Senators News & Notes

I caught parts of Ottawa’s 5-4 shootout win against Calgary last night (the Raaymaker offers a full review), with nothing occurring to change my opinions on players (although Erik Karlsson was struggling at times–perhaps putting too much pressure on himself to do too much).  It’s nice for the team to get the win, but there were no signs that we’re going to see an overall improvement in their play.

dean brown

I try to avoid listening to TSN 1200, but I caught part of the pre-show before last night’s game where Dean Brown not only took Bryan Murray’s stance on Mikael Wikstrand using spurious arguments (it’s not how he or people he knows would behave–for those scoring at home, that’s a logical fallacy–anecdotal in this case), but adding in unsubstantiated rumours to bolster them–that’s beneath him.  Clearly it’s in Brown’s interest to support the choices of the organisation, but adding in unsubstantiated rumours is stooping pretty low.

jared cowen

it’s hard not to think about the man-bun any time Ottawa plays (Raaymaker above has comments, incidentally), and I have to wonder how much of Jared Cowen‘s supposed upside was derived from playing with Jared Spurgeon back in Spokane.  While I think many of us believe that Bryan Murray will never give up on the guy, Murray can be very funny about how he feels about a player–if he ever turns on Cowen he’ll shit all over him and attempt to move him ASAP–I just don’t know what it will take for him to get there.  GMs have a hard time swallowing their egos when it comes to their own first-round picks.

STATS

Ray Ferraro (around the 19 minute mark) gives his description and rationale over why puck possession (ergo advanced stats) matter:

To get the puck on net, to go get it, to control it, and to play defense in the other team’s end.  That’s puck possession.  I think initially when people first heard puck possession the image came you know of a big strong forward that cycled the puck in the corner and just kind of held it over there, but I guess that’s one way of possessing the puck.  The other way is to shoot it on the goalie and go get it and keep it in their zone so that by the time the other team gets it they’re so tired they get to the red line and just chip it into your zone and you come right back at them.  That’s puck possession. … My view of the people that don’t acknowledge what some of the advanced metrics might look like–I think they believe in them anyway, they just don’t want to read a chart or a graph about them.

He goes on to talk about Patrick Roy and Todd McLellen’s comments about analytics and it follows the same line.  It’s funny to think that he could be completely spot on that people are simply intimidated or annoyed by the presentation of the facts (either in form or by who presents them).

Binghamton_Senators_svg

I watched Binghamton’s 4-3 lose to Wilkes-Barre in an entertaining game they could have won.  The lineup was shook up by roster moves and Richardson scrambled all of his lines (Greening-O’Dell-Schneider, Lindberg-Dzingel-Robinson, Wideman-Paul-Dziurzynski, Guptill-Ewanyk-Hobbs; Fraser-Mullen, Claesson-Carlisle, Harpur-Tuzzolino).  Here are the highlights:
-poor defensive coverage by Alex Wideman leads to the Penguins first goal
-terrible coverage by Tuzzolino nearly costs another
-Richardson put the fourth line on one of the powerplays and the only moment of note was nearly giving up a shorthanded goal
Mark Fraser made an ill-advised hit attempt that lead to a 3-on-1 and the Penguins second goal
Danny Hobbs lost his defensive assignment that lead to a wide open chance in front of the net
Nick Paul missed a wide open net off a rebound
Chris Carlisle made it 2-1 on the powerplay with a one-timer top-shelf
-a terrible line change and a slow Tuzzolino made it 3-1
Cole Schneider roofed it off a face-off win on the powerplay
-BSens tied it on a late second period powerplay as the Penguins own-goaled off Schneider‘s centering feed
Patrick Mullen made a great pass to Alex Guptill in traffic to give him a mini-breakaway (nothing came of it)
Tuzzolino made a good defensive play during a trainwreck in front of the net
-Pens score on a shot off the rush simply beating Chris Driedger
Wideman had a great chance off the rush, but couldn’t handle a bouncing puck
-BSens didn’t generate much of anything in the final 90 seconds with the goaltender pulled

