Melnyk: Sens will add at deadline if needed, despite $110M in losses

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Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk conducted a revealing interview with TSN 1200 on Wednesday, explaining that, despite the club’s rocky finances, he will put the Sens in buyer mode at the trade deadline.

“If I need to add a piece, I will,” Melynk explained, also revealing the Sens have lost $110 million since he took ownership in 2003.

Ottawa’s finances have been a major storyline throughout the summer and into this season. An internal player salary budget (projected to be just over $50 million) was believed to be one of the driving forces behind Daniel Alfredsson’s stalled negotiations and eventual departure to Detroit.

In August, a lengthy Melnyk profile in the Ottawa Citizen speculated the Biovail founder had lost $94 million since taking over in ’03, a number that’s now, as mentioned above, apparently $110 million.

Despite all this, Ottawa could actually find itself in good shape come trade deadline time. They currently boast the NHL’s fifth-lowest payroll and, of the teams that made the playoffs last season, clearly have the most to spend.

In terms of deadline rentals, well, there are a few.

Pending UFAs that could be on the move include Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek, Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri, Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, Dallas’ Ray Whitney, Winnipeg’s Olli Jokinen and New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr.

Any of these could be a nice pickup for the offensively-challenged Senators, who finished 27th in the NHL last year with 2.33 goals per game (but, it should be noted, are up slightly this year to 2.50.)

Penguins’ Guentzel makes ‘kick save’ to stop Capitals

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It doesn’t get much better than a player making the type of save you’d only expect from a goalie. OK, how about this: when it happens amid the high stakes of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel had already been distinguishing himself with a red-hot scoring start to the postseason, but he made a big difference in a way that won’t show up in the box score (aside from maybe as a blocked shot) for Game 1 against the Washington Capitals.

In one of the few golden opportunities in a notably tight first period, Guentzel made a “kick save” to keep it 0-0. He also managed to avoid giving the Capitals a penalty shot in the process, so this was quite the effort from the impressive rookie.

Video will be added soon. Here’s the moment in GIF form first:

Lundqvist snubs Sens with 21 saves in first (Video)

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You know how goalies claim they prefer to be busy rather than risking rust in seldom seeing shots? If that’s true, Henrik Lundqvist was really, really happy in the first period.

The Ottawa Senators generated chance after chance in a busy opening frame of Game 1, generating a 21-12 shot differential against the New York Rangers. The game remains 0-0 in large part because Lundqvist has carried over his momentum from the Montreal Canadiens series so far.

As you can see from the video above, Lundqvist made some absolutely fantastic saves, especially in somehow stopping Mark Stone.

In a duller game, 21 shots on goal could a team’s entire output.

That’s impressive stuff from what appears to be a “vintage” Lundqvist. We’ll see how much more the Rangers lean on him as this one goes along.

Oh, and here’s a GIF of the best stop of the bunch, because seriously.

Kunitz is in for Penguins vs. Capitals in Game 1

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The Pittsburgh Penguins get a familiar face back in the lineup, as Chris Kunitz is good to go against the Washington Capitals in Game 1.

The 37-year-old has been sidelined since March 31, ending his regular season with just an assist in his final nine games. His last goal came on Feb. 16.

So, in other words … he’s not quite as big of a deal for this series as he had been in the past.

He’ll draw into a solid fourth line with Matt Cullen and Tom Kuhnackl, while Carter Rowney will be a healthy scratch. Check out the Penguins’ line combos heading into Thursday’s showdown:

Foligno, Getzlaf, Giordano vie for Messier Leadership Award

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The NHL announced the three finalists for the Mark Messier Leadership Award: Nick Foligno (Columbus Blue Jackets), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) and Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames).

In case you’re curious about the process, the league explains how it works (and how the buck stops with Messier):

Mark Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel as well as NHL fans to compile a list of potential candidates for the award. However, the selection of the three finalists and ultimate winner is Messier’s alone. 

So, yes, it might come down to steeliness/60.

Anyway, the most fun part of this award is that Getzlaf and Giordano just engaged in a first-round series, with Getzlaf’s hit on Giordano (see above) being one of the standout moments.

Perhaps Giordano will at least get the best of Getzlaf in this one?