by SENShobo on 11/24/08 at 12:03 PM ET
Zubov returned to Binghamton, trade and goal-deficit speculation, and a few words with Shean Donovan, but first…
From the Ottawa Citizen, Foligno starts finding his way once more,
He has been up, he has been down—way, way down—and only now is forward Nick Foligno back to showcasing what the Ottawa Senators expect from the 21-year-old former first-round draft pick.
“I don’t know if it’s that I’ve turned a corner, but I think I’ve realized what it was that I need to do to be successful, to be an impact player on this team, and I think I got away from it a little bit,” said Foligno, who has scored in consecutive games after being shut out in his previous 13 contests.
“I’ve got to be a tenacious guy,” Foligno said. “I’ve got to get in there (in front of the net, along the boards). I was kind of being a little too passive. That’s not my game. I can’t just base it on pure skill. I have to try and work a little bit harder; that may make up for some of the skill I may lack. I just have to keep doing all those things, but I’ve also started to realize exactly what I need to do to be more consistent.”
Foligno’s game, no offense to his deep character, does not jump when based on skill. Like Fisher before him, and at some point likely Zack Smith behind him, his game leaps off the ice with hard-nosed play. You won’t see many goals coming from Foligno waiting to one-time a shot.
You will see the hard-fought goals though. The first goal — disallowed as a high-stick deflection and upheld as such with Toronto unable to get the footage fans would later be ‘treated’ to — came from being in front of the net, offering a screen, and taking advantage of the opportunity to tip the puck. The next goal would come from being right outside the paint, and carefully positioning his skate to deflect (not kick) Ruutu’s shot into the net.
Hopefully the layoff until Thursday won’t take away any of the panache he’s rediscovered, but how better to draw out the emotional game than against the Leafs?
From pressconnects.com, on Zubov,
Left wing Ilya Zubov was back in the lineup Sunday after being reassigned from Ottawa the night before. The Ottawa Sun, though, reported that Senators officials were very pleased with his recent performance, and that he could be back with the big club soon. “We don’t play until Thursday now,” Ottawa assistant general manager Tim Murray told the Sun. “The right thing to do is to get him down there, let him play his butt off (Sunday) and then go from there.”
Zubov was one of the highlights of the Kitchener Rookie Tournament games I attended in September, and he has not been pedestrian with the big club. Through four games, he has averaged 1.5 hits per game, which may surprise those expecting only skill from this multi-talented forward, and places him right behind the team’s heavy hitters.
Whether he gets called up for Thursday remains to be seen, Schubert would draw in otherwise, but he has made management take notice.
From the Ottawa Sun, on trade potential,
League sources say the heat has been turned up on Florida Panthers GM Jacques Martin to make a deal for a centre. So he may finally be ready to dangle defenceman Jay Bouwmeester—something Martin told several teams he wouldn’t consider until next month.
“I’ve been talking to other managers, trying to make different moves,’’ Martin told the Miami Herald.
“You get to a point where we need to send a message to our players that we’re not going to accept this. We need better performances. If we don’t turn it around, we’re going to have to do something.’‘
Sounds awfully familiar, and very similar to the talk Murray’s been spouting of late, threatening to shake up a losing team just for the sake of shaking things up and turning heads. There’s a good deal of competition in Florida’s upcoming games, from the Canes, twice tangling with the Rangers, then the Sabres and Bruins.
Martin would likely prefer to wait until the trade deadline, when extension talks with Bouwmeester will be more clearly broken down, and trade value never higher. I would expect any shakeup to come from elsewhere within. But any trade would add another body to an already crowded Ottawa blueline, on which both Kuba (10) and Picard (5) can compete with Bouwmeester’s (5) powerplay point contributions, so complete sense still has yet to rear its deadly head in the case of this rumour, not that the speculation will ever end.
From NHL.com, on the Senators’ struggles of late,
“You make it very tough for yourself if you keep losing too much,” Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “I saw Philly last year and they were in a terrible stretch, but they caught on fire and just squeezed in to the playoffs. You put a lot of pressure on yourself if you do it that way.
“Last year 25 percent of the way in we were winning the Cup and we barely made the playoffs. You can’t give any games away and a couple of games we have.”
A good look again at all the issues facing the Sens, but none will be as maligned as the team’s lack of scoring. Saturday’s four-goal outburst — five if you feel that the late-to-Toronto footage of Foligno’s low stick deflection would have overturned the on-ice call — will help to turn the team’s fortunes around.
Little consolation to many, but the team has faced precious few teams with goaltending troubles. The few backups we’ve faced, including Florida’s Anderson and the Isles’ MacDonald, have played to the top of their games. Early in the season, eyes were on Pittsburgh, whose many offseason roster changes were hurting the team, most notably the departures of Malone and Hossa. Ottawa too has had a vast internal turnover, with half of the goalie and defense rosters changing, along with several forwards.
As terrible as it sounds, the bounces have hurt too. Fisher and Vermette have struggled to score this season, but both have had their fair share of breakaways and missed opportunities, but more often than not it has been the bad bounces causing Ottawa grief, along with stellar saves, and not Ottawa being unable to generate pressure.
Like all tides, this one too will eventually turn.
For a little stress release, NHL.com has a little Q&A with Shean Donovan, a man of the simple things in life it would seem. But, one thing: Urkel??
Be the first to comment.
Add a Comment
Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.
Most Recent Blog Posts
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 email@example.com