Five games into the season, Marc Methot has looked at home, but he’s not ready to say he has settled into his position alongside Erik Karlsson on the Ottawa Senators defence.
“I don’t know if most of us are ever able to settle down,” said Methot.
“There are so many games right now, it’s such a compressed schedule, it’s crazy. It’s almost like you’re never fully recovered. It feels like I’ve already played half the season – just going through five games. Right when you think you have the day off to relax, you’re playing again. So, it’s tough.”
Methot, who played a season-high 26:19 in Sunday’s 2-1 shootout loss to Pittsburgh, has fit seamlessly into the spot formerly held by Filip Kuba. He has three assists and is tied with Karlsson with a team-leading plus minus of plus 5.
“Karl is getting tons of chances, he’s getting lots of opportunities,” he said.
“I feel like we’re playing pretty well together, but who am I to judge? I wasn’t here last season. I’m doing the best I can.”
Senators general manager Bryan Murray has few complaints with his defence. The relatively inexperienced Andre Benoit, Patrick Wiercioch and Mark Borowiecki have answered most of the questions they faced before the season started.
At this point, anyway, Murray says there’s no urgency to upgrade.
“The area of concern (before the season) was our defence, but it looks like they’re managing the puck pretty well and been very responsible,” he said.
Mike Lundin, who suffered a hand injury while playing in Sweden during the lockout, has been skating with assistant coach Jason Smith and could return to Senators practice within a week. He could possibly be ready to play games within two weeks. Murray also says Eric Gryba – who replaced Benoit in the AHL All-Star Game Monday – has made a “huge step” in Binghamton.
“We have eight or nine that can play and that’s not what we thought when (Jared) Cowen went down.”
THROWBACK LOOK TONIGHT: For the first time this season, the Senators will be sporting their heritage sweaters Tuesday against Washington.
That also means that Craig Anderson will be wearing his tribute mask, featuring an image of Clint Benedict and the list of Senators’ Stanley Cup winners. Anderson wore the mask at practice Monday, but before that, he hadn’t seen it for awhile.
“I pulled it right out of the box,” he said. “The last time I saw it was last year.”
Back-up Ben Bishop is waiting for his new throwback mask to arrive. It will feature a black-and-white design.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen