The Sens opened up the season with a 3-2 loss to Nashville and after suffering through Paul MacLean’s bizarre player choices last year it was more of the on Thursday. Nichols adds numbers to the obvious: Chris Phillips was awful (worst Corsi in the game–here Travis Yost loses his mind about it), Chris Neil was on the powerplay when the team needed the tying goal (!), Mark Stone barely played, no Patrick Wiercioch…the song remains the same. Although the evidence was there before the season opened, if the first game is anything to go by Paul MacLean learned exactly nothing from the 2013-14 campaign. Is MacLean simply out of touch? Would the team be that much better with different decisions behind the bench? Time will tell. Also on “the song remains the same” line, none of these matters are to be found in The Ottawa Sun or The Ottawa Citizen (no Corsi’s or Fenwicks either).
Tonight Ottawa faces Tampa Bay and we already know Wiercioch will be watching from the pressbox. The Lehner will be unleashed, but otherwise the lineup that failed against Nashville will be on the ice again–so much for accountability (unless you believe Anderson was responsible for the Nashville loss).
I could write at length about Chris Pronger appointment for Player Safety, but all that needs to be said is that it’s a sign of just how out of touch the NHL is. As much as hockey fans might want to laugh or mock the NFL’s recent series of debacles, it’s worth remembering the NHL is at least as backwards.
Binghamton announced their opening roster, featuring surprises Brad Mills, Danny New, and Scott Greenham. The latter two played with Binghamton last season and New in particular has a fair amount of AHL-experience. Keeping 31-year old Mills is an interesting decision, but he does have over 300 games of AHL experience and no doubt can handle being in and out of the lineup. Cutting Jakub Culek and Troy Rutkowski was a no-brainer, but it’s a bit unusual that Chris Driedger was also sent down to Evansville; PTO Ty Wishart is also ECHL-bound. Keep in mind the roster could change and shift at any time and that all the aforementioned players are marginal pieces for Bingo at this stage.
The B-Sens play Worcester tonight (I haven’t seen the lineup posted yet). Last season Worcester was 36-34-6, finishing 4th in the Atlantic Division (out of the playoffs). The Sharks have had a massive roster overhaul and I thought I’d take a quick look at their additions: undrafted ECHLer J. P. Anderson is serving as the backup goaltender for now; Taylor Fedun (former Oiler org blueliner) is on the blueline, as is another NCAA grad and Tampa Bay alum Matt Taormina; former Colorado draft pick (2009) Gus Young (defenseman) enters as a rookie; Forwards: NCAA tryout Derek DeBlois, free agent Swede Petter Emmanuelsson, veteran AHL-pest Michael Haley, free agent Swede Melker Karlsson, ECHLer Jeremy Langlois, AHL-vet Bryan Lerg, and ECHL-vet Evan Trupp. It’s an illustration of the thinness of the Sharks organisation how many free agents and ECHL hopefuls dot their lineup.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)