Last season, the Ottawa Senators shocked the hockey world by going on a miracle run to snatch a playoff spot. This year, the big “shock” was captain Erik Karlsson trimming off his famous locks of hair.
“We were like, ‘who the heck is this guy and where did he come from?’ ” said right winger Bobby Ryan. “He did it very subtle and didn’t tell anyone.”
Ryan has a passing interest in hair these days, as a spokesman for Head and Shoulders shampoo’s “Shoulders of Greatness” campaign. The big and skilled winger will stick up for his own flow – “My personal feelings are that I have a pretty good head of hair,” he said – but his play on the ice is what really does the talking.
The Ottawa Senators will be without their leading scorer, Mark Stone, for the next two games.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Monday that Stone, 23, has been suspended for two games following an illegal check to the head in Saturday’s outing against the Detroit Red Wings. Midway through the second period of Saturday’s game, Stone caught Red Wings right winger Landon Ferraro with a shoulder to the head and was issued a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head: Read more
Someone clearly forgot to send the Ottawa Senators the memo about shootouts this season. The whole idea for having 3-on-3 overtime was to reduce the number of shootouts, but with four of them in the books, the Senators have already seen all their overtime games and almost half their games overall go to shootouts. In fact, nine games have gone to shootouts this season and the Senators have been involved in four of them.
So that begs the question: Are the Senators playing for the shootout? Well, it certainly looked that way Wednesday night when they played the Calgary Flames and hit the net only once. Of course, the Calgary Flames, aside from one spectacular opportunity that was thwarted by Craig Anderson, didn’t look terribly engaged in 3-on-3 play, either.
The Calgary Flames have only won twice in their first 10 outings, and things might not get any easier as netminder Jonas Hiller could be sidelined with a lower-body injury suffered in Wednesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
Hiller’s injury occurred with less than eight minutes remaining in the third frame of a 4-4 game. Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan, who was driving toward’s the Calgary net, collided with Hiller after he was pushed into the crease by a backchecking Michal Frolik.
When Frolik bumped Ryan, the Senators right winger was flung headfirst into the net and it appeared his legs caught the post on impact. For Hiller, his legs were caught behind him and pushed into the netting immediately following the collision: Read more
At times last night, it appeared as though neither the Senators or Flames wanted to win the game. It was a back-and-forth affair with late lead changes and naturally that meant overtime. One player who would not be denied in the end was Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson. Check out the magic trick he pulls on Johnny Gaudreau as the Calgary sniper lay in wait during the extra frame:
One of the stranger stories to come out of the pre-season was Mikael Wikstrand’s abrupt return back to Sweden from Ottawa Senators training camp. There may finally be an answer as to why the 21-year-old left so suddenly, however.
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Wikstrand’s brother has been diagnosed with leukemia and is battling the disease at home in Sweden.
“Given the severe disease it is, I want to spend as much time as possible with him and also with the rest of the family,” Wikstrand told Swedish newspaper Varmlands Folkblad. “It’s tough for all of us.” Read more
Welcome back to another spin around the world of prospects. The big news this week concerns Montreal Canadiens pick Martin Reway. Just last week, I wrote in this space about how amazing the Slovakian youngster was playing in the Czech League – he was the leading scorer on the circuit. But then, he was sent down by Sparta Praha to a lower-tiered team. It sounded like insanity. According to insiders that I spoke with, Sparta wanted to sign Reway to a contract extension, but the left winger wasn’t agreeable. That led to a rift, which led to a trade request, which is where we stand now.
Here are some other names you need to know right now:
New Jersey right winger Stephen Gionta might be expecting a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after a spearing major Thursday night.
Late in the second frame of Thursday’s game, the Devils had possession in the Senators’ zone when Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki and Gionta got tangled up. Gionta took exception to a shot from the Senators defender and caught him with a deadly spear: Read more