty much have to put Methot with Ceci to shelter him a bit. Then that means Cowen with Karlsson (which isn’t bad lately) and Weirioch with Gryba. Not sure that’s a better, more balanced group than if you keep Phillips with Ceci. The trickle effect makes it more complicated than just dropping one guy in and another guy out.

        • runningbear1974

          Ceci is fine… It’s not like Phillips is covering his butt… Was there even once this year that Ceci made a mistake and that Phillips came swinging by to save the day…

          • Sensnation

            Yes

          • s3nsfan

            Oh I don’t know the blind awesome pass to Fransen in the Detroit debacle a couple weeks back.

          • Hax

            Not that literally no. But if you think a 20-year-old can just go out there with seasoned NHLers and not need any instruction or guidance from this partner then I guess there’s no point in debating with you.

  • Sensnation

    Kassian is a 4th line player, Smith and Neil are some of the best 3rd liners in the league. I still agree they need to play less, but they have almost never been a 4th line. Not sure why all of a sudden there is such interest in turning them into a 4th line. The sens for years have used a 4th line comprised of their extra skill players, Condra and/or an enforcer.

    If GSN got 4th line minutes they would actually be a lot less effective overall as the tone they set requires minutes, just not 2nd line minutes.

    • Hax

      Speaking for myself, when I think of GSN as a 4th line it’s only if we have three great lines ahead of them. So not the typical 4th line playing a few shifts per period. More like they’d get 7 or 8 shifts per period but keep them shorter (30 seconds or so). Still gives plenty of chance to set the tone but allows three producing lines to get more ice time as well.

      With the lines above, I’d even give Neil or Greening the odd turn in Condra’s spot.

      If you can aim for 17 minutes for the two top six lines, 15 minutes for the third line and 11 minutes for the fourth line you’d be about on track IMO. Obviously special teams will change the actual minutes but you get the idea.

      Still love the GSN line after a goal gets scored (by either team) to reset the tone.

    • boom

      Where do you get this stuff? Smith is the only of the three who could be consdered (maybe) to a solid third liner on any good team. Alot of teams like big centers who are good defenively, and decent on the draw…

      I will leave Neil out of this for now, but what does Greening do that would make anybody think he’s a third liner?

      Big, strong, and fast?Tell me you see those traits when you watch him play.

      • Sensnation

        Read again, I didn’t even say anything about Greening being a 3rd liner, he just happens to be on their line. Neil and Smith have played 3rd line more than 80% of their careers. To call them 4th liners is ridiculous.

        It’s sad that you guys think you’re in the right. All you have to do is look at the boxscores for their careers and see they are not 4th liners. This is why this forum becomes nonsense sometimes, people are arguing as if they don’t know the facts. And then when the facts are pointed out, people disagree with them because they don’t match their opinion.

        FACT: Neil and Smith have played 3rd line minutes most of their career. They are 3rd line players on anything but the best team, and they get minutes and contracts according to that REAL LIFE scenario.

        You guys are off in lala land thinking you can call them 4th line just because you’d rather have them there.

        • sprucesens

          FACT: GSN or any version of that line including smith and neil, is our 1st line according to minutes that maclean plays them… Minutes does not dictate Line number. And i doubt any coaches even think about line numbers. They make 4 lines, and play who they feel they need to at that time. The GM does more of the line combo type things, when signing players and trying to aquire certain roles.

          smith neil and greening are a decent checking line, as a 4th line, regardless of minutes. Playing them as an “above average” 3rd line, like you say they are, costs us many games. Being down a goal late, and putting them on, is a surefire way to lose.

          Smith has barely had a career so far, and we haven’t had the luxury of having 3 better centers to play 1,2,3, until now. You really feel zibanejad should be getting 8 mins a night, while smith gets 14+?

          I like smith in a 4th line checking/energy role, as do 95% of people on this site. But you can’t win games just by hitting people and having good shifts. You have to actually score goals. And to win the cup, you need 3 SOLID scoring lines, as evidenced by pittsburgh, chicago, boston, LA, detroit…..