General observations: Carlisle played very sparingly, as Richardson mostly rotated the other five defensemen; I can see why the smallish defenseman wasn’t drafted despite good offensive numbers–he doesn’t have great speed; the usual players were the best for the BSens again–I can’t emphasize enough how good Tobias Lindberg‘s hands are (great game for Ryan Dzingel as well–lot’s of chances); Greening should not be on a scoring line (I’d rather see Paul in his place); Robinson also shouldn’t be on a scoring line–he seems to have only a binary function: shoot or throw the puck into the corner.  It’s amazing how competitive the BSens have been with weak depth at forward (icing essentially a full ECHL fourth line) and a talent-starved blueline–if there are any key injuries or more callups the team is going to crash and burn.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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Senators News & Notes

matt_puempel

The Sens recalled Matt Puempel due to various injuries; his addition makes more sense than Max McCormick, but he’s still not the most deserving BSen to be recalled (so much for the organisations vaunted claim of rewarding their best players in the minors).  Binghamton has also recalled Chris Carlisle–perhaps the gong show that is Tuzzolino will end.  I think Troy Rutkowski was more deserving, but Carlisle is an adequate pick.

Ross A makes the case (and he’s preaching to the choir here) that Shane Prince deserves some top-six consideration–or at least freedom from the lead weights that are Chris Neil and Zack Smith.  At least for tonight it appears as though Cameron agrees, although he’s scratching Chris Wideman and giving us the gruesome Cowen-Borowiecki combination again (perhaps Calgary is bad enough to get away with it–we shall see)–granted some believe he has little choice here with the directives coming from on high.

wikstrand

We finally know the real Mikael Wikstrand story both for why he left the team and why he wanted to stay in Sweden.  In an interview he revealed his brother is suffering from leukemia and also talked about the situation with Ottawa (this is via Google translate):

Why did you not tell me anything about this earlier in the conversation you had with Ottawa?

“I do not know … It’s really bad of me. It’s me terribly sorry that I did not. I should have taken it up in a prettier way and told me why I wanted to play at home. But I’m a guy that keeps a lot of things for myself, keep it in the family. My agent did not know about it before.”

Do you regret that choice in retrospect?

“It’s done. I should have said it to the agent, Ottawa and Farjestad how it is – and why I wanted to play closer to home. There is a big factor.”

It’s very easy to wag one’s finger at Wikstrand and tell him he could and should have handled things better, but to my mind it’s pretty understandable that larger concerns made him lose sight of the proper way to handle it (I certainly echo Nichols points on the matter).  My hope is this allows some rapprochement between he and the organisation.

Binghamton_Senators_svg

I missed watching Binghamton’s 4-1 loss live and haven’t had the time to pour over the game in detail, but I have a few observations to supplement Jeff Ulmer‘s recap:
-the BSens lone (powerplay) goal came off a terrible line change by the Devils with Puempel banging in Nick Paul‘s rebound
-prior to that, Puempel took a selfish double minor
Zack Stortini‘s boarding penalty was less malevolence and more his own stupidity (which is still no excuse)
-the first goal on O’Connor was a stinker as the 6’5 goaltender was deep in his net and beat five-hole at a terrible angle
-the second Devils goal rests on the shoulders of Mike Kostka who was caught watching the play
-the third goal was much the same as Travis Ewanyk had no idea there was a player behind him in the slot
-I have no idea why Eric O’Dell felt the need to instigate a fight after the hit on Tobias Lindberg–it was a bit low, but not particularly dirty (low to the hip, not at the knees)
-the fourth goal was a rocket one-timer, so no chance for O’Connor
-Jeff points out that the powerplay has been awful and the key problem (as I’ve said continually) is putting Stortini on it (he has the #1 and #2 powerplays reversed in his post on special teams–he also missed PK regular Cole Schneider, who has one of Binghamton’s two shorthanded goals; I agree with him on who has been the better goaltender thus far–Driedger)

The league has done the BSens a favour by suspending Stortini for a couple of games.  A quick additional note: Buddy Robinson is healthy again and will join the lineup tonight.

