Sens Rally Falls Short- Highlights

SensChirp March 11, 2014 200
Sens Rally Falls Short- Highlights

-The Ottawa Senators were painfully bad in the first 40 minutes.  It was a game that Head Coach Paul MacLean labelled the most important of the season and the response from the home side was pretty dreadful.  The first game back from a long road trip is usually a tough one but the Sens took it to another level last night.  They made the Nashville Predators look like an elite hockey team. Through the first 40 anyway…

-And in complete contrast to that last paragraph, that last 14 minutes or so was some of the best hockey the Senators have played all season.  Should not come as a huge surprise that the tide seemed to turn when Paul MacLean shortened his bench.  All year we’ve heard about how good the Sens have been with Matt Kassian in the line up.  With all due respect to the Sens tough guy, that really has nothing to do with Kassian’s presence but rather the fact that MacLean seems more willing to shorten his bench when Kassian is on L4.

-The duo of Spezza and Hemsky have just clicked.  Having a skilled guy on his line, that thinks and sees the game the same way, seems to have lit a spark under the Senators captain.  It has only been three games but you can see the chemistry is there already.  They were finding each other all over the ice last night and it was treat to watch.  It’s a damn shame a combination of an inflated asking price and the team’s internal budget prevented the Senators from making this deal earlier in the season.  If I’m Bryan Murray, I put a call in to Hemsky’s agent first thing this morning about a possible extension.That may be a little extreme but I can guarantee the Sens will be looking to sign Hemsky to a new deal before he hits free agency.

-Obviously that was a pretty ugly mistake by Phillips on the overtime winner.  A lot of fans took healthy runs at Big Rig on Twitter and in the comment section but Phillips actually played a pretty solid game before that game ending turnover.  To be honest, as open as Phillips was on that play, I was sitting there thinking to myself, just don’t give it to Phillips.  Any kind of bobble there and you could see it was coming back the other way.  The real question for MacLean is- should Chris Phillips be playing in a four on four situation?

-Picking up a single point isn’t good enough considering the situation the Senators find themselves in right now but coming away with no points would have pretty much done them in.  Instead, they’ll have to sit back and hope for some favours over the next four days.  Ottawa doesn’t play again until Saturday night.

  • Doc

    Hey, don’t mind me. I’m just here for the show.

    This should be good.

    • Cicero

      Love the glasses! Blue filter for the Leafsfan trolls and a red filter for the Habsfan trolls…

  • SensChirp

    Believe some of you may still be having issues with new posts not displaying on home page. Tech guy tells me that a clearing of the browser cache and a hard reset (F5 not just refresh) should do the trick. Let me know if that doesn’t work.

    • Doc

      Never had an issue with Chrome.

      • aegiszx

        Really? I only use Chrome and have had issues all week. Ended up just posting on my iPad instead of the desktop.

        • SensChirp

          Did you try the hard refresh?

          • aegiszx

            Yeah, still not going. Works fine on my work computer. Weird, I guess the trade deadline broke the site!

        • Doc

          Yep. The only issue I have is with Disqus asking me to log in from time to time, even though I already am.

    • Misaow

      Ctrl-F5 for a full refresh usually. Also you should probably post this
      in a few of the older posts. Up until 5 minutes ago when i did a full
      refresh i could only see the Edmonton gameday preview.

    • SensChirp

      Hmm. Not sure where the replies to this post went but I have left the same message on previous posts. Hope readers can find their way out of SensChirp limbo.

  • SensChirp

    Does anybody know the name of the song that plays after the Rinne save on Karlsson in this video? Right around the 50 second mark.

    • karlssens

      Boy oh boy – diplo gta

  • Dirk-Diggler

    I don’t want to jump the gun or anything but what do you think the appetite of the Sens is to re-signing Hemsky? Do you think he’d accept a 4 year deal at $5 per?

    Spezza is my favourite player and I hope that Hemsky is just the guy he needs to work magic with. I realize that they are both pass first kinda guys but guess what, that’s OK! They are passing it around to each other well and to the other guys on the ice and when there is a clean shot they take it.

    With Hemsky signed I doubt we see Spezza traded at the draft and I’m fine with that. Now, for the other part of the line, I’d like Gaborik or Cammy if possible to be their finisher. Preferably Gabby because he has the wheels. 5 year deal for Gaborik at $6 per.

    • Jimmy!

      With Spezza, Hemsky & Gaborik skating together you might as well call them the OHIP line.

      • SensChirp

        Testing replies.

  • Jimmy!

    Big Game Chris is done. Stupid re-signing. Put a folk in him – he is done!

    • SensChirp

      He played fine. Same problem as all season- he played too much.

      • Dirk-Diggler

        Chirp, you are very optimistic but eventually you need to see the issues

        • SensChirp

          I saw the issue. Phillips played too much. Should not have been out there in a 4 on 4 situation. And his mistake ended the game.

          He was good until that.

          • Kohlmanator

            Agreed. Ceci would of been out there if his head wasn’t bleeding…

          • PraiseAlfie11

            Any news on Ceci? Concussed?

          • Kohlmanator

            Cody Ceci @Cecer_83 11h
            Thanks for all your concerns just a cut and a little shaken up should be back at it soon enough.

          • FistsofNeil25

            He shouldn’t have been out there in a 4 on 4 but it’s not like the Sens had any better options with Ceci injured. That only leaves us with Karlsson and Methot as players we can trust in a 4 on 4 situation. Gryba and Cowen are no better than Phillips.

          • Dirk-Diggler

            I wonder what the appetite would be for 3 F and 1 D in OT? I mean really go for the win… Have a speedy guy on the point like Hoffman or Zibanejad

          • Tooks

            I think that would have been a much better option than having Phillips out there on a 4 on 4. See, fans do have good ideas.

          • Don Ciccio

            That’s why we need Wiercioch in the lineup.

        • Floridasensfan

          CP in an offensive position like overtime 4 on 4 and on the power play is just stupid as chirp more or less said.
          Being the guy hanging back to defend he is just fine most times.
          CP can be impressive when used properly.
          Preds jumped to go on the rush to win the game when the opportunity was there, no Sens player jumped to defend to stay in the game.
          All the senators on the ice other than Lehner quit on the play.

