Kukla's Korner Hockey
fromm the Ottawa Citizen,
“We haven’t played well for some time here,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson, who says the meeting was called collectively by all players. “We have to make sure in these last three games ... it’s a test for us to see what kind of character we have. How can we get this turned around? It’s possible (Washington could catch us), if we lost all three. We have to try and win at least two of the three and try to get some momentum for the playoffs. It has been a crazy season. We got off to such a great start, but we have not been able to handle the expectations that came with it.”
more about the Sens…
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Once he had that treatment, he was faced with questions about his leadership abilities, brought on by some pointed criticisms from Rob Ray, the former Senator and longtime Buffalo Sabres heavyweight, during a session on the TSN program Off the Record.
“I don’t think he’s a stand up, rah, rah guy in the dressing room,” said Ray. “He’s a leader on the ice. That’s a big problem with this team ... even when I was there, there was no one person to stand up and take charge, and bat a head when it needed to happen. They’re all tight and very close friends. Alfie’s a great player when things are going easy ... he came alive against Buffalo (in Tuesday’s 6-3 win) when Buffalo eased off after being ahead 3-1, but where was he in the first two periods?”
via Off the Posts,
Senators coach and GM Bryan Murray just told us centre Chris Kelly will be out for a minimum of three weeks - which probably means the first round of the playoffs - with a fracture in his ankle.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
While the Senators’ winning percentage with McCreary as one of the two referees (eight out of potential 14 points; .571) is just a little lower than their winning percentage overall (87 out of a potential 146 points; .596), the ammunition for McCreary conspiracy theorists is Senators opponents have been given almost twice as many power plays in those seven games as the Senators.
According to the NHL game sheets, the Senators have had 23 power-play opportunities in games in which McCreary has worked; their opponents have had 42. That’s an average of 3.29 power plays vs. six short-handed situations in those seven games.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Senators can buy out goalie Ray Emery between June 15 and June 30 at one-third of the $6.75 million left on the last two years of his deal. That would be spread out over four years, or $562,000 each year on the cap. Bet on them doing it.
much more NHL talk…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
It’s really going to be up to Babcock to decide if he wants to stay with the Wings. He holds the option on the last year of his contract, which means he has the hammer in negotiations.
At this point, it doesn’t seem likely Babcock will leave the Motor City, but things could change if the club underachieves in the playoffs this spring.
If Babcock, 45, were to become available, Senators GM/coach Bryan Murray would almost certainly have an interest in speaking to him.
read on an many more NHL bits…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Focus. Focus. Focus!
Focus on defence, focus on position, focus on your opponent. Whatever it is — and we are not suggesting for a moment Ritalin is involved — it’s working. After months of fishtailing all over the track, Murray’s Ottawa Senators have their groove back.
To watch the 3-0 pummelling of the Montreal Canadiens last night was to puzzle as to how the one team, Montreal, could enter the 72nd game of the NHL season in first place in the Northeast Division and Ottawa, a once-first-place team that had recently gone into freefall, could appear to be battling to save its season.
But then panic, as Murray pointed out after the game, “seems to be a tendency” where the Senators and their fans are concerned.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Seven days ago, the Senators were shut out by the Kings, the worst team in the NHL. It was their third straight loss. They were in serious trouble. Maybe there wasn’t enough time to fall completely out of the playoff picture, but they were certainly shaping up as easy first-round fodder.
Now, suddenly, they’re smiling again. They have rediscovered their scoring touch. Their broken power play appears fixed. They’re doing a much better job of keeping the puck out of their net.
via Don Brennan at the Ottawa Sun,
Bryan Murray made light of the struggles of Mike Commodore yesterday, saying that while the big defenceman has brought much of what he was expected to bring to the table, the coach would like to see No. 44 improve his puck skills. “I’m going to loan him my stick,” said Murray. “I think the hands go with it.” Across the hall a few minutes later, Commodore was in no chuckling mood. “Fourteen games, no points, minus-6
more on the Sens…
New York/Prague—The dream of bringing NHL hockey to Prague, Czech Republic, became a reality today as Prague Mayor Pavel Bem hosted representatives from the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the National Hockey League at the city’s Old Town City Hall. The group officially announced that as part of “NHL Premiere 2008” the Rangers and Lightning will open the 2008-09 NHL regular season with two games against each other Oct. 4th and 5th at the newly-named O2 Arena in Prague.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators will also open the 2008-09 regular season Oct. 4th and 5th in Europe, with two games in Stockholm, Sweden.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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