Zubov Flying High

phi.gifThe Senators first preseason game against the Flyers is being played as I write this.  It’s fairly difficult to get a decent read on how certain players are faring as one is listening to the radio; I prefer to rely on my eyes, but this is where pre-season hockey is at in the whole realm of sports in the US:  That is to say, it’s non-existent. 

The Senators are not dressing Alfredsson, Redden, Heatley, Spezza, Phillips or Volchenkov.  That’s ok; I’m more interested in hearing what Nick Foglino, Ilya Zubov and Brian Lee can do.  Mike Fisher is out with an injury; let’s hope that’s not a recurring theme for him and his new $21MM contract.

Ilya Zubov continues his hot goal scoring.  The 19 year old Russian sparkled in the rookie tournaments, had a decent showing in the team scrimmage yesterday and scored the first goal in tonight’s game.   Nick Foglino has a goal and an assist on a power play marker by Andrej Meszaros.

 In the second period, Gerber has had to make a number of saves and it sounds as though he’s sharp.  That’s good since the Sens will likely start the season with Gerber in goal whilst Emery continues his rehab from wrist surgery.  Jeff Glass is backing up tonight.  Glass had a pretty shaky season at Binghamton last year, so it could be bad if the Senators had to rely on him for any length of time. 

Brian Elliott is likely to get every shot at goal in Bingo this year. He was a fantastic college goalie for the University of Wisconsin. He had Ryan Miller type numbers for his college career. He’s not nearly as flashy as Miller and played for a very defensive minded Badger team, so it remains to be seen how his game will translate to the pros, but I’m very optimistic about him.  Full disclosure: I’m a Badger fan. 

The Sens escape the 2nd period with their 3 goal lead in tact, but the Flyers had some good pressure.  They’ve now outshot the Senators 37-24 for the game and 23-8 in the second period. 

 I have to remember to ignore the ringing phone when I’m listening to the Sens; stupid crappy in-laws (just kidding Rich & Toni).  A half hour later, I’ve missed 15 minutes of game time and a Patrick Eaves goal; 4-0 Senators. 

 Interesting that the players under the biggest microscope in the preseason have all *sounded* good.  Eaves is basically, on a tryout to play with Spezza and Heatley.  Foglino, Lee and Zubov are trying to earn a roster spot.  I give Foglino the best shot at it, for the time being but keep an eye on Zubov.  If he continues to score every game he plays, it’s going to create some interesting dynamics.  His game is probably not mature enough (read: defensively responsible enough) to earn a spot next to Spezza this year; not to mention that he’s a center, but he could maybe be the third member of a Fisher/Alfie line if Fish would move to a wing and they are both very responsible players.  I don’t want to get ahead of the game with this, so don’t go out and spend a 15th round pick on the hopes that Zubov will stick.

Just heard from the mouth of Dean Brown, “….[he looks like] some sort of body double for the Exorcist.  Not sure to whom he was referring as I was busy thinking about Zubov. 

 Sens close out the shutout for Gerber.  He stops ALL 52 SHOTS HE FACED.  Next game is in Ottawa on Thursday against the Capitals.  Hope to hear the Sens challenging Ovechkin in that one and expect to see all the afore-mentioned scratches, save Fisher in that one.

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