Silver Nuggets: Which is More Likely Series: Cowen vs Smith

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Jared Cowen #2 of the Ottawa Senators checks Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 21, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Hope you are enjoying this series so far, I know I'm loving the contribution in the comments, you guys and girls have made some excellent points. Yesterday I asked which Senator would be scratched more in the coming season, Erik Condra or Mike Lundin. With a vote of about 60/40, you folks have spoken and picked Lundin to be the odd man out more often.

User The Tif put it best:

I voted Lundin.

Condra fits a niche and is a known commodity. His reputation will help him get a roster spot and if Rooster leaves, gives even more opportunity for him to stay. It’s really his spot to lose, and if he can manage to score a few goals, he’s set.

Lundin on the other hand is a new guy who needs to prove himself. A weak TC by him with a strong one by one of the others (Ceci, BoroCop) could put him in the press box.

Today, I go back to the style of the first day and ask two different questions. Today's poll is this:

Which is more likely? That Jared Cowen averages more than 21 minutes per game or that Zack Smith finds himself in at least 12 fights?

Cowen: Last season Jared Cowen averaged nearly 19 minutes per game as a rookie, and played in all 82 games, showing good growth. He showed (for a stretch) that he can play big minutes and play with Erik Karlsson and be effective. If the Marc Methot experiment does not work out, Cowen could find himself playing big minutes again, and if Sergei Gonchar slows down noticeably this season, Cowen could find himself the 3rd d-man, and still play more minutes.

Smith: Much has been made about the perceived loss of team toughness (especially by fine journalists at the Sun) with the loss of Zenon Konopka and Matt Carkner. One of the players expected to step up and fill the void is Zack Smith, who started the season doing everything well and really fell off towards the end of the season. He has 16 career NHL fights and had 8 last season. With only him and Chris Neil around to drop the gloves, will he increase that total by 4? Does he give a crap?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts. Links after the jump.

Sens News

  • I don't know about you guys but I absolutely LOVE reading these two gentlemen. The WTYKY guys do a send-off to Nick Foligno in their typical witty fashion. [WTYKY]
  • The official Senators site does a little rundown/bio/update on undrafted free agent prospect Cole Schneider. Cole needs to work on his skating and his two-way game, but looks to be a promising project, and should help Binghamton this season. [Sens]
  • A sort of nuggets-like post from eyeonthesens, a blog I had never stumbled upon until today. This post has got some great Tim Murray and Rick Wamsley quotes in it that are well worth your time. [eyeonthesens]
  • Travis Yost takes a look at penalty differentials and even strength hockey. He makes a solid point that without ZK, Carks and Foligno, the Senators will most certainly be a more disciplined team next season. [Yost]
  • Kyle Turris is one of NHL.com's 7 players primed for a breakout season. [NHL]
League News
  • Couple of labour articles here today. Here is Copper and Blue with a FANTASTIC article breaking down the various things the league has asked for. They make a great point about new draftees and ELC players not being represented, so seeing a 5 year ELC is very possible. [C&B]
  • And here is the always excellent Elliotte Friedman saying that it is hard to take the NHL's initial offer seriously. With sport being as healthy as it ever has been, there is incentive to find common ground. [CBC]
  • Scott Howson is off his rocker. One of the teams supposedly on Rick Nash's "list", the Detroit Red Wings, made a very strong offer and heard nothing back. At the very least negotiate and use the Wings offer as leverage! [PuckDaddy]
  • Scott Stevens will be working with the Devils d-core next season as an assistant coach. I think him and Anton will get along famously. [NHL]
  • Best blog out there, Elliotte Friedman with his final 30 thoughts of the season (but you get 44 thoughts!!) [CBC]
  • And lastly, the most important link of the day, the hilarious Harrison Mooney puts together his top-10 hockey hugs of the NHL season. For all the supposed "chemistry" the Sens had this past season, none of theirs made the list. [PuckDaddy]
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