          Good game though other than that, thought we were going to win it.

      • SoCal

        He wouldn’t be playing so much if he was a Bruin right now…

  • 383

    Weird question for everyone, chirp you might know…the day the server “crashed” seems to have affected my android phone and everytime I try to go to senschirp it will only show me that days last post. It doesn’t refresh and give me the lastest post….anyone else have this issue? It’s a piece of junk android…
    Thanks!
    Tough luck last night….why o why does Mac love Chris Phillips so much?!

    • SensChirp

      Addressed this four posts below :)

      Let me know if that works

      • 383

        Thanks man, didn’t see it.

  • Jimmy!

    Jason Spezza probably could have used Ales Hemsky a few months ago when the #Sens and #Oilers first talked. Those two were magic. #Budget

    Hey Chirp – ‘Those two ARE magic’. #PRESENTnotPAST

    • SensChirp

      Hmm. Was referring to the game that had just ended…

    • Doc

      Hey Jimmy! #ThisIsNotTwitter

      • Jimmy!

        Hey Doc – #THATwasALMOSTfunny!

        • Kari Kallio

          Pretty funny.

  • my2sens

    Loved the effort in the 3rd, didn’t expect to see it after 40 mins.

    Chris Phillips was caught in an unfortunate situation, however, rather then try to dance with the Predator player, he should have turned around and hustled back.

    Same with Spezza…. he coasted back from what I saw on the replay…

    Lehner made a fantastic stop on the first shot…

    Frustrating losing like we did.

    • Doc

      Granted he could have started skating back, but he absolutely had no support.

      The fact that he was caught in that position was because of the previous bad play, so it shouldn’t have happened to begin with.

      The boys still managed to steal a point from a game in which they didn’t deserve any.

      • Tooks

        What previous bad play? That nice pass Spezza made to Phillips with nobody on him? that one?

        LOL the bobble was Phillips, then he decides to walk the line, proceeds to hug the guy cuz he was clueless to where the puck was, embarrassing really, from an NHL defenseman.

        He was obviously the player that didnt belong on the ice, all skill and Phillips…

        So I guess you cant blame 100% on CP4, coaching staff has alot to answer for too.

        • SuperSENS

          Why is Spezza just standing off by the boards, while letting the man covering him, Ellis, move over to engage Phillips in addition to Wilson? He doesn’t even move from his position until Ellis is already off on a breakaway. And where’s Karlsson? Why is our top defenseman off floating aimlessly near the goal and not back at the blueline playing his actual position?

  • my2sens

    Also, thoughts and prayers with Peverley and family. Scary to have something like that happen. Look on the Stars’ faces says it all.

  • Dirk-Diggler

    I’d like an Ottawa media member to do a piece on Chris Phillips. One how his role is changing from go to guy to support player and how the player feels about the transition and talks openly about his abilities and how he feels during games. Also, on how he reacts to fan praise/criticism.

    I asked a few media members on twitter but they don’t reply back to anyone that doesn’t have 1000+ followers.

  • 4thStringGoalie

    The Sens went for it in OT. Spezza shouldn’t have passed it back to Phillips, Phillips should have passed it quicker, the other defence man should have been back.

    They went for the WIN because they needed the two points. Stuff like that happens when you play to win, sometimes you make big comebacks and sometimes you get blown away because you make two many risk and reward plays. You can’t compare that play to a play in regulation time, they were pinching and playing aggressive all OT.

    What do you people want? The Sens to play it safe in OT and go to a shootout? This message board would have been filled with people complaining they didn’t try harder to win it in OT. What evidence do we have this year to suggest Lehner would have won the game in a shootout? Any?

    • Doc

      Yep, agreed. Loved all the reaction and idiotic comments from last night.

      Should be a fun day!

      • SuperSENS

        ‘Fun’ indeed :S

    • Jimmy!

      What I want is Big Game Chris’ ass stapled to the bench! Nothing more, nothing less!

    • my2sens

      Although I agree for most part, evidence of Lehner winning in OT could be seen in the fact he stopped the first breakaway, second he is a Viking and will eat the children of anyone who did score and, well he is Lehner. He would have saved the day this time around.

    • aegiszx

      Exactly. Lehner has 1 SO win this year out of how many losses? The fact is, the guy hates the SO, and I dont think the SO would have changed this outcome considering how bad we have been at it all year long.

      • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

        I don’t have the stats in front of me… But how many goals were actually scored by the Sens in Lehners SO loses?

  • karlssens

    Three takeaways from last game:

    Spezza + Hemsky = legit first line. I don’t expect them to play like that every game, but when they are both “on” it’s amazing. We need to pair a finished with them though. Imagine bobby on that like?!

    Cowen looked much much better. If he can play like that every game, I will be very happy with the big lug. That play on the first goal was amazing.

    Chris Phillips. What a bonehead play. You all know I was agaisnt signing him in the first place, but were stuck with him now. Let’s just our top 4 looks better next year so we don’t need to play him as much.

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    Good comeback.

    But Phillips sucks.

    He shouldn’t be playing more than 11 minutes per night. Re-signing him was the worst decision yet.

    • Hannibal

      True it was a different time but accolades for CP4 was overflowing because against that same team the last time they were here he scored twice. How soon do we forget. The old adage of what have you done for me today holds blaringly true.Was it an error in judgement? maybe. The pass should not have been made to him at that point in time, and to avoid this blistering indictment the best thing he could have done was take an off side to stop play. This is a coaching error at best and misjudging the feel of the game and its urgency has happened all season by the coaching staff. Coaches have a bit more time to assess but players its a fraction of a second because the game is so fast.

  • FistsofNeil25

    I hope Murray is working on a contract extension for Hemsky as we speak. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Spezza have such good chemistry with another player. Why couldn’t we have brought in Hemsky earlier in the season when Spezza was struggling so much with a revolving door of wingers. Oh ya… #budget.

  • The Apostle

    Is there any word on Anderson? Apologies if this was addressed yesterday but I’m too scared to delve into losing game threads.

  • boom

    I have made my opinion on Chris Phillips clear, so i’m not going to pile on – shit happens.

