Big Ben’s Big Decision

- March 23rd, 2013

Should Ben Bishop stay or should he go?
The Senators have a decision to make with Big Ben.
Craig Anderson is still sidelined with the high ankle sprain he suffered on Feb. 21 vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has been out more than a month with an injury that was day-to-day.
The talk is he could return soon. He hasn’t been able to go down in his butterfly which has been the issue. Anderson has been able to walk fine. He hasn’t had the ability to move much else, but he is inching closer to a return.
The trade deadline is set for April 3rd.
Teams have called about Bishop. The Senators aren’t going to give him away for a fifth round pick. They want a player in return, ideally they’d like to get a top six forward. All this guy needs is a chance to be a starter. He won’t get it here.
The decision is tough for Murray. If Anderson isn’t healthy, the Senators can’t risk doing anything. They’ll have to sit still. If he is, then it gets interesting. Do the Senators keep three goalies here or send Robin Lehner to Binghamton.
If the Senators can’t get the piece they want _ a meaningful draft pick or a player _ then they won’t move Bishop. They can always do it in the off-season and they might even get more.

Categories: Hockey

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21 comments

  1. Daniel Murphy says:

    I think Murray shoulld trade the goalie that gets you the most in return. We have three pretty well interchangeable goalies. Who is the best is difficult to really say. I think you can’t do wrong keeping any combination of two goalies. Anderson seems a bit flakey injury wise so I have to wonder about his durability. Bishop and Lehner would make a great 1-2 tandem.

  2. Bobby Goodman says:

    Agreed.

  3. Bobby Goodman says:

    Dan, it looks like the decision as to which one to move is made more difficult with each game Bishop and Lehner play while Anderson sits. I totally agree with you though, the Sens are in a great position to offer one of the three for players or draft choices to help with the “rebuild”! The team doesn’t need three!

    I do not understand why Lundin plays, nor do I understand how any defenceman can play a full hockey game and not register a single hit (especially if they do not bring anything else to the game). Why did the Organization acquire Lundin and why does he play while Benoit sits (was it a favor like Daisey the Air Rifle – where is he polaying this year?). Can someon/anyone explain it to me? But, he wasn’t alone last night; The “Big Rig” played over 20 minutes and didn’t hit a single soul! Gonchar played over 25 minutes without registering a solitary hit! They also gave the puck away 6 times: Gonchar 3, Philips 2 and Lundin 1.

    A win is a win…again…but it wasn’t pretty. The “Pesky” team wasn’t the Sens it was the teethless Devils. After surviving the first 5 minutes, the rest of the game belonged exclusively to New Jersey! You would never know it by the commentary, but Ottawa was outshot by 20 legitimate shots and by games the count was 34 to 14 (5, 4 and 3 during the regulation). The defencemen were responsible for 8 of the 14 give aways, the Devils had but 6. Speed and heart will do that. The swift and “Pesky” Devils beat the Sens to every puck, won every battle and registered 11 TKa to the Sens 4! They accomplished that by beating the opposition to the corners and taking the hit to get the puck!! A hit is great, but sacrificing the body to get the puck is better. To follow someone into a corner and put them against the boards (but not be hit) is an easy way to play the game. Moreover, the Devils were phenominal at protecting the puck to sustain pressure and keep the overwhelming territorial edge. The deserved a better fate but Bishop was spectacular…in regulation, OT and in the shoot out!

    Looks like the Pens have shored up their defencive woes; if they weren’t the favourites to win it all before, they have to be now!

  4. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Great point Daniel!
    Personally, I would trade…Anderson! Why? If people called Kovalev “enigmatic” then Anderson should be at the very least be called “puzzling”. Trouble in Colorado (reportedly over his contract), a mysterious kitchen injury here, then an ankle sprain that takes close to two months to recover, spurts of very elite play mixed in with some decent play.

    Why not just give Lehner the ball with Bishop in back? Lehner has won at the AHL level while Anderson has won…never. Don’t think he’s even advanced a single playoff round at any point in his hockey career. We have two goalies that are capable, willing and primed for the bigs and we have one slowly recoverying, that might not be up to snuff. Decision seems simple to me.

    As for our favourite defencement, imagine my great surprise when he said (in so many words) he could play in the playoffs! PaV was all over me for that but Don got the goods out of him today and he said he could play in the playoffs, that things change very quickly! Mark my words fellas. It looks like we get the Bruins round one. If the team gets down 2-1 or 3-1 or 3-2 then Karlsson comes back. Column header? “Norris Miracle!” Column intro: “Daniel Alfredsson isn’t the only one with amazing recuprative properties. Erik Karlsson, thought to be gone until next season, was skating with vigour in warm-ups and will dress for the Senators in game 5 of the Eastern quarter-finals against Boston. (etc.)”

