Senators News (December 20th)

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.

Prospect update

[Update: Nick Paul was just signed to his ELC]

SHL (Sweden)
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

CHL
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

NCAA
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

NCAA-III
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)

Senators News (December 14th)

Hot chocolate and battling Red Templars apparently gets my blogging juices going.  Before we get into the various things that caught my eye, a tip of the hat to the new head coach for scratching Corsi fatality Chris Phillips against Boston (a 3-2 SO win).  I wouldn’t expect the Big Rig to sit too often, but even once is an improvement.

Results weren’t as positive for the B-Sens, as they got rocked by Hershey 5-2 on Friday (Tim Spencer is back in the AHL?), albeit they beat the Phantoms 3-1 the night before.  In the ECHL, Evansville lost back-to-back games as they slip towards the bottom of the standings.

Mrs. O wrote about coaching in relation to the departed Paul MacLean, providing a detailed breakdown on what can potentially go wrong under the theory that he lost the room (as Bryan Murray has claimed).  There’s a lot to sink your teeth into, with the four-points mentioned being: favouritism, limiting opportunities for success, instilling a fear of failure, and communicating poorly.  Throughout MacLean’s I felt he favoured veterans more than was warranted, no doubt remembering the sour end to his own NHL career.  Intermixed with that is favouritism, a common crutch for coaches, but too much coddling of particular players makes it impossible to truly reward good play and punish the bad.

On the same theme, Sheer Craziness looked at the firing and the part of the article that struck me was this:

I struggled to understand a lot of MacLean’s moves. Why Alex Chiasson got top-line minutes before Mark Stone or Mike Hoffman made it off the fourth line is beyond me. Why Neil ever played on the powerplay or in the last minute of games is baffling. Why he thought Phillips was capable of career-high minutes is mind-boggling. But to say that removing MacLean fixes the problem simplifies the problem a lot. MacLean was one loose gear in the pile of broken parts that is this team.

This is exactly the frustration of fans (and likely the players).  I think along with MacLean’s aforementioned love of veterans believed in size, which can be seen in his prior love affair with Greening or his more lingering one with Zack Smith.  Whatever the truth might be, there’s simply no justifying some of his player usage and he really did have to go.  As for MacLean’s future, well….

Stroud

Jen LC takes a lengthy look at the value of a draft pick with the 2005 draft as the focus, specifically in relation to Michael E. Schuckers study from 2011.  It’s an interesting article, although I think comparative data from that point forward would have offered even more insight (for example).  She doesn’t speculate on the whys of the misses (although you can see my thoughts on what’s missed here), but does point out that many of the mid-to late round forwards who see spot duty in the NHL are so-called “energy” forwards or gritty defensemen.

I still await the eulogies for Brian Lee now that he’s retired (injury-related to his knee, suffered in the AHL two years ago).  It’s not Lee‘s fault the John Muckler thought “scouting” was a four-letter word and picked him ninth overall in 2005, but it is the kind of ignominious ending one would have imagined for such a boondoggle.  The fact that Ottawa got Matt Gilroy in return for him is just the icing on the cake.

More Sens trivia because I can:
-Jim O’Brien, yet another awful first-rounder one can foist on Muckler, has been let go by his KHL team
-Derek Smith, who somehow squeezed three years of NHL service in Calgary (!), is having an awful season with Roman Wick‘s Swiss team
-Geoff Kinrade, whose rights the Sens retained when he left, has made the move to the KHL after three years in Switzerland
-Mat Robinson, who had a cup of coffee with the team in 09-10, has managed to become a decent KHL blueliner

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News (December 10th)

I’ve been lost in the world of Dragon Age Inquisition for awhile, but I have kept my eye on the Sens and there’s a lot to talk about.

The return and official retirement of Daniel Alfredsson was well-handled and it’s great to have Alfie back in the city and involved.  I never doubted he’d return, and whatever misgivings Eugene Melynk may or may not have had he’s too acute a businessman to not roll out the welcoming mat and bring the franchise’s most important player back in the fold.  It’s clear Alfie left in the hopes of winning a Cup and it’s unfortunate for him that Detroit’s window was not open last year.  What impact he’ll have on the team day-to-day is hard to say, but it can only help the franchise now that he’s back.