    Of more importance, to me, at least, is how MacLean deploys his personnel. For example, not only is Phillips coming back, he WILL get top 4 minutes next year.

    I have said it before, and almost all of you disagree, but I think (just my opinion) that this team will never win with this coach.
    He should change his mantra from “The best players will play” to “over-rated veterans who accomplish very little will play over younger players who need to develop”, or to be more concise – “my guys will play”

    • Tooks

      Well said, I am definitely not in the Phillips camp, its a bad signing if indeed he plays in the top 4. IF he plays 5-6 I’m ok with that. But I have a feeling you speak the truth, unless we go out and get someone to replace Cowen or Phillips, one of em will play in the top 4. *sad face*

    • Killadi Sen

      I don’t get most fanz, all they do is bash the team and its management when we are losing but they don’t put themselves in the coach’s shoes and hindsight is always 20/20.

      The only reason why Phillips was on the ice during the 4 on 4 was bc Ceci was out and Methodt and Cowen played on the previous shift. He could have put a forward on the point but last time he had Ryan on the point he couldn’t handle the pass and the other team scored. it would be different if MAc was available but he is not so the coach decided to go with Philips who is a proven veteran but he is not the same player from 5 years ago.

      you guys make it seem like Stache wants to lose the game lol he is trying to win games and i have total faith in him, things didn’t pan out our way but what are you going to do and Karlsson was no where near the point (to help Philips out) and Spezza didn’t skate back to break up the play. tons of things went wrong but going forward i would like to see Hoffman play the point in that kind of situation.

  • FistsofNeil25

    One thing I took away from last nights game is that we’re not a very good team with all three of Phillips, Cowen and Gryba in the line-up. Something has to change this off-season to bring more mobility and puck moving to our blueline. These guys lack mobility, they get walked around on a nightly basis. They can’t break the puck out to our forwards. They continuously bobble the puck in the defensive zone and they make a habit of taking themselves out of position to finish their check.

    The Sens spend way too much time in their own zone because of these three guys.
    It’s a recipe for disaster and not a formula for success. Bryan Murray has to have a plan to fix this. I also don’t think Wiercioch is the answer. He’s too slow and not good enough defensively.

    If it were up to me, I would move out Gryba and Wiercioch in the summer and bring in a veteran puck-mover who can play with Cowen.

    • PraiseAlfie11

      A vet like Dan Boyle, or younger? IMO, we need a top 4 guy as well. Cowen played like a top 4 last night, but it’s just 1 game.

      • FistsofNeil25

        Definitely a top 4 guy but Dan Boyle wouldn’t be ideal. I would prefer a guy who could be a part of the team long-term and grow with Cowen. Cowen’s had an awful season but I still expect him to become a solid top 4 long-term.

  • sbs138

    on the bright side, Cowen played great last night!

    • PraiseAlfie11

      Ya…Here’s hoping he took his head out of his arse.

  • RUSH RLZ

    On the bright side, at least we’re not Canucks fans!

  • Codo37

    I dont understand the two faces of this team, the team is in full sleep mode most of the games over the first and part of the second period and then play a fantastic 3rd.

    Spezza – Hemsky, wow… we found the one winger for Spezza lets find the other in the Offseason or in Bingo. Michalek is not the missing peace on that line.

    The defense… i dont know what i should say to this group, its not only Phillips,
    all have bad plays (Karlsson on Goal 1, Methot on Goal 3) but most of the Time we cant get out of our zone.

    I hope next season it will be better, Cowen was good the last two games, I hope he will improve. I also hope Ceci is ok to play on Saturday against the habs.

  • Pugnacious Serf

    That one isn’t on the Big Rig, Spezza should never have put it cross ice to the point with a defender so close, it should have went in along the boards; both Hemsky and EK are heading behind the net on Spezza’s side of the ice. In fact it even looks like Hemsky is expecting the pass up the boards. You(Spezza) can make that pass to EK, you can’t make that pass to any other defender on the team.
    Hemsky does look good out there, I’ll enjoy eating crow if he continues the effort.

    • SensChirp

      Well that’s not fair either. It’s certainly on Phillips. He was wide open when Spezza made the pass.

      • SuperSENS

        My issue with the play is Spezza doesn’t move to try to help Phillips out, but rather is just standing there near the boards hoping for a return pass. Meanwhile, Phillips has one player fighting with him for the puck and another bearing down on him — the rest is history.

        • Sensnation

          Where is the other defender? Spezza did what any normal hockey player would. Love how people still find a way to blame him on a play that had little to do with him.

          • SuperSENS

            Um, Spezza’s standing by the boards still, well after the fact that 2 players (Wilson and Ellis) have converged on Phillips. He doesn’t even start skating back until Ellis is already on the breakaway. Sorry to disappoint you, but he does share in the blame — I don’t see how standing around doing nothing while his teammate is getting beat by 2 players is “what any normal hockey player would” do. Where’s the support for your defenseman?! As I noted in another post, Karlsson was off floating aimlessly by the Nashville net while this was going on, so he’s not innocent either. :P

    • sbs138

      no way can this loss be blamed on Big Rig. its on the shoulders of the entire team for not showing up for the first 45min of the game. its a shame that all everyone remembers is the OT goal.

      • Tooks

        Cuz thats all that counts, I dont give a shit about the first 45 minutes, we tied it and forced OT only to lose by a …. guess? Phillips mistake. We desperately need 2pts and PMac puts Phillips on the ice in OT. We aint maknig the playoffs if this continues.

        • Doc

          Annnnnd there lies the problem.

    • Andrews theory

      yes, actually that one is in fact on big rig… it’s unfortunate that he was put into that position by PMAC. The only ice time he should get with 4 men on the ice is during a PK…

    • Tooks

      Haha too funny, a nice pass to the point to a wide open Phillips, he bobbles the puck and then gets forced into a mistake. Spezza’s fault, lol

  • WolfInSheepsClothes

    From the last post…

    12-5 could get us in. That’s a “Win 2, Lose 1″ scenario. Gets us 92pts.

    Very doable.

    GO SENS GO!

    • Tooks

      Is that with or without Phillips as a top 4?

