Silver Nuggets: Which is More Likely Series: Spezza vs Anderson

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 08: Craig Anderson #41 and Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators celebrate their victory as Mattias Tedenby #21 of the New Jersey Devils looks on at the Prudential Center on March 8, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. The Senators defeated the Devils 2-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Welcome to day 5 of the WIML series in your Silver Nuggets. I am really enjoying these so far, and am trying hard to come up with questions that are as close as possible. Yesterday, I wasn't quite successful as ~75% of you said it was more likely that Jared Cowen would play 21+ minutes a night for the Senators than it was that Zack Smith would get into 12 fights. The people have spoken, and none better than user Beanster (which is a great screen name):

I voted Cowen

Cowen has shown he can play the 21 minutes a night. He also spent a considerable amount of time last year on the bottom pairing. I feel this year he will get a longer audition for the top pairing with EK65. Assuming Cowen improves his play I also think that Methot is a step down from Kuba making it more likely that Cowen’s role will be increased on the PK. Methot is also a weaker PP guy Cowen could slot into that role as well.

As for Z Smith he has shown he can scrap but I don’t think he will be trying to do so as much. I don’t really think 12 fights is out of reach but it is less likely.

Today we look at two of the Senators most important contributors; Craig Anderson and Jason Spezza. For the Sens to make any noise this year Andy will have to play like he did in the playoffs last year, and Jason will need to replicate his excellent regular season from a year ago. Today's question is this:

Which is more likely? That Jason Spezza scores at least 35 goals or that Craig Anderson makes at least 65 starts?

Spezza: Buoyed by a healthy season (finally) Spezza was back at his high scoring, point producing ways last season. With 34 goals and 50 assists in 80 games, he played so well that he even got some Hart Trophy consideration (albeit not very much). 34 goals tied a career high (that he has hit 2 other times). Is this the year he hits 35?

Anderson: Even with his infamous chicken incident that caused him to miss a couple of weeks, Anderson still made 60 starts this past season. If healthy it would not be unreasonable at all for him to add 5 more starts to that, but he also figures to have a much more capable backup this season (whether it is Robin Lehner or Ben Bishop) which may allow the coach to rest Anderson without throwing the game away (thanks Alex Auld).

There you have it, which do you think is MORE likely?

Links after the jump!

Sens News:

  • Really the only news in Sens land yesterday was the resigning of Jim O'Brien and Eric Gryba. Here is Peter with some thoughts on the signings. [SSS]
  • And here is Nichols with a similar story, if you would like another point of view. SteffeG made a great point on Twitter that with the qualifying offer, J'OB could have made more money, but he went for the 1-way contract instead. Poor Jesse Winchester. [6thSens]
  • One of the prospects I am most excited for, Stefan Noesen, is excited to try to take the next step in his development. I would be shocked if he makes the team out of camp, but by all accounts he was one of the best players at the development camp this season, and I think he has a bright future. I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing him in a pre-season game. [Sens]
  • Nichols with a sweet article about trying to find a second line centre. [6thSens]
League News
  • Biggest news around the league was that late last night, GM Paul Holmgren of the Flyers did what is not often done; he made an offer sheet to an RFA. But not just any RFA, he offered (allegedly) 14 years $100+ million to Shea Weber. Preds have 7 days to match. [PuckDaddy]
  • Labour chats carried on yesterday and were described as cordial, which is good. NHLPA is trying to fully understand the NHL's original proposal before countering. [CBC]
  • Dan Rosen at NHL.com talks about the curious case of Alexander Semin. He wonders where Semin might end up. At this point, is nowhere an option? [NHL]
  • Saving the best for last always, Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy does some of the best interviews anywhere in hockey with Russian players. He has a great relationship with them and can interview them in their native language allowing these (usually) more reserved players to open up. This week he has a great one with Ilya Bryzgalov. [PuckDaddy]
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