As you are likely aware, Craig Anderson will return tonight. In his absence, the Senators went 5-5-2 but that was certainly not because of goaltending. Taking out the one-game played by Alex Auld, Ottawa went 5-4-2 with Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop, allowing a total of 23 goals in the 11 games. Only four times did Ottawa allow more than two goals in a game, including a 4-2 loss to Florida, 7-3 win over Tampa Bay, 4-3 shootout loss to Buffalo and a 3-1 loss to Toronto. In the six games lost with Lehner and Bishop, the Senators scored a grand total of nine goals and only once scored more than two goals.
With Anderson back, it is possible that the club feels a bit more comfortable taking offensive risks out there and starts scoring more goals. Another explanation could be that the Senators will simply turn it around offensively regardless of who is in net because they have been scoring a lot all season. The lack of scoring in recent games was definitely not due to the lack of chances created.
Still, it helps to not have a rookie playing in these crucial games, no matter how well the rookie has played. A win tonight would be a great way for Anderson to return.
More after the jump.
Here are today's links:
- Everyone except one predicts a Senators win tonight. Peter says 3-1 for Ottawa. (Senators Extra)
- Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson did not practise but are expected to play. (Dean Brown)
- Eugene Melnyk talks about various topics. The one stands out to me is when asked if Ottawa will ever be a cap team again, Melnyk said it all depends on the cap ceiling. At the pace with which the cap is rising, I wouldn't be surprised if eventually Ottawa can't afford to spend at the ceiling any more. He also finds being among New Jersey or Philadelphia fans to be similar to a war zone, joking that he would rather go to Kandahar. Oh Eugene. (Senators Extra)
- Jason Spezza is looking forward to returning after what has a rough time for him lately. (Ottawa Sun)
- Craig Anderson talks about his return. (Ottawa Senators)
- The Hockey Writers list of the top 10 Ottawa Senators prospects. It is: 1) Mika Zibanejad, 2) Robin Lehner, 3) Jakob Silfverberg, 4) Mark Stone, 5) Stéphane Da Costa, 6) Matt Puempel, 7) Stefan Noesen, 8) Shane Prince, 9) Patrick Wiercioch, 10) André Petersson. (The Hockey Writers)
- Jared Cowen is said to be the best rookie in the Northeast division, ahead of Jake Gardiner and Cody Hodgson. (Hockey's Future)
- Erik Karlsson says he is in great shape and there is nothing wrong with him physically late in the season. (Senators Extra)
- Alex Auld and Bobby Butler will be the healthy scratches. (Sylvain St-Laurent)