Spezza Scores the Winner in Columbus- Highlights

SensChirp January 29, 2014 83
Spezza Scores the Winner in Columbus- Highlights

-I’ll admit that -20 beside his name is pretty ugly. But Jason Spezza’s game is getting better and you can see that by watching the games. He’s skating better, he’s carrying the puck well and he’s shooting the puck when the opportunity is there. And while that 5 on 5 dry spell is noteworthy, he’s producing on the power play and that matters just as much. Leave him with Michalek and Zibanejad for a few games and the 5 on 5 results will come. Last night’s late power play goal was exactly what you’d hope to see from you Captain.

-The six man defence looked pretty damn good last night. Anderson bailed them out on a few occasions but I thought overall, they did a nice job limiting the mistakes. It’s going to be really interesting to see what the Senators do with Chris Phillips next game. He was out to rest a minor injury but it was clearly one of those situations where if the Senators really needed him to play, he could have. I think I’d give Big Rig another game off to rest whatever injury is bugging him.

-As Paul MacLean as emphasized all season- Craig Anderson is this team’s number one goaltender. And lately, he’s playing like it. The Senators don’t win that game last night if not for some big saves by Anderson. Ottawa has six games left before the Olympic break. I expect Anderson to start five of those games.

-Nice to see Stephane Da Costa get rewarded with a couple of goals. During each of his call ups, Da Costa has played primarily on the team’s third and fourth line. It’s obviously not the ideal situation for a skilled guy like Da Costa. Last night he made the most of his 8 minutes though, scoring his first two goals of the season. Still think he’s the odd man out when Mark Stone is ready to return but it’s nice to see him score a couple goals in such a big game. His between periods interviews still need a little work though.

-Cory Conacher played a season low 5:57 last night and only saw 9 shifts in total.  Playing on a line with Stephane Da Costa and Erik Condra, the trio wasn’t used a whole lot at even strength.  Both Condra and Da Costa were up around 8 minutes but that’s because each of them saw a regular shift on special teams.  It will be interesting to see if MacLean keeps that trio together against Tampa Bay.

What should the Senators do with Chris Phillips?

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  • Hax

    Hopefully Da Costa can pot another goal or two before Stone is healthy. Would love to see us able to trade him rather than having to send him down. Not expecting much return but would just be nice if a team that could play him on the 2nd or 3rd line every night picked him up.

    • spezzerman

      A lot of candidates out West who could be interested. Anything they can get at this point would be nice.

    • sbs138

      the second Da Costa scored last night, I knew our fans would be all “trade him now while he’s worth something”. reality check friends, he isn’t worth anything and no one wants him, otherwise, he would’ve been scooped up on waivers earlier in the season, or he’ll get scooped up when the Sens send him back down. why bother trading for him?

      • Hax

        I agree. That’s why I hope he pots a few more to get a little bit of interest.

  • SensChirp

    Each of the options in the poll is worthy of discussion, I think. Tough to just pick one without an explanation of what it would look like.

    -What does an extension look like?
    -What’s the return in a trade?
    -Is there a chance he would test free agency?

    • Tcharger

      Toughest poll yet….really I think it boils down to what someone is willing to pay…1st rounder, it is a no brainer, 2nd probably too at this point in his career, much less it becomes hard to say.

      • SensChirp

        Ya I set up the poll and then had a hard time picking an option myself. I’d look at an extension but only one year. And I think he wants more. Trading him at the deadline for midrounder if the team is still in contention is silly.

        Hate to potentially lose a guy for nothing but with Phillips, I think I’d be willing to wait till the off season to decide.

        • Tcharger

          Yeah that tends to be what I am leaning towards…but then if he leaves our ownership/management potential receives a tonne of backlash from fans saying that they just pulled another Alfie

          • Hax

            Meh – the only way it would really be lumped in with the Alfie thing is if it’s a 180 on July 1st. No way Murray would let that happen. If he’s not coming back they’d make that clear well before the UFA period starts.

            Of course, nothing would stop the Sun from printing something trying to tie the two scenarios together.

