Hello from Columbus

- January 23rd, 2015

COLUMBUS _ Greetings from the all-star game.
This weekend is always great until they drop the puck Sunday night.
I’m kidding. I’m kidding. Well, maybe I am.
As you know from the all-star weekend in Ottawa, this is a great weekend on the schedule for the city involved. They can’t do anything to make the game competitive. The draft idea is fun and at least adds some intrigue to the process.
The Senators are well-represented here by winger Bobby Ryan.
I did think Craig Anderson would have a chance at coming here when Sergei Bobrovsky got hurt. The league was scrambling to get players and Anderson didn’t have any real plans for the weekend as far as I know but they decided to go with Brian Elliott.
The Senators went into the break with a victory over the Leafs so everybody can feel good about themselves.
They have to come back and start winning some games now.
Will check in here this weekend. Enjoy it.

Carolina: Coming in hot

- January 16th, 2015

Speaking big picture, the Hurricanes have had a sorry season. They are 28th overall with 14-24-5 record.
But their year hasn’t been bad at all.
The year we refer to is 2015, of course. Since Jan. 1, Carolina is 4-1-1. The only regulation time loss was a 3-2 final against the Nashville Predators – the best team in the league thus far.
So no, the notion that the Senators could be “taking the Hurricanes lightly” is absurd. Just as is the notion they could overlook any team in the league.
If the Senators are going to take a run at a playoff spot – and yes, I still believe they can – I think they need to win their three remaining games before the all-star break – Carolina, in New York to play the Rangers, and then back home to face the Maple Leafs. Two of the three would keep their pulse beating.
Stuff I’m working on now for the website/newspaper includes the Senators habit this years of losing after a big win, Erik Karlsson’s improved numbers under Dave Cameron, and the opinion that Craig Anderson needs to run with the ball.

Back at it

- January 11th, 2015

GLENDALE, ARIZ. _ The Senators hit the halfway mark Saturday night with a 5-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.
The club has a 17-16-8 record through 41 games and has 42 points which has them eight behind the Boston Bruins for the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference.
Clearly, the situation has to improve.
The people at sportsclubstats.com give the Senators a 13.5% chance of making the playoffs. The good news is that’s up 4% from the day before. The odds aren’t high and stacked against them but you have to cling to some hope.
The Senators had done a lot of soul-searching before playing the Coyotes. They knew the effort against the Colorado Avalanche was simply not good enough and that had to change.
Now they need to do it consistently.

Now or never

- January 9th, 2015

GLENDALE, AZ. _ Who knows?
They’d better start winning. That’s all I know.
At this point, making the playoffs is looking more and more difficult. Coach Dave Cameron changed all the lines today so here’s a look:

Ottawa
Forwards
Clarke MacArthur-Kyle Turris-Alex Chiasson
Mike Hoffman-J.G. Pageau-Bobby Ryan
Erik Condra-Mika Zibanejad-Curtis Lazar
Milan Michalek-David Legwand-Mark Stone

Defence
Marc Methot-Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen-Cody Ceci
Chris Phillips-Eric Gryba

Goaltenders
Craig Anderson
Robin Lehner

Ya gotta do something, right?
Today was spent working on going to the net. That’s been an issue for this team.

Greetings from the West

- January 7th, 2015

DENVER _ The Senators arrived here in the wee hours of the morning. It was a long, overnight flight and by the time they landed it was 4 a.m. EST.
The Senators need to start scoring and they need a win.
This road trip has a chance to be pivotal. They showed good energy in the third period in Philadelphia. It looked like one goal would be enough but it wasn’t in the end after the Flyers scored on their power play.
Coach Dave Cameron held an optional skate today and not many guys opted to go.
Craig Anderson will get a shot at playing his former team. He lost a 4-3 OT decision here last year. The only change could see Curtis Lazar go in for Colin Greening. The Senators will reach the midway point on Saturday in Phoenix.
Two straight wins would go a long way wouldn’t it?
The Senators need to start with one here and that has never been easy for them.