    It’s all about the drama in sports, this will add some drama, drive the plebes insane and give the team a boost at the same time! It’s about as shocking as that time Alfredsson wasn’t supposed to play but still dressed.

    Speaking of the team in general, I remain puzzled at Coach MacLean’s constant fielding of Robin Lehner vs. the Bruins. Has he won a single game since that 1-0 shutout a year ago? And if he isn’t winning, why is he still playing against them? Strange stuff that cost us at least four points in the standings. MacLean should know better with his experience.

    Trade deadling coming up. Unless Murray sees this as a Stanley Cup finalist, he should not add any veterans or…anything. And yes, he should consider trading Gonchar instead of letting ANOTHER free agent walk without a return. It might send a bad message to the room, but the team was never seen as a Cup finalist this year and quite frankly, their job is to play and not make managerial decisions!

  5. Pav says:

    Dan…. Anderson seems a bit flakey injury wise?

  6. OD99 says:

    I have to say I don’t think the shot count was that indicative of the overall game as the Sens did buzz around quite a bit and had a very good number of solid scoring chances (oh Silf…if that hadn’t slipped off your stick I think we were going to see another roof daddy ).

    Bishop played well and what can you say…another W…looking very good for the boys to be in the mix come play-off time but damn the Penguins are going to be very, very hard to beat.

    Lundin is just awful. So terrible it is almost painful to watch. Two “puck moving” D in a row that Murray has acquired that are comically bad..thank God we don’t need him and he was meant to be a bit player.

    Bobby, please tell me you saw Silf dangle through the neutral zone a few times last night – make a great pass to set up Turris for his break-away and generally be very, very good?

    Speaking of good – God looked like a man possessed a few times last night…that one shift that he ragged the puck and beat a couple of guys twice before feeding it off was crazy…he and Gonch both must have some fountain of youth hidden somewhere.

    Watched some of the Bruins game last night and they are a team that isn’t on the same page right now…and the Leafs are playing very hard. It is amazing to me what Kadri is doing right now too. I liked him since junior but nobody could have thought he would be ripping it up like this right now.

    Great stat during the TSN telecast about how Taylor and Tyler and Kadri were fighting for the OHL scoring title a few years ago and right now Kadri is smoking them in the NHL.

    I am now more excited than ever to see Silf and Spezza together…it was only a few shifts but for the first time I did see some Alfie in him…he is going to be very, very good.

    Keep it up boys, hopefully Spezza and Michalek can be back and as they say – they would be the best trade line acquisitions we could have.

  7. Mike8888 says:

    I believe Zebanajed is improving game by game and is playing more physical. I’m starting to like that pick after all.

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    I did indeed Dave, he made some good move out there. No corners though and is now 259th among forwards in TKa (but Dave, that is just me). Zibby is 222nd among forwards. The Dvils put on a clinic on how a take away is done! Going hard into the corners, hitting or taking a hit to get the puck and the most important part…..coming away with it! Lundin contributes nothing and again I would ask what did Murray expect from his play? But, asking for expections is something we should not expect.

    Dave, I disasgree with you and the game was totally lopsided. Alfie is very casual on ocasion and his -1 and another give away (now 27) is testimony. Methot is a horse! Zibanejad had a nice shoot out goal (but that would be it).

    I didn’t know that Karly was skating; he must be well ahead of schedule and if I were in charge, I wouldn’t have him play another game this year. Why invite a disaster?

    If you were Obrien, you have to be asking yourself who you offended by scoring 5 goals in a very limited role!

    Kadri is indeed a dandy and watching him hitting Chara while Kessel turned invisible makes me ill. Kessel is -21 in 21 games against Boston and supports the the notion hr is the easiest to intimidate in the entire league. Damn Carlyle has done wonders with Kadri huh?! Can you teach intesticle fortitude?

  9. Bobby Goodman says:

    Dave, Ottawa allows more shots per game than any other NHL team! The team is winning though and learning how to win in difficult times is critical. Believing your team can win is even better. The team has accomplished both!

    It is interesting how the media can suddenly make someone a media star and then just as quicly dismiss them like yesterdays news paper. The Dog never was an NHLer but he spent his share of time here and his circus move in the shootout was only over shadowed by the Coaches silly decision to slect him and allow him to do it! He is another who came from the Owner’s old Junior club. Are we to assume Obrien will now return; if that is the case, why did Dog play while Obrien sat? Will Benoit continue to eat popcorn?

    It is interesting that we will get to see Hoffman soon (if we believe what has been allowed to be leaked to the media). Last year, when he was playing extremely well (leading Bingo in scoring, killing penaties, occupying the point on the PP) and the big club really needed him, he got his ONE game trial. He will be coming here after suffering a broken collar bone. We fans will see his big league shot, puck handling skills and speed if he is allowed to play with some who are skilled. Confidence is everything and one game will not do it. Others and we know who they all are/were are given many games not matter what. What a luxury is must be to play your game knowing you have all the lattitude in the world with no expectations and no consequences what so ever.

