Alex Auld Gets the Call
For the first time this season, Craig Anderson will not get the nod in a game that follows one in which a Senators netminder had been pulled. In four instances that Anderson has been given the nod under these circumstances, he has posted a 4-0-0 record with a GAA of 2.20 and a SV% of .932.
In other words, is a season that’s been marred by inconsistent play, Anderson isn’t being used in a situation in which he actually has been consistent. Of course, the other side to the story is that the Senators do play three games in the next four days and with tomorrow’s night game being nationally televised, the decision to go with Auld tonight has merit. In fact, according to Paul MacLean's media availability today, the schedule and goaltender's workload of late weighed heavily on the decision.
Nevertheless, the fans and the media in this city love a goaltending controversy. To the media’s credit, relative to other goalies that have played, they have been pretty patient with Anderson’s game thus far. Naturally, with it being generally accepted that the organization is in a rebuild and with prized prospect Robin Lehner expected to get one full season of seasoning down in the AHL, there’s not a lot of inherent external pressure put on Anderson right now from the fans and media in this city. Moving forward, assuming that the Senators can continue to flirt with a possible playoff seed, it will be interesting to see whether this dynamic changes. (Note: I fully expect a groundswell of support for a Robin Lehner promotion from Bingo in the second half. Looking at Lehner’s numbers in Binghamton, it’s worth noting that they aren’t particularly flattering. Albeit, my concerns aren't with Lehner's peripherals so much as they are with the fact that he just hasn't played that much this season.)
Filatov Out Indefinitely
The karma police are going to be out on this one.
For the second time since electing to leave the Senators to pursue the luxuries of a higher salary and being able to play closer to family and friends, Nikita Filatov’s KHL development has hit another snag.
First there were reports coming out of Russia that CSKA couldn’t finalize Filatov’s contract when he was originally loaned to the KHL club by the Senators and now according to Yahoo! Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov), after playing in just two KHL games, Filatov is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury.
Awesome. It’s not like Paul MacLean sounded annoyed enough at his media availability on the day that the Russian forward’s loan was publically acknowledged. I’m sure that this news will sit well with him and other team employees who would have preferred to see Filatov develop in the AHL and ignore the allure of
I’m absolutely positive that this is exactly what the organization had in mind when they decided to
Since Nikita Filatov elected to leave the Senators organization to pursue more
Puempel and Noesen Sign ELCs
As Mark Stone induces more #ragingstoners with each successive goal at the World Junior Championship, the Senators organization served a reminder to its fan base that there are other highly regarded forward prospects within its system by inking Matt Puempel and Stefan Noesen to three year entry-level contracts.
For the financially conscious armchair GMs, according to Capgeek, each player carries a cap hit worth $1,137,500.
Other Lineup Notes
Chris Phillips has deemed himself fit to play and he’ll make his return to the lineup. To make room for the Big Rig on the blueline, Matt Carkner has been made a healthy scratch. One of the things I noticed through two periods in the last game against the Canadiens was that Carkner had played only six and a half minutes through two periods. (With 7 minutes and 17 seconds of ice-time in the third period, Carkner more than doubled his ice-time by racking up all these extra minutes when the game’s result was a foregone conclusion.)
Kyle Turris will be lining up with Erik Condra and Daniel Alfredsson tonight. Might as well pencil him in for three ginos while we're at it.Capgeek Reveals New Features
With the New Year almost upon us, focus will eventually move beyond the World Junior Championships and All-Star Game to the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline. As one of the few teams that could actually sell (Filip Kuba?) and buy (more young players on controllable contracts to augment the core of this team) at this year's deadline, fans are going to be heavily invested and will want to know what the Senators can and cannot do at the deadline. If you're one of these armchair GM kind of fans, do yourself a favor by checking out Capgeek's new Trade Deadline Tracker.
According to it, Ottawa will have $12,854,403 worth of accumulated salary that they can dump with fear of having to take on salary. In other words, if the organization receives a good offer for relatively expensive veterans like Sergei Gonchar or Filip Kuba, they can move both without fear of taking on salary. Unless of course the team acquiring either player has to move salary to accomodate such a transaction.