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Inside the Senate
 
POSTED ON Wednesday, 13.02.2013 / 11:01 AM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog


Your daily roundup of what the internet has to say about Ottawa Senators hockey...


Bruce Garrioch
recaps the Sens' 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night and looks at Daniel Alfredsson's 2014 Olympic hopes.

Sylvain St-Laurent looks at one timely goal from Erik Karlsson that turned the Sens scoring drought around.

Don Brennan
wonders if Marc Methot could be a future captain here in Ottawa.

The Senators Extra panel checks in with their predictions for Wednesday's game vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Silver Seven names Kyle Turris no. 2 in their Top 25 Sens under 25 countdown.

Jared Crozier looks at the possibility of Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson accomplishing a rare feat.

SensChirp passes along his own breakdown of the Buffalo win.

The 6th Sens looks at scoring chances from Tuesday night's game.

Travis Yost
looks at the "Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson Show" which just keeps rolling.
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.02.2013 / 10:31 PM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog



It was a much more positive game tonight for the Ottawa Senators. Better efforts at the offensive and defensive ends of the rink couple with very disciplined play set the tone for a 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

It'll come as a big shock to many or not that Craig Anderson and Erik Karlsson set the tone for the Sens tonight. Anderson stood tall in the back, turning aside 42 shots from the Sabres en route to his second shutout of the year. Karlsson drove play forward once again and scored the game winning goal a shorthanded one at that in 27 minutes of ice time. Erik Condra provided the dagger with strong play around Buffalo's crease.

Mucking it up in those parts of the rink had been the theme of practice all week for Head Coach Paul MacLean. As a team that doesn't have a plethora of puck carriers and flair up front, they're going to have to manufacture their offence by scoring on second and third opportunities. The message was definitely received though there is certainly room to improve in that facet of the game as both the Karlsson and Condra goals came with red shirts in tight against Ryan Miller.

The power play put a bit of a damper on the evening as it went 0-for-8 but, as Coach MacLean pointed out, the team generated plenty of opportunity with the man advantage, the puck simply didn't find the back of the net. So long as the process is there, the unit should click soon.

Here's a Twitter rundown of MacLean's comments:

For those of you who are more audio inclined, you can listen to Coach MacLean's full post-game press conference here on this page.
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.02.2013 / 4:24 PM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog



Tuesday night's game will mark Mike Lundin's first in a Sens jersey against a divisional opponent. Despite a long layover between NHL games, Lundin has looked solid in his first two games against Southeast opposition Carolina and Winnipeg, showing off his skating ability to accompany his quiet defensive play.

With two games under his belt now, he is feeling right back in the swing of things.

"Having a few more practices always helps and obviously playing the two games," said Lundin. "Every time I step on the ice with the team I feel a little bit more comfortable and a little bit more sure of fitting in and what it is I need to do to help the team."

A big part of that has to do with how he has adapted to his defensive partner, veteran Sergei Gonchar. Playing next to a creative offensive player like Gonchar has been an easy transition for Lundin thus far.

"I just try to make the plays as easy as I can for him and try to get him the puck. He's been great to play with."

With the Sabres coming to town needing to play desperate hockey, Tuesday's game will be the most demanding of Lundin's very brief Sens career. Part of the challenge beyond the intensity of a Sens-Sabres game will be dealing with the numerous looks Buffalo can throw at you up front.

"They have a little bit of everything, I think, in their forward lines. They have some big, strong guys and then they have some quick, little guys and everything in between," said Lundin. You're going to have every kind of scenario coming at you."

Having kicked off his time in Ottawa with a matchup that featured the Eric and Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner up front, Lundin should be accustomed to players who can test you in different ways.

The real challenge for him to this point in his time with the Sens has been off the ice as his wife, Shelly, gave birth to twin girls last Sunday, Lily Katherine and Sophie Leigh. Two newborns in the thick of a compacted NHL schedule only proves that there truly is no rest for the weary. The good news is, of course, everything has gone according to plan at home.

"Good, very good. Everything has gone very well so far. "

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.02.2013 / 3:31 PM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog



It's clear whenever he touches the puck that Jakob Silfverberg is a dynamic player. He handles passes well, he can carry the play and, according to Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson, he has one of the best shots in the league.

