Calgary received a couple of prospects and the Penguins 1st round draft pick which is almost akin to a 2nd. The Iginla trade has been brewing for years and clearly shows that Calgary as a franchise has no idea how to value player trajectories.
Blech. What a sad day to be a Flames fan. This trade almost makes Brian Burke’s Phil Kessel deal look good. At least the Leafs got a tangible asset in their deal.
Switching gears to a team that seems fiscally frugal yet has over achieved for two years now.
When point per game guy Jason Spezza went down many thought the Sens season did too. Then injuries to Jared Cowen, Milan Michalek, Latendresse, and finally Norris powerhouse Erik Karlsson was brutalized by Matt Cooke of the Penguins.
The team should be dead in the water and falling faster than the Leafs in a play off hunt; but no!
Thanks to some stupendous goal tending, amazing coaching, and a team first philosophy and shrewd roster usage the Sens are still in the thick of it and play off bound!
Ottawa sits at 18-9-6 with 42 points. They have only 86 goals for, but their three goalies, Craig Anderson, Ben Bishop and future star Robin Lehner have them giving up a Conference fewest 72 goals, and only one goal behind Chicago. Anderson himself is fighting off injuries which has held GM Bryan Murray back from trading one of his goalies for assistance.
Ottawa has dug deep and held off any band aid solutions or over paying to bring in talent. They also have held off trading aging D man Sergei Gonchar who is in the last year of his contract.
Kyle Turris ( B -) Clearly Turris can’t man up against #1 lines as he’s been forced to do, but he hasn’t embarrassed himself either. 22 points are OK, but being plus 4 in his situation is huge.
Sergei Gonchar (B+) Gonchar is having to hold the fort for Karlsson and again he’s hanging in there manning over 24 minutes per game and not breaking down at the age of 38.
Daniel Alfredsson (B-) 20 points in 32 games, but more importantly helping to keep the ship floating as the Sens are relying on a lot of rookies.
Patrick Wiercioch (A) the 2 round pick has taken a huge career step literally doubling his points per game from the AHL and helping fill the gap for the Sens. One of the key reasons they still are in the thick of it.
Jakob Silfverberg (C+) only 13 points, but the rookie is gaining a baptism by fire. This year’s experience surely will help expedite his development. His 93 shots are remarkable and as his points per shot total’s rise so will his value to the team.
Chris Neil (A) Another huge factor in the Sens season. Only 8 points, but with Carkner & Konopka gone has had to man some of the heavier loads. 96 penalty minutes and +3. Neil is huge for Ottawa.
Guillame Latendresse (C) When he’s healthy he’s been productive. Sadly he’s not been healthy. The former Hab has to get it together in the stretch run and play offs.
Craig Anderson (A+) Should be a Vezina candidate. Mighty numbers. When he’s in the net Ottawa is favored to win…somehow. .952 save percentage and 1.49 GAA says it all.
Robin Lehner (A) Rookie is putting up Anderson like numbers in his first season.
Ben Bishop (B+) Could be starting for some clubs.
Coach: Paul MacLean (A+) Would be a nominee for the Jack Adams if this team didn’t make the play offs. If the Senators don’t fade surely will take home the trophy.
GM: Bryan Murray: (B+) Has not really helped fill holes. Either is hyper confident in his team’s depth or hyper conservative. Has not made any trade deadline moves….yet. Even if healthy Ottawa needs to fill a hole on defense and need some scoring help to be a real play off threat.
Ottawa needs a healthy return, even if not at 100% of Spezza and Karlsson to be a factor in the play offs. As good as their goalies are you still have to score at least one goal. The grittiness of the team and their commitment to Coach MacLean’s system though are what you want to see in a 7 game series.
Our overall report card for the Ottawa Senators: B +
What do you think Hockey Fans? You can post your comments below.