*Boxscore courtesy of the Globe and Mail
The much ballyhooed moment in which Brian Burke ‘put Bryan Murray in his place’. Here is something to think about: Bryan Murray definitely wanted to flip picks so that he could move up and select the player that he favored. Oddly enough, Burke immediately tells Murray that the Leafs were going to take Kadri without so much as listening to what the Senators had to offer. And for whatever reason, Murray walked away without putting up much of a fight or asking whether or not Burke wants to listen to the offer. In a profession in which GMs should be trying to maximize value whenever they can, doesn’t that seem a little suspicious?
I think so.
When Burke tipped his hand and revealed that he was picking Kadri, if that was a player that Murray didn’t want to pick, why would he tip his hand and reveal a different selection?
So here we are: the Senators wound up with Jared Cowen and the Leafs with Kadri. In Cowen, the Senators have a 6’5″ 240lb defenceman who can play a two-way game and in Kadri, the Leafs have a prospect who Ron Wilson is afraid to play at even strength.
In the words of a Hfboards user, “I fell in love with Cowen as soon as he started pounding on that caveman.”
Zenon Konopka’s bread and butter is supposed to be his faceoff prowess. When he only wins 7 of 15 in the faceoff circle (.467%) and fails to contribute anything with his fists, he becomes a non-factor in a game comprised mostly of teenagers.
It’s worth mentioning that he wasn’t alone in that regard. Many of Ottawa’s other ‘pugilists’ failed to impress. Considering that the better part of yesterday afternoon lent itself to instant micro-analysis from those on Twitter who looked at the lineups and deduced that fans should expect some physical play, last night’s game was a bit of a let down.
“MacLean confirmed Auld will play 30 and Lehner will play 30. Mark Parrish won’t play. Konokpa, Lessard and Neil will dress. Assume fights.” ~ Bruce Garrioch
“With the grit we have in the line up tonight, it’s a shame we couldn’t see Carkner in there too! RSU” ~
“Plenty of toughness in the Sens Chirpline up. Smith, Konopka, Neil and Lessard will dress. Expect a physical start to the Battle of Ontario.” ~
… Or not.
The Sens Town versus Mike McKenna spat on Twitter traded more punches than Ottawa’s reputed tough guys, so it begs the question: what was the point in dressing a lineup like that if no one’s going to fight?
Their presence in the lineup obviously did nothing to deter the Leafs from taking runs at players. Hell, Francis Lessard must have slept through the team’s pre-game meeting since he regretfully took out all of his aggressions at this morning’s practice with a blindside hit on Nikita Filatov.
I suppose some of this could be Paul MacLean’s fault. He should have instinctively told Lessard not to take his ’200 feet’ comments too literally and make use of his fists instead. At the very least, he could have mentioned that any hits during this morning’s scrimmage wouldn’t have added to lat night’s lacklustre totals.
Almost 30 minutes of ice-time in a meaningless game for Erik Karlsson?
That’s almost a John Paddock-like reliance upon his best players. Albeit, it’s a relatively small sample size but I suppose it’s a reflection of how that 10 minute misconduct affected MacLean’s dispersal of ice-time. And despite it being a preseason hockey game, perhaps there’s no more damning quantitative evidence to evaluate how close Patrick Wiercioch is to contributing at the NHL level.
To his credit, Karlsson killed it last night. Not only did he fight off an aggressive forecheck and control the play when the puck was on his stick, he helped carry Filip Kuba through 24 minutes of play last night.
If these two continue to be partnered together, it’s going to be a great test for Karlsson to help salvage whatever trade value Kuba has left. I hope the young blueliner is up to the task.
It looks like the careers of Peter Regin and Nikita Filatov have a pulse. Suck it Columbus.