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WARREN’S PIECE: Senators at mercy of NHL's COVID-19 re-scheduling efforts – Ottawa Sun

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On a Sunday night when they were originally scheduled to play the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators finally received some clarity on a re-designed schedule.

With all the flip-flopping involved due to a Canadiens player testing positive for COVID-19 last week, three Senators games have been moved.

The Sunday game will now be played at Montreal’s Bell Centre on April 17, at 4 p.m.

The game between the Senators and Canadiens originally scheduled to be played Tuesday at Canadian Tire Centre has been pushed back to May 5 at 7 p.m.

Due to all the changes involving other teams, the Senators May 5 date against the Toronto Maple Leafs will now be played at Canadian Tire on May 10 at 8 p.m.

With all the changes and the two postponements, the Senators will have been idle for a full week when they return to game action on Thursday against the Canadiens in Montreal. They haven’t played since a 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs last Thursday.

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PRACTICE ADJUSTMENTS

With an expectation of that playing out, the first move for the Senators was to cancel practice on both Friday and Saturday, a rare consecutive two days off in the middle of the season.

When they returned Sunday, coach D.J. Smith emphasized hard skating drills.

“When you’re used to playing every other day, you’re in the grind and the brain is turned on,” Smith said following Sunday’s workout. “Today was more of skating day, get up and down the ice, turn it on a little bit. We are going to have to mimic something the day before a game to really get our game turned on to it.”

Smith says he isn’t overly concerned about losing rhythm in is currently a 3-0-3 run, the longest stretch without a regulation loss this season.

“We just have to keep doing what we do, especially in our building,” he said. “Our goalies are giving us a chance to win every night, so you expect to be in every game.”

WHERE DID THE POWER PLAY GO?

While Joey Daccord, Filip Gustavsson and Anton Forsberg have taken turns stealing points for the Senators lately, a few timely power play goals would have turned extra time losses into wins.

The Senators haven’t scored with the man advantage since March 14, going 0-for-14 in their past five outings. They now rank 28th in the league overall, converting at only 13.7 per cent for the season.

It’s no coincidence that Evgenii Dadonov, Tim Stuetzle and Drake Batherson are currently on extended scoring slumps.

Accordingly, when the Senators go back to work on the power play at practice Monday, Smith says he plans “to move around a few guys to spark something”, switching players to and from the first and second units.

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Winger Brady Tkachuk has provided much of the punch for the Senators, but coach D.J. Smith says he’d like him to be more selective in picking his fights with opponents.
Winger Brady Tkachuk has provided much of the punch for the Senators, but coach D.J. Smith says he’d like him to be more selective in picking his fights with opponents. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

TKACHUK TAKES RESPONSIBILITY

Brady Tkachuk is taking ownership of the power play struggles. “I just think we have to bear down a little bit,” he said. “The last power plays been my fault (with) bad turnovers and that’s unacceptable. It shouldn’t happen. You’ve got to be ready in all aspects of our game, so I take a lot of blame on the power play. We’ve just got to simplify a little more, just make that simple play, not try to be a hero.”

WHERE DID THE SHOTS GO?

Dadonov, who was being counted on as a veteran goal-scoring leader on the power play, has no goals and one assist in his past seven games, two goals and one assist in his past 12 games and three goals and one assist in his past 18 games. In his past eight games, he has only 11 shots on goal.

Coach D.J. Smith says he has no fear putting Drake Batherson on the ice whenever a game is on the line.
Coach D.J. Smith says he has no fear putting Drake Batherson on the ice whenever a game is on the line. Photo by Andre Ringuette /Freestyle Photography

WHERE DID THE GOALS GO?

As for Drake Batherson, who has two goals in his past 12 games and Tim Stuetzle, who has one goal in his past 17, the shots are still coming. Batherson has eight shots on goal in his past five games. Stuetzle has 13 shots on goal in his past five games.