  • SensChirp

    Love the reaction by Hemsky at 3:25 after that tying goal by Spezza. Looks like he’s having fun here.

  • Andrews theory

    Love the post Chirp because you echoed 90% of what I was spewing yesterday…
    1) I’m not advocating dumping Mac but it really seems as though the team has tuned him out. Hopefully a long summer and some soul searching revives this marriage.
    2) Adding Hemsky was a good move but should have been done earlier in the year
    3)Win or lose with your best players, it’s unfortunate Zibanejad is a center and not a winger
    4)No, Chris Phillips should not have been on the ice in OT, we needed to score. To me you put Phillips on hoping to settle things down. (if Ceci was still in the game, you’d think it’s him on the point there instead…)

  • Andrews theory

    We do not want to give the Ducks the first overall pick…We’d never hear the end of that one

    • SensChirp

      Not having a first round pick sucks but it’s actually quite nice to not have to deal with all the comments about “tanking” down the stretch.

      • RUSH RLZ

        Suck bad for Ekblad!

      • ZibbyFan

        Really, when you think about it, our 1st round selection, Silf and Noesen in exchange for Bobby R. was not a bad trade…

        • Tooks

          Depends if Bobby re-signs here, if not we got fleeced…again.

          • Sensnation

            Again? Lol. GMs take risks, or else there’d be no movement. It’s part of the game.

            Getting fleeced would require 2 of those players to turn into at least above average players. So far Silf has been mainly injured and not too productive, Noesen is out for season and played only 2 games, and the 1st in a weak year is not too concerning.

            Unless some of those 3 start changing their success, even 2 years of Bobby Ryan is worth 3 players who don’t amount to anything above average. Still early, but fleeced is not at all applicable even if Ryan doesn’t stay.

  • Jimmy!
    • SuperSENS

      Wow, that was awful.

      • Jimmy!

        Down Goes Brown is a pretty funny guy – but I’m not sure you can appreciate the humor while living in your parent’s basement.

        • SuperSENS

          Interesting conclusion that I must live in my parents’ basement, because I don’t find the monotonous singing and terrible animation in an attempted parody of Lonely Island’s hit song “Jizz In My Pants” humourous. Those are some excellent logic skills. :P

        • DerpDerp

          Since you love hashtags so much Jimmy here’s one for ya: #ironic

          The only person who could appreciate such juvenile humor would be someone living in their parents basement. Your fanboyism for DGB is showing by dredging up a video that’s four years old!!! Also way to get all upset cause someone doesn’t like your hero. LOL! Too funny!

  • Millennium

    Is it just me or is this the second time this season that Cowen looks better after coming back from being a healthy scratch? I don’t exactly know what that means, but maybe he needs reminding that he isn’t untouchable in this lineup, that he has to play hard and smart to earn his spot. Just a thought.

    • Tooks

      He held out for a bigger contract, remember. He obviously thinks his skills are better than they really are. A good benching brings you back down to reality. He needed it badly. Lets see how long it takes for him to fall back off the horse. Or has he learned his lesson.

  • Tooks

    From SC: The real question for MacLean is- should Chris Phillips be playing in a four on four situation?
    Your bang on, why the hell is Phillips playing in OT is beyond me, I know Ceci was out but come on, any other option would be better, hell even Cowen.

    • WolfInSheepsClothes

      Cowen had just come off the ice, Methot just before him. Phillips was the only option for a Left-Handed D at that point.

      Could they have used a forward? Sure. But everyone would be ripping that forward and the coach if the result was the same.

      • KingKarlsson84 – RSU is pathet

        Any forward on the Sens can outskate Phillips….Plus they can all handle the puck better!

        • Tooks

          Ya no kidding, ANYONE else would not have bobbled that puck, he was wide open. No excuses. Spezza made the right play to an open player, unfortunately for us it was Phillips.

        • CohMa

          Well almost. You are forgetting Kassian was playing last night. I think Rinne could have out skated him to the net.

      • SuperSENS

        You make a good point.

        I don’t think it would have mattered who they used, as the players don’t seem to be supporting one another. Karlsson is off skating around the net after passing it off, and Spezza is standing by the boards hoping for a magical return pass.

        Let it be known that I love Karlsson and Spezza and the dynamic they bring to the game. However, at the same time, Karlsson seems to forget sometimes that he’s a defenseman, first and foremost. If he’d been back supporting Phillips, then maybe the breakaway would have been thwarted since Karlsson is a strong skater. As for Spezza, when he saw Ryan Ellis start to move towards Phillips for a possible breakaway chance, he should have been moving over to try to help out. Instead, he waits until it’s far too late to do anything about it.

        Alas, hindsight is 20/20.

        • Guest

          I honestly think that even if CP had used his brain on that play instead of getting locked up with his check they still would have scored. The point is he made such a bad judgement call in such a high stakes situation.

          He’s the veteran, and the stay at home D. There’s no excuse for that play. What good is having a vet that makes rookie mistakes?

          Based on the uninspired performances we’ve seen this season, I think his presence in the locker room is overrated too.

          • SuperSENS

            Yes, but again, he’s not the only one out there making bad judgment calls on that play. See above about Karlsson and Spezza.

            It’s easy to put the blame on Phillips, but if you don’t look at the context and the other decisions being made, you’re destined to repeat it no matter who it was. :P

          • Senators Pundit

            Haha yes, I actually meant to post under the main thread. I agree with you above.

          • SuperSENS

            Oh okay. Sorry :)

          • Senators Pundit

            What collegiality! I am on senschirp right?

          • SuperSENS

            As far as I know, unless we slipped into another dimension!

  • thirstytraveller

    Thx BM, we have 2 more years of watch Phillips bumble around the ice losing the puck and being a liability.
    If they wanted to keep him for his leadership skills (if any) then they should have offered him an assisant coaching contract.

  • Moudy Mahfouz

    Columbus plays Detroit tonight… Lets just hope that its not a 3 point game…On the game last night. Being there was amazing. That 3rd period was amazing I was shocked with the come back! Spezza and Hemsky have led this team the last 2 games and hopefully we can keep picking up some points. As long as we dont go out without a fight, I will be happy but I know I say this everyday but I still have a feeling that we will be in the playoffs…Tough games coming up but we play well agaisnt tough teams. FAITH GO SENS GO

  • ZibbyFan

    Anyone have an update on Cici and Andy?