EA NHL hockey simmed the NHL season just prior too (not very meaningful, but for those curious, they had the Sens just squeaking into the playoffs).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News & Notes

I didn’t watch the Sens 4-1 loss to Arizona, but Ary M provides a blow-by-blow recap.  I’m curious to see who (if anyone) the Sens recall to replace Curtis Lazar (I’d guess Matt Puempel, although he isn’t the most de serving).  Bryan Murray is overly fond of meat & potatoes players (ergo the Max McCormick recall), but at some point he needs players who can put the puck in the net.

Binghamton_Senators_svg

The BSens beat Toronto 5-1 last night.  There were two lineup changes from their previous game, as Chris Driedger got the start and Alex Wideman replaced the recalled McCormick (Greening took the latter’s spot on the third line while Wideman played on the fourth).  Prior to the game Luke Richardson praised Tuzzolino‘s performance which is appalling.  As for the game itself (Jeff Ulmer also offers a breakdown), here’s a quick look at the goals and a few other moments of note: the scoring opened with Cole Schneider giving Matt Puempel a tap-in on a 2-on-1; David Dziurzynki made it 2-0 when his shot simply sailed through Garret Sparks from just inside the blueline; Tobias Lindberg made a great pass to Eric O’Dell to make it 3-0; right after Mark Fraser fought Richard Clune as payback for a hit on Ryan Dzingel, the Marlies scored as Josh Leivo fired through a screen; Schneider scored with a backhand move on a breakaway; there was a nice give & go between Puempel and Schneider (latter with the goal).  Other items of note: Nick Paul missed on a first period breakaway; the aforementioned Tuzzolino fell asleep in front of his own net early in the second and nearly gave up a goal; Lepine almost managed an own-goal in front of his net (2nd); Lindberg made a great pickoff in his own zone leading to a 2-on-1; Fraser took a needless penalty (2nd); Lindberg missed high backhand on a breakaway (3rd).  Despite the final score the Marlies dominated in the early 2nd period when the score was 2-0 and 3-0 (where the poor defensive plays and bad penalty above are mentioned).  The first-line was again the best, with the second continuing to improve.  [A look at the goals:
1. Shortly after Mullen saved a goal in front with a timely stick check with a Marlie all alone in front, Schneider creates the turn over and he feeds Puempel for the empty net on a 2-on-1
2. Dziurzynski scores with an innocent wrist shot from a long way out
3. Nice little pass by Lindberg who creates the turnover and O’Dell makes no mistake from in close
4. Hobbs turns it over and Ewanyk loses his check so Leivo is all alone in the slot to shoot through a crowd
5. Puempel springs Schneider on a breakaway and he makes no mistake with a deke
6. Paul gets the puck out of danger and Puempel gives Schneider the empty net on a 2-on-1]

I agree with Jeff that Wideman was invisible; I think the porous Marlies defense Jeff mentioned occurred when they got far behind and defensemen were gambling; Jeff agrees with me that Zack Storini doesn’t work on the powerplay–he can’t stake, he can’t pass, and he can’t shoot–his stats last year were an aberration (with that said, I don’t expect Richardson to remove him); a lot of BSens fans are praising Fraser, particularly for defending his teammate, but I’m still on the fence about him–in the first five games of the season he’s taken selfish penalties in two of them (tonight and against Albany), along with being guilty of an atrocious turnover leading to a goal (the first game against Saint John).  The latter will happen to any blueliner at some point, but there’s no excuse for the dumb penalties.  Fraser has no offensive upside, so he has to be excellent in all other facets of the game and he needs to police himself better.

EvansvilleIceMenCHL

The IceMen played their second game of the season last night against last year’s Kelly Cup champs Toledo, with a similar result to game one (a 2-1 loss).  The lineup changes were Swede Sebastien Strandberg replacing Mark Anthoine and he was a big improvement; Samuel Noreau replaced Dieude-Fauvel which didn’t help the team at all.  The individual play continued, being particularly bad from veterans Matt Hussey and Daultan Leveille.  The first goal against Scott Greenham was due to poor defensive coverage and on the second Noreau screened him; Evansville’s lone goal was a Fawcett tip off a point shot.  Zarbo played well again; Troy Rutkowski had a strong game (as did Greenham).  Most of the game Toledo dominated and was clearly more talented, but the IceMen did put on great pressure after their goal (so the final half of the third period).  It’s just two games in, but a lack of talent may be the downfall of Evansville.