Paul MacLean’s firing wasn’t particularly surprising (Nichols offers a great breakdown; Travis Yost has thoughts as well).  I saw this season as yet another rebuilding year, but the franchise either can’t accept or admit the fact so team performance was going to knock MacLean out no matter what he did.  I don’t see Dave Cameron as an NHL coach, but it’s a results oriented business and one never knows (I’m sure Luke Richardson rumours will start soon, if they haven’t already).  He’s certainly the person Melnyk wants on the bench (as it seems everyone is aware), and Cameron is getting his shot, even if I don’t think he has the pieces to do much more than finish on the outside looking in.  I’m keen to see how he distributes ice time, but don’t anticipate there will be significant changes in that regard (and on that note, here’s more on just how awful Chris Phillips is).

In terms of player performances, there’s been crying over Erik Karlsson‘s defensive play, but given the anchors he’s saddled with every night, I don’t empathise with the complainers.  As expected, Mika Zibanejad has come out of his shell offensively since I last posted, Curtis Lazar has fallen off the map (as has Zack Smith).  Phillips is awful, Cowen is awful, etc.  We know that plus/minus is largely meaningless, but it’s worth noting just how far ahead of his teammates Mike Hoffman is (at +10 he’s six up on second-placer Patrick Wiercioch).  Many of you are wondering what Colin Greening is getting paid for, but remember Colin is a smart guy and that money will let him build a time machine to go back to 2011-12 where he can find his game (and maybe Peter Regin‘s too–why not?).

Binghamton has been on fire of late, climbing back to a respectable 11-9-3 record on the season (which, granted, only puts them 11th in the conference).  I’ll have a comprehensive update specific to roster performance shortly, but the major difference has been a number of players rounding into form (Shane Prince, Cole Schneider, and others).  Jeff Ulmer has offered grades for the team (and here), but as he provides no criteria I’m not sure what those grades tangibly mean.

Evansville has played 19 games now and sits at 8-9-1 (11th in the Conference, just like Binghamton) and we can take a look at the play of the Sens prospects there:
-Troy Rutkowski (19-1-7-8) is enjoying a much better sophomore season in the ECHL, which is faint praise for the FA signee, but at least there’s been some improvement
-Jakub Culek (5-0-1-1) has been a spare part in Binghamton most of the year and his limited playing time can’t really be judged other than its lack is a bad sign
-Chris Driedger (5-6-1 3.26 .901) buried behind Cal Heeter to start the season, after early struggles (1-4-1 with terrible numbers) he’s turned it around posting a pair of shutouts while all his numbers are improving (he’s also won both starts with Bingo)

Prospect update

SHL (Sweden)
Mikael Wikstrand (DOB 1993, DL, 7-196/12, Frolunda) 23-3-6-9
Over the last 10 games he’s picked up a goal and four assists and sits third in defensive scoring on the team
Andreas Englund (DOB 1996, DL, 2-40/14, Djurgarden) 28-1-3-4
Over his last ten games he has an assist; he’s at the Swedish WJC camp
Marcus Hogberg (DOB 1994, GL, 3-78/13, Linkoping) 4-5-0 2.43 .914
His numbers have improved substantially (especially GAA) over the past month

CHL
Francis Perron (DOB 1996, C/LW, 7-190/14, QMJHL, Rouyn-Noranda) 29-15-24-39
Has fourteen points over his last eleven games and is 17th in overall scoring in the Q
Tobias Lindberg
(DOB 1995, C/RW, 4-102/13, OHL, Oshawa) 27-13-22-35
Over his last 10 games he has thirteen points and sits 16th in OHL scoring
Nick Paul (DOB 1995, LW, 4-101/13 Dallas, OHL, North Bay) 27-19-15-34
Has sixteen points in his last eleven games and is 18th in OHL scoring; he’s at Canada’s WJC camp
Vincent Dunn (DOB 1995, CL, 5-138/13, QMJHL, Rimouski) 26-11-6-17
Over his last six games he has four points
Ben Harpur (DOB 1995, DL, 4-108/13, OHL, Guelph) 18-4-15-19
Continues on a surprisingly torrid pace, with nine points in his last eight games
Miles Gendron (DOB 1996, DL, 3-70/14, BCHL, Penticton) 31-4-9-13
After initial struggles he seems to be turning it around, with seven points in his last ten games