    I watched Montreal play against the Pens last night and hot damn they are fast! I only know a few lines of French (mostly the bad stuff) but I assume Colby Armstrong is sitting – he is useless and slow. Halpern and his wingmates were very fast and hard on the puck all night. Desharnais is very fast and was a “pesky” hound giving the opposition little time to move the puck. The forwards are relentless! From what I saw, they outplayed the Pens and deserved a better fate. They will be a force in the post season no matter who they play and I will go as far to suggest they may emerge from the East!

    OH, I have to add this: Randy Newman voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Buddy and Elvis must be rolling in their graves!

  10. Daniel Murphy says:

    Pav, please see Visitor Pierre D’s comments above. I simply think Anderson is incredibly slow at healing. A day to day ankle sprain has now gone on for over one month. You figure that one out. Either he is very slow at healing or the Senator management lied to us big time by telling us it was day to day. If that is not the case then the Sens team of medical experts are all quacks. If it was a severe sprain, then why the need to lie to us and tell us it was day to day. Bottom line, I would trade Anderson and keep Lehner and Bishop. This is the 2nd or 3rd year where Anderson could not compete for large chunks of the season.

  11. OD99 says:

    Nice! Get to see the Hoff again…hope he gets some good ice time and a chance to show his stuff.

    I was puzzled why DD was here so long anyway but I guess he was injured so couldn’t be sent down.

    Daug on waivers and so is Brian Lee…I guess both with probably be picked up by someone?

  12. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Bobby, Lundin was acquired so Murray had some backup and to make him seem active.
    Team 1200 just announced that Jared Cowen will play in the playoffs! In addition to Don’s report of Erik saying he will also play, the team will be at full strength! I certainly hope there will be no excuses this year if they fail to advance past round 1…because any more playoff mediocrity and the magnifying glass needs to be squarely on the one that assembled this team, and that’s Murray and his adoring mentor Eugene Melnyk!

    The Rangers seem to have woken and should be a threat. The Leafs are “pesky” as well, Lupul is a constant threat, so is Kadri, Gardiner makes mistakes but moves the puck well and Reimer is a wall against us (1.85 GAA vs. the Seantos or something crazy like that). Need I remind this organization that losing to the Maple Leafs is a shameful disgrace? The players don’t seem to understand that as we lost 5-4 to them last time and got shutout once! We returned the favour in a few matches but we NEED to win in regulation vs. these guys as they have the fourth highest ROW in the east!

    Which brings me to my next point. We have 8 games decided in a shootout, that places us close to 7th or 8th in ROW! Why doesn’t MacLean urge this team to win in 60 minutes instead of playing not to lose? Does he not realizae that every point given to an opponent is one that helps in their playoff quest? Another question for MacLean. Why did he refer to Gonchar’s injury as a “bobo”? Are we in grade school Paul? As we know from Hasek’s groin pull, something slight can be something major! MacLean’s cavalier attitude to his player’s health would ring alarm bells in most markets but not here in sleepy Ottawa!

    Bobby, Letang is out and Fleury is out. Penguins will struggle!
    As for our Senators, it’s our year! I know because Yorks, Yorkie, Yorker says so!
    Daugavins waived, one of the few Murray decisions I agree with! Daug’s playoff stunt was great but in the long run it brought shame to our organization!

    As for Silf and Spezza…not in a hurry, Silf produced very little when with Spezza earlier. I’m more excicted to see if SEL SUperman can win a Conn Smythe this year! Now THAT would be something! If he fails to produce in the playoffs (goes for Zib too) he should be run out of town on a rail!

  13. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    PaV

    Indeed he is! In Colorado he became a headcase refusing to play, citing “personal issues” and they had to trade him. He did the “personal issues” thing here too. Then he cut a frozen chicken and sliced his hand, weird! Why is he doing that anyway? Just leave it to thaw. Then he got run over, not his fault.

    Anderson is an oddball, a moody underachiever i nthe post-season. Get him out and get us a pick or prospect and have everyone on the same page!

  14. Daniel Murphy says:

    Daugie going on waivers makes me think this could be the fallout from his assinine shoot out attempt which made a mockery of the exercise and perhaps cost the Sens a point.

  15. Bobby Goodman says:

    Melnyk is a league-wide embarrassment and a colossal fool. Classy organizations all start at the top!

  16. Mike8888 says:

    Hey Bobby,
    In the past you have consistently raved about the virtues of the plus-minus stat. Silferberg and Zibanajed currently lead the Sen’s with a plus 7. Any comment, or do you only use that stat when it supports your opinion on a player?

