News & Notes: Early Returns, Lazar, Captain Duties

My brief notes from 120 minutes of real hockey:

- Too many odd man rushes. Too many. Fix that.

- Karlsson doesn't look right. I fully acknowledge it's early October, and all we've seen is two road games back to back. But his skating doesn't look very Karlsson-esque to me. Kessel and JVR were getting around him way too easily.

- And based on what past players have said about recovery from achilles injuries, might be a few more months before he's 100%.

- Main thing I notice is he isn't creating separation, like he was pre-Cooke unpleasantness. Used to be able to take two steps from a standstill and nobody could touch him, that isn't happening right  now.

- Craig Simpson remarked that last night "was the quietest game he'd ever seen Karlsson play". Hard to disagree, at least on the offensive end. At the start of the 2013 season Karlsson was routinely leading the rush, and gaining the zone with control. The game was chasing him, looked the other way around last night.

- Counterpoint: he scored the GWG in Buffalo and I'm overreacting.

- The WierCowen pair has potential, though like the first pair things need to tighten up defensively. Skate and setup Cowen had on the Turris goal was outstanding.

- MacArthur – Turris – Conacher keep doing what you're doing.

- Especially loved Conacher bowling into Franson, stealing the puck, and putting it in the net – pretty much all in one motion.

- First line looks a bit of a mess so far, but they're getting their shots; 22 between the three.

- Pageau is not superhuman.

- Colton Orr saw an opportunity to lay a big hit on Wiercioch, so he took it. Matt Kassian's presence in the game did not alter that calculus.

- Hopefully they can get the shots against down on this western road trip (will be easier said than done), currently leading the league by that mark.

Lazar Trick

Since returning to the Edmonton, the Oil Kings captain has 3G, 3A in 6GP. The bulk of which came Friday night:

Depending on health (and if he plays in the WJC), Lazar might just have a shot at 50 goals this season.

Captain Duties

Elliotte Friedman had two Senator related thoughts this week. The first speculating that the Zibanejad AHL assignment was money related. The second provided laughs and further proof Alfie was a stellar captain:

"13. Ottawa's got potential to do big things. The goaltending is excellent, the defence is strong and the offence should score enough. Melnyk promises he will add help if the team is good enough to warrant it. He's an emotional guy, but it is particularly important he not detonate verbal bombs. When things were crazy, Daniel Alfredsson would tap a pr guy on the shoulder, say, "When do you need me?" and calm everything down. Until this group establishes its identity without him, it doesn't need extra noise."

Ha!

And almost as funny as this anecdote Elliotte relayed when he appeared on the podcast last fall:

"One thing I can tell you is he's a very emotional guy. That's the word on Eugene Melnyk. He is very emotional about the Senators, he is very passionate about them, but he is very emotional about them. And I think that he's the kind of guy that maybe sometimes needs to be said 'You know Eugene, that's not a good idea. Don't do that.' And I think that's what it is. You know at times…I'll tell you one situation a few years ago, we were doing a playoff game, and Ottawa was losing. And I was kind of wondering, what exactly is going on here?, cause Melnyk was around the dressing room in the second intermission. I said that's unusual. And I didn't realize it til later, but he wanted to go in and pump up the team. And he was talked out of it, 'this is not the time for that'. And you know, I think it's not easy when your owner wants to do that kind of thing there aren't a lot of people who will say no. But the Senators did."

Senfeld

Nearly two years ago in the midst of hosting a SensTV Movember feature, Zenon Konopka alerted us all to the fact that Jared Cowen looks like Jerry Seinfeld, a gigantic Jerry Seinfeld. And nearly two years later that fact remains just as amusing as it did then, with no signs of waning.

Konopka only played one season in Ottawa, and aside from faceoffs his play on the ice was pretty lousy – but imo this contract was still money well spent if only for the gift that Jared Cowen looks like Jerry Seinfeld. Unfortunately said video has disappeared from the Senators website, hopefully one day in the future it is resurrected, we're all dying to see Zenon ask Cowen if he's still seeing Elaine one more time.

In lieu, Twitter power-user Capital Gains (@Capital_Gains65) created the masterpiece below:

Combination classic bass slappin' and Cowen wailing on Ryan White just works period.

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