NCAA
Quentin Shore (DOB 1994, C/RW, 6-168/13, U Denver) 12-5-6-11
Has six points in his last five games
Chris Leblanc (DOB 1993, RW, 6-161/13, Merrimack) 8-3-0-3
Three goals in his last seven games
Shane Eiserman (DOB 1995, LW, 4-100/14, U New Hampshire) 10-2-1-3
No points in his three games
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) 14-0-1-1
No points in his last seven game

NCAA-III
Tim Boyle (DOB 1993, DR, 4-106/12, Endicott) 12-3-7-10
Has six points in his last five games

I’m hesitant to include Boyle in the list as playing at Endicott indicates to me that his pro aspirations are all but over, but at least for now I’ll still list him.

Finally, I’m fond of “where are they now” tidbits and thought I’d check in on some former Sens prospects:
-Roman Wick: the Calder Cup winning (and Sens rights retaining) Swiss player is in the midst of his second consecutive season at a point-per-game pace with ZSC; I don’t think we’ll see the 28-year old cross the pond any time soon
-Kaspars Daugavins: another Calder Cup winner, the Latvian is putting up good numbers in the KHL and could (if he desired) return to the NHL as a fourth-liner or spare forward
-Andre Petersson: the fellow StarCraft-fan is putting up solid KHL numbers; at only 24 he’ll likely take another stab at the NHL, but probably only after a strong enough season in Europe to ensure a real shot
-Corey Cowick: landed on his feet with Springfield, turning a PTO into an actual contract
-Bryce Aneloski: never offered a contract after finishing his NCAA career, he’s managed to be a regular AHL call-up his first two pro seasons, but is still primarily an ECHL player
-Jeff Costello: never suited up for Ottawa and is toiling away in the ECHL during his rookie season
-Marcus Sorensen; never signed, now that he’s twenty-two he seems to have established himself as an SHL-regular and with strong enough numbers could turn that into an ELC with someone on this side of the Atlantic

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News (November 10th)

Since my last post Ottawa beat Curtis McElhinney (again!), lost to Scott Darling (again!), lost to Boston, then beat Detroit and Minnesota before losing to Winnipeg and Toronto.  If there’s a trend to be spotted here I don’t see it and I expect the entire season to yoyo along like this.  I’m still puzzling over Paul MacLean’s decision to scratch Mark Stone awhile ago (hell, sitting Mike Hoffman doesn’t make much sense when you’re sending Chris Neil over the boards every game).  It’s a little early for any surprise performances, but I will eat some crow for doubting that Cody Ceci would be solid this season–so far, so good.

Nichols looked at Mika Zibanejad‘s rough start to the season and concludes a major problem are his linemates.  He also looked at the pros and cons of keeping Curtis Lazar in the NHL–I was on the side of sending him back to the WHL, but I don’t think it’s that bad a decision to keep him here.

Binghamton briefly stopped starting Andrew Hammond every game two Friday’s ago to let back-up Scott Greenham face 40+ shots (for the win).  Hammond was then between the pipes to get annihilated by Syracuse; he proceeded to lose to Utica, beat Rochester, and then lose to Wilkes-Barre.  Either Richardson has no faith in Greenham or too much in Hammond.  In other news also-ran Brad Mills was suspended for testing positive for violating the AHL’s drug policy.  With his suspension, Jakub Culek and Danny Hobbs were recalled from Evansville, although Culek was returned soon after.

Speaking of Binghamton, here’s my look at the team ten-games into the season.

In ECHL news: Evansville traded Nathan Moon to the Colorado Eagles for defenseman Daniel Johnston (an undrafted player from the WHL who turned pro with the Eagles last season).  It was something of an odd choice just two games into the season, as Moon is a former ECHL all-star and Johnston‘s start to the season hasn’t been overwhelming.  Since my last post Troy Rutkowski picked up an assist in Chris Driedger‘s first start of the season (a loss), while Culek has been held pointless since returning from Binghamton.  Speaking of Driedger, with Cal Heeter signing a KHL tryout deal, he becomes Evansville de facto starter and has now earned his first win (along with another loss).