          • spezzerman

            I also dont see the Boston’s and Detroit’s getting in his ear like they did Alfie and convincing him to make the change

        • spezzerman

          Agree that you dont trade him for nothing at this point. He has considerable value as a #6, #7 in a playoff push/run.

          Ideally would like to see him get more nights off and let Weir play a nice stretch.

    • Cicero

      I voted “Hang on to him, decide in the offseason”, but maybe, as Hax suggested with the first comment, he can be packaged with Da Costa and a pick, presumably, for a top-4 D or FWD. All this would of course be contingent upon Phillips wanting this.

      • The Apostle

        I voted the same way. His limited NTC muddies the water, but even if one of the 19 teams not on his don’t trade me here list offers something we like, I think Murray runs it past him before accepting. I just can’t see Murray sending him somewhere Phillips isn’t happy with.

  • Hax

    I would talk extension and if he’s willing to potentially be the 6/7 guy and sign for a dollar amount that fits in with our “budget” (thinking maybe $2.5M per year – two years) then I’d do it.

    If he’s not willing for whatever reason then I’d let him decide if he wants to be traded before the deadline (my choice if he won’t resign to those terms) or if he’d rather stay until the end of the season and talk again. I’d push hard to get him to agree to a trade though (even though we could “force” it, I wouldn’t unless he was on board).

    • Tcharger

      SO all of the above :p

      • Hax

        Sort of I guess. All options are on the table really as I wouldn’t trade him if he were against it. The return isn’t going to be worth treating a loyal veteran like that. Plus if he’s not going to resign here I can’t see him refusing to be traded – he’d probably have a short list of teams he wants to go to and Bryan could accommodate that.

  • spezzerman

    I think Phillips has earned the right to decide his fate. If he wants to be traded, that is a win-win. If he is resigned he has to understand that he would have to be the odd man out next year on occasion.

    Have to believe they hang on and decide in the off season.

  • spezzerman

    Maybe one of those teams out west that can’t score would be interested in Dacosta? whatever we can get for him would be nice or he could be a nice secondary/complimentary piece in a package.

    • illdistrict

      lol, kid scores 2 goals and suddenly our free pickup becomes valuable. Didn’t he easily pass waivers when we sent him down 2 months ago? he’s worth a 5th at most.

      • spezzerman

        “worth a 5th at most” counts as “whatever we can get for him would be nice”

  • SenaTHOR

    Brennan says Gryba is likely the one moved. Could be good for him. Wiercioch is “dripping with potential”. Can’t remember the last time potential won much. Corvo isn’t an issue, he can sit and be insurance.

    • Hax

      The big thing in Gryba’s favor (for staying) is that he’s a right-handed shot. We don’t have many. Brennan of course is a complete idiot so his opinion holds no water for me anyway.

    • Millennium

      This from the guy who called Karlsson a “garbage pick”. Brennan doesn’t know potential if it walked up and hit him in the face with its Norris trophy.

    • Tcharger

      The ONLY person with less credibility than Brennan is Eklund….and even that one is up for debate.

    • Pugnacious Serf

      Gryba has a very nasty edge that is needed on the blue line in Ottawa. Come playoffs when the game changes to more of a checking grinding game, he’s the type of chap that can step up and play the physical game.

  • Cicero

    I’d just like to throw-in how impressed I was with Cowen last night — I really think he upped his game.

    But on the 2nd CBJ goal, I wondered if he had a mental lapse. I’d like to see our big #2 punishing Calvert and fighting to move him out of the screen. Sadly, I think many fans will probably jump all over that lapse and overlook his improvement.

    • spezzerman

      He saw the shot coming and decided that one screen is better than two? If he takes calvert out at that point we are penalized and are down 5 on 3. Sometimes you have to let the shot go through.

    • sben

      I thought that his game was very good today. It is usually on all those little plays that he makes which cost us an extra minute or two in our own zone that make me want him to be traded but today he really did well. I still think he should be traded but if he continues to play like he did today I might change my mind. One thing he seriously needs to do though is improve his balance on his skates. He cannot hit anyone because he has no balance and if he lays a hard check he will fall with the person being checked. HE also stretches out his stick instead of his body because if his weight tilts too much to one side then he will fall. If he can improve his balance everything will fall into place and we will have our chara back.

