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- January 26th, 2013

Walked through the door of my home at 3 a.m. after a quick visit to Florida. The Senators performance was only so-so in the split in the Sunshine State.
There was hope the Senators could showcase backup goalie Ben Bishop by giving him the start against the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night. That didn’t work out. He didn’t look good.
He allowed five goals on 30 shots in a 6-4 loss. At some point _ or another _ Bishop is going to be the odd man out here. He is going to be dealt. The Senators feel they’ve got a good situation in net, but they don’t want to keep three goalies either.
Why is that? Plain and simple: Robin Lehner.
He has been better than expected.
More importantly he has matured quicker than expected.
The Senators knew they were getitng a good one when they selected Lehner. They may not have projected it would be this good. The guy has been outstanding. He has been the best goalie outside the NHL this season.
The Senators see the goaltending situation as Craig Anderson being the No. 1 and Lehner can be the No. 1A. If Anderson gets hurt _ and all he does is win _ then they’ve got Lehner ready to step in as the backup.
Bishop was brought here with a purpose. He was brought here to push Lehner to make him better and help him mature. The mission has been accomplished. Lehner won’t be in the AHL all season. He won’t be there much longer.

Categories: Hockey

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9 comments

  1. Paradis says:

    Overhyping prospects? How unlike the Sun…

    It’ll be interesting to hear what is said of Lehner if/when the wild expectations aren’t met and he’s moved somewhere else.

  2. KevinF says:

    Is he the best goalie outside the NHL in the same way as Runblad was the best player outside the NHL a few years back?

  3. OD99 says:

    No, it isn’t like Rundblad at all. Lehner has played in NA for a number of years and done quite well for the most part. Plus he has done very well in his playing time in the NHL as well.

    I have to partly blame the coach for the Tampa Bay loss. There is still lots of time to rest players or get other players involved so I don’t think that the team should have changed the line-up and/or taken Anderson out. These guys are pro athletes and have had 9 months or whatever it was off…the first back-to-back game shouldn’t have been cause for concern, especially when the opponent was significantly better than the team had previously faced.

    That said, the team didn’t play that well and even when they had a 3-1 and 4-2 lead it didn’t really seem like they had earned it.

    Bobby I agree, Methot has been much better and is much faster than I thought. He is a huge upgrade over Kuba and obviously much better than Carkner – he is playing inspired right now and I hope he can keep it up.

    Nice to see Karlsson getting some PK time and doing quite well – also is tied for 3rd in the league with a +6 while playing 25 minutes a night. He looks like he is trying to play a more patient game right now too as he isn’t rushing the puck nearly as much.

    Spezza and Michalek look like they aren’t quite in the swing of things just yet – even with points in each game they haven’t been factors and I think the Sens can only stay competitive without that top line going for a short stretch. I would say the first line has been, by far, the least consistent of all the lines.

    That said, moving Smith up seemed like another strange move last game – why not simply move Regin up to the win and let Daug slide in on the 4th rather than change 3 lines up? Especially when the 3rd line has been so good? I didn’t believe it when I read it and it led the lines being changed up multiple times throughout the match. Daug looked OK once he settled on the 2nd line so interesting to see if that stays the same.

    Need a better effort today for sure and a win over the Pens would be a nice boost to the team.

  4. Bobby Goodman says:

    They are right; he comes to camp leaner and saying all the right things playing for a team in the AHL that allows the fewest shots but last year he was one of the worst in the entre league! What is wrong with Anderson!

    Silverberg was going to be the next Alfredsson…don’t see it at all (and he was MVP in the SEL last yea?).

    We want to make stars of kids before they prove themselves…it is a mistake.

  5. Bobby Goodman says:

    Oh Latendresse is slow…very slow and will not be with the team nest year.

  6. Mike8888 says:

    He’d definitely be the best goalie in the entire organization if he was Toronto’s property.

  7. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Yeah, let’s be careful about Lehner.

    All I heard about Yakupp Silfverberg was “He plays like Alfredsson, we’re not saying he’s ALfredsson but he’s the same type of player, he’s truly excellent, he has vision, he can play a two-way game, he’s basically a young Alfredsson.”

    After five games…he has what, one goal? And a big hit in Tampa Bay?
    Colour me impressed…there aren’t a lot of hockey players that would need to play in the SEL for years to score one goal then be invisible most nights in the NHL. Of course we heard the SEL was a man’s league, if that’s the case the NHL must be a Superman’s league!

    Lehner is NHL ready is he? Trade Anderson for a pick and have Lehner start 70 games next season. If his SP% drops below .917 at the NHL level and if doesn’t single-handedly win at least 20 games then he’s not all that.
    Lehner isn’t even the best goalie outside the NHL, Vasilievsky gets that honour at the moment.