Prospect update

SHL (Sweden)
Mikael Wikstrand (Frolunda) 13-2-2-4
Has not played since my last update due to injury
Andreas Englund (Djurgarden) 18-1-2-3
No points in his last three games
Marcus Hogberg (Linkoping) 3.01 .900
Has not played since the last update

CHL
Francis Perron (QMJHL, Rouyn-Noranda) 18-12-13-25
Eleven points in his last five games
Tobias Lindberg
(OHL, Oshawa) 17-9-13-22
Five points in his last four games
Nick Paul (OHL, North Bay) 16-14-5-18
Five points in his last five games
Vincent Dunn (QMJHL, Rimouski) 20-8-5-13
Two points in his last four games
Ben Harpur (OHL, Guelph) 10-3-7-10
Continues on his point-per-game pace
Miles Gendron (BCHL, Penticton) 21-2-4-6
These are unremarkable numbers

NCAA
Quentin Shore (U Denver) 7-1-4-5
One point in his last five games
Shane Eiserman (U New Hampshire) 7-2-1-3
Two points in his last four games
Robbie Baillargeon (Boston U) 7-1-1-2
One point in his last six games
Kelly Summers (Clarkson) 7-0-1-1
One point in the last five games
Chris Leblanc (Merrimack) 1-0-0-0
Presumably coming back from injury

NCAA-III
Tim Boyle (Endicott) 7-2-2-4

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Binghamton Senators at the 10-Game Mark

The B-Sens are now ten games into their season and it’s time to take stock with how the team has performed.  Binghamton is 3-5-2, which puts them last in the East Division.  Their 30 goals for is 3rd in the conference, while their 37 goals against is 14th.  Their stats are listed below, but my thoughts first:

It’s been a fantastic start to the season for Chris Wideman, who should get a cup of coffee with Ottawa if he keeps it up.  Buddy Robinson has also enjoyed a strong start, but otherwise we’re left with players being as-expected or else struggling out of the gate.  I have no idea why Darren Kramer is dressing every game–if he could intimidate less shots against I’d understand it, but otherwise I’d like younger players cycled in.  Carter Camper has been awful, Cole Schneider is off his expected pace, and even Matt Puempel could be producing more.  None of the rookies has been dominant, although I don’t think any of them should be expected to take on a big role this year (for consistency Garrett Thompson has been the best thus far).  As for the goaltenders, Andrew Hammond‘s number look bad, but I do think some of that is from being overplayed.

6 Chris Wideman D 10 7 6 13 +1 10 3 0 1.30 1.00 42
44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau C 10 3 5 8 +1 2 0 0 0.80 0.20 40
10 Buddy Robinson RW 10 2 5 7 +2 6 0 1 0.70 0.60 20
72 Aaron Johnson D 10 1 6 7 +6 12 0 0 0.70 1.20 15
9 Matt Puempel LW 10 2 4 6 -3 5 1 0 0.60 0.50 26
57 Derek Grant C 10 3 2 5 +2 9 0 0 0.50 0.90 27
18 Shane Prince LW 8 2 3 5 -2 6 0 0 0.62 0.75 19
15 Cole Schneider RW 9 3 1 4 -6 2 1 0 0.44 0.22 24
20 Alex Grant D 10 1 3 4 -6 8 1 0 0.40 0.80 15
* 43 Ryan Dzingel C 9 2 1 3 -2 7 0 0 0.33 0.78 19
14 Patrick Mullen D 10 1 2 3 -5 8 0 0 0.30 0.80 14
* 16 Garrett Thompson F 10 1 2 3 +2 11 0 0 0.30 1.10 8
3 Fredrik Claesson D 10 0 3 3 -7 4 0 0 0.30 0.40 10
11 Carter Camper C 10 1 1 2 -8 0 0 0 0.20 0.00 11
* 27 Alex Guptill LW 7 1 0 1 -2 0 0 0 0.14 0.00 12
8 Daniel New D 3 0 1 1 +2 2 0 0 0.33 0.67 1
22 David Dziurzynski LW 5 0 1 1 +2 12 0 0 0.20 2.40 4
* 17 Max McCormick LW 5 0 1 1 0 7 0 0 0.20 1.40 10
30 Andrew Hammond G 9 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.11 0.00 0
37 Darren Kramer LW 10 0 1 1 -4 22 0 0 0.10 2.20 16
4 Michael Sdao D 10 0 1 1 0 29 0 0 0.10 2.90 6
* 41 Jakub Culek C 2 0 0 0 -1 2 0 0 0.00 1.00 4
35 Scott Greenham G 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0
* 12 Danny Hobbs F 2 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 2
1 Scott Greenham 2 80:16 3 0 2.24 1 0 0 52 49 0.942
2 Andrew Hammond 9 537:14 34 0 3.80 2 5 2 339 305 0.900