          • Richard Gough

            Well said
            Neil,Smith and Greening can’t even score at a strip club that is how bad they are.

    • Shibal

      Neil and Smith one of the best third liners in the league? WTF!

      • Sensnation

        Pretty straight forward, I know facts and stats are hard on you guys, but try looking some up once in a while.

    • The Apostle

      I think Smith and Neil are actually amongst the better 4th liners in the league but often play on the 3rd line due to defiencies in our roster.

      • Sensnation

        Please list the teams you think they would not be able to crack third line duty for.

        • The Apostle

          Smith – Wouldn’t get on 3rd line of Anaheim, Boston, Colorado, Colombus, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York R, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose.

          In addition he would struggle to be a full time 3rd line centre with Carolina, Chicago, Montreal, Nashville, New York I, Phoenix, St Louis, Tampa, Washington and Winnipeg but would see spot duty with injuries etc (like he does with us)

          To be clear I like Smith as a player and am very happy for him to be our 4th line centre with occasional duty on the 3rd line. However I don’t think he is close to being one of the best 3rd line centres in the league which is what you suggested.

    • BeJamin

      The GSN line is terrible… their stats evidence that. There is little justification for playing the scrubs more than 6-8 mins per game. Neil and Greening have close to the lowest hockey sense and pts/60 of any players in the NHL.

  • 4thStringGoalie

    I like Condra, there were times last year in the playoffs I thought he was one of the better forwards on the team, but he’s been invisible of late. He showed a bit of a flash for a few games after Xmas but I wonder what the lineup would be with someone like Stone with Zib and Hoffman. A young hungry 3rd line that could provide offence and be up against a lot of teams bottom six.

    • sprucesens

      i love it. i really think for next year, 1 of greening or condra will be traded. probably greening, because of $$. Maybe to the oil for a 3rd rounder or something. Get ours back(3rd)

  • SensChirp

    Good on Jason Spezza and the Ottawa Senators for stepping up and helping this kid out.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/24481426/jason-spezza-sends-signed-sens-items-to-ill-fan-who-had-photo-stolen

    • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

      Awesome good on him… When I used to live close to him he always had the time to say hello to everyone and seemed very caring

  • FistsofNeil25

    You may as well save and re-use that headline for the rest of the season Chirp, unless of course the team becomes mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Hopefully that won’t happen!

  • HarvardYaleAndPrincetonMan

    I really like that third line – as a THIRD line

    • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

      I think I would swap Condra and Greening (assuming it is feasible)… But yeah, not a bad looking lineup all things considered

  • FistsofNeil25

    I have to agree that if we’re going to have a shot of making the playoffs, it will mean more ice time for our skilled players and less ice time for Greening-Smith-Neil. The overuse of these three players has been one of the many reasons we’re sitting in 12th in the conference instead of in a playoff position.

    I love Neiler but he’s no longer a 3rd line caliber player. Greening is one of the least effective players on the roster. Smith is the only one of the three players that I can feel good about playing 3rd line minutes, but not at the sacrifice of Zibanejad’s ice-time.

    I like the way that top-six looks but if we moved Hoffman up to the first or second line and bump Michalek or MacArthur down to the third line, I think we could have a lethal top 9 and a more balanced roster.

    • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

      Yeah I still maintain michalek is not a top line player…. I don’t mind him in the top 6, but as #6

    • being a fan can be tough

      Why separate Milan from the top line? You cannot deny the chemistry there. Yes, it’s Spezz and Hemsy getting points but Milo is definitely a factor. Why talk about dropping Cmac from playing with Turris? That’s just plain crazy. Time to stick with set lines and now that Zbad has a good winger in Hoffman, can’t wait to see how that works.

      Long time fan of this forum, first time poster. Look forward to possibly contributing to the great threads and chat here.

      • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

        I personally think michalek would benefit from facing lesser opponents on other teams by being off the top line

        • Sensnation

          He doesn’t click with Turris at all, and if he’s outside of the top 6 he’s not worth having. He needs top 6 minutes to even hope to be productive.

      • CC

        The problem with Greening-Smith-Neil is that they have no scoring abilities. They’ve shown time and time again they can trapped the opponent in the defensive zone by cycling – adding Milo adds that scoring touch to make them an actual threat. Additionally – slotting Zibby with Spezza+Hemsky doesn’t take away from the first line.

        • Zelle

          You lie. Neil almost had a hat trick a few weeks back!

    • s3nsfan

      Why would you drop MacArthur to the third line when the line of Turris MacArthur and Ryan has had chemistry all season. Michalek is familiar with Spezza and that line has been clicking why not LEAVE Hoffman with Zibby and have 3 pretty solid lines. Instead of messing with what works hoping that the new combos work?? IMHO

      • FistsofNeil25

        Like I said I like the way the top-six looks. Just throwing around different options that’s all.

        I’m cool with just about any line combination that doesn’t feature Greening or Neil in the top 9.

  • being a fan can be tough

    The lineup is as balanced as I’ve seen all season. Defensive responsibility is still an underlying issue but I’m excited to see zingy and Hoffman. Speed line for sure on wings and he doesn’t mind hanging in the slot. Chemistry dictates no changes on the top lines. Hopefully the team plays with an edge. When they are soft, they lose. Checking stats notwithstanding.

  • CC

    I would like to see

    ZBJ-SPEZ-HEM
    MAC-TURRIS-RYAN
    MILO-SMITH-NEIL

    Slot in Hoff as needed.

    Let Greening and Condra sit.

    • Hax

      While we’re at it should we only dress 4 D as well?

      • CC

        Should probably just let EK and MM play the full 60.

    • CC

      I wouldn’t want to send Hoffman down, Ideally sit Greening and call up a Center from Bingo.

      HOFF-DA COSTA/PAGEAU-CONDRA

      • Mathieu Godin

        LAZARD insted of CONDRA

  • runningbear1974

    I think we’re going around in circles with our suggestions… Pretty sure we tried every combo except for Spezza and Kassian, and except Spezza and Turris…
    People are suggesting to reduce Smith’s ice time to get Zibanejad more ice time… We played around with that already… And it’s tough… In my mind, as long as Turris and Spezza get most of the ice time, Zibanejad and Smith will not get the appropriate ice time… I wanted Spezza to get less ice time so Zibanejad would get more, but every time I suggest something like that I get ridiculed… (I still think it’s a good suggestion, and a legitimate solution to our problems, but not going to happen, Spezza is our #1 centre again, for a while he got bumped down)
    As is, the rest of the year will be determining who gets what ice time… But, what is going to change next year? It will be the same thing, Spezza and Turris getting most of the ice time, and some juggling to make the rest work out…

    • Michenator

      Ideally we become a team that rolls 3 or even 4 even lines. Minutes something like:

      First Line: 17
      Second Line: 17
      Third Line: 14
      Fourth Line: 12

      Now when you look at Average Time on Ice it’s actually pretty close to this. I agree that a player like Zibby should be seeing more ice, BUT it’s hard to debate with production. It’s such a catch 22 really. I’d love to see him back on a wing with say Spez and Hemsky, that’d be pretty awesome. I’m rambling but I guess I’d love to see something like this next year:

      Zibby-Spezza-Hemsky
      Mac-Turris-Ryan
      Hoffman-Lazar-Stone
      Neil-Smith-Greening
      Condra?

      Karlsson-Methot
      Ceci-Gryba
      Phillips-Borocop
      Claesson?

      • Michenator

        I know Lazar shouldn’t be rushed but man am I excited about him!!

      • FistsofNeil25

        Cut Greening, put Zibanejad and Lazar together and find a left winger for Spezza-Hemsky and we’ll be in good shape.