So why hasn't the production picked up yet?

It has all been part of a learning process for Silfverberg who is still learning the inner workings of NHL hockey. Through 14 games -- 12 this season and two in last year's playoffs -- he has only been able to muster two goals and an assist. By contrast, he still leads the Binghamton Senators in scoring with 29 points in 34 games despite not playing since the start of NHL training camp.

If you break down Silfverberg's AHL numbers, however, it shows that he was also slow out of the gate there as well. Through his first 13 games in the 'A' he recorded seven points. The next 21 games led to a run of 22 points before sticking with the big club. It's a matter of learning how the league functions and continuing to adjust to playing on smaller ice.

His focus going forward is getting to more dangerous parts of the ice.

"I get a lot of shots I just usually don't get to those shot areas where I want to shoot, I shoot a lot from right inside the blueline," said Silfverberg. "I have to get better at getting to spots in the high slot and places like that. I get a lot of shots but a lot of them aren't dangerous shots."

The fact he simply hasn't gotten it done already has a lot to do with adjusting to much stiffer competition.

"Here in the NHL it's all the best players in the world and you always play against very good D so, of course, it's harder," said Silfverberg. "But, it's a challenge and you learn something new every day."

Sens fans got a flash of that scoring ability when he showed off that wrist shot in Montreal on Feb. 3. The key, according to Jakob, isn't trying to amp up the velocity. It's a matter of trying to keep it quick and accurate.

"All I think about when I'm taking my shot is it doesn't have to be the hardest shot but it has to be accurate and it has to be quick so you don't show the goalie where you're about to shoot the puck," said Silfverberg. "That's what I'm trying to focus on in practice is skate in and not have a hard shot but have a quick and accurate shot."

Of course, it was a week ago when The Captain himself said that kids should be studying the Silfverberg shot. So, what advice does he have for kids reading this?

"You can't get something for free, you have to work hard to get it. That's what I was doing as a kid. I took a lot of shots during summers," said Silfverberg. "That's what it is. You have to work hard to get what you want. There's no shortcuts."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.02.2013 / 1:21 PM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog



It's not easy for a player to be shuffled in and out of the lineup. You often hear players talk about the stark contrast between practice and games. It's real. You can't fabricate the speed or intensity of a game.

Kaspars Daugavins got his first action in roughly a week last Saturday and it was a relief. Sitting up in the press box is an agonizing time for him.

"It's always better to be playing than sitting out. It's hard being out, I hate to watch the game," said Daugavins."I'm just happy to play and help the team and last game I thought I played well. I just look forward to playing again."

With Daugavins in the lineup the Sens get a feisty player who works the corners and plays with speed. He also brings some playmaking ability to the table. While he wasn't happy with the outcome of the 1-0 loss to Winnipeg on Saturday, he felt there were some positives to be taken away from his first appearance in six days.

"I felt good, skating well, I was making some plays. There was a little meltdown for everybody in the second period where they were really active and we made a few mistakes in a row," said Daugavins. "I had the one bad pass there where I could have just chipped it out. But other than that I thought I went to the net hard and played hard and made some plays and just battled hard."

As the Sens look to knock off the Sabres for the second time in a week, they'll have Daugavins in the lineup to lend a hand this time around in what should be a close game between two division rivals. Look for Daugavins to play an active role.

"I just have to keep playing my game and skate hard and get the puck deep and work the D low in the corners which is my strength," said Daugavins. "Hopefully we can score a few goals and help the team."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.02.2013 / 9:29 AM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog

Your daily roundup of what the internet has to say about Ottawa Senators hockey...

Don Brennan
writes that a more vocal Paul MacLean is getting his message across. 

Sylvain St-Laurent looks at the opportunity Mika Zibanejad is getting on the top line.

Ken Warren
writes that Craig Anderson is focused on helping the Senators and not the rumours he's a part of Team USA's Sochi 2014 plans.

Silver Seven looks at Robin Lehner, who is number three on their list of the top 25 Sens under 25.

Travis Yost writes about Paul MacLean going to work to spark the Sens' offence.

