A month seems like enough time for me to re-charge my batteries.  While I was away, I attended a Hurricanes/Thrashers game in Raleigh.   A highlight was watching my favorite non-Senator (Marian Hossa) score the only two goals of the game.  A lowlight was that the only people I talked to at the game, who knew anything about hockey, weren’t from North Carolina.  Out of 5 people I sat next to in various spots in the arena, the one who was from North Carolina originally, referred to Marian Hossa as that number 18 guy.  A highlight was that the arena is a bit smaller and felt a bit more quaint than the Xcel Energy Center, United Center, Scotiabank Place or any of the other larger outfits.  A lowlight was losing $50 on the game.  A highlight was some very nice options for beer.  A lowlight was getting jobbed by the cabbie on the ride back to the hotel.

Trade Winds

Are not blowing.  All the hand-wringers out there clammoring for a Gerber move, probably need a high-colonic.  As evidenced by there not being a trade market for Ilya Bryzgalov, moving a goalie is not going to happen right now unless you’re prepared to give him away.  The Senators are not in a position to be giving anything away.   Apparently, there’s some interest in Joe Corvo, but if you’ve been paying attention, he’s been one of the better Dmen for the Sens since the A-Train went on the injury choo choo.   If there’s any better evidence that plus/minus is not a good measure of the defensive value of a player, it’s Joe Corvo who is currently 10th in the league when measured by that category.  He’s still pillowy soft, but he’s been a great puck-mover and an even better puck-carrier.   Which leads us to the power play:

There’s talk of moving Jason Spezza off the number one unit and replacing him with Mike Fisher.   One of the biggest issue with the power play has been getting set up in the zone.  Spezza has been trying to skate the puck in and failing miserably.  Teams have simply been lining up at the blue line and poking it out of the zone when he attempts to dangle around them.  With Fisher in the lineup, the Sens will be able to dump the puck with Fisher going in on retrieval duty not to mention that he’s a pretty good presence in front of the net. 

Let’s see….what else is interesting?  Oh, Scotty Neidermayer is back.  While I have nothing against Neids personally, it does make the Ducks even that much more hate-able…..and dangerous.  Funny, last night the Columbus announcers mentioned that there was quite a nice rivalry brewing between the Ducks and Blue Jackets.  The Ducks seem to bring that out of other teams with their….shall we say, questionable tactics.  The Ducks are the most penalized team by a long shot with more than a hundred PIMs more than the next team.  The team is chippy, right from their GM on down.  That’s the way they like it.  With Neidermayer in the lineup, their penalty kill is sure to be better than 24th or whatever awful number it is right now.  They can now better get away with their chippy play. 

It will be interesting to see what deal Burkie ends up with in clearing the requisite cap space for Neidermayer.  Cap space for this year is not the issue for the Ducks; it’s their cap space for next year.  They have to remain below this year’s cap on next year’s committments and that means shedding a minimum of $900,000 by way of trading a player under contract for next year.  It’s rumoured that Burke has a few different deals worked out already but is trying to make a trade that will address their lack of secondary scoring.  I suspect we’ll know very soon if he’s accomplished that.

The Sens are in Carolina tomorrow night and Emery will be back in net.  This is not an indication that Paddock is thrilled with Emery’s play, but he’s been winning games and that is what matters to Paddock.   Gerber will most certainly get a start as the Senators play 3 games in 4 nights. 


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