        • Mathieu Godin

          i think milan is starting to get back in a better shape then he was in the start of the year!

      • SenaTHOR

        Not sure you want two left and two rights on together.

      • sprucesens

        thats a sexy roster, and can be lined up in many ways. just so long as the bottom 4 stay down there(forwards) look forward to it in 2 years…?

  • Simple Jack

    the problem in the ot loss was not just philips, spezza watched it all happen and did nothing to help or to skate back and back check. ellis had enough time to dipsy doodle at the sens blue line to allow jones to catch up as a tracker and collect the rebound and score without anyone else from the sens even trying to skate back and help lehner out.

    2 goals were scored with a tracker following the shooter, i think even our scouts have to shoulder should some of the blame for not directing our coaching staff to be aware of this defensively.

    • Sandy

      How could Spezza backcheck when he could not have caught those 2 D who are good skaters. He wasn’t near the area of the ice where Phillips lost the puck

      • SuperSENS

        Uh, Sandy, Phillips was moving towards Spezza as he was battling for the puck with Wilson — also, Ellis was in close proximity to Spezza before he moved over to double team Phillips. There was roughly five seconds between Phillips receiving the pass, and the puck ending up on Ellis’ stick — yet, Spezza remained firmly planted along the boards during it all.

        • sprucesens

          often times when in the offensive zone, and your team has control of the puck, you assume you are going to be the next to create a scoring chance, and position yourself accordingly.

          • SuperSENS

            I don’t disagree, sprucesens. It makes perfect sense what you’re saying that Spezza was going for the offensive play, and fully expecting Phillips to win the battle for the puck.

            I was merely disagreeing with the assertion that there was no opportunity for Spezza to intervene in some kind of defensive capacity if he’d decided to do so. Whether it would have changed the outcome is something we’ll never know either way anyways. So I’ll leave it at that. :)

          • sprucesens

            okie doke. sounds good to me. if i remember correct though, spezz was the first one back, even though it was too late to do anything

          • SuperSENS

            Yeah, he was the first Sens player back, albeit too late as you said.

  • CUP 2014-15

    I like this lineup more then any this season. Milo and Hemsky know each other and have looked great together with Spezz and I for one have been yelling all year to stop switching it up, so I have to stay the course on that one. (ugh Zibby needs more toi). CMac, KT and BR well enough said. GSN will get third line minutes with ZBad and Hoffman picking up extra TOI on the PP and Condra as the top PK forward on the team. That is what I expect from PM and this combo.

  • Zelle

    I like the look of those lines.

  • Sensnation

    People need to understand that Zibanejad doesn’t get more ice time because he doesn’t deserve it yet. The GSN line is much more reliable and consistent.

    Fans need to stop putting the cart before the horse. Zibanejad and Hoffman need time to learn and grow and when they are ready they will be given the type of icetime you all seem to want to just hand over to them and the other prospects currently in the AHL.

    Somehow instead of enjoying what we actually have, you are all so obsessed with what “might be” with every B,C and D level prospect in the organization. Again, life and growth takes time and patience, let things progress naturally instead of trying to force it just so you can then realize why the coach doesn’t do it. Edmonton is what you guys keep asking this organization to emulate.

    • Zelle

      But if Zbad and Hoffman played more minutes and we called up Prince the Sens would win the cup this year!

    • CC

      Slotting Condra with ZBJ + Hoff is just a waste. The guy hardly shoots the puck, normally just dumps it in the zone. Worst hands than the Chris Kelly days.

      • s3nsfan

        He might have the worst hands, BUT he does quite frequently get chances, so if you put his chances with Zibby and Hoffman offensive potential it could just work out.

        • CC

          Good point, the amount of opportunities this guy gets is ridiculous. He does however have the least amount of shots on the team – especially surprising with the amount minutes PM has given him.

          • Doc

            He drives possession. Period.

            He’s our third best at that on the team. There’s a reason why he’s put in these situations.

