The Senators reached down to Binghamton today.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau was brought up along with defenceman Cody Ceci.
Both will play against the Buffalo Sabres. This will be Ceci’s NHL debut because Marc Methot is sick and Jared Cowen is suspended. Good for him. By all accounts, Ceci has played well in Binghamton and deserves the chance.
“Ceci has played very well over the course of time here,” said Ottawa GM Bryan Murray. “We just felt with Marc being sick here that it was an opportunity for Cody to get a game here and for us to have a look at him at the NHL.
“This will give him a little exposure and that’s good thing.”
Mike Hoffman was sent back to Binghamton Wednesday. You have to think this is it for him. He’s probably finished in the organization and won’t be called up unless there are major injuries.
Pageau was brought up because the club needs depth at centre and Murray wants coach Paul MacLean to start giving Mika Zibanejad more of a chance by playing him on the wing.
“I feel looking at Zibanejad, I personally, would like him to be on the wing on one of our top two lines,” said Murray. “He’s earned that right at this moment. When he plays there with (Jason) Spezza or (Kyle) Turris, it seems he can produce.”
Oddly enough Zibanejad is on the wing of Spezza’s line tonight against the Sabres. MacLean has been using him in a support role. Clearly management wants to see more than that.
The Senators reached down to Binghamton today.
So, it returns.
The Senators vs. the Maple Leafs. Saturday night at Canadian Tire Centre. This is pretty much neutral territory because I always consider the rink to be a 50/50 split _ which is pretty pathetic but also reality.
The Senators need wins. They need them bad. The club is sitting seven points out of a playoff spot. They keep saying they should be better. They keep saying they aren’t performing up to expectations. They keep saying they aren’t working hard enough. Okay, there has to be a bigger problems.
Maybe the problem is they just aren’t good enough. Maybe they overestimated the development of some of their players. Maybe those players who looked great coming up from Binghamton last year look awfully human when Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner aren’t making saves.
Coach Paul MacLean has to change his tune a little here. Saying after every game “we don’t work hard enough” is getting tired and old. I guess I _ like many others _ are wondering why this is happening. It’s up to the coach to find answers. Has the loss of captain Daniel Alfredsson meant this much? Maybe it has.
The Senators chances of making the playoffs are rated at 14.8% by www.sportsclubstats.com. This is a site that many NHL owners read _ including Eugene Melnyk _ to see where their club stands. A win tonight against the Maple Leafs might rate the chances a bit.
The Senators don’t have a great ability in beating the Leafs in games that mean something. The club needs a victory here badly. A loss here and they fall nine points out of a playoff spot with a lot of teams to climb over.
Time to find answers and start winning games. The moral victories and “we’re making steps in the right direction” really don’t matter anymore.
The Senators will welcome back Daniel Alfredsson Sunday night.
They aren’t the same without him. They are a shadow of what they were last season. I can guarantee you nobody wants Alfredsson and the Red Wings to walk out of here with two points. The club’s struggles have been well documented. This has a lot to do with his departure but it’s not everything.
Here’s what I see as the problems:
No. 1: They make the same mistakes over and over and over and over and over. Coach Paul MacLean said the answer is practice, practice, practice and practice. Okay, well if practice is supposed to make perfect, these guys need to do a better job at practice. It isn’t happening.
No. 2: Might be time to allow Robin Lehner to carry the ball and run with it because Craig Anderson is struggling big time. They can say what they want about the way they play in front of him but he needs to make saves. Anderson can’t do that at the moment. He’s getting beaten from everywhere. Those goals vs. the Canucks weren’t good.
No. 3: It is time to make a trade, a callup or do something. That defence has been horrid. Jared Cowen, Eric Gryba, Patrick Wiercioch have all struggled. Erik Karlsson makes mistakes. That’s part of his game. I get it. A lot of people don’t. He’s better off in the lineup than out.
No. 4: Get somebody to play with Jason Spezza. I know he’s supposed to make the players around him better but Milan Michalek is clearly struggling and Cory Conacher. Well if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.
No. 5: String two wins together, It’s not that tough.
It would appear the Senators Heritage jersey, which will be released tomorrow, has landed on some shelves early.
Essentially it’s a white version of the club’s third jersey.
Senators captain Jason Spezza and Vancouver captain Daniel Sedin will attend a press conference Thursday morning at the rink to unveil the look. Here is a copy that is show on Icethetics website.
The Senators will wear the jersey in the Heritage Classic set for March 2nd at the B.C. Place in Vancouver.
Here is the link:
RALEIGH _ The Senators arrived here in the wee hours of the morning.
Next up is the Carolina Hurricanes at 5 p.m.
Big challenge. The Senators haven’t won a lot here.
Of course, the biggest question: Who will start in net?
It has to be Robin Lehner. It is time to ride the hot hand. This team needs wins. In four of his last five games, Lehner has given the team a chance to win. It makes sense to stay with him.
The Senators have gone a long way in declaring Craig Anderson the No. 1 goalie. We get that. We know it. He can keep the title. But the Senators need to get back into the playoff race. They need to make sure they are within sniffing distance.
They can’t afford to keep up this inconsistency. Lehner made the saves in Detroit. The Senators were outchanced 9-2 in the first period. Coach Paul MacLean was talking about ‘alternating’ the goalies in back-to-backs then said something different after the game. To be fair to MacLean, he professes everything with ‘at this point in time.’
Today’s decision will be interesting. I think it will be _ and should be _ Lehner.
What do you think. Mike888 get the conversation started.