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Shannon aiming for bigger impact

Sens hoping diminutive forward can boost attack against Oilers

Tuesday, 10.11.2009 / 12:45 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Shannon aiming for bigger impact
Ryan Shannon is still looking for his first point of the 2009-10 season but he believes a change in those numbers is just around the corner (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images).
NHL game notes (PDF) for tonight's Ottawa-Edmonton matchup.

One of the Ottawa Senators' littlest guys feels like he's on the verge of much bigger things.

That's good news for both Ryan Shannon and his teammates, who face off against the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).

The 5-foot-9 Shannon is finally starting to get his feet under him after a concussion suffered in the Senators' season-opener against the New York Rangers – his second in the past calendar year – sidelined him for three games.

Shannon has yet to produce a point in nine games this season and was a healthy scratch Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. But he believes it's only a matter of time before he hits the scoresheet.

"I'm getting there," said the 26-year-old native of Darien, Conn., who'll line up tonight alongside rookie centre Peter Regin and Jonathan Cheechoo, another Sens forward still looking for his first goal of the current campaign.

"The Atlanta game (on Oct. 31), I felt really good. I'm trying to get on a roll and get my confidence back, but it's going in the right direction. If you're not doing the right things, you won't get it, so I've just got to stick with it."

Senators head coach Cory Clouston, who considers Shannon to be an important part of the team's front line, likes the signs of progress he's seen from him in recent games.

"I think he’s a lot more confident now," Clouston said after the Senators' pre-game skate earlier today at Scotiabank Place. "When you have a concussion, sometimes it takes a little longer than you realize to fully – I’m not saying physically – get over it. Even just the mental part of it, where you’re confident you can take a hit. He had one last year (as well) and I think that affected him more than he let on.

"We need him going. We need to use his speed. He’s very quick, he’s very tenacious and very skilled, so he needs to get his game going for us to be playing as well as we can."

Shannon agreed that's exactly what he needs to bring to tonight's game.

"Speed. Being very aggressive and not hesitant, and going out there and making plays," Shannon said about what he can bring to the Ottawa lineup. "The points will come if I'm doing the right things. The coaching staff has told me 'just worry about your game, don't worry about the results.'"

"I'm getting there. The Atlanta game (on Oct. 31), I felt really good. I'm trying to get on a roll and get my confidence back, but it's going in the right direction. If you're not doing the right things, you won't get it, so I've just got to stick with it." - Ryan Shannon
A better result is something that would definitely sit well with the Senators (7-5-2) tonight in their first outing since squandering a two-goal lead against the Devils in Saturday's 3-2 setback. With seven of their next nine games at home, now is the time for the team to make hay to set up a run at an Eastern Conference playoff berth.

"We blew a two-goal lead (Saturday), so this is important," said centre Jason Spezza. "We’ve got seven of the next nine at home, so we’ve got to make the most of it here because our schedule gets a lot tougher travel-wise. It’s an important game for us."

The days in between games will also diminish but that's fine with Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who believes the busier schedule should help a team still trying to fine-tune its game.

"We haven’t played too many games, compared to other teams," said Alfredsson. "Just getting into a rhythm is (the thing) we’re looking for the most. You don’t have the three or four days in between. I don’t mind practising but the games are more fun, especially playing Canadian teams from the Western Conference. It brings a lot of excitement and a lot of fun for the players."

Around the boards

With Shannon back in the lineup, Jesse Wichester joins Shean Donovan as a healthy scratch tonight ... Pascal Leclaire (5-4-1) makes his fourth straight start in goal ... The rest of the Senators lines in practice today: Milan Michalek-Jason Spezza-Daniel Alfredsson, Nick Foligno-Mike Fisher-Alex Kovalev and Jarkko Ruutu-Chris Kelly-Chris Neil ... Fewer than 2,500 tickets remain for tonight's game.


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