    • Zelle

      My biggest issue with Cowen is that he doesn’t seem to be able to think under pressure. That’s why I want him to play just a simple, straightforward game. When he tries too much you can see him get flustered and struggle. It’s nice to see him finally just settle down and play the strategy instead of trying to be a visionary on the ice.

    • spartacus

      I concur with Cicero. My first impression on that goal was why is he not moving the opposition from screening our goalie? I think the Big Rig would have done so.

  • ProudSens

    There is too much crazy talk about trading Spezza. We almost did the same with Alfy and look how that turned out. Spezza is an offensive player and needs better wings to create a dominate line. Keep patient folks, and sign him to a 3-4 year contract. If it doesn’t work out, the GM can always trade him later with Jason’s permission of course.
    Keep patient with this guy and hopefully the Walrus will know how to put him in a winning situation.
    In Spezza we trust.

    • spezzerman

      Id be very very happy if Spezza signs a Thornton/MArleau contract. And I think that is very likely. Thornton and Spezza are almost perfect comparables. Spezza’s injury history cancels out the one or two years Thornton has on him in age

    • sprucesens

      if I signed him for any contract, there has to be a same or lower cap value, with a VERY minor NTC. Like 5 teams he WON”T accept a trade to. If injuries start creeping up again, it gives us an out, even if it gets so bad to just be a salary dump. He’s great to stay on the team if he’s healthy and playing the game properly. If not, he can be a deterrence. And you can’t pay 7 mill to have someone costing more goals than they are scoring or responsible for.

  • Moudy Mahfouz

    Honestly, Phillips hasnt been brutal nor amazing but I think it is time for Ottawa and Phillips to move on. He has been slow, cant hold the puck. Throughout his years with Ottawa he has been consistent but this year he just looks like he is getting old. Love the guy but his time in a sens jersey has to end eventually. I am a huge Weircioch fan and would love to see him play more oftem. He should be limited and given a break here and there especially if we make the playoffs. I think if Sens are in a playoff spot come the trade deadline, he will stay as he could be a key factor for our D core come playoff time.

    • Zelle

      Phillips has been brutal in a few games. That being said I don’t want him traded. I am a big fan of loyalty and hope that he and management can work something out. I’d like to see him perhaps in an organizational role or at least reduced minutes/games so he’s well rested for the shifts he does play.

    • sben

      He is not the greatest defenseman at all. I think that if the sens put him on waivers only two or three teams would be willing to pick him up. He is well pat his prime, he cannot skate very well anymore and his stregnths are mediocre at best when it comes to the average defenseman. I personally think that there are better defensemen in bingo that could come up that would provide everything he provides and more. If a good offer comes up for him I would take it but if not keep him until the end of the season and offer him a job in management.

  • SensChirp

    TSN and the Ottawa Senators will be holding a press conference today at noon to announce their new TV deal. Will be available on TSN and TSN.ca for those that want to tune in!

  • Pugnacious Serf

    Please no more Bobby Ryan on the point… Cost Ottawa a shorty against Carolina with his right shot being on the left point and boards…

  • things that make me go hmm….

    Ottawa is now 22-10-9 when their games start at 7PM or later.

  • sben

    was just watching the replay and did anyone else notice how when the sens score the announcers barely seem to notice and when the jackets score they yell and scream. Even the boston announcers are more excited when the sens score and they are one of the most biased announcers I’ve ever heard.

    • Mexican Baby Jesus

      Potvin and Brown are the most biased announcers I’ve ever heard

  • illdistrict

    at 3:58 you can see J.Spezza showcase his poor defense ability, literally a pylon..

    • SensChirp

      And 30 seconds earlier you can see him winning the game.

      • sben

        however no one is complaining about his offensive ability. Everyone doesn’t like him for his defense and I think they are right. I agree he did get the game winner and he deserves alot of credit for that but the people who say that his defensive side is bad have the right to complain.

