-It looks like Patrick Wiercioch, Jean-Gabriel Pageau (see below), and Matt Kassian will be scratched for tonight’s game, while Craig Anderson gets the start. It’s the Sens first game against Daniel Alfredsson and Travis Yost does a good job recapping the drama from this summer.
-The Sens finally recalled Mika Zibanejad (ostensibly due to a Pageau injury). How much impact will he have? It’s difficult to say, the interim established (assuming it needed establishing) that Stephane Da Costa, Pageau, and Derek Grant do not do enough for the bottom six to keep Zibanejad in Binghamton. The blogosphere has universally rejoiced at his return, with only Nichols referencing the financial reasons that seem to have led to his initial demotion. Will Zibanejad remain once Pageau is healthy? I’d guess yes, but we shall see.
-A few thoughts on Binghamton early in the season: Andrew Hammond‘s early difficulties seem to be caused by him staying deep in his net; Cole Schneider responded well to being scratched by notching two goals in the Bridgeport game; it’s been a quiet start for Corey Cowick (one point in six games); Jim O’Brien has the worst plus/minus among forwards on the team (Troy Rutkowski has the worst overall); among the various players on the depth chart Mike Hoffman (after Zibanejad) has had the best run (four goals and six points) thus far.
-This comes as no surprise, but Eric T reports NHL teams are adopting the use of advanced statistics (he gives examples from 18 teams, not including Ottawa, although we have reason to believe Paul MacLean also uses them).
-Darren Dreger writes about how the NHL is trying to make fighting safer:
NHL linesmen have been instructed to stop a fight when the participants opt to remove their helmets prior to swapping blows.
There’s no rule attached to this and let’s keep in mind:
Linesmen now have the authority to step in, when it is safe to do so
When it’s safe? So they can help with safety when it’s safe for them to do so. I suppose the effort is better than nothing, but I can’t envision it making much of a difference.
-The Sens and Dany Heatley have settled their dispute over bonuses. Given that the terms are unknown there’s no conclusions that can be drawn from it.
-Sam Cosentino talks about how NHL’s Central Scouting has changed its approach. It won’t impact things for fans directly, but the technical improvements (particularly with video and ensuring scouts have up-to-date information) should make assessment even more accurate.
-Steve Buffery believes the Sochi Olympics may be the last for women’s hockey and is glad because it’s a Canada-USA show every time. The underlying assumption here is that any sport where a few countries dominate (is it two? three? Buffery doesn’t specify what amounts to too few or why that’s bad) shouldn’t be part of the Olympics, but Buffery doesn’t bother examining that assumption or looking to see if there are other Olympic sports with similar disparity (there are). To be consistent Buffery should believe that men’s hockey should have been banned from the Olympics until 1994 for similar reasons, but I expect he has a lot of complicated arguments for why that isn’t the case. You can draw your own conclusions.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)