    • RUSH RLZ

      Ken Warren @Citizenkwarren

      Jacob Blair and Robin Lehner are the Senators goalies this morning…no sign of @CraigAnderson41 Anderson or Cody @Cecer_83

      And apparently MacArthur is skating today…

      • SuperSENS

        Hoping Anderson is okay!

        • ZibbyFan

          And Cecer…

          • SensChirp

            Nice that they have a few days off before their next game.

          • SuperSENS

            Yeah, that’s the one positive out of all this.

          • SensChirp

            Scoreboard watching is going to be awful this week. Guaranteed to be five points out after tonight.

          • SuperSENS

            Don’t remind me! I’m more nervous about it than I was being at the game last night!

      • Sensnation

        Lehner deserves the next game either way! Hopefully if Andy’s banged up it will be more reason to give it to Lehner.

  • Sharmarke

    I blame Spezza for not coming back. Atleast phillips mistake was due to ability not effort. Spezza was ahead of Jones but decided that Lehner can deal with 2-0 instead of 1 guy.

    • Sensnation

      Ya how dare Spezza not be faster than Jones. Speed is not an ability lol.

    • boom

      Is that the same Spezza whio had 3 points in the last 12 minutes – that Spezza?

    • SuperSENS

      Uh, it was Ellis who had the breakaway. Jones put in the rebound after the fact.

    • Sandy

      Pierre McGuire said this morning that Spezza had no chance to catch either of those 2 D on the breakaway due to the speed those D have and the position on the ice where Spezza was. There was nothing he could do..

      • SuperSENS

        I respectfully disagree with Pierre that there was nothing he could do.

        Spezza passes the puck to Phillips, and almost immediately after, Wilson is on top of Phillips. Now Phillips is skating the blueline towards Spezza, and battling for the puck with Wilson. While this is transpiring, Ellis is moving to position himself between Spezza and Phillips, which is the smart play to be making on his part. It’s at this point that Spezza should have been looking to intervene, while he’s less than 3 feet away from Ellis, to do something to try to prevent the potential odd-man rush. Instead, Spezza is staying relatively still along the boards, waiting for a return pass that never comes. Once Spezza starts to make a move to skate back towards our end, the puck is already on Ellis’ stick, and the rest is history.

        That said, Spezza is a high-risk, high-reward type of player, and that’s never going to change, so we, as fans, simply have to accept the good with the bad. In fairness to him too, if Phillips managed to make the return pass, it would have likely led to a 3-on-2 down low in Nashville’s end, with a good chance to score.

  • Sensnation

    Coming down the wire this season and couldn’t ask for a more exciting race than this playoff push! Go Sens Go!!!

  • Sensturion

    If Ottawa is destined to miss the post-season, all I can hope for is that Detroit misses the playoffs as well.

    • Aaron 2.0

      I think they will. I feel it’s going to be CBJ.

  • FistsofNeil25

    So what do you guys think the chances of re-signing Hemsky are? What kind of $$$ and term are you comfortable in offering him? I know it may be a bit pre-mature, but he’s showing great signs of chemistry with Spezza so far in their three games together. If Spezza is in the organization’s plans going into next season then I hope Hemsky is as well.

    • Sensnation

      Waiting to see how the rest of the season plays out first. Given his injury history, I would hope it’s no more than 3yrs, and under 5mil a year.

      • FistsofNeil25

        I’m thinking the same. I don’t even know if I would even be comfortable with 3 years. I was thinking 2 years @ 4.5 mill per? Is that reasonable?

        • Sensnation

          He made 5.5 this year, and 5mil avg over last 2. 4.5 at 2yrs would be great. At 30yrs old though he may look for more term at the least.

    • Doc

      We’re 3 games in. Who knows if his play will keep up the way it is. Too early to even speculate at this point.

      They do look really good together though, that’s for sure.

      • Sandy

        Not enough money in the Sens budget to fit him in… I would assume.

        • SuperSENS

          Pretty bizarre assumption to make.

        • FistsofNeil25

          We’ll have to reach the cap floor at least. There’s room for at least one more decent sized contract like Hemsky’s within the budget.

          It doesn’t help when the organization ties up 2.5 + million on guys like Phillips and Greening who’s quality of play could easily be replaced by players on league minimum contracts.

          • SenaTHOR

            There are other players like Phillips and 2.5 isn’t that bad. They are paying Wiercioch 2 mil, Cowen 3 .

        • Aaron 2.0

          My guess is Michalek out and Hemsky in, assuming he would like to stay here. He looks like he’s having fun anyways!

    • runningbear1974

      We should expect his most enthusiastic effort right now… Some Edmonton fans were suggesting he wouldn’t carry out that effort throughout a season… Who knows…
      As is, he’s pretty good fit with Spezza… He skates fast, changes directions quickly, can take a hard pass, looks for plays, seems quick minded…

  • FistsofNeil25

    2014/2015 Ottawa Senators

    UFA/Trade-Spezza-Hemsky
    MacArthur-Turris-Ryan
    Hoffman-Zibanejad-Lazar?
    Schneider-Zmith-Neil

    Methot-Karlsson
    Cowen-UFA/Trade
    Phillips-Ceci

    Andy
    Lehner

    Fill in the blanks!

    • CohMa

      I’m wondering how hard it would be to resign Hemsky and not Michalek. I know they are countrymen and teammates on the national team, but are they good friends? If they are would that impact us resigning Hemsky and not resigning Michalek?
      And don’t forget gone Kassian. We don’t need him lumbering around the ice

      • Sensnation

        It may not be the worst idea to bring both of them back. Michalek is somewhat the defensive guy on that line. Not sure if the money is there though.

        Kassian would still have to be replaced by another fighter as the 13th forward. Neil is at his best when he has someone else to back him up. When it’s all on him to fight, he fights too much and gets worn down.

        • FistsofNeil25

          We don’t need to fill a roster spot with a fighter. We need to add to our overall team toughness. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s definitely not a heavyweight fighter who can’t play a regular shift in the NHL.

