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Ottawa, ON • Canada • 2015 Years Old • Male
http://www.lazarbeams.com
The Sens are set to take on Dustin Tokarski and the Canadiens tonight in their fourth straight home game out of five in a row. In a stretch that has seen them play 10 of their last 13 games in Ottawa, the Sens have gone 5-6-2 and have seen a boost to their offence. The Senators have 41 goals for in their last 13 games, 3.15GF/game, a jump from their 2.8GF/game on the season. There were a couple 7-goal outbursts that padded those stats against Arizona and Edmonton, as well as a 3-game losing streak that included only 3GF, so consistency has been an issue. The home ice must be giving the team a little extra comfort to let their offensive side show, which should help the younger guys development.

Five Notes for Tonights Game: Summed up:

Pageau has been great despite being drafted in the fourth round of the same draft as 1st rounder Puempel and 2nd rounder Prince, a great steal by the Sens, but they are mainly playing him on the fourth line when he should have secured at least the 3rd line based on his great play. The Sens should make moves to give him a bigger role soon.

Puempel has struggled but should get his chances soon as the Sens continue to develop him.

The Sens can sell veterans like Legwand, Smith, Phillips or Neil, Legwand being the easiest to trade and would clear space for Pageau and Lazar.

Prince is getting a good chance tonight on the 3rd line.

Weircioch is most expendable defenseman and could be traded very soon. Chris Wideman in the AHL should get a chance in the NHL soon after.

Five Notes for Tonights Game:

Shane Prince will replace Clarke MacArthur on the third line left wing, which should be a great opportunity for him to impress Cameron and push for a permanent NHL job soon. Lazar is moving down to the fourth line to play on the left of Pageau and Condra, while Legwand will play on the third line with Chiasson and Prince.

Matt Puempel, the Senators 24th overall selection in the 2011 draft, will continue to patiently wait in the AHL for his chance with the Sens. Mika Zibanejad and Stefan Noeson were selected earlier that round by the Sens, who have seen a handful of prospects pass by Puempel in the depth chart, such as 2011 second round pick Prince and fourth rounder Pageau. Puempel has been a weird story since being introduced to professional hockey and might require another season with Binghamton before getting a good shot at the Sens roster. Before playing in the AHL Puempel was collecting goals and assists at similar rates in the OHL and was over a point per game for his entire OHL career. In his first year after being drafted by the Senators, he played 9 games in Bingo and 30 in the OHL, continuing his scoring pace in another OHL season(33 points). The next season, the lockout year, Puempel only played 2 AHL games and 51 OHL games. He managed his usual 35 goals but could only muster 12 assists, going under a point per game for the first time after easily surpassing it in his first three OHL seasons. Possibly signs the AHL changed his style? Maybe. But then in 13-14 Puempel put up 30G and 18A in 74 AHL games, impressive but still begs the question of where his assists game has gone. Now, in 14-15, Puempel is scoring at a similar pace as his first AHL season, but the goals aren't coming and the assists are. Puempel may be rounding out his offensive game at the professional level still, but with multiple players drafted later than him in his own draft class playing in the NHL, Puempel will be looking for his next season in the AHL to be a breakthrough to an NHL roster spot. Until then, it is unlikely Puempel gets any NHL time unless it's a short stint to assist in his development. We could see this later this season towards playoff time when the games are more about development than winning for the Sens, or next season depending on how GM Murray clears up space on the NHL roster.

Does JG Pageau deserve a bigger role in the Sens line up? Pageau is returning from a two game stint in the AHL that saw him collect 3 goals and 4 points. He is clearly done with the AHL and has shown he deserves to be treated similarly to the likes of Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Lazar, Zibanejad, and all of the Senators top prospects. Pageau has not gotten the same opportunities to play big minutes as the other Senators prospects, and was even sent to the AHL this week to make room in the line up for Shane Prince, showing the Senators willingness to minimize his NHL experience this season. Pageau has been playing very few minutes with the Senators, but has made the most of his minutes often showing glimpses of dominance. Michaleks hot streak all began while playing on a line with Pageau and Stone on the third line, which will be centred by Legwand tonight with Pageau on the fourth.

Legwand Trade Bait?
Whenever Zack Smith comes back, Pageau will be even more hard-pressed for a spot in the line-up, and with Chris Neil looking like he'll stay through the Trade Deadline the Senators are looking a bit crowded. With Turris, Zibanejad, Lazar, Pageau and a possible Zack Smith down the middle, the Sens may look to move David Legwand. Legwand has been great for depth, often playing big minutes on the penalty kill and the power play while playing on the 3rd or 4th line. He does take quite a bit of time away from the younger depth players like Pageau, as well as Lazar, who have been in and out of the line up for much of the season despite outperforming Legwand regularly. Smith might be the preferred centre to trade but the league interest is probably barely existent, whereas Legwand might draw a pick from Nashville.

Who Will be the Defenseman traded?
While the Sens line-up up front has a couple players too many, the defense corps has 8 players to fill 6 spots. The top-4 seems to be settling on Methot-Karlsson, Cowen-Ceci, who are all untouchable besides maybe Cowen for the right trade. Battling for the final two spots are led by Mark Boroweicki, from Ottawa, who has been impressing the Senators since his AHL days. Gryba could be traded, as it looks like he will continue a career in goonery and hurting people with his giant 6'4 frame, bringing little else to the table. Phillips won't be playing much longer, but will take the 7th spot for now. Chris Wideman in the AHL has been very impressive offensively but has yet to gain any NHL experience. Patrick Weircioch is the most likely trade candidate, as the club may favour Chris Wideman as their next right side D to play with Boroweicki on the bottom pair with Gryba as the extra once Phillips retires.

That was a lot of information, I'll be working on simplifying those big blocks of text to something more readable. The biggest difficulty is knowing what you want to say, writing it like you would say it to somebody, and then modifying that to a more objective point of view rather than just ramblings of someone who has too many details on a given topic but no idea how to convey them slowly and well-organized. I figure the knowledge is up there, so the more I practice the better I'll get, and hopefully they'll be less information flying out of my head and more of an argument being posed.

To sum up:

Pageau has been great despite being drafted in the fourth round of the same draft as 1st rounder Puempel and 2nd rounder Prince, a great steal by the Sens, but they are mainly playing him on the fourth line when he should have secured at least the 3rd line based on his great play. The Sens should make moves to give him a bigger role soon.

Puempel has struggled but should get his chances soon as the Sens continue to develop him.

The Sens can sell veterans like Legwand, Smith, Phillips or Neil, Legwand being the easiest to trade and would clear space for Pageau and Lazar.

Prince is getting a good chance tonight on the 3rd line.

Weircioch is most expendable defenseman and could be traded very soon. Chris Wideman in the AHL should get a chance in the NHL soon after.
February 19, 2015 9:12 PM ET | Delete
Hawks 3rd to Sens for Weircioch
February 24, 2015 11:28 PM ET | Delete
They could trade Cowen for a top 9 forward, maybe Zack Kassian? Weircioch is an offensive left side D unlike Methot, Boroweicki and Cowen.. could give him a chance in Cowens spot? If Weircioch can get good him and Karlsson would be a handy pairing.
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