    • runningbear1974

      I’m more obsessed with what was last year, Turris and Zibanejad… And less enthusiastic about what Spezza is…
      I agree there’s a reason why Maclean is making his decisions… Spezza is our #1 centre therefore gets #1 ice time, #1 consideration… At the moment, our whole team revolves around what to do with Spezza….
      I’m tired of cheering for the old guys… It’s been a long long time with these guys… I want the new generation…

    • CC

      Greening sucks. no battle. ZBJ is better in his skating ability, skill, and hockey sense.

    • CUP 2014-15

      Come on man, I care about this team as much as you do, so I understand your frustration but “people need to understand”, “fans need to stop”. Just opinions man, people and fans can accept and not agree with your opinions, try it, it’s not bad.

    • Aaron 2.0

      I really don’t see it as that clear-cut. Sure, playing Zibanejad with a bunch of AHL call-ups might not be a great idea as a 3rd line. But, he succeeded just fine, and with decent consistency, last year playing more minutes.

      A line with both Zibanejad and Condra may be just as effective at limiting goals as the Smith line. And, with more offensive up-side (if Hoffman sticks). Count me in as a fan that would like to see Zibanejad get more minutes, and less to Greening-Smith-Neil. Although, I wouldn’t mind coaches finding a few more minutes for Smith if that line ever gets cut back.

    • sprucesens

      outside of edmonton’s 1st overall picks, and eberle and perron, they have 0 talent. And no players outside of them signed for next year, because they know they have 0 talent. They also have terrible scouting. Outside of Nurse and klefbom, they have no soon to be NHL caliber prospects anywhere in their system. Yes they are poorly run. But fans wanting to use the prospects we aquired in our rebuild, is perfectly acceptable, especially in the 3rd line role that we all want them to be in. There they can learn and grow, without being forced to do the sole scoring for the team

  • MethotToMyMadness

    Finally a Sens vs Habs, Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada. Enough of these afternoon games. Saturday night is big, massive really, especially after seeing how things go down tonight and tomorrow. All Sens fans are hoping for no extra points and for all the East teams in competition to go down. Fingers Crossed!!

  • Hax

    Projected East final standings based on full season home/away winning percentages:

    Pitt – 118pts
    Bos – 114pts
    TB – 95pts
    Tor – 95pts
    NYR – 92pts
    Phil – 92pts

    Mtl – 94pts
    Clb – 92pts

    Det 90pts, NJ 89pts, Ott 86pts

    Based on “last 10 games” record (i.e. if each team maintains that pace):

    TB drops right out of it with 85pts, NJ takes their spot with 92pts. Ottawa would finish with 85pts in 12.

    All that to say we need to try and get 93 points IMO since we lose most tie-breaker scenarios. So something like 12-4-1 or 11-3-3.

  • CUP 2014-15

    Great job by the team and Captain Spezza in regards to Justin Greer. Best thing about being a pro athlete has to be lighting up kids, here’s to more mups from hockey players.

    JohnHuaCTV: @ctvottawa

  • Adamie Argun

    MacArhur – Spezza – Hemsky
    Hoffman – Turris – Ryan
    Michalek – Zibanejad – Stone
    Greening – Smith – Neil
    (note:condra and greening share the pressbox)

    Methot – Karlsson
    Phillips – Ceci
    Cowen – Gryba
    (extra: wiercioch)

    and please! Chris Phillips play less then 14 minutes a game! – what do you guys think?

    • FistsofNeil25

      Switch Gryba with Wiercioch and I like it. Cowen-Gryba is a nightmare. We’ll be pinned in out our zone every time those guys are on the ice. It’s tough to watch them bobble pucks and make breakout passes into our forwards feet every game. Wiercioch can at least move the puck.

      • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

        And swap Philips for anyone not playing

        • FistsofNeil25

          I would agree but that isn’t realistic lol they won’t healthy scratch the alternate captain who just got a two-year contract extension.

          I actually really don’t mind Phillips paired with Ceci as long as they aren’t playing over their heads,

      • CUP 2014-15

        You do realize that they have had great corsi numbers in the last two games since Cowen’s demotion to the press box and have scored 3 goal over that period and that PW and Cowen have been an unmitigated disaster together this year as neither has a prayer in hell of playing the right side.

        • SenaTHOR

          Fist has hated Gryba all along..probably a PETA supporter on a mission. Why is he playing? Probably the coach has confidence when he’s on the ice. God only knows if Fist has more NHL experience than PMAC.

          • CUP 2014-15

            Don’t get it, he’s a very good 5-6 guy that can work the PK and keeps everything to the outside. I think you need guys like that on the backend.

          • SenaTHOR

            We can’t have just puck movers and blueline ballerinas who are minus a zillion. Somebody needs to prevent goals.

          • FistsofNeil25

            We have two puck movers in the line-up. Two! The lack of puck-movers on the team is a huge reason why this team spends so much time in the our zone every game. We would be a better team if we had one more competent puck mover.

          • SenaTHOR

            You fn think Melnyk will drop 6-7 mil on a outstanding puckmover/defender. If this is your pipe dream be prepared for disappointmtnt.

          • FistsofNeil25

            Wow man why are you so mad? lol first off I never ever said we need a “6-7 mill outstanding puck mover”. We already have that and his name is EriK Karlsson. We just need another top four well rounded defender that is capable of moving the puck.

            I’m sorry you think I’m picking on and ragging on these defensive guys. I’m simply just suggesting what I think will make the team better in the future. Didn’t realize that was such a crime around here. You must be happy the defensive group we have put together here, is that correct?

            I’m also not focused on just the negatives of any one player. I see the good and bad in every player when I make my judgements. I’ve seen the mistakes that Karlsson, Ceci and Wiercioch make. Karlsson has made just about as many errors as anyone on this team other than Cowen. Every player on the planet makes mistakes. For the record, I don’t think Wiercioch is a long term answer to our problem. He’s too one-dimensional to be much more than a bottom pairing guy, and we have enough of those already.

            I have a question for you then. Are you happy with the current group of defenseman we have? Do you feel good about a final playoff push with Methot-Karlsson, Phillips-Ceci, Cowen-Gryba? Would you feel good about going into next season with this same group?

          • SenaTHOR

            I’m saying that because a player is a puckmover that this team won’t necessarily be better because if it. It takes balance. The defensive part is equally important and to get a player with BOTH you will need to pay a premium. This team has set up a defensive system to allow shots from the outside. A lot of the problem is the team game, forwards and defensemen blowing their coverage. Is McLean going to change the system. Benoit was a puckmover and was sent packing. When you look at our puckmovers and top paid forwards you’ll see thier defensive numbers aren’t flattering. There lies a good part of the problem.

          • FistsofNeil25

            How have I disliked Gryba all along? I like Gryba as a 5-6 guy but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that we need another puck mover in the line-up and that’s exactly what Wiercioch is. Considering the organization seems committed to both Phillips and Cowen and Gryba was offered up in a trade for Del Zotto, it makes Gryba the easy choice to come out. I think Gryba is a better player today than both Phillips and Cowen, but scratching Phillips isn’t an option for the team and Cowen just served time in the press box.

            You can talk about PMAC’s experience all you want but Bryan Murray didn’t sign Wiercioch to a three year extension @ 2 mill per just to sit in the press box for the entire season.

            Cowen-Gryba is a disastrous pairing.

          • CUP 2014-15

            I can see some of what your saying but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize PW cant play the right side. period…. You sure as hell cant ask for anymore from Cowen right now as that would be suicide, so he’s not moving to the right. So much for your easy choice. By the way Cowen and Gryba have played very well since Cowen got his head screwed on right while in the press box. Cowen and PW have been a disaster and that was about 30 games of hell not a half dozen like Cowen and Gryba.