          I’m okay with having a heavyweight in the organization, but if it’s a Matt Kassian type of guy then it better be on a two-way contract.

          • Sensnation

            Kassian is actually one of the better hockey players in a pure enforcer role imo. As I said though 13th forward.

            You may not agree with the mindset of rostering a fighter in today’s NHL, but it’s one BM does appear to believe. It’ll be interesting to see though, as you implied there are lots of depth players he may be stealing ice time from.

    • sprucesens

      stone on top line? I posted almost identical lines the other day. except had puempel instead of lazar, with the idea that they’d give him a year longer in development. but who knows. Also wouldn’t mind claesson as a callup, but with gryba and PW still on the team, not likely.

      • FistsofNeil25

        I put Lazar on the team over Puempel because I’d like to see Puempel step up and dominate the AHL before he moves up to the big leagues. I know the same should apply to Lazar, but he just has all the intangibles that make him such a versatile player. He can play center or wing, a scoring or checking role, and he’s a natural leader.

        I’d just like to see Puempel continue to develop as a goal scorer in the AHL. That’s what he is. He’s a goal scorer. I don’t know how much success he could have as a bottom six player in Ottawa, while Lazar seems to be able to thrive in almost all situations.

        • Sensnation

          After starting the year off slowly and having a brutal Dec, Puempel has 22 goals in 56 games, of which 12g 7a have come in the 25 games since the new year. He is the most likely candidate to become a top 6 sniper that we have been waiting for.

          I’m really excited for Lazar, but I think Puempel will get the first shot, especially with how deep we are at C right now. Could potentially see both of them in the fall if there’s enough roster movement this summer.

          • FistsofNeil25

            I don’t know who will get their shot first. It all depends on what the team’s needs are. If we don’t re-sign Michalek that leaves a spot open on the left wing in the top 6. The organization may fill that hole with a UFA or a trade, but they may also have an open competition between Hoffman, Puempel, Prince and Schneider to see if one of them can claim it. Obviously Puempel and Hoffman would have the upper hand.

            Lazar can play center or right wing. He’s played a lot of both this season in Edmonton and for team Canada. A lot of players get drafted as centers but are moved over to the wing when they break into the NHL. I expect Lazar to start out on the right wing but that’s just my opinion. He could be a good fit on the third line with Condra and Neil being nothing more than fourth liners, and Stone being a defensive liability.

            I do know that Lazar is the prospect that the Sens are most high on. Murray hinted in the summer that Lazar could very well have made the team this year, and if he hadn’t gotten injured in the rookie camp, he more than likely would have received a 9 game try-out at the beginning of the season before deciding to keep him for the season or to send him back to junior.

            I just wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Lazar leap frogs all our prospects in Bingo and earns a roster spot as soon as next season.

          • Sensnation

            Agreed that Lazar is our #1 prospect right now, but if he’s so good I really hope he stays at C. Centers impact the game so much more! At least 1 of him or Zibanejad will have to move to the wing at some point.

          • A-Train

            This is quickly becoming (already is?) a big issue with this team. There’s a pretty big clog-up at the center position. I feel like Zibanejad is clearly a center and it seems the team feels that way too. Can’t help but worry he’ll eventually be the odd man out.

            He’s one of my favourite young players but would a Zibanejad trade for a young defenseman of comparable pedigree and promise not be the kind of bold move that could really help this team?

          • Tooks

            Thats hardly anything to gawk at, 22 in 56 is not very good.

    • Richard Gough

      Those are some nice looking line

  • FistsofNeil25

    You know what’s stupid? According to cap geek, Greening has a modified NTC as part of his contract extension. Fourth line players shouldn’t get no trade clauses in their contracts.

    • Sensnation

      Hard to say without the specifics of the clauses, but I’m one of the few that is fine with Greening. Not his fault he’s not a scorer, he plays his role well, just too much expected from him. He’ll pay off even more if we make the playoffs.

      • Aaron 2.0

        I’m interested to know what you see his role as. That entire line has struggled in their defensive end. I personally don’t see them as a good shut-down group, but maybe that’s just me. You can sort of slot him up and down the line as need be, but he just seems like a plug to me.

        • SenaTHOR

          But they are often up against the other teams top lines. Different role for them.

          • Aaron 2.0

            I’m sure that has contributed to how they’ve done this year for sure. Lots of minutes against quality competition! I just don’t get the coaching strategy. I don’t think any of those 3 are known for their defensive game. I personally think of Neil as tough guy who can contribute a little bit offensively. Same for Smith, but with way more skill. Greening at his best found enough chemistry with players (namely Spezza) to contribute offensively. But, to my knowledge none of these 3 guys have ever excelled at the defensive game. So, I guess I’m not shocked they are struggling being used in that fashion. And, playing them in this way gives them way, way too many minutes for their skill-set.

            Why not play the Turris line against the best competition? That line is just a responsible defensively (I’d argue actually quite a bite more so), and you get to play them the minutes they deserve! Their points might take a bit of a hit. But, with the additional ice time, maybe not.

    • SoCal

      Most players shouldn’t be given NTCs and it seems GMs are quick to throw them around nowadays

    • Tooks

      But its GREENING!!

  • SenaTHOR

    No room for Gryba. You think anybody will take him?
    +1, 2 shots, 6 hits, 4 Blocked Shots, 2 giveawaways. Damn those giveaways.

    • FistsofNeil25

      I hope someone will pick him up. He’s a RFA this summer. I just don’t see where he fits in with Cowen and Phillips on the roster ahead of him.

      • SenaTHOR

        So do they let him walk for nothing or do they sign him?

        • Sensnation

          Worst case scenario he’s a pretty good 7th dman, no? Still has things to learn and growth to do, but the physicality he brings is currently unmatched on the team defensively.

          • SenaTHOR

            I could see Boston picking him up. They like the physicality. We don’t need physicality, we need all finesse, thats our game.

          • Aaron 2.0

            I guess the question will be if he’s happy as a 7th D. That would mean the organization would be offering him very little $ as a RFA. I can’t remember, does salary arbitration still exist? If it does, I’m not sure what will happen with him. It would probably be smarter to hang onto Gryba, since he is still developing. But, the organization has a numbers problem for next year, with the resigning of Phillips. I’m not sure where that leaves him, sadly.