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News (October 27th)

Since my last post Ottawa’s luck initially continued as they faced Curtis McElhinney, scoring twice on him before injury brought Bobrovsky in (who they managed to beat and get the win).  That came on the heels of beating Calvin Pickard (of all people), but after those two wins and the postponed game against Toronto, they lost in OT against New Jersey (Mark Stone‘s TOI dropping for whatever reason), and then were unable to score more than once on Scott Darling (with Greening in for Stone and Wiercioch playing the fewest minutes among defensemen).  Typical Paul MacLean head-scratching decisions continue to plague the lineup.  Ottawa is now 4-2-1 on the season, but their record does not reassure me about where the team is heading.

Amelia L takes a look at the different ways Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone have been used and I agree with her conclusion that one of the main reasons the latter gets more TOI is because of his size.

Binghamton has stumbled out of the gate going 2-3-2 to start the season.  Incredibly, Andrew Hammond has started every single game of the season and faced an appalling amount of shots (40 or more in five of the seven games).  Chris Wideman leads the team in scoring, while free agent signee Carter Camper has been a dud to start the season (one point and a -5, tied for worst on the team).  Jean-Gabriel Pageau is also off to a slow start, while newcomers Alex Guptill and Garrett Thompson have been underwhelming.  It’s still early and I expect the team to improve defensively, but it’s a lacklustre start for a talented team.  The most disappointing element has to be their defensecorps, which includes a number of veterans who should be doing more.

Evansville has opened its season with two wins, Sens prospect Chris Driedger serving as the back-up in each.  Both Jakub Culek and Troy Rutkowski picked up assists in the second game.  Incredibly, the team won’t play again until Halloween, which is a remarkably slow start to the season.

Prospect update

SHL (Sweden)
Mikael Wikstrand (Frolunda) 13-2-2-4
Has a pair of assists in his last three games
Andreas Englund (Djurgarden) 15-1-2-3
Scored his first career goal over his last four games
Marcus Hogberg (Linkoping) 3.01 .900
His numbers have dropped significantly over his last two appearances

CHL
Tobias Lindberg (OHL, Oshawa) 13-7-10-17
Has continued his torrid pace (7-5-6-11 since my previous update)
Francis Perron (QMJHL, Rouyn-Noranda) 13-6-8-14
Just one point over his last four games
Nick Paul (OHL, North Bay) 11-10-4-14
Continuing his red-hot pace (6-7-1-8 since last time)
Vincent Dunn (QMJHL, Rimouski) 16-6-5-11
Six points in his last five games
Ben Harpur (OHL, Guelph) 7-2-5-7
Continuing to put up career numbers
Miles Gendron (BCHL, Penticton) 4-1-1-2

NCAA
Quentin Shore (U Denver) 2-1-3-4
Robbie Baillargeon (Boston U) 1-1-0-1
Shane Eiserman (U New Hampshire) 3-1-0-1
Kelly Summers (Clarkson) 2-0-0-0
Chris Leblanc (Merrimack) DNP
The team is three games into the season

NCAA-III
Tim Boyle (Endicott) DNP

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News (October 17th)

Sometimes I feel like Paul MacLean deliberately trolls fans, because after puzzling player use in the Sens opener he’s slowly but surely shifted the lineup in the way that we all think it should be.  Let’s take a quick look at the obvious signs of sanity over the last three games (all wins, although last night’s was against Colorado’s third-stringer):