          • FistsofNeil25

            I don’t recall Wiercioch being as bad on the right side as you guys say he is. If you guys are going to be so insistent then I can’t really argue against it.

            At the same time though, Wiercioch was very good for us last season. People forget that because we haven’t seen him get a chance to play consistently. The reality is we’ve allowed the 3rd most shots against this season, the 3rd most goals against per game, and we’re sitting 12th overall in the conference and 23rd overall in the NHL.

            Those numbers just aren’t good enough. I’m not blaming those issues all on the defense. A lot of that has to do with a defensive system that gives up too many quality scoring chances, as well as the fact the we’re one of the must undisciplined teams in the league and are shorthanded far too often. Another contributing factor is that we just spend way too much time in our own zone because we don’t have enough competent puck-movers on the team.

            Take a look at the best teams in the NHL. You’ll find more than two puck movers on each of those teams. We only have two, Karlsson and Ceci, and Methot can handle his own. We need one move puck mover and one less of Cowen, Phillips, Gryba if we’re going to be a better team next season.

          • SenaTHOR

            I think that is not in the plan or PW46 would be playing.

          • SenaTHOR

            Sure when you look for only the mistakes.

  • Sandy

    If Andy can’t play.. Lehner has to be a lot better.

    Good explanation on what Cowen was going through this season.

    http://senators.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=27166

    • Michenator

      This player is gonna be a stud within 3-5 years.

    • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

      A lot better than what, Anderson?? … Didn’t he come in and play really well?

      I wouldn’t worry… Especially if he gets to string a few games in a row… Kinda insane that he gets a chance this week and yet again there is five days between games.

  • over at the Eklundstein place

    Will Spezza Join Kesler as “Players Most Likely to be Moved at the Draft?”

    • SuperSENS

      Whatever. Eklund wouldn’t know anyways. The guy has about as much credibility as a snake oil salesman.

    • Jerry Sandwich

      Spezza trade rumours are Eklund’s bread and butter.

      He will BEAT THIS TO DEATH until the start of next season and a LOT of
      people are going to be referencing him

      He’ll generate himself about 1,000,000 page hits

  • Sandy

    Columbus up 1-0 over SJ…

  • Sensturion

    Hey guess what everyone! The trade deadline has come and gone so how about we stop it with the trade this guy and trade that guy until the season is over! Enough with this trade Spezza crap. Unless any of you have realized, he’s been our best player since before the Olympic break. Let’s focus on cheering this team into the playoffs and worry about the off-season when it’s actually the off-season!

    • Sandy

      Well said.. but there are always Spezza haters who would love him out of here.

      • Andrews theory

        Regardless of whether people are Spezza haters, it doesn’t take a hockey mind to realize we have a log jam at center. At least 3 of them look to be 2nd line centers at a minimum in Turris, Zibanejad and at some point Lazar.

        Gotta love what we are seeing out of Spezza with a highly skilled winger again but Murray has some difficult decisions ahead of him this summer or next.

        • Sandy

          Zibby is a long way away from a 1st line centre. Turris is getting there..
          Yeah Spezza has his faults and his bad back.. but we are seeing what he can do with a competent winger.

          • A-Train

            He’s a very long way from 1st line centre. And Lazar is even farther away…from even being an effective NHL player. Jury’s still out on Pageau too.

            Very tough decisions here at the C spot for Murray, and he has a very long memory…back to when finding a suitable 2C was a big issue for this team. He’ll be reluctant to deal any of them.

        • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

          He has tough choices both summers…Everyone I know that is an Edm fan basically says that this is what you should expect from Hemsky, then for whatever reason he becomes comfortable and starts to shit the bed.

          Who knows, maybe it was being in Edm….I know I would be depressed with how bad they have been for so long.

      • aegiszx

        Sandy, do you want to see Zibby as the no.3 C for the next 4-5 years? Because while many fans dont mind this, I’ve got to think sooner or later, Zibby will have a problem with that.