          • SenaTHOR

            From what I know if you play 70 NHL games and are 25 you qualify for arbitration.

          • Aaron 2.0

            Yikes, I think the team might have trouble hanging onto him then. He certainly has potential. I really don’t get the contract for Phillips.

        • FistsofNeil25

          They could decide not to send him a qualifying offer which would allow him to become a UFA this summer. I doubt they would do that though. I’m sure if they don’t intend on re-signing him that they could trade his rights for a late pick at least or maybe in a package deal for another player.

    • SoCal

      Seeing how management and the general fanbase differ, I think, sadly, Wiercioch will be the odd man out

  • SenaTHOR

    Watch how many of our goals against are 3 on 2 down low where a forward fucks up. It is easy to place the blame on the d or goaltender but our forwards are responsible for many goals against.

    • Aaron 2.0

      Our D core is pretty terrible at the moment, but you’re absolutely right, it’s not just the D. Complete team defense has not been good all year. Generally, when this team struggles offensively (although not usually the big issue for them), it’s because they do not attack as a unit. That is also true in the neutral and defensive zones, and this lack of defensive support is present in almost all the games this year.

      • SuperSENS

        Yeah, it was frustrating watching their struggles at the game last night. IMO last year’s team was good at supporting each other to make sure there weren’t many defensive lapses; however, this year, we seem to have regressed to having players seemingly not knowing what their roles should be on the ice in certain situations, and consequently, making the wrong decisions that lead to goals against.

        • Aaron 2.0

          I didn’t see the game last night, but yeah, it’s just a broken record with how the complete team plays together, isn’t it?

          There are probably so many small things that are adding up to make this year different than last. I’d point to 2 things in particular, IMO.

          1) Leadership. Everybody always thought Alfie was ‘a lead by example’ guy. Maybe he wasn’t the big speech type. But, it looks like he had everybody on the same page. They new their role. They bought into the system. I think that has a lot to do with leadership. Spezza may turn out to be good or bad, but it’s missing this year anyways (with new leadership learning the ropes).

          2) I never thought I’d say this, but the loss of Gonchar! Not because we need him, but we just need 1 more solid D to calm things down on the 2nd pairing.

          • SuperSENS

            You’re right, it really has become a broken record. At this point, the only thing we can hope is management addresses any shortcomings with this team in the offseason to make them better, and the players who struggled bounce back next year for us.

      • SenaTHOR

        Don’t want to rag on Spezza but he has been a blueline ballerina in the defensive end for most of the year. He has lately got down and dirty in the defensive end. This is helping the team out a lot when there is support down low.

  • Spoons

    I just find it funny that all the Cowen haters are now hiding and all of a sudden Gryba and Weircioch are the expendable ones. Maybe Neil should bless them with his healing fists too, heck look how well it worked on Cowen.

    • SuperSENS

      His healing fists … LOL :)

    • Tooks

      Not hiding at all, everyone saw past that 1 game, he’s still slow, indecisive, and unable to make a good first pass. Lets see how he does down the stretch when games matter most.

  • MoeDozer

    I know zibanejad has not scored in 20+ games now but can anyone explain to me why putting him in the doghouse centering kassian and condra is a logical way to get him procuding again?

    I’m so grateful he is not a whiny brat and just puts his head down and gets to work.
    I dont know what message coach is sending when he rewards our “leadership core” with minutes even when they struggle, especially his favorite line greening-smith-neil but an incredibly short leash for others like zibby, conacher etc.

    we go from 1 game deciding on if Zib should play wing with spezz to maybe just 3C to completely down to 4C ?

    similar scenario is reflected on the Dmen. Weirdo is never rewarded, phillips does whatever the hell he wants pointing traffic and plays the most minutes behind EK. Cowen had a solid game last night so he’s off the case for now..Methot is and always has been our best shutdown Dman, and he is very mobile at that yet he an Pmac never seem to see eye to eye.

    • Spoons

      I don’t get Pmac either. His coaching style worked when there wasn’t any leadership, talent or experience on the team due to all the injuries last year. The team is now brimming with talent yet he can’t squeeze it out of them.

      Neil made some better coaching decisions when he graced Cowen with his midas touch.

    • A-Train

      It’s a pretty confounding situation. I give Maclean credit for this insight: he’s realized Zibanejad is a center. That means on this team he should slot in as the third line C behind Spezza and Turris. I believe that’d be the right place for him too.

      The problem is we don’t have the minutes to give him….because Zack Smith is eating them.

      • Aaron 2.0

        I like him better at C too. But, I also like him on the wing. If it meant finding him more minutes, I’d prefer they play him as a winger. I think that would help his development as a hockey player in general more than his current spot as a centre on the 4th line with Kassian.

        • Tooks

          I prefer 93 on the wing, with his size and speed he is constricted in the middle and cant use it effectively, plus he sucks at faceoffs.

          And he wont be 1-2C in Ottawa anytime soon and we dont want him rotting on the 3rd and 4th line for the next 3-4 years…

    • Aaron 2.0

      Kassian is on a 1-way. I suspect that’s the main reason why he’s playing, and other potential line-mates are not being called up. The top 2 C are obvious, with the way Turris has played all season, and with Spezza finding his game. MacLean loves that Smith line, for some reason. I personally love Smith, but not much else on that line. It does’t leave Zibanejad in a good place, that’s for sure. This does nothing for developing arguably our best prospect.

    • FistsofNeil25

      Yeah Zibanejad is one of my favorite players on the team and I hope he’s around for a long time. Unfortunately Maclean would rather play Smith 15-16 minutes a night instead of Zibanejad. I also worry that he will end up being the odd man out.

      I don’t want to see him traded but if he can be dealt for a winger or a defenseman with the same kind of potential then I couldn’t be too upset about it.

      I just don’t understand the love affair this coaching staff has with Greening-Smith-Neil, and to give more ice-time to Smith than Zibanejad is mind boggling. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like Smith, but I would take Zibanejad on my team over Smith in any situation of a game. Zibanejad is more talented, a better skater, smarter, better defensively, and just an all round better player than Smith. The only thing Smith does better than Zibanejad is taking draws.

