BOSTON – Paul MacLean said it was a factor, but not much of one.
But would he really have decided to start Robin Lehner tonight at TD Garden had Lehner not beat the Bruins 1-0 here exactly one year ago? I’m thinking not. More likely, Lehner would have played either Saturday or Sunday afternoon, when the Senators have back-to-backers in Philly and Long Island.
I’d say MacLean is using Lehner now rather than saving him for one of those games because he thinks Craig Anderson might be ready to go by the weekend. Anderson is traveling with the team and was even on the ice, in full equipment, for the morning skate. He didn’t take any shots – mostly just skated around testing his sprained ankle – but that’s when all eyes were on him.
The media had to go to the dressing room for availability when the doors opened, and while Anderson was in there with his teammates briefly, he went back on the ice when we were still in the room.
On a technicality, the PR rep said Anderson would not be taking questions today, as he didn’t “practice” with the team. He’s speaking tomorrow in Philly.
Asked if there’s any way Anderson plays in one of these three games, coach MacLean said: “at this time, no.” I still wouldn’t be surprised to see Anderson between the pipes Monday, but more likely he’s returning Wednesday, when the Senators are in Toronto.
In the meantime, the guy you should feel a little bad for is Ben Bishop. What does this guy have to do to hold his spot in the crease with Anderson out.
He was only the NHL’s third star last week, then completely did a number on the Canadiens earlier this week. Yet MacLean is turning to the AHL callup tonight?
He’s got to be playing the hunch.
On another note, the Boston media swarmed Daniel Alfredsson this morning, trying to find out if there was any way the Senators captain would green light a trade to the Bruins if and when Ottawa fell out of the playoff roce and GM Bryan Murray wanted to put him with a contender at trade deadline.
Basically, this is a moot story right now, as the Senators are battling for first place. and as long as they are still alive and kicking, Alfredsson isn’t going anywhere.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be writing about it in Cheapseats later today, however.
Enjoy the game tonight folks.
If the Senators somehow managed to knock off the B’s, they will have everyone’s attention. My prediction, only for the story it would be: Senators win 2-1 with slumpers Kyle Turris and and Zack Smith scoring the goals.