Senators News: November 5th

-As some of you have noticed I haven’t been posting daily for the last little while.  Part of the reason for the change is work-related, but the other is simply me getting tired of the generic coverage the team receives.  I’ve been blogging about the Sens for six years and there are days where nothing engaging is happening or being discussed.  Paid bloggers (and journalists) often fill such days with trade speculation and what not, but I don’t find that kind of thing particularly engaging to write about.

-The Sens play Columbus (5-8-0) tonight–in fact, the game is under way.  Robin Lehner gets the start while Patrick Wiercioch sits in favour of Mark Borowiecki so that Paul MacLean can continue to tweak the blogosphere by playing Jared Cowen.

-Ottawa lost 4-3 in a shootout to Dallas (boxscore and Ryan Classic‘s summary) with Craig Anderson leaving on a stretcher late, but he’s apparently just day-to-day.  The other good news is that Ottawa fought back from a two and one goal deficit and grabbed a point.

Paul MacLean offered some thoughts on Cowen‘s season:

Jared‘s game is coming around, it’s been a little slower maybe than we anticipated it would, but we have to remember he did miss a whole year and he did miss some of training camp. Any time you miss that much it takes time to get back up to speed and get back into the rhythm of the game. I think his last two games have been better than his previous two games to that, but again, it still needs to be better. I think when he concentrates on the physical side of the game and being hard to play against, that simplifies his game and he’s a much better player.

Missing training camp and the injury are good reasons and worth keeping in mind.

Travis Yost provides some zone-entry data for the Sens–no real surprises for me, but worth a look.

Nichols re-visits the Sens attendance issues that Amelia discussed a week earlier.  There’s not much new here, although I do like his theory that:

If season tickets are rising but attendance figures are in the decline, what’s really going on?  Perhaps the most likely explanation is that the Senators have simply stopped giving away as many discounted or free tickets as they have in the past. I mean, with Melnyk crying poor and using the Senators financial situation as a rallying cry for fans to get onboard the idea of putting a casino adjacent to the Canadian Tire Centre, wouldn’t it make sense to make the ticket sale issue as transparent as possible?

I’m less convinced by Nichols’ idea that tailgating or a better developed Kanata would help the numbers (oddly, no one I’ve seen has studied the issue–or at least, not in a hockey context).  Those elements seem to have little to no impact on attendance in other Canadian cities, so it seems a farfetched.

Scott makes the case for the Sens to acquire Nikita Nikitin (for those who missed Varada do the same thing last week).  Scott includes that the Blue Jackets are trying to move the Russian defenseman, but doesn’t offer up much in the way of trade bait to get him (Stephane Da Costa, Mike Hoffman, and/or Colin Greening?!), although I don’t know Columbus’ organisational needs well enough to complete dismiss the idea (god knows, there have been worse trades made in the NHL).

-Here’s my look at the Binghamton Senators ten-games into the season (link).

Justin Azevedo wonders if size matters in the NHL and after looking at the numbers his conclusions don’t surprise me:

It’s no secret that teams covet players with size. Everyone is trying to find “the next Milan Lucic” or “the next Zdeno Chara“. Unfortunately, the stunningly obvious reality is that not every player with size will make any sort of an impact at the NHL level. So then why do GMs continue to reduce their odds at finding NHLers? It’s simple: the pursuit of the outlier is a much more attractive option to the average person than it is to settle for the medial. To me, that doesn’t really make sense – the point of an NHL draft is to maximize the amount of NHLers you can get your hands on. The farther away you go, the harder it is to find an NHLer. Thus, draft players who are already equipped with point scoring and skating ability before you draft for size.

Allan Muir tries to defend fighting by insulting the anti-fighting crowd and providing no argumentation for his own position other than:

There has to be an element of honor to fighting. If someone like Emery chooses to abandon it, he should pay a price.

Er, there does?  He should?  Just saying it doesn’t make it so.  The fly in the ointment for the pro-fighting crowd is they have no arguments to support the practice–they can only stand by their personal enjoyment, which is why the debate becomes redundant.  Ultimately fighting will disappear, but as I’ve said many times before it will take a long time.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)


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