STATS

I’m puzzled by fans (and professionals) who simply reject analytics.  Hockey people like Patrick Roy, John Tortorella, the Sens organisation, and others express dismissive views despite showing little to no understanding of the material.  This kind of rejection isn’t unique to hockey–there are many instances where conventional wisdom is used as “evidence” to reject actual evidence.  In the case of the NHL I don’t believe there’s any perniciousness here, instead I think those trying to break down the game into usable data are fighting two separate problems: 1) the struggle to understand analytics (and what their numbers mean), and 2) the weight of decades of hyperbole and conventional wisdom that’s accumulated from the era before analytics.  The issues are interrelated, because the media has done a poor to non-existent job in addressing it–part of that, surely, is because accepting the importance of the data would promptly unemploy a huge swath of TV and radio personalities.  Secondly, while the proof that analytics is legitimate continues to pour in, it’s new enough that challenges to it can still be seen as reasonable–despite the fact most of them boil down to ‘hockey can’t be understood purely by numbers.’  It’s basically a battle of faith at this point (people believe something is true to the point that they are not open to it being wrong).  Once the media (and NHL) fully embrace analytics that opposition will vanish, but it may be another ten years or so before we see that happen.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News & Notes

jared cowen

The Sens lost an entertaining game 5-4 shootout loss to New Jersey last night (losing despite being up 4-2).  Andrew Hammond wasn’t sharp, but I’d put the loss firmly on the shoulders of Dave Cameron and the odious play of Jared Cowen and Mark Borowiecki (why are they ever on the ice in the last minute of a period?).  Ross A provides a blow-by-blow breakdown while he also reminds us of how bad the two aforementioned defensemen are.

Travis Yost talked about the worst contracts in the league and one thing I wanted to pull from that is this:

Philadelphia and Toronto ignored innumerable warning signs and abysmal underlying statistics, and paid a dear price.  This, of course, is not hindsight. And it’s probably not a coincidence that three of the most out-spoken critics of these signings (including Cam Charron, Tyler Dellow, and Eric Tulsky) are all now gainfully employed by NHL teams.

I bring this up in an Ottawa context because, despite having an analytics consultant, there’s no strong evidence the organisation pays any attention to it.  This is exactly the reason why the Sens consistently bring in broken down, over valued veterans and overvalue terrible but physical defensemen.

Binghamton_Senators_svg

I watched the BSens 3-2 loss to St. John’s on Wednesday (the second of their back-to-back with the IceCaps).  The only lineup changes were O’Connor in net and Tuzzolino on the blueline (replacing the injured Ben Harpur).  The game was less entertaining and eventful than Tuesday’s OT win.  The BSens got down 3-0 early, as O’Connor gave up two bad goals and an unlucky one (all in the first period).  Once again it was the top line (O’Dell-Lindberg-Dzingel) that brought the team back, with O’Dell cashing in after Lindberg missed a half-open net.  Max McCormick made it 3-2 by banging in a loose puck, but that was it for the scoring.  McCormick also took a really dumb, selfish roughing penalty in the second, but it didn’t wind up hurting the team.  Binghamton had very little sustained pressure, although with the goalie pulled they had a couple of great chances.  I liked the team’s resilience, but I’m still not happy with some of Richardson’s choices.  Tuzzolino, incidentally, was not very good and really belongs in the ECHL. [A look at the goals:
1. O’Connor is simply beat by the shot from the point
2. O’Connor gives out a huge rebound and puts the puck in his own the net
3. A weak shot goes in off Tuzzolino
4. Just after failing to score on a double minor Lindberg misses an empty net, but a backwards between the legs pass to O’Dell right in front gets banged in
5. McCormick is left alone at the side of the net and bangs in a rebound]

EvansvilleIceMenCHL

I was listening to the Evansville podcast the other day and while I enjoyed it I have no idea what made them think Tyson Fawcett played well in the team’s opener–he did nothing useful.  Speaking of the IceMen, P. J. Fenton (claimed on waivers) has signed with Sonderjysk in Norway so he won’t be suiting up in the ECHL any time soon.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News & Notes

Along with discussing the news that Clarke MacArthur and Marc Methot are both suffering from concussions, Nichols brings