A pretty quiet week in Sensland has finally opened up with news of note. Ottawa spanked Mr. Universe and the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 (I’m sure all were quietly thrilled Frederik Andersen wasn’t between the pipes), which comes off the heels of an uninspired 2-0 win over the Devils and a shootout loss to the red-hot Sabres (5-4).
Sanity at last prevailed with management as Curtis Lazar was loaned to Canada’s WJC team. Nichols raises the salient point:
I do think this decision opens the organization up to some second-guessing for their original decision not to return Lazar back to junior at the beginning of the season.
Yes Nichols, although it’s not second-guessing: it was questioned right out of the gate. If there’s one thing this organisation has an overabundance of its depth forwards (I’d say there are six in the Bingo lineup), so there was no need to have Lazar play more than the obligatory nine games.
Along with the dawn of common sense the injury gods have blessed the Sens by pulling Chris Neil and Zack Smith from the lineup. While it’s not guaranteed that the Smith wrist injury is long-term, if it is we’ll at last be able to witness how irrelevant both players are to the team’s success. The roster changes have brought Jean-Gabriel Pageau back into the lineup.
Christopher Boucher provides the data confirming the obvious that the dump-in strategy is not every effective offensively, but does work as a defensive play.
Binghamton is in the midst of a three game losing streak that includes ugly losses to the Phantoms and Falcons, where Andrew Hammond was awful in both and started all three games. While there was plenty of time between starts, it’s become apparent that Hammond needs to start less to be effective. Given that Scott Greenham has played reasonably well I see no reason for Luke Richardson to not mix it up more (his Hammond addiction is something I’ve addressed previously). Brad Mills, having served his PED suspension, should have been sent down to Evansville, but is playing for whatever reason.
In Evansville Troy Rutkowski has points in his last two games while Chris Driedger has now lost five straight starts (good numbers in two of them, awful numbers in one). In a B-Sen flashback, former Sen draft pick Jim McKenzie is now on the roster. Jakub Culek, who ought to be logging time in the ECHL, is still just practicing with Binghamton.
[Update: Nick Paul was just signed to his ELC]
Mikael Wikstrand (DOB 1993, DL, 7-196/12, Frolunda) 25-3-6-9
Has no points in his last two games
Andreas Englund (DOB 1996, DL, 2-40/14, Djurgarden) 30-1-3-4
No points in his last two games
Marcus Hogberg (DOB 1994, GL, 3-78/13, Linkoping) 4-6-0 2.65 .903
Lost his last start
Francis Perron (DOB 1996, C/LW, 7-190/14, QMJHL, Rouyn-Noranda) 32-17-25-42
Three points over his last three games; 18th in overall scoring
Tobias Lindberg (DOB 1995, C/RW, 4-102/13, OHL, Oshawa) 31-13-26-39
Four points in his last four games; up to 14th in overall scoring
Nick Paul (DOB 1995, LW, 4-101/13 Dallas, OHL, North Bay) 27-19-15-34
Has not played as he’s at Canada’s WJC camp
Vincent Dunn (DOB 1995, CL, 5-138/13, QMJHL, Rimouski) 30-12-10-22
Five points in his last four games
Ben Harpur (DOB 1995, DL, 4-108/13, OHL, Guelph) 23-4-16-20
Finally cooling off with one point in his last five
Miles Gendron (DOB 1996, DL, 3-70/14, BCHL, Penticton) 35-4-10-14
One point in his last four
Quentin Shore (DOB 1994, C/RW, 6-168/13, U Denver) 14-6-7-13
Two points in his last two games
Shane Eiserman (DOB 1995, LW, 4-100/14, U New Hampshire) 12-3-2-5
Two points in his last two
Chris Leblanc (DOB 1993, RW, 6-161/13, Merrimack) 8-3-0-3
Has not played since my last update
Robbie Baillargeon (DOB 1993, CR, 5-136/12, Boston U) 7-1-1-2
Has not played since my last update
Kelly Summers (DOB 1996, DR, 7-189/14, Clarkson) 15-0-1-1
No points in his last game
Tim Boyle (DOB 1993, DR, 4-106/12, Endicott) 15-3-8-11
One point in his last three
I’ve been bemused by all the chatter dissecting yet another failed season for the Edmonton Oilers, particularly the talk about a “losing culture.” For me that sentiment is right up there with all the other empty clichés we hear throughout the sporting world (if only there was a moratorium on players “giving 110%”). There’s no mystery to the Oilers problems–poor management, awful coaching, no goaltending and a middling defense is all it takes, and the first problem leads to all the others (Travis Yost believes goaltending was the biggest problem). Why fans reach for nebulous reasons (“good character” and whatever other nonsense you want to pick) when there are tangible, irrefutable factual reasons for the problems.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)