        • SensChirp

          He’s also the only one who has defensive abilities analyzed every friggin’ night. Even when he scores a game winner. You could point to about 20 times in a given game where an opposition player goes around someone in the neutral zone. Yet Spezza is the one we’re talking about.

          • sprucesens

            agree, he is analyzed the most, but to that point, zib and turris are back every single shift. That’s why they don’t get criticized for it. Coming back, means better breakouts too. MacArthur hustles his ass back every game and often staves off a scoring chance by doing so. Spezza simply doesn’t do this. Not disagreeing with the whole offensive forwards, and defensive forwards parts, but there has to be a level of competence and back check/forcheck in both ends of the ice, for ALL players. That’s why we like karlsson. He can make the crazy offensive play, and still busts his ass back to make a great defensive play. Unless he’s been on the ice for far too long, and for once, doesn’t have enough energy to.
            As a captain, even though he is an offense first guy, he needs to learn, and lead by example, that just scoring goals won’t get you anywhere. you need to work your ass off and hustle back on every shift. He’s having trouble adjusting to this style of play. If its just not in his repertoire, give someone else the C, and let him just do his thing, as its what he’s best at

        • illdistrict

          I’ll give him credit for taking away the center ice. But why stand there – can he not skate backwards? He let the fwd have an open lane to the net which almost led to an equalizer..

          • sben

            Spezza is not supposed to go all the way down to the net. He is an offenseman. If he follows the player down to the net then him and the defenseman will both be next the net leaving a whole patch of ice for a columbus player to get a one timer and shoot.

          • SenaTHOR

            If he doesn’t go end to end that could explain the -20, Centers need to play end to end. They have the longest ice to play. Not ragg’n Spezza but thats what centers must do.

          • sben

            I’m talking about the specific complaint that spezza was like a pilon at 3:58 in the highlights above. New post by the way.

        • Tcharger

          If you expect Spezza to play defense like Volchenkov then you will be annoyed and disappointed after every game….Ohhh wait.

          • sben

            I don’t I just think he should at least be able to play a little defense and not be a complete liability in the defensive zone which he is very often.

        • Tcharger

          Will also add….some players are drafted and signed for their defense, others their offense, and some a combination of both.

          Spezza has never been, and never will be a stud defender, that being said he is one of the top offensive threats in the league when healthy, doesn’t matter if you want to admit it or not.

          • sben

            I don’t expect that. I just expect that he will cover his man and put pressure on the defense which he doesn’t do so well often.

  • FBP

    How are we complaining about Spezza after he just got us the game winner? We’re probably out of the playoffs with out that game winner.

    • illdistrict

      i would expect Joe Corvo to pot that puck in the net… given the same situation..

      • FBP

        But he didn’t and wasn’t in the situation. I’d expect Cowen to hit a complete empty net from ten feet away too. But he didn’t.

      • sben

        Spezza was there at the right time Spezza still has offensive abilities and you cannot deny that. He deserves respect for what he does bring to the sens and he does get alot of heat for his defense which is justified but when he does do well offensively the same people run away and don’t give him credit for what he does do. He was there to score the winning goal and give him credit for that despite his defensive weaknesses.

    • sben

      A fan who judges players properly does not judge players based on one game or one facet of his abilities but rather his complete game. Yes, he is definitely a very good player and deserves alot of credit for his offensive ability which makes up for his defensive ability but still people have the right to complain about his defense if it hurts the sens.

      • FBP

        FB’ Improper Judger of Players’ P

        I guess my personal preference today is to allow the victory and Spezza’s recent, incredibly important success to win the discussion battle.

      • spartacus

        I don’t believe his offensive abilities make up for his lack of defence. His -20 indicates that. Don’t forget we won more last year when he and Karlsson were out of the lineup. Defence first in my opinion. We have enough offence to win most games.

        • SensChirp

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  • Dirk-Diggler

    That was a big win… especially after CBJ came back to tie it up. The Sens stuck with their game and prevailed. Now another big game Thursday. We need to go at least 3-2-1 before the Olympics to stay in the hunt. Preferably we can be 4-1-1.

