Silver Nuggets: Anderson confident; Fights rare in close games

October is here and later this week, the Ottawa Senators will play a competitive game. Are you ready for some hockey? Before I get to the links, earlier this morning I expressed dismay at Corey Cowick being paired with Francis Lessard in Binghamton practice. Moments later, Joy Lindsay informed me that Lessard had just scored on Robin Lehner. I am very disappointed in you Robin.

Here are today's links:

General Sens News

  • If Craig Anderson plays like he is capable of, and I don't mean necessarily with a .939 save percentage, the Senators will be definitely better than 15th in East. Anderson jokes that as long as they beat 15th, the media will be happy. How will Anderson perform? You will get our opinions in a post later today. (Ottawa Sun)
  • Today is definitely going to be Craig Anderson Day at Silver Seven. Here is another article on the Senators goaltender. In the 2010 playoffs, Anderson stole a 1-0 overtime win for the Avalanche against the Sharks where Colorado was outshot 51-16. The winning goal? An own goal by Dan Boyle. Anderson might have to steal a lot of those this year. (Ottawa Citizen)
  • Chris Phillips is back from injury while Matt Carkner is not. The pairings this morning were: Phillips / Lee; Gonchar / Cowen; Karlsson / Kuba and Rundblad is the seventh man. I like the looks of these pairings and anyone of them is capable of playing twenty minutes on a given night. If he isn't playing, I would cut Rundblad now rather than having him sitting around as a healthy scratch. (Ian Mendes)
  • UPDATE: Matt Carkner had knee surgery this morning and is out indefinitely as he is not Daniel Alfredsson. (Dan Seguin)
  • Milan Michalek has moved onto the top line with Jason Spezza and Nikita Filatov. Bobby Butler is on the fourth line now with Konopka and Condra. The full lines: 1) Michalek - Spezza - Filatov; 2) Greening - Zibanejad - Alfredsson; 3) Foligno - Smith - Neil; 4) Condra - Konopka - Butler. Stéphane Da Costa was the thirteenth forward. (Ian Mendes)
  • Jason Spezza is saying all the right things after officially being named the alternate captain, mentioning that he has to think about the whole team, not just himself. The current captain, Daniel Alfredsson also thinks Spezza's leadership will make his job a lot easier. You got to think Giggles is hands down the next captain, possibly as early as next year. (Ottawa Sun)
  • Pro Hockey Talk at NBC sees the best case for the Senators as Anderson carrying the Senators into the playoffs and stretching a division winner to six or seven games in round one. From a long term point of view, the Senators could play good enough to be respectable but bad enough to earn a high pick. Realistically, they see the Senators as perhaps briefly contending for a playoff spot early on before fading later in the season. (Pro Hockey Talk)
  • Twelve questions to consider for the Senators upcoming season, looking at goalscoring, Craig Anderson's workload, the veteran defencemen, the younger players, what constitutes a successful season and more. (Ottawa Citizen)
  • The most hilarious Senators blog on the internet, formerly known as The Cory Clouston Fashion Review has now been renamed to Welcome To Your Karlsson Years. As expected, I highly approve of this name. After Eugene Melnyk, I can't think of someone more guaranteed of a spot in the Senators future than Erik Karlsson, so they shouldn't have to change the name any time soon. (Welcome To Your Karlsson Years)

More after the jump.

General Hockey News

  • It is commonly accepted that fights are very rare in the playoffs, but what about the regular season? It turns out, even in the regular season the fights generally occur when the outcome is no longer in doubt. The frequency of fights decreases the closer the game is, as well as decreasing as the game nears its end. In a tie game in the third period, a fight occurs just under every 1,400 minutes. It really is just a side show and not an important part of even NHL hockey as far as determining a winner is concerned. (mc79hockey.com)
  • Staying with the theme, Ryan Dixon thinks that the fact that a lot of people like fighting isn't a good enough reason to keep it in the game. Is fighting a bigger deterrent to cheap-shots or the lengthy suspensions being handed out by Brendan Shanahan? (Sportsnet)
  • Ryan Lambert makes his twenty bold predictions for the season where he predicts Evgeni Malkin to win the Art Ross and Hart, Rick Nash and Steven Stamkos battling it out for the Rocket Richard, the Capitals running away with the East (in regular season) and Sidney Crosby finishing top five in scoring. He also says the Senators goaltending and defence will be so bad, it won't matter what the goalscoring is like. (Yahoo!)
  • How important are the first two months of the season? In the eastern conference, seven of the eight clubs in a playoff spot on 1 December finished in the top eight at the end of the season. (Yahoo!)
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