    • MoeDozer

      It is an interesting scenario as i also agree zibby is built to be a center. and always need to remember he is still 21 (!) years old by april. and smith is entering his prime now as a 25 year old. not sure how they would like to go by this.
      if you look at past cup winners:

      pens: crosby malkin staal
      hawks: toews kane(mostly played wing) bolland (kruger/shaw/handzus)
      bruins: bergeron krejci seguin peverly
      wings: datsyuk zetterberg filppula

      its no secret, winning a cup requires a hot goaltender, depth at center. a core of bottom 6 that can not only play physically but actually pitch in with some dirty goals. and reliable D

      • SuperSENS

        Moe, I think we have the potential for a hot goaltender in Lehner, and we definitely have good depth at center. I’m not too sure we have a bottom six that fits your criteria, and the defense definitely isn’t reliable yet. Hopefully they’ll figure out how to address these issues in the offseason.

        • MoeDozer

          completely agreed, IMO we do have the bottom 6..they are just in bingo still. these are guys that have been trained under our team system. all play physical, can skate, play on the PK and chip in sometimes i cant say i see enough of that from guys like condra, greening, kassian, even neil sometimes though its tough for me to show negativity to that man as he is always all heart.
          IMO guys like Grant, Schneider, Robinson deserve a shot soon.
          wonder if Puempel gets a taste of the pros as well though there currently is no room for more offensive threats.

          As for the D, we will need to be patient. Looking at Methot’s career, it took him almost 6 years after being drafted to become a regular top 4 dman.

          Cowen weirdo gryba borocop claesson etc. are all 2-2 years away from that still.

          • SuperSENS

            Definitely agree that we have some good players down in Bingo that deserve a serious look to fill those needs. I agree with the need for patience with the defense. While they drive me up the wall with some of their miscues and questionable decision making skills on ice, I’m probably in the minority in terms of the fan opinions this season, as I never once suggested we should trade any of them (outside of Corvo — simply cause we had too many players).

    • SenaTHOR

      PMAc is old school so the guys need to adapt, be disciplined and tow the line. Its only lately you are regularly seeing the other D step up into scoring positions. Yes, there is the reward of a goal here and there but there is also a risk of having a forward play defence on transition. PMAC does not like “cockyness”.

  • runningbear1974

    Put Zibanejad with Spezza, and Hemsky…
    Put Michalek with Smith, and Hoffman
    Macarthur Turris Ryan

    4th line that actually gets 4th line minutes…

    • CC

      agree. I think Milo – Smith – Neil can be an effective line. Smith once was able to put the puck in the net, but you need to match him with some skill.

      • runningbear1974

        I agree, Smith played well last year with Michalek and Alfie…

    • Tooks

      Yep this rolling all lines hasnt worked all year, play the shit out of the top 2, get energy from your 3rd and play the 4th the odd occasion.

      Like you mentioned above. Zib is a waste as the 3C…put him on the wing with 19-83 and he will score alot more.

      93-19-83
      16-7-6
      Play them alot!

  • Floridasensfan

    Kassian is a total plug as a hockey player, fighting and being a good guy is all he brings.
    I would love to see some bingo guys up in his spot.

    Lots of back to back nights on the way, really need to have all lines rolling.

  • Floridasensfan

    Some good out of the Chris Phillips blundering lack of offensive talent is maybe PMAC noticed it as well, is that asking too much.

  • runningbear1974

    Why is everyone blaming the coach and not the GM? The coach should be able to assume his players can play the game.. Who’s fault is it that a player can’t play offense, or another can’t do defense?

    • Sandy

      Why not the Owner and his tight or non-existent wallet?

      • runningbear1974

        You can blame whoever you want, i suppose… Maybe i’m to blame…

        • WolfInSheepsClothes

          I blame Chirp for not continuing to bet against us….. Where’s the Senschirp Curse when we need it most…?

  • aegiszx

    I know people are disappointed that Milo isnt having a great year but lets put it this way…

    Past 3 years…

    Milo:
    77 GP / – 35 – 25 – 60 pts
    14 GP / 4 – 10 – 14 pts
    64 GP / 11 – 19 – 30 pts
    ***104 pts in 155 gp

    Dany Dbag Heatley:
    82 GP / 24 – 29 – 53 pts
    36 GP / 11 – 10 – 21 pts
    65 GP / 12 – 13 – 25 pts
    ***99 pts in 183 gp

    Sure, the trade sucked in the beginning, but not so bad now… Hell, Heatley plays on the 4th line now in Minny! He’s a shell of his former self.

    • Richard Gough

      We still lost in that deal stupid handcuffs
      Let suppose we made that trade with EDM would we have beer a better team today for it ? Sure make me wonder. What do you think ?

  • Tooks

    OMG our playoff chances went up by 1.8%, LOL.

    Sad are the days when we are chasing percentages and the Habs and Leafs are basically a lock to make the playoffs.

  • Jason

    I am a bit late reading this section but I completely disagree with putting the blame on Phillips in OT. I’m usually the first guy to bash on Phillips because I just don’t think he’s good enough anymore and we shouldn’t have signed him but anyways….Spezza should not have made that pass back to Phillips. The smart play would have been to just put it into the corner. Once Phillips bobbled the pass he decided to take the Preds player out of the play (Jones I think), I’m not sure why he did this, maybe to prevent the 2-0 break. But the real blame should be on the fact that Spezza was standing 10ft away from this play and did not bother to backcheck at all-LIKE NOT AT FUCKING ALL. Phillips tied up Jones for a good 3-4 seconds and then backchecked to catch the guy on the breakaway and Spezza just stood there and didn’t pick up Jones who trailed the play and scored the easy tap in rebound. Fuck Lehner made the stop and Phillips backchecked on the guy on the breakaway, Spezza was the next closest player and should have been all over Jones to prevent him from getting that rebound.

    • runningbear1974

      Yeah, that’s one of the main problems with Spezza… He won’t fix any of your mistakes, and he kind of expects you to fix his… It’s like he’s an optimist and always thinks things are going his way… He’s not prepared to deal with stuff not going his way….