The 6th Sens
show off a fun (totally legitimate) trick for any Sens fan who has Siri on their iPhone.
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POSTED ON Monday, 11.02.2013 / 5:06 PM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog


It's generally a sign of how far you've come in life when you start getting requests to autograph more and more bizarre things. Paper products are for B-listers, body parts and babies are for the real deal.

Andre Benoit has officially arrived. It doesn't get much better than that.
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POSTED ON Monday, 11.02.2013 / 2:55 PM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog



With Jason Spezza's back injury, the Sens' no. 1 centre role has fallen on the shoulders of Kyle Turris who has cooled off following a hot start to the season. After scoring four goals through the first four games the Sens played, Turris has only been able to muster five assists in the subsequent eight games.

It's undeniable that the absence of Spezza has cranked up the pressure under Turris who is unfamiliar with such a concentrated defensive effort to this point in his young career. The 23 year old is adamant, however, that it pales in comparison to the pressure he puts on himself to perform.

"I probably put the most pressure on myself — more than anybody else puts on me," said Turris. "I just want to help as much as I can and play my game and keep skating and get to the front of the net a little more."

The absence of Spezza — a player who finished among the top five leaders in League scoring last season — is a big hole to fill. But, at the same time, this is still a team that scored eight goals in its first two games without him. A conscious team effort from the group has the ability to generate similar output.

The key for this team is a matter of playing with speed and crashing the net. That intensity and consistency will yield more scoring chances than the last two games, even without Spezza in the lineup.

"He's a very special player and one of the best in the league and collectively we're just going to have to find a way to come together and create more," said Turris. "I've got to come through with creating more opportunities for myself and my linemates and be more offensively productive."

It feels as though Milan Michalek is knocking on the door to get going again, and you'd have to think Turris won't be far behind.

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.02.2013 / 2:05 PM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog


With a slumping offence the eyes of Sens fans have turned to Milan Michalek — last season's 35 goal man — to try and spark some life back into the team. Unfortunately for Michalek though, the proverbial well appears to have gone dry for the time being as he hasn't been able to generate much since he scored his last goal on January 29 against Washington. 

The problem appears to be a combination of bad luck and not enough chances for the 28 year old. Not only is he averaging roughly one shot less per game from 2011-12, but his shooting percentage is down to 9.1 from 16.5. Michalek's career average shooting percentage places him roughly halfway between those two figures at 12.7.

 Math dictates this should all sort itself out shortly, it's just a matter of when and where.

The key going forward for Michalek going forward boils down to simplifying his game. By getting more pucks on net and playing around the crease he is bound to snap out of his funk sooner or later.

"We have to put the pucks to the net more and be in front," said Michalek. "That's how goals are scored now. We haven't been doing that. We have to get back to the basics."

Head Coach Paul MacLean agreed with the sentiment after practice today saying that Michalek plays too hard — both away from and carrying the puck — to not be rewarded sooner or later. He just needs to keep doing what he's doing.

In the meantime, the Czech native wouldn't mind a little bit of good fortune.

"Yeah it would be nice. I didn't get much this year so we'll see. "
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POSTED ON Monday, 11.02.2013 / 9:33 AM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog

Your daily roundup of what the internet has to say about Ottawa Senators hockey...

James Gordon points to a lack of Jason Spezza as the reason why the Sens aren't scoring. He also has a rundown of numbers, audio and photos from Saturday's game against Winnipeg.

Don Brennan
looks at the lack of Sens scoring punch. He also spoke to Sens' weekend bright spot Stephane Da Costa about his time in the NHL this go around.

Sylvain St-Laurent
shares his thoughts from the past weekend.

Silver Seven continue their top 25 under 25 countdown with Jared Cowen who checks in at number five.

For the statistically inclined, Jets blog Arctic Ice Hockey have a Fenwick breakdown of Saturday's game between Ottawa and Winnipeg.

SensChirp has a look at rumours from around the league that are pertinent to the Sens.

The 6th Sens breaks down scoring chances from Saturday's loss to Winnipeg.

Travis Yost
breaks down the zone entries from the Jets game.
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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06