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'Dynamic' depth suits Senators

Team going forward with plenty of options up front

Thursday, 09.17.2009 / 7:22 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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\'Dynamic\' depth suits Senators
Nick Foligno got his chance to play with Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson on the Senators' top line Wednesday night (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).
Wednesday night, it was Nick Foligno working the most coveted left-wing spot in the Ottawa Senators lineup.

Less than 24 hours later, new acquisition Milan Michalek slid alongside Jason Spezza and captain Daniel Alfredsson during a morning practice session at the Bell Sensplex.

A week for now, who knows?

Such is the new luxury – or dilemma, depending on how you look at it – for head coach Cory Clouston, who has a wealth of forward talent at his disposal as he continues the building process of his team during Senators training camp.

On this day, at least, Clouston liked what he saw out of his newest No. 1 line combination, one that should be intact for the Senators' pre-season visit to Montreal on Friday night to face the Canadiens (7:30 p.m., RDS, Team 1200).

"I thought they practised very well," said Clouston. "It's tough until you get into a game situation, but I thought there was some chemistry and there was a good mix. Milan is a big, strong guy who creates some speed and I think they had a real good practice."

For the time being, Alex Kovalev, Mike Fisher and Jonathan Cheechoo form the Senators' No. 2 line. There's also Foligno to consider as a potential part of that mix. Count him among those who think the Senators come out as winners no matter how the top forwards are aligned.

"I think that's what's going to make us great," Foligno said of the Senators' new forward depth. "We have so many great players in Kovalev, Cheechoo, Michalek and Spezz and Alfie and Fish. It's going to make us pretty dynamic. You can put anyone on any line and they should be able to create something.

"(Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers) was just a 'getting to know you' period in the game. But I think as the year goes on, we're going to find each other and be able to play with each other as much as we want and it's going to be good for our team."

"I think that's what's going to make us great. We have so many great players in Kovalev, Cheechoo, Michalek and Spezz and Alfie and Fish. It's going to make us pretty dynamic. You can put anyone on any line and they should be able to create something." - Nick Foligno
Alfredsson believes it's something that could come in handy on a night when the offence is in need of a jump start.

"If you can find a line that works or a few lines that work, that's great," he said. "But there are always going to be nights when things don't go your way and you can shift and get a little bit of energy by moving around your lines. We really have a lot more options now."

Spezza, who spent most of the past four seasons playing beside Alfredsson and departed forward Dany Heatley, is also up for a new approach.

"It could be good for the team," he said. "If you look at Detroit, at times (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg play together and at times they don't. Their lines are always moving and it makes it hard for the other team to adapt. I think that's what we're going for here.

"Instead of being so predictable ... sometimes you get caught focusing on playing a certain way. This kind of keeps thing fresh all the time and keeps us on our toes, too. We've got to find some chemistry among the new guys and for the most part, we have to be flexible to move around."


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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
3 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
4 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
5 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
6 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
7 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
8 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 74 19 41 9 60
K. Turris 74 22 32 -1 54
B. Ryan 70 18 35 9 53
M. Stone 72 19 33 14 52
M. Hoffman 71 26 20 19 46
M. Zibanejad 72 19 24 2 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 54 13 14 -10 27
D. Legwand 72 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 68 11 15 -4 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 12 8 .923 2.48