Chris Neil: his ice time is down–slightly granted, but down–if he must play, less is more
Mark Stone: the converse of the above, as after playing less than ten minutes in the opener he’s been playing more and more
Patrick Wiercioch: scratched twice for no particular reason, he’s been returned to the lineup and received solid TOI
Jared Cowen: I don’t know that he has to sit (see the Nichols link below), but the fact that MacLean has shortened his leash is a good sign
Colin Greening: speaking of scratches, the man with the new contract has played in exactly one game and received fourth-line minutes

After all these positives it’s a bit odd that Bobby Ryan‘s TOI is middling the past two games, although it’s hard to argue with wins (there are some troubling signs as Nichols points out the team’s Fenwick and Corsi numbers, particularly the latter amongst the blueliners).

Binghamton is exactly one game into the schedule and the dream of a perfect season has died after dropping a 3-2 OT decision to Worcester.  Andrew Hammond took the loss (making 45 saves) while Ryan Dzingel scored both goals.  We all know to take plus/minus with a grain of salt, but it’s still impressive that Patrick Mullen was -3 on the night.

Evansville opens it’s ECHL season tomorrow, having announced their opening night roster yesterday.  Of note for Sens prospects along with curiosities: Chris Driedger will have to compete for starts with former AHL-goaltender Cal Heeter, who was sent down by Adirondack (Philadelphia’s affiliate); Evansville’s blueline is very thin so there should be ample ice time for Troy Rutkowski; former B-Sen Matt Lowry (who went from that organisation into the CIS and then back to pro hockey) joins the forward group.

While the NCAA is not fully underway, many Sens prospects have started their season so here’s a quick look at how they are performing:

SHL (Sweden)
Mikael Wikstrand (Frolunda) 10-2-0-2
Still only 20-years old, he’s fighting for playing time with veterans Christian Backman, Elias Fasth, Christoffer Persson, and 2012 Edmonton draft pick Erik Gustafsson
Marcus Hogberg (Linkoping) 2.55 .918
The 19-year old is currently splitting duties with veteran David Rautio, despite having better stats
Andreas Englund (Djurgarden) 11-0-2-2
It’s impressive that the 18-year old defenseman is seeing regular time in the league

CHL
Francis Perron (QMJHL, Rouyn-Noranda) 9-5-8-13
Currently third in team scoring
Nick Paul (OHL, North Bay) 5-3-3-6
It should be a banner year for him in junior
Tobias Lindberg (OHL, Oshawa) 6-2-4-6
A great start for the Swedish import
Vincent Dunn (QMJHL, Rimouski) 11-3-2-5
A middling start on his new team
Ben Harpur (OHL, Guelph) 5-1-3-4
It looks like the big man might finally be breaking out offensively

The NCAA players: Robbie Baillargeon (Boston U), Chris Leblanc (Merrimack), Quentin Shore (U Denver), Kelly Summers (Clarkson), Shane Eiserman (U New Hampshire), and Miles Gendron (U Connecticut).

An interesting note about Tim Boyle (fourth-round pick from 2012), after leaving Union College (NCAA) to play one more year of junior (USPHL) last season, he was unable to get into the top-tier of the NCAA and will be plugging away for Endicott, which does not bode well for his future as a pro.

Former draft pick Marcus Sorensen (2010) has finally hit his stride, as the 22-year old is leading Djurgarden in scoring.

Former B-Sens Wacey Hamilton (Utica) and Corey Cowick (Springfield) remain with AHL teams on tryouts.  Ludwig Karlsson (foisted upon Dallas as part of the Jason Spezza trade) was unable to stick in the AHL (just like last year) and is suiting up with Idaho in the ECHL.  Also toiling in the ECHL is discarded draft pick Jeff Costello (now with Tampa).

Not strictly related to Ottawa, but I’ve always enjoyed Hockey’s Future‘s European league previews and for those interested you can check out those for the Finnish league (just the Liiga now, part one and part two–Binghamton trivia buffs can enjoy the Tomas Kudelka and Craig Schira sightings) and the SHL in Sweden (part one and part two–homes for former B-Sen Mattias Karlsson and former Sen Chris Campoli).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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