BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - MAY 13: Marcus Krueger (#32) of Sweden celebrate with team mate Jakob Silfverberg (back) after he scores his team's 4th goal during the IIHF World Championship semi final match between Czech Republic and Sweden at Orange Arena on May 13, 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
For those of you who read the Nuggets yesterday or have been following along, I mentioned that Brynäs of the SEL had a chance to finish off its championship series against Skellefteå yesterday. This is of course notable for the Senators because prized prospect Jakob Silfverberg is the captain of Brynäs and many Senator fans are anxious to have him come over to North America to join the big club when his season in Sweden is finished.
For the one or two of you who are not sure what the big deal is about this kid, let me give a quick summary. He is 21 years old, 6" 190lbs and a second round selection of the Senators from the 2009 draft (39th overall). He is a smart, two-way right winger who oozes potential and leadership qualities- at 21 years old he is the captain of his SEL club. He possesses a wonderful release, and scored his way to an SEL MVP award in the regular season after putting up 24 goals and 54 points in 49 games this season. He has followed that up in the playoffs by tying Daniel Alfredsson's 2004 record 12 goals (so far) while leading Brynäs to a 3-2 series lead in the finals.
Needless to say, he has had quite the season, and people are starting to notice. Senators brass made it known before the season after development camp that they were interested in Silfverberg staying in North America this season, and have made it known that should he become available, they may bring him over as a black ace.
With Paul MacLean announcing yesterday that Daniel Alfredsson had suffered a setback, all eyes were on game 5 of the SEL finals, and when the game ended 3-2 Skellefteå (despite a Silfver goal) twitter was all abuzz about Jakob and how upset everyone was that we must wait longer for him to come over.
I myself asked @SteffeG (a MUST follow for all Senators SEL news) if he thought Silfverberg would be alright to step right in and he replied "I think there would be some trouble, but I think it's worth the risk. But will be tough for him."
Clearly the Senators have a wonderful prospect in Silfverberg, and he has already got a great number of Sens fans excited. The question is, if Brynäs can win Thursday, and if the Sens can extend their series beyond 5 games, could we see Silfverberg make his debut? Would it be crazy to put a kid into that kind of situation? Is he an upgrade over other options available to Paul MacLean considering he has limited small-ice experience? One thing is for sure, it will be a cool storyline to follow, and sooner or later, Silfverberg will be in an Ottawa jersey.
Links after the jump!
- Preview from NHL.com [NHL]
- Lines from Practice: Greening-Spezza-Michalek, Condra-Smith-Neil, Foligno-Turris-Butler/Hoffman, Konopka-O'Brien-Winchester [Syl St. Laurent] (Twitter)
- D pairings at Practice: Kuba-Karlsson, Cowen-Gonchar, Phillips-Carkner [St. Laurent] (Twitter)
- As you can tell from the lines, no Alfie at the morning skate. Interesting to see Mike Hoffman out there. Power play has struggled and he was great on Bingo's power play this year. Likely we'll just see Butler in though.
- Prediction Panel, with a healthy dose of optimism [Sens Extra]
- As I mentioned in the main story, Paul MacLean informed the media yesterday that Daniel Alfredsson experienced a setback Monday, and it doesn't look good for him playing tonight. [Sens Extra-Panzeri]
- With Alfredsson being out game 3 and likely game 4, Kelly Egan asks whether we've seen Alfie's last home game? Scary thought for those of us (read: all) who worship him. This is a nice article though, and looks at Alfie's effect on the city of Ottawa. [Citizen-Egan]
- Interesting story from The Hockey Writers, comparing the Senators team from 5 years ago (the cup final team of course) with this years version. [The Hockey Writers]
- In keeping with the theme from yesterday's Nuggets, this article by Roy MacGregor (seriously, who didn't love the Screech Owls) talks about the need for the Senators to step up without Alfie and find a way to score on Henrik Lundqvist. [Globe and Mail]
- This article talks about Jim O'Briens journey from AHL regular to important role player for this years Senators. Really loved his game on Monday night. [Sens]
- Lastly if you don't follow Elliotte Friedman on Twitter, and if you don't read his 30 Thoughts blog each week, you are missing some of the best stuff on the internet. This weeks addition gives this gem: "Ottawa's doctors prevented Daniel Alfredsson from playing in Game 3, so he wrote "Do it for Family" on the greaseboard in the dressing room and went home. ("Family 2012" is the team's playoff motto.) It's easy to look from outside and say, "Alfredsson shouldn't risk it." But when you're 39 and you've never won, you don't know how long you have left and you're on a team with a chance, well, if you're honest with yourself, you know you'd want to play, too." [30 Thoughts]
- This stuff is getting depressing to write. Another night of playoff hockey, another ugly hit resulting in an injury. Last night it was Raffi Torres launching himself at Marian Hossa's unsuspecting head. Just awful, makes me sick. [Puck Daddy]
- As I suspected yesterday, a SLEW of suspensions from the Penguins-Flyers circus/game three. Neal, Asham and Adams will be watching while their team struggles to keep their season alive tonight. Nicklas Backstrom also received one game for his crosscheck on Rich Peverly. This Post article is a nice summary [National Post].
- For something a touch lighter, here is one of my favourites Down Goes Brown (so expect plenty of his links) with a look at Gary Bettman's playoff pool [DGB]
- The Sens look to tie the series heading back to NYC, and will need to solve King Henrik and the defensive insanity that is the New York Rangers. Looks like they will be without Daniel Alfredsson again. More preview goodness in the GDT tonight.
- In the other Canadian based series, the Vancouver Canucks face the brooms of the LA Kings in the City of Angels. The first two games featured the Kings taking it to the Canucks in Vancouver, and game three featured Jonathan Quick shutting down the vaunted Nucks offence. There has been talk Daniel Sedin will make his series debut, which is an awful idea, but either way, LA has a chance to sweep the President's trophy winner in the first round for the first time ever.
- Game of the Night (obviously is the Sens game, but OTHER THAN THAT): Penguins-Flyers. This series has defied all logic. Crazy 1980's goalscoring and 1970's goonery. Have to think referees will set the tone early, but that bodes poorly for the Penguins who have been awful on the PK and have given up several short handed goals while they've been on the power play. Who'd have thought there would be a chance the Penguins would be swept in round 1?