The Ottawa Senators will never win again.
A little dramatic you say? Nope. It isn’t. No more wins. Ever. Let’s take a closer look shall, we?
Their next three games are played in California. And unless Andrew Hammond is about to walk through that damn door, there is no way they are winning a game in California. When they come back, they play the Colorado Avalanche. While there is a reasonable chance the Avs attempt to throw that game, it won’t work. Another loss.
A Friday night game in Carolina? Nah. In St. Louis the next night? I’d like to congratulate Vladimir Tarasenko on his hat trick in advance.
What I’m saying is this eight game lose streak is going to become a 47 gamer and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it.
The good news is, I’ve scraped together a somewhat delayed edition of Monday News and Notes.
-Yesterday, the Senators announced they have recalled the recently acquired ระดับรางวัลDarren Archibald from Belleville of the American Hockey League.? And he’s joined the team in time for their trip out West. The 28 year old Newmarket native was acquired in last week’s trade with the Vancouver Canucks and is a bit of a surprise recall at this point.? Partly because as far as we know, the team is already carrying 13 healthy forwards and also because Archibald has played all of 2 games with the organization. It’s worth noting that Archibald has appeared in 9 NHL games already this season.
-The Archibald recall suggests that one forward may be a little banged up heading into the road trip. Archibald plays primarily the right wing too so all signs point to Bobby Ryan. You’ll recall Bobby Ryan briefly left Sunday’s game with wait for it…a hand injury. He returned to the game for a power play in the 3rd but disappeared again afterwards. Ryan’s hand issues are well-documented at this point. There was even a time last year when there were whispers that it could actually be career threatening. When he’s healthy, Ryan can still be a useful player but that “when he’s healthy” qualifier barely even applies at this point. For what it’s worth, Ryan actually looked as good as he’s looked all season in that game on Sunday afternoon.
-The Matt Duchene rumour mill is kicking into high-gear although to this point, it seems mostly isolated to the Saturday Headlines segment on Sportsnet. It was Chris Johnston that first reported the Senators were in substantive talks with Duchene a couple months back. Then Nick Kypreos, on that same segment two weeks later, suggested that no numbers had even been exchanged. And then this past Saturday, Johnston said that talks have “cooled off”. Maybe. For what it’s worth, Bruce Garrioch has suggested that talks are expected to intensify in the next couple weeks.? That doesn’t necessarily mean productive talks by the way. It’s likely the Senators have asked Duchene’s agent to give them an indication where they stand and have provided some sort of drop dead date. Trade deadline is February 25th, by the way.
-As much as Pierre Dorion has to be patient here, he can’t wait much longer. If the Duchene Camp isn’t giving the Senators any indication where they stand or if Dorion thinks/knows they can’t offer him what it will take, he needs to pull the trigger. He needs to find out who is interested now and he needs to start doing his homework.? Contenders may prefer to wait until closer to the deadline but that’s a huge risk for the Senators. Having Duchene go down with some sort of injury and losing him for nothing is the absolute worst case scenario. If I’m Dorion, I’m reaching out to those bubble teams that might be interested (Islanders, Canadiens, Wild, Ducks), asking for a first round pick, a prospect and a good roster player (a defenceman) and then just hoping that team goes to shit down the stretch. That advice is free, Pierre.
-Matt Duchene has been quoted in the past saying that he plans to keep a close eye on the situation with Mark Stone in deciding his future. So does that mean the situation with Stone is equally cool? Not necessarily. Mark Stone isn’t going to take a hometown discount to stay in Ottawa and be the Captain but that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to stay. But given the way this team has handled impending contract negotiations over the last few season, it’s hard not to sense impending doom when it comes to Stone.? Similar to Duchene, the only thing we know for sure is that Dorion is expected to talk to Stone’s Camp in the next couple weeks. If that’s the “start” of these negotiations, well then we can probably kiss Stone goodbye. They had to wait till January first to sign an extension but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t talk. Ottawa discussed a longterm deal with Stone this summer so they should know exactly what it would take. If they aren’t willing to pay up, well then just like Duchene, they have to act quickly. It’s horrifying to think of Dorion trying to pull of two deals of this magnitude in the span of a couple months. Bruce Garrioch was on TSN 1200 this morning and still sounds pretty confident when it comes to Mark Stone.
-An interesting note from Elliotte Friedman duringระดับรางวัล a recent appearance on Calgary radio where he suggested that the Senators have been extremely active scouting recently. They are trying to get out to see as many games as possible (NHL games included) in what seems like a little trade deadline homework. Even if the Senators do try to sign Duchene and Stone in the next month or so, they still have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario where neither player is willing to commit. And if that happens, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the Front Office is trying to complete 6 or 7 (add Dzingel, Ceci, Anderson, Smith to this list) deals leading up to the deadline. They need to have a strong sense of what might be available from other teams and have done some sort of evaluation on those players.
-After briefly lending his super powers to Thomas Chabot, it appears as though the King is settling in with the San Jose Sharks. The bounces are starting to go Erik Karlsson’s way again and he’s suddenly looking like a serious contender for the Norris Trophy. He has points in 13 straight games including a goal and 21 assists over that stretch. And his underlying numbers are even more impressive. Of course none of this matters because he’s gone forever (or is he?) although the fate of the Sharks does matter in terms of draft picks coming Ottawa’s way. Safe to say we can rule out that “if the Sharks miss the playoffs” scenario though.
-Speaking of the Karlsson trade, there was an interesting bit of news related to Josh Norris making the rounds yesterday. While obviously nothing has been made official at this point in the season, ระดับรางวัลthere is talk that Michigan isn’t expecting Norris back next year. Not surprising but it could mean we get a look at Norris as early as this season. Expect Ottawa to try and get him locked up as soon as his NCAA season comes to an end.
-Watching the Senators stumble lately, it’s hard not to wonder about the job security of Head Coach Guy Boucher.? While financial reasons were a major reason for the entire staff returning this year, a mid-season canning really doesn’t cost Eugene Melnyk anything. Marc Crawford would take over and everyone else would just slide up the ol’ Coaching depth chart. Of course that also means I’d have to shut the blog down for a bit to assume Assistant Coach duties in Belleville.? In all seriousness, it’s tough to blame the current struggles on coaching alone but it’s certainly part of the losing equation. And if Dorion feels like the rebuilding environment can be improved by a fresh voice behind the bench, well then he has to consider it. Still think it’s a long shot but not something that should be ruled out entirely.
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