FIVE QUICK THOUGHTS
-That one had to feel pretty good for Anders Nilsson.? His first shutout of the season and according to the TSN broadcast, his first in over a year and a half.? As much as the result didn’t matter much last night, you could really see that the guys wanted to keep that zero on the board for Nilsson.? The reactions from his teammates on the ice and on the bench throughout the third period said it all.? It’s going to be interesting to see how Boucher balances playing time down the stretch. Nilsson has been the better of the two goalies over the last couple months now and has earned some additional starts. Especially if the organization is considering bringing Nilsson back next year. On a one year deal, Pierre. Don’t get any crazy ideas. Nilsson has a 2.53 GAA and a .922 sv% with the Senators this season.
-Everything Matt Duchene does well was on display again last night.? High-end speed in open ice, elite hands in tight and a general ability to change a game with a single shift.? Duchene scored twice, including a highlight reel goal in the second period where he beat two Ducks defenders and then finished the play off by cutting hard to the net and lifting the puck up and over John Gibson.? It’s unfortunate that every time either Duchene or Mark Stone does something special, as they’ve done throughout the season, we have to wonder if it’s one of the last times they’ll do it in an Ottawa uniform.? Duchene touched on his future during and after the game last night and it’s pretty clear that this is still a guy wrestling with a difficult decision.? Really sounds like Dorion is pushing both Duchene and Stone to decide in the next couple days.
-Brady Tkachuk opened the scoring last night with his 12th goal of the season. It was his first goal in his last seven games and just his 2nd in his last twenty. After a hot start, the realities of a rookie season as a 19 year old in the NHL have hit Tkachuk pretty hard over the last few months.? His production (25 pts in 43 games) is still quite respectable though and probably about in line with what most were expecting from him coming into this season.? What’s unique about Tkachuk is not only does he find ways to stay involved in the game when he’s not scoring but he also seems to keep a pretty level head.? Never too high, never too low.? That’s a good sign from a young player and something that will come in handy throughout his career.? With a little bit of luck down the stretch, a 20 goal season doesn’t seem out of the question.
-The team’s Chief Operating Officer, Nicolas Ruszkowski, made a little media tour before yesterday’s game in what seemed like a desperate attempt at damage control following the comments from Eugene Melnyk the other night.? Comments that the organization decided to release, by the way.? Either way, Ruszkowski probably would have been better off staying quiet on the issue.? His interview on TSN1200 was somehow worse than anything Melnyk said including some strange answers to questions on hockey ops spending and the hidden perks of Mark Stone leaving.? ระดับรางวัลYou can listen to the full interview here but I assure you, it will do nothing to improve your outlook on the next few weeks. Or years, for that matter.
-Not sure if anybody else has noticed it but there is this strange thing happening where Bruce Garrioch seems infinitely more positive about the prospect of the Senators signing one or both of Matt Duchene and Mark Stone than any other insider.? While Bob McKenzie continues to predict both guys will be traded, it seems like Garrioch is maintaining this quiet confidence when the topic comes up.? It’s no secret that Garrioch has close ties to the organization so you would hope that confidence he’s projecting comes from Pierre Dorion.? The organization and the players involved have done a pretty good job of keeping this thing under wraps but it’s just interesting that Garrioch seems to be on a different page than the likes of McKenzie and Darren Dreger.? This morning, Pierre LeBrun suggested that Matt Duchene would be a good fit in Winnipeg and Mark Stone a good fit in Las Vegas.