    Daniel,
    The Dog seemed like a nice kid and was popular with his team mates, but he has no hands and wasn’t all that physical. The Sen’s have enough of those already.

  17. Daniel Murphy says:

    Pav, here is a list of Anderson’s fragility over the last 3 years. He is not a physical specimen and one would have to wonder about his durability.

    2013/03/05 Sprained right ankle, injured reserve.
    2013/02/23 Sprained right ankle, day-to-day.
    2012/03/23 Missed 12 games (finger injury).
    2012/02/25 Finger injury, injured reserve.
    2011/03/21 Signed by the Ottawa Senators to a four-year contract extension.
    2011/02/18 Acquired from the Colorado Avalanche.
    2011/02/14 Missed 2 games (personal reasons).
    2011/02/11 Personal reasons, injured reserve.
    2010/12/03 Missed 3 games (groin).
    2010/11/28 Groin, injured reserve.
    2010/11/25 Groin, day-to-day.
    2010/11/19 Missed 9 games (knee injury).
    2010/10/26 Knee injury, injured reserve.
    2009/12/11 Missed 4 games (neck injury).
    2009/12/03 Head injury, day-to-day.

  18. Bobby Goodman says:

    Hi Mikey; indeed their +/- is outstanding but the message I must fail to deliver is I don’t like the game they play! You and many others do, I do not! Zibanejad should have a great +/- he is half way back before the other team gains possession of the puck. He is the first guy off the ice every shift and plays 12 mionutes a game yet he is celebrated!? If you watched the Habs game last night, you would have witnessed the kind of hockey players that thrill me. You may have heard this before Mikey, I like players that will go hard into the corners and hit/get hit to gain possession of the puck. I like kids who get the puck, hold on to it and make something happen rather than quickly throw it away. I like kids who go HARD to the net on a rush or stand in there and take the abuse to get a rebound, screen the goalie or deflect a shot. I like kids that show off their speed and do not slow down when they see a the opposition! It is one thing to boast that you have speed, it yet another to actually show it off in a real game! It is even better yet to show it off with the puck on your stick! I like kids who will take the abuse and not play the easy perimeter game. I like kids who want the puck! You and many like you don’t care about that stuff, but I do and I believe a team wins with players like that! Galagher has more intesticle fortitude than both Silfverberg and Zibanejad combined!

    Dan, Mikey is right; perhaps the Dog’s 1g and -7 in 19 games had something to do with him being put on waivers! Very simply, he is not an NHL player and never will be. Now that he is out of Ottawa, he will join the ranks of others like Daisey the Air Rifle to never play in the League again!

    Pierre, I don’t think a loss to the Leaf’s would be shameful nor would it be a disgrace. The only way a lost to them could be described that way is if the team:

    - concedes ever corner,
    - lose ever one on one battle like they did against the Bolts,
    - spend most of the game in their own end allowing a gazillion shots,
    - relies on dumping and chasing (but only following the opposition into the corner),
    - choose not to punish the opposition in front of Lehner/Bishop or in the corners.

    Only then would a loss be shameful and a disgrace. I would never be upset with a great effort…ever!

    Also Pierre, I don’t think that the Pens will struggle at all. The hard nosed, high scoring, fast skating, hard shooting, nifty Letang will be missed but the team will just rely on what they have and they…deep! Malkin is coming back any day now and…they will have Iggy. They have lots of tools to fill the gaps.

    The diminutive Galagher is now getting some recognition as, perhaps, a Rookie of the Year nomination and why wouldn’t he! It is amazing what Canadian heart, passion, desire and courage can accomplish eh?!

  19. OD99 says:

    Teams are made up of all types of players.

    I don’t believe the players are nearly as soft as you describe Bobby and while I enjoy the rough and tumble I also like guys who have laser’s for shots and a nose for the net. The Senators haven’t had many of those the last couple of seasons so I am not going to slam a guy (Silf) who seems to be a natural goal scorer for us.

    Anyway, it is obvious that some on here like the skill the rookies bring and others aren’t impressed with them at all…makes the world go around but at least the Sens are winning and that is really the only important thing.

  20. ChokerHater says:

    Daniel Murphy, looks like Anderson is made of glass just like LeClair was
    and after the thumping this team took on Saturday night, maybe it is time to make some wholesale changes.
    Trade one or two goalies, and get rid of Alfredson, he’s playing like an old man, afraid of the tough areas.
    The upcoming road trip will define this team, and I’m pretty sure you saw what you get on Saturday, big game…CHOKE
    Fun to watch them get smoked by an average team though, and to hear the Go Leafs Go chants, in their barn

  21. OD99 says:

    Wow, I pity you more and more each day Chokerlover…must be so sad.

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