What a welcomed feeling it is to anticipate tonight’s Senators game.
Yes, it is game day in the nation’s capital with the Senators set to take on Daniel Alfredsson and the Detroit Red Wings, so grab your morning coffee, pull up a chair and enjoy today this morning’s readings.
In case you haven’t already, please check out my game day preview over at SenatorsExtra.com. While you’re at it, give some clicks to today’s Prediction Panel. Aside from the race to crown this season’s champion, the greatest story down the stretch will be to see if Peter can dig himself out of his sub-.500 hole.
In case you were worried the future direction of the Senators should they miss this season’s playoffs, have no fear. In a recent Yahoo! Sports Buzzing the Net blog, the International Scouting Service’s head scout, Ross MacLean, chronicled the ten best NHL-drafted prospects who don’t have any NHL experience and ranked the Senators’ Curtis Lazar as the third best prospect.
Here is the scout’s take:
“Lazar is the type of player that turns a mediocre team into a contender. He’s a winner. He’s a very complete 200-foot player with excellent leadership qualities and a warrior’s mentality, Lazar can score, dictate the pace of a game, frustrate opponents and can play in any and all situations. He’s perhaps a surprise to be this high compared to some of the other higher profile names, but Lazar’s development continues to trend upwards and his work ethic continues to open up new levels for his game. He will work his way into any coach he plays for because of his heart and he is the model of how to be a successful player. Expect big things from this young man.”
Travis Yost (@travishehateme) did some digging and found out that Eugene Melnyk sold more of his Trimel shares this week.
In response to the University of Ottawa’s Impact Study on Senators Sports & Entertainment that was released earlier this week, Neil deMause, author of Field of Schemes and the owner of the website that shares the same name, published an abbreviated summation of the report that raises some concerns and questions the motivation of the study was created in the first place.
TSN 1200’s Shawn Simpson joined TGOR for his daily Simmer at 7 segment yesterday and of note, he mentioned that NHL teams that he had talked to had shown interest in acquiring Milan Michalek and Colin Greening, because hey, physical tools! (Note: You can listen to the clip here.)
“I will say, and Chris Phillips’ name is being thrown out there, but having talked to a couple of teams in the National Hockey League, the players that people have actually inquired about are Michalek and Greening. Greening, I don’t know based on the price tag going forward, but there’s still a lot of people that look at Milan Michalek and an expiring contract and (he was) not great at the Olympics but not bad. (He’s) still a big body and if it’s a roll of the dice and it makes sense, hey, throw him right in there with (Mike) Cammalleri. Throw him in with (Ales) Hemsky and a number of other guys that are on expiring contracts. There are still a lot of people out there that like him in the short-term.”
According to Hockey Prospectus’ goals versus threshold ratings that determine how well a player has performed relative to the contributions of a ‘replacement level’ player (ie. league average player), both Greening and Michalek have played at a sub-replacement level season. In other words, if Greening and Michalek were subbed with replacement level players it would have improved the Senators by approximately three goals this season.
There's something to be said about the Senators trading pieces while the team is vying for a playoff spot, but neither Greening or Michalek has enjoyed a good season. If the Senators can actually move these players and get decent value back, there are internal candidates in Binghamton like Mark Stone who can replace what these players have brought to the table.