“It’s definitely frustrating a little bit, but for me, the only matter is if we win the games,” said Stuetzle. “So, if I don’t score and we lose, then I’m really frustrated. If I would score, I think maybe the games would be a little better overall and maybe we would not have been tied late in the game. I need to score more, for sure.”

Smith insists he’s not concerned about the production.

“Both of those guys get tons of chances, good looks and there are good goalies in our division and sometimes they make good saves,” he said. That likely means one of these days soon both of them will go off.”

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Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Brannstrom.
Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Brannstrom. Photo by Marc DesRosiers /USA TODAY Sports

BRANNSTROM RETURNS

After registering a pair of assists in Belleville’s 2-1 win over Stockton on Friday, defenceman Erik Brannstrom was back working out with the parent Senators Sunday.

He was paired with Erik Gudbranson, who has been a healthy scratch for the past three games.

“We’ll make that decision as we go,” said Smith. “I thought the defence played fairly well last game (including a third pairing of Braydon Coburn and Josh Brown). We didn’t give up what I thought was a whole bunch against an elite team. We’re going to put the guys in who we think can help us win on any given day.”

kwarren@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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U.S. lawmakers urge speedy action on U.S semiconductor chips funding

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A bipartisan group of 38 U.S. House lawmakers on Thursday urged leaders in Congress to immediately set a path to advance legislation providing $52 billion for U.S. semiconductor production including $2 billion in support for chips used by the automotive industry.

The  U.S. Senate voted 68-32 in June to approve a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology, including providing $52 billion for chips, but the measure has stalled in the House.

The House lawmakers in a letter warned of the “dire consequences the automotive industry as a whole—and the nation—faces if we fail to advance legislation soon.”

 

(Reporting by David Shepardson)

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MacBook Pro's M1 Max GPU is Over 3x Faster Than M1 in First Metal Benchmark – MacRumors

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Multiple benchmarks have already given us a general estimate of the CPU performance of the M1 Max chip, but we’ve had little insight into GPU performance. The ‌M1‌ Max is equipped with up to 32 graphics cores, marking a vast improvement over the 8-core GPU of the ‌M1‌, which was Apple’s first chip.


The first Metal benchmark for the ‌M1‌ Max surfaced this afternoon, with the chip earning a score of 68870. Comparatively, the ‌M1‌ chip in the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a Metal score of 20581, and the Radeon Pro 5600M, which was the highest-end GPU option for the prior Intel-based 16-inch model, has a Metal score of 42510.

Compared to the fastest chip available in Apple’s previous-generation 16-inch MacBook Pro, the ‌M1‌ Max is 62 percent faster, and it’s 3x faster than the ‌M1‌ chip in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, based on the Metal score we have so far.

It’s not clear if this ‌M1‌ Max chip is the 24-core variant or the 32-core variant. This is also just one result, so we should be able to get a better picture of the graphics performance when additional benchmarks are available.

According to Apple, the 32-core GPU in the ‌M1‌ Max is up to 4x faster than the ‌M1‌. Apple has said that the chip delivers performance “comparable to a high-end GPU in a compact pro PC laptop” while consuming up to 40 percent less power.

Since we last shared CPU benchmarks for the ‌M1‌ Max/Pro chip, several additional results have surfaced. Comparing multiple benchmarks, the ‌M1‌ Max/Pro earns an average single-core score 1742 and an average multi-core score of 12135.

The chip has the highest single-core score of any Mac to date, and it is only beaten in multi-core performance by the 16, 18, 24, and 28-core Intel Xeon chips used in the higher-end iMac Pro and Mac Pro models.

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U.S. safety board says driver, passenger seats occupied during fatal Tesla crash

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National Transportation Safety Board(NTSB) said on Thursday that both the driver and passenger seats were occupied during an April 17 fatal crash of a Tesla Model S in Spring, Texas.

Local police previously said witness statements indicated there was nobody in the driver’s seat of the Model S when it crashed into a tree. The NTSB said a review of vehicle data show “both the driver and the passenger seats were occupied, and that the seat belts were buckled when the (event data recorder) recorded the crash.”

 

(Reporting by David Shepardson)

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