Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond is getting some well deserved love from the league for his play over the past week as he was named the NHL's First Star of the Week for the week ending March 1st.
Ottawa Senators goaltending coach Rick Wamsley spoke with the media earlier today about Andrew Hammond's recent play, his quiet confidence and how he's seen the goaltender grow since joining the team a few weeks back.
On Andrew Hammond's last 5 games:
We're really happy with where he's at and I'm with everybody else; it's a great story. To say his year was going the way he wanted it or we wanted it in Binghamton would not be right but what I like is that the character of the person is really showing through and he's taking full advantage of an opportunity that's been presented to him. Kudos to him for stepping in and playing really well and I think he's grown as a goalie over the month that he's been here. He looks a lot calmer than what we've seen in the past and I think it's paying huge dividends for him.
On his weeks of practice time with the Sens before his debut:
I think any time you can hang around NHL shooters on a consistent basis and practice at an NHL pace on a consistent basis it's going to help you if you do get the opportunity. I thought it was huge going into his first start, I remember him saying that the game didn't seem as fast as the last time he played and that's recognition that he's pretty comfortable with where his game's at.
On Hammond helping himself:
He just comes to work every day. He's a professional every day. To me, he's paid attention every day. I think there's a quiet confidence that he understood that he could play at this level but wasn't really sure. His early performances are just confirmation that he can play.
On his progress over the past 2 years:
The one thing about his time in Binghamton that I did like was his save percentage hung around .900. To me, he's close to being where he needs to be. It's not like he was playing with an .850 or .860 save percentage where that guy has no hope of playing at any level. So he kept his save percentage around .900 so there's something there. I think he was signed because there's something there and I think it's taken us a year and a half to get to the point where he's taking advantage of an NHL opportunity. It's just taken us that long and that's not unusual for an older guy coming out of college to make the adjustments to professional hockey.
On what he likes the most about Hammond's game during this recent stretch:
He's starting to understand the importance that it's not the first save at this level, it's "what you leave" and how you react to "what's left". The problem in the past has been that there was a little overreaction to "what's left" and from what I've seen recently he's starting to get the idea that you don't overreact to small rebounds, he stays in the middle and lets the second shot or opportunity come back to him. He's comfortable staying in the middle of the new angle. He's a wide-bodied guy and he's taking advantage of his wide body.
On Hammond's effect on the rest of the team:
There's a quiet confidence. We were unsure when he went in about how it was going to go and I think as the good performances and saves have stacked up one on top of the other I think the confidence in Andrew has spread throughout the locker room.
On what he has liked most from Hammond's play:
I was really happy with the L.A. game because to me it was a "goalie win". He played really well against Montreal. I thought the game in Anaheim was more of a "shared shutout" whereas I thought the shutout in L.A. was heavily weighted on the goalie and I was very happy with the way he handled the pressure not only from the magnitude of the game but what was presented by the L.A. Kings in the game. I really like the save in the last minute on Toffoli. Obviously, powerplay, the hockey gods seemed like they were against us with Zibanejad taking a penalty late that probably shouldn't happen but he makes a big save and we get the win. That was a little bit of an "ah-ha" moment for me.
For nearly 5 years, Shane Prince has been working towards his NHL debut with the Ottawa Senators. We caught up with the Sens 2011 2nd round draft pick the day after his first National Hockey League game to talk about achieving a dream, the frenzy that was the past few days and a lot more.
Over the summer, Tobias Lindberg, selected by the Sens 102nd overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, decided that in order to give himself the best opportunity with the Senators he would leave his native Sweden and join the Oshawa Generals of the OHL to begin his adaptation to the "North American style" of hockey. To date, his transition has been phenomenal and he's seen improvements up and down his game.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Lindberg in Ottawa to talk about his season, his development, moving to Canada and more...
For people that haven't seen you play, how would you describe your style of play to them?
I’m a big, fast winger who can play on either the right or left side. I play a pretty physical game but I've got good hands too and can put up points.
What was the biggest reason you chose to play in Oshawa this season?
Mostly to show the Senators that I can play on a small rink and adapt to the more physical play. I really wanted to show them that I can play the North American style of hockey.
How have you adjusted to playing in the OHL?
In the beginning, it was tough. I played a more “east-west” game but now after 50+ games I've learned to use my size and strength a lot more. I’m happy that I came over to play for Oshawa.
Are there specific aspects of your game that have improved based on playing in the OHL?
My physical game has been “night and day”. In European hockey you don’t hit that much but here you have to do it every shift. Also, my play along the wall has been something that Sens management has talked to me a lot about so I need to keep getting better at that. But my physical play has gotten much better since having come over.
What's been the most difficult adjustment for you?
In the beginning, it was leaving my family and friends. That was tough. But now, I've got great teammates and made a lot of friends so it’s becoming easier as the season goes on.
Your offensive numbers have been really strong this year. Are you happy with that part of your game?
After I adapted better to the North American style, I feel that the points have started to come for me. I always want to keep improving though so I've been working hard and concentrating on the offensive side of my game a lot this year.
Outside of hockey, have you enjoyed living in Canada?
It’s kind of similar to Sweden. People are nice and treat you well. In the beginning it was difficult, being lonely and not really having any friends but now I love it here.
There's been a pretty big drop in your PIMs this season (only 8) compared to last year in the SuperElit (93). Is that a result of playing a North American style?
The big difference is that in the OHL you can talk to the referees after a penalty call. You can ask them: “why did you make that call?” or you can even yell at them and they can take that and yell right back at you. In Sweden, if you say a single word to the referee you get a 10 minute misconduct penalty right away. So of my 93 penalty minutes last season, probably 80 of them were from talking to the refs. (laughs)
What aspect of your development do you feel you need to really focus on?
I feel like I need to keep getting stronger because it’s a much more physical game here and you play a lot more games. In the OHL we have a 68 games season and I’m still getting used to that so I feel like I need to continue to get stronger physically so I can play all 68 games at a high level.
What lessons or concepts did you take away from Development Camp last summer and how have they helped your development.
Mostly to play “north-south” hockey; don’t bring pucks back, keep moving forward all the time, drive the net and shoot a lot because it’s a smaller rink.
Are you excited to attend the Sens Development Camp now that you have a years’ worth of OHL play under your belt?
I’m really excited. My goal is to play for the Ottawa Senators one day so I can’t wait to show them what I've learned and hopefully they’ll see all the improvements.
The Senators hit the ice at Canadian Tire Centre for practice on Monday morning before travelling to Buffalo for tomorrow's game. Here's what they had to say after the session was over.
In preparation to host the game between the B-Sens and Marlies at Canadian Tire Centre on February 15th (all tickets are under $20) we caught up with a few current Senators who represented the team's AHL affiliate in past games.
The Senators hit the ice at Canadian Tire Centre for practice on Monday morning prior to travelling to New Jersey for tomorrow night's game. We caught up with the coach and a few players after the skate and here's what they had to say after the session was over.
The Senators hit the ice at Canadian Tire Centre for practice on Tuesday morning which saw the return of Bobby Ryan and Mike Hoffman. We caught up with them and the coach after the skate and here's what they had to say after the session was over.
Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting some League-wide recognition for his play over the past week as he was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week for the week ending January 25th.
The Senators hit the ice at Canadian Tire Centre for practice on Monday morning and we got updates from several players prior to their upcoming game in New York. Here's what they had to say after the session was over.