Senators News: December 12th

-Ottawa played three straight shootout games, losing to Toronto (boxscore), beating Philadelphia (boxscore), and then losing to Buffalo (boxscore), who they face again tonight.  The Sens sent down Mike Hoffman and replaced him with Jean-Gabriel Pageau; they also called up Cody Ceci as Jared Cowen is suspended for two games and Marc Methot has the flu.

-Speaking of Hoffman, Nichols echoes my thoughts:

A few days after Paul MacLean emphasized how pleased he has been with the way that Mike Hoffman has played, today it was announced that Hoffman had been demoted to the Binghamton Senators.

It’s getting a little absurd how much the organisation yoyo’s its comments on players (Defense Minister was having some fun with that on Twitter today, relating to Mika Zibanejad).  Bobby Kelly expounds on his frustration with how the organisation handled Hoffman.

Travis Yost sums up my thoughts about Zibanejad:

One of the things I’ve really been harping on this season — and again, it’s one of my only two objections with Paul MacLean’s deployment; I’ve absolved him of most of the team’s struggles this year — is the continued supressed usage of F Mika Zibanejad. Since the summer, particularly due to the way this roster has been assembled, it became clear to me rather quickly that if Zibanejad could transition to the wing, he’d be quite the weapon for this team — and allow for ideal line combination structure. Zibanejad was laughably cut from the team for reasons unknown, but since his call-up, he’s more or less tore through the competition. He’s the team’s best raw neutral zone player (probably second-best when adjusted for quality of competition), leads the team in EV possession, and generates shots at league-high levels. The argument to have him logging big minutes is hugely-supported; the argument to suppress his minutes (and consequently, create big minutes for lesser forwards) is far less supported. The idea that the Swedish forward suddenly morphed into a guy who can handle top-six minutes is rather ludicrous, particularly when you look at all of the available data and video from last season. I had doubts that Zibanejad could comfortably transition to wing, but a few games with Jason Spezza later, I saw a guy who reminded me a whole lot of the good Alexander Semin — not nearly as polished offensively, but twice as ready to fight away from the puck, defending his net.

Nichols looks at the Sens playoff odds and offers us this (the third column is the required winning percentage for the Sens):

Points Record Playoff Probability Point %
100 34-13-5 99.7 .702
99 33-13-6 99.3 .692
98 33-14-5 98.4 .683
97 32-14-6 97.0 .673
96 31-14-7 94.5 .663
95 31-15-6 90.7 .654
94 30-15-7 85.2 .644
93 30-16-6 77.6 .635
92 29-16-7 67.7 .625
91 29-17-6 55.7 .615
90 28-17-7 42.7 .605

Eric T looks at how to bring shot quality into player evaluation:

The stat community relies heavily on shot differential measures (Corsi and Fenwick) that don’t make any effort to account for the quality of those shots. But of course shot quality also has to matter a little bit, so why not try to factor it in?

He overviews Delta, the term for measuring shot quality and concludes:

Delta is even a slightly worse predictor of future Delta.

Eric offers five suggestions to make the approach more useful.

-Binghamton has continued to lose, dropping three more games since my last post (4-2 to Hershey (boxscore and Jeff Ulmer‘s recap);  3-2 to Albany (boxscore and Jeff‘s recap); and 4-3 to the Bears last night (boxscore and Jeff‘s recap)).  The latter two losses were via shootout (echoing the parent club).

-Elmira lost 2-1 last night with Jakub Culek scoring the lone goal for the Jackals.  I don’t know if Culek has AHL-chops, but among the Sens prospects toiling in the ECHL he’s been the best, as he’s now tied with Jordan Pietrus for the team’s scoring lead (but with a much better PPG ratio).  Neither Ludwig Karlsson nor Troy Rutkowski have dominated, although the former may still be dealing with the after effects of his concussion.  AHL-signee Danny New has decent numbers (20-1-8-9), but has the second worst plus/minus on the team (-12).  Danny Hobbs has been adequate, but neither he nor New are likely to see action in Binghamton barring major injuries.  Scott Greenham is having a career year (this is his third in the ECHL), but given that Binghamton choose to sign Rob Madore (playing for Cincinnati in the ECHL) to a PTO rather than recall him while Nathan Lawson recovers from injury presumably says something. [It seems as if Greenham is injured, as he hasn’t started for Elmira since December 6th.]

-I always liked Peter Regin, but his time on the Island hasn’t changed him from the sad shadow of his former self as he was last season (29-1-3-4 statistical line thus far).  Ouch.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



  1. In your article Yost mentioned ..”Zibanejad was laughably cut from the team for reasons unknown, but since his call-up, he’s more or less tore through the competition. ”

    Wasn’t that the point of being sent down? It seemed to work as Mika responded accordingly after having a not so great camp/pre-season.

    Perhaps my thoughts should be directed to Travis himself.

    • Travis can definitely speak for himself, but the reasoning behind the comment is that the idea of Zibanejad having a poor camp came very late in the process and seemed to contradict other statements by the organisation about his performance. The thought is that the organisation sent him down to Binghamton for fear of losing Stephane Da Costa on waivers, rather than due to Zibanejad’s performance, but that’s something that can’t be proven out right so it’s just a theory. Is Zibanejad better for having spent a few games in Binghamton? I think it’s impossible to know if it improved his play or not–you either accept that it did (which is what the organisation would say) or you don’t. For my sake I think he would have been just as productive if he’d started the season with Ottawa, but that’s just my opinion–it is hard to argue that keeping Da Costa was better for the team.

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