Kukla's Korner


Sens’ Small Rink Yields Small Results

The Senators trim their roster by 16, and Chris Phillips reminisces about dreams gone sour for Redden, but first. . .

From the Ottawa Citizen (and OS, NHL), on the Sens’ 2-1 loss to the Sabres in Dundas,

The small-rink atmosphere added an intriguing new element to preseason National Hockey League action here Tuesday, but it still added up to an agonizing night for more than a dozen Ottawa Senators hopefuls after a 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
Goaltender Robin Lehner and defenceman Patrick Wiercioch made the decisions tougher. Both made glaring mistakes, but bounced back and should survive at least another few days in Ottawa.
“It’s in their hands and hopefully you just make it as tough as you can on them,” Wiercioch said of the Senators’ pending decisions. “You have to show them that you want to be here, that you’re willing to work for that spot on the team and that you can probably do something on the team that another guy can’t right now.”

Losing 5 feet of width and 10 feet of length, knowing that cuts were coming immediately following last night’s game, and having no real veteran support should have served well to light a fire under those players without an NHL ticket already punched.

Really, there was not much on display, for what was effectively a 1-1 tie if you ignore Lehner’s give away to Niedermayer for the Sabres’ first goal, as too many players failed to punch through to a must-take-notice level. Lehner showed good poise in staring down one of the League’s best in Miller, making both the easy and the hard work saves. Despite a terrible give away, and beyond his power play goal, Wiercioch continued to show a slightly more offensive and physical tilt to a Kuba-esque two-way game. Neil provided the screen on Ottawa’s goal, and has been showing this pre-season that as much as his body on body work speaks for itself, he wants to work with the puck on or around his stick, too.

From the Ottawa Senators, the Senators send large group to Binghamton after fourth last pre-season game,

The Ottawa Senators announced today they have reduced their training camp roster, re-assigning 16 players to the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. The B-Sens begin their training camp today when they travel to Corner Brook, N.L.

The players re-assigned include goaltenders Mike Brodeur and Barry Brust; defencemen André Benoit, Eric Gryba, Geoff Kinrade and Craig Schira; and forwards Jason Bailey, Erik Condra, Corey Cowick, Kaspars Daugavins, David Dziurzynski, Colin Greening, Mike Hoffman, Jim O’ Brien, Tim Spencer and Roman Wick.

The Senators training camp roster is now comprised of 32 players: three goaltenders, 11 defencemen and 18 forwards.

Both Bailey and Brodeur unfortunately missed their shot to impress due to their injuries. While Hoffman showed good offensive prowess, he will need to season himself more in Binghamton, in order to be a top six forward for Ottawa, or else a more dependable two-way player to make it into the middle six. Despite good international showings, Wick needs to adjust to the North American game, too often looking as though he expects his opponents to be softer, but he should put up good numbers in Binghamton. Others, like Condra, Cowick, and O’Brien, are simply a part of the numbers game, when the team has so many one-way contracts and such depth on their bottom-six, though space could open up for responsible players with offensive hands such as these three when Ruutu’s contract is up.

From the Ottawa Citizen, Chris Phillips’ feelings towards his former teammate’s situation,

“It’s hard to see that happen to a guy who has only got one year on me,” Phillips said. “It has got to make you look into the future a little bit. But I don’t think his NHL career is done. And I like to think I have a number of years left myself.”

Phillips lashed out at those who said Redden should have signed for less money. Really?

“Someone came in the dressing room and said the radio was all over him. I just find that absurd. The guy has done absolutely nothing wrong,” Phillips said. “He’s a stand-up guy. Who’s not going to sign a contract when they put it in front of your face? It’s ridiculous (for a player) to say, ‘I don’t think that’s right, I should probably sign for less.’ That’s unrealistic to suggest something silly like that. He’s a class act. You’re not going to find any better.”

The largest salary park during the cap era, Redden will be a fixture in contract discussions and my own ponderings for some time still. The League has been able to find a balance in their on-ice product between the dead puck era, and almost un-physical international play. While it’s not wrong for a player to sign a big bucks deal put in front of him, perhaps it’s time for a small, slow-burning fire to be lit underneath them. Collective bargaining should truly be about finding the middle ground; giving counterproductive extremes to both sides ultimately only cuts both to the ground.

Filed in: NHL Media, NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | SENShobo | Permalink


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About SENShobo

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net