  • CUP 2014-15

    Big win for the Lads and good road trip going 2-1-1 v teams we’re fighting with for a spot. Need to bring it on home ice and get to Big Ben before he starts getting in our heads as TB is a very good possibility for first round match up. Big night for SDC, hope his night has generated a want for his services by another team. The young D looks better game by game. Great game for Andy, nice game for Spezz with a big game winner a spezzian pass to SDC in all just a good game from the Captian. CMac looked like he had big cash on this one as he was not going to loose. Bobby trying to hard, that behind the back pass (thank-you CMac for a great backcheck) was just another sign of him trying stupid s#!t to get things going. Bring on the Bolts…GSG

  • SensChirp
  • Zelle

    BTW Chirp love the accompanying photo. Is there a single Sens fan that doesn’t smile ear to ear when Methot throws a hip check?

    • Pugnacious Serf

      Or when Karlsson does?

      • Zelle

        I’m happy when I see Karlsson throw any check.

  • Zelle

    “The Ottawa Senators announced on Tuesday that Cody Ceci will remain with the club for the rest of the season. NBCSports.com speculates that several other of Ottawa’s defencemen could now become trade bait in exchange for a scoring winger to play alongside Jason Spezza. The report notes that Patrick Wiercioch, Eric Gryba, Joe Corvo, and Marc Methot have all been healthy scratches at different points this season.” from a TSN article.

    I really hope they don’t trade Methot. In fact the only one I’d be OK with leaving is Corvo, but I realize that the team will probably need to shop some D around as there is an abundance.

  • matsoukas45

    Now Garrioch says it`s worth 33 million dollars a year in their pocket just on that deal so i don`t want to hear anymore that the sens are losing money from anyone.

  • WolfInSheepsClothes

    Chirp, where’s our TSN Deal post…? ;)

  • Tcharger

    So apparently the sponsorship amounts to roughly 33.3 million a year….fair to assume that is essentially money in Melnyks pocket?

    I think the future(probably wont see it until next year) is bright.

    • matsoukas45

      If he decide to spend it or not,i have a feeling that in the next couple days you will hear from the sens that they still need to have a bottom of the league spending on players cause they still are losing money not as much but still losing and that melynk was paying out of pocket for most of the hockey operations bills,and now he just won`t be paying out of pocket so i don`t think they will budge off their budget.

  • bluebuyyoo

    Spezza scores the game winner and assists on another. Still gets shit on by some fans. Too many folk with ADD in here. The lineup for Ritalin begins around the corner.

  • LeafsSux

    I felt Columbus played a better game than us last night but somehow we got the win. Their fore checking was great last night and wish ours was a little bit better. I keep looking for the team that showed up against the Habs last time and its just not happening. I dont want to back into the playoffs this year im hoping they find a grove whether its via a trade or whatever but we need a lot of work still. Spezza is coming on at the right time so hopefully he keeps it going. Go Sens Go..

    • Laurence Babchyuk

      Spezza and consistency isn’t words that goes together.
      I don’t think that they are better with him in the lineup, yeah he played well last night but now let’s string some wins together… Something that we seem to struggle to do with him in the lineup.

      Maybe it was cause the duo of death ( spezza + Phillips couldn’t perform yesterday that we won )

      If this team can win 4 games in a row with Spezza playing, I’ll be the first to say that…. Yea he’s helping the team.

      And Phillips, take your time please…. Just…. Go away

  • SenaTHOR

    I think Cowen is playing better. I do wonder about his processing time it takes to make a decision. Maybe these reads will develop with experience. The only thing that really irks me is that with his size he should usually gain possession. He seems to lose more battlse than win. Part is positioning. This might be a great stat. BW battles won vs BL Battles lost.

    • Deadly

      Who ,in your opinion ,has the best processing time. Not the best player unless it applies.

      • SenaTHOR

        Karlsson Ceci

        • Deadly

          Could it just be a difference between offensive vs defensive abilities. Karlsson sees the game in 3D.

          • SenaTHOR

            No I think they just make the decision to position and carry it out more quickly. Like Cowen leaving the rear guard position and start going out to the point on the PK goal?