        The fact is, Jason Spezza, Kyle Turris, and Zibby all play at a high level. Unfortunately for ZIbby though, Spezza will probably play at that level for some time to come, and Turris is only going to get better and take that no.1 C spot… therefore leaving Spezza as the no.2 C (no way in hell with his amount of talent that he’d play the rest of his career as a no.3 guy).

        This is the modern truth about today’s NHL, and its that there are options, lots and lots of options. Zibby has just as much power in his own fate than BM does. When he’s ready to shine, he will let the league know and either force a trade, or be traded.

        • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

          If we actually go to a top 9 sorta format say something to the effect of

          McArthur – Turris – Ryan

          Hoffman/Puemple/Prince-Zibby-Hoffman/Puemple/Prince/Stone

          Lazar – Spezza – Hemsky

          Neil – Smith – Greening

          Basically any of Hoffman/Puemple/Prince/Stone/Lazar are interchangeable and put in the situation where the most chemistry is developed we will be sitting decently. The fourth line can also have guys swapped in and out depending on the game/who is traded/resigned.

          Top three lines basically play depending on the game anywhere from 16-18 minutes with the fourth playing anywhere from 6-12 minutes a game

    • CUP 2014-15

      You are so right in regards to a number of players and posters, poor old CP takes a beating and Cowen has been put to death on here. Greening is the worst player to lace em up and Condra hurts to watch….. That being said, I was one who would agree to explore the option of moving him prior to the break as I feel he is still of very high value and if the team is not going to contend for another few years this would be the time. On another point, if he can regain his form of two years ago, all trade talks are off for me. He is a game changer for our side when he’s flying and a game changer for their side when he’s coasting. Bring on the old Spezz and a run to the play-offs.

    • FAB

      2009-10-29 Senators Jason Spezza upper body injury (DTD)
      2009-12-15 Senators Jason Spezza torn MCL in right knee (DTD)
      2009-12-17 Senators Jason Spezza placed on IR with torn MCL in right knee
      2010-10-08 Senators Jason Spezza groin injury (DTD)
      2010-10-22 Senators Jason Spezza groin injury (DTD)
      2010-12-27 Senators Jason Spezza placed on IR with right shoulder injury
      2012-03-20 Senators Jason Spezza flu (DTD) (CBC)
      2013-01-29 Senators Jason Spezza upper body injury (DTD)
      2013-02-01 Senators Jason Spezza placed on IR with back injury
      2013-10-09 Senators Jason Spezza strained groin (DTD)
      2013-12-28 Senators Jason Spezza lower body injury (DTD)
      2014-01-02 Senators Jason Spezza placed on IR with lower body injury

  • Sandy

    So SJ & Col going to OT… Another 3 pt game…

    • MacK

      Speaking of Columbus, here’s a positive spin…we’re only 6 pts out of 6th place!

  • runningbear1974

    “ I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. ” — Thomas Jefferson

  • MakesSens

    Well I’m so happy to see that every team that we are fighting for a playoff spot is playing today against the WORST TEAMS IN THE NHL!!! Who made this flipping schedule??!!

  • Finn 8
  • 383

    Cheering hard for the Oilers tonight, they got hammered last night so I’m sure they’re gonna put up a fight tonight in D-town.
    HAVE TO get 4 pts this weekend to get ourselves back in the playoff convo. If we do that, things will start to fall into place.
    Any news if Price is playing tomorrow??? With the Bsens making a call up I’m assuming it’s Rockin’ Robin tomorrow. He’s had a couple rough starts, let’s hope he brings the “stare down” tomorrow if he gets the call.
    Keep the FAITH Sens fans-This has the perfect set up to a Cinderella season!!!!!
    GO SENS GO!!!!!!!
    EL CAPITANO w/ a huge game tomorrow!!!!
    AIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

  • 383

    Bobby Dollas from MTL radio is saying he doesn’t think Price will play tomorrow.