    Paradis, remember when Matt Carkner was THE TOUGHEST BADDEST FIGHTER!! Don never stopped saying so. Why isn’t he doing so now? Oh, he’s not an Ottawa Senator so he’s not getting vastly overrated, like Methot is right now. Average D-man that wouldn’t skate on a real contender.

    Well, at least we’re in fourth place…so not much to complain about then. Washington is an easy two points, Habs will be hard because of their fans taking over our rink.

    As for Brad Fritsch…the local media have been…shining his shoes, to be polite, for a while but I can’t bring myself to give a crap. All I remember of this guy is he was a HUGE Carolina Hurricanes fan a year or so on Team 1200 then he got a Senators t-shirt and he’s a massive Senators fan. Whatever. When he breaks some of golf’s toughest records I’ll start taking notice; probably not though because I’d rather watch an ant carry a bread crumb over an anthill than watch a second of that soporific sport.

    Go Sens!

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    It seems to me that the Ottawa Senators do things backwards. A kid scores 5 goals in the SEL and then gets a promotion to the professional ranks in North America. He scores 4 goals in the AHL (3 most recently) and gets promoted to the NHL. Is this a formula that is conduscive to building confidence ahd developing a young players skills? It is another case of a player will be successful whether they are successful or not. We already have Potvin and Brown falling all over themselves heaping praise upon Silfverberg and I don’t know why? Has he played badly, know, but as a 22 year old having playing professional for a few years he hasn’t shown me why he was MVP in the SEL last year! He is now on the second line!

    Why do Brown and Potvin feel it necessary to educate us. Brown couldn’t find his enormous butt with a flashlight and a map and he critiques? Why does Brown comment on every elbwom stickm hook, cheap shot that gets missed by the refferees? He is a XXX BAFFOON! Even their 3 star selections are totally bizarre. Greening after stinking for 4 games gets a star because he picked up Rocko’s garbage on one shift!? The other night Vinny gets a star because it was his 100th game? Oh yes, he wasn’t slighted in the least, 3/4 of an hour was dedicated to the man!

  9. Bobby Goodman says:

    In 23 AHL games, Zibanejad has 4g 7a for 11 points, yet Murray says: “We felt he was the guy who would be able to step into the NHL and add a dimension”. Nobody wants the Senators to win more than me but isn’t this really very silly? Why wouldn’t Derek Grant be a better choice to offer a “dimension”? Last year in the SEL Zibby’s poor performance was blamed on “how he was used”. C’mon…give me a break. This year it is blamed on: “whip lash that was thought to be a concussion” (how can they be confused?); having wisdom teeth pulled; and, a stomache flu (that usually last a few days at the most). He recently scored 3 goals that raised his total to….4 primarily because he was united with DaOates-like Costa! Mike Hoffman (after an extremely slow start with no excuses) has 24 points in 38 games but in two years he was rewarded with one game, 6min. in the bigs. How might he do with his wheels, moves, creativity and amazing shot on the wing with Spez and Michalek?

    Really and truly, do some of these decisions make a lot of sense? Last year Butler played a total of 60 games in the bigs with a 2 year 2.4 million dollar contract (to stink) and then get bought out! Last year Rund’sbad and DaOates-like Costa both got many games to demonstrate they didn’t belong. Again this year, the trend continues as Zibby too is rewarded for failure.

    I want Sifverberg to be the guy the Murrays have boasted about, but honestly, I do not see it at all!! He may be a an NHLer (we don’t know yet, but a star?….absolutely not). Daisey the Air Rifle was celebrated here and rewarded for his inadequacies with 2 contracts, 4 years and playing with the best and failing miserably. Where is he playing again? As much as XXX and Potvin bathed Sly with compliments that were were less than deserving his play performance has tapered (I say it has stayed the same…simply not good enough) and that is the reason he is now playing with others. Neither XXX or Potvin had the courage to even say that Karly had an awful game vs Tampa (many bad passes and give aways, but nary a ward…why?). Don’t get me wrong, Karly is a phenominal player (playing exactly the way the team wants him to play), world class, deserving of everything he gets but is it wrong to point out some obvious blunders?

    It is a big jump from the SEL to the AHL and an even bigger jump to the NHL. Watching the AHL Allstar game (it too is now a farce) I listened as some coaches/managers called the league (acurately) as a place to hone one’s skills to earn promotion to the NHL.

    Things will never change here in Ottawa. We will always have amateur hour in the booth with fools like XXX and Potvin who will continue to follow the corporate skript, dropping names, offering inside jokes (that entertain noone but themselves) and spewing drivel. And….. the chosen few (and we never really know what the criteria is) get every opportunity to succeed.

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