Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
But if the Senators make the playoffs, they’ll be lucky to have enough healthy bodies. Captain Daniel Alfredsson, who is believed to have a concussion, exited two minutes into the second with the club called an “upper body injury” and centre Mike Fisher left with a leg injury in the first period.
Senators assistant coach Greg Carvel told the club’s pay-per-view broadcast that both injuries were “serious” and that neither player would be in the lineup tonight against the Bruins.
Watch the hit on Alfredsson by Mark Bell…
from Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
Regardless of what derailed them earlier this season, good teams and good players find a way to get the job done and that simply and obviously hasn’t been happening.
It’s a cliche, but now we will see what these Senators are really made of and, in an excruciating way, if they are somehow able to get it done, if they are finally able to beat the Leafs in a game that matters, if they are able to secure a playoff spot, it may make them all that much stronger this spring. The key word, however, remains may.
It also generally holds true that you are never as good as your highest high (see 15-2) and, the Senators hope, never as bad as your lowest low. Tonight, we find out if the team that has broken a million hearts in springs gone by is merely off to an early start.
added 7:06am, from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
You could call Ottawa “Twitchy City” at the moment, the call-in shows, the water coolers, the bars and even the parking lots filled with general managers who know the root cause — troublesome second goaltender Ray Emery, lazy defensive play by big-name players such as Dany Heatley, slow defencemen such as Luke Richardson and Wade Redden, bad trades such as the one for Mike Commodore and black tape instead of white on the blade of Daniel Alfredsson’s stick — and claim to know the answers as well.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
If Ottawa doesn’t beat the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night, the defending Eastern Conference champs will be forced to rely on scoreboard watching and mathematics after the Washington Capitals (90) pulled within two points of Ottawa (92) with a 4-1 win over Carolina last night.
Yes, the Boston Bruins (91) and Philadelphia Flyers (91), could both still falter, but they have a game in hand. The possibility exists that the Hurricanes (90) could get overtaken by the Caps for the Southeast title and end up getting knocked out.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Has Murray given any thought about giving Emery one more shot to reclaim the No. 1 job?
“I haven’t for (tonight),” he said yesterday. “That’s as far as I’m going.”
Not exactly a vote of confidence for Gerber. Nor does he deserve one.
In tangibles, there’s probably not much to choose from between Emery and Gerber. Neither one of them is very likely to win you the Cup on their play alone.
But when it comes to intangibles, Emery has the definite edge. He exudes confidence. He has the experience. He played all 20 of Ottawa’s playoff games last spring, and all 10 they had the spring before that. Thirty games. That’s a lot of testing under fire.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Bare moments later, there was Spezza standing, as he does every day, in front of his locker to answer virtually the same questions over and over and over again. Only this time there was a twist. Instead of being asked, “What’s gone wrong?” he was asked his opinion on the current muttering in the capital city that the Senators’ end-of-season woes are all because of a “lack of effort.”
“That’s bullshit,” Spezza answered in a refreshing break from the usual hockey clichés about game plans and keeping it simple.
“That’s bullshit — it’s not lack of effort at all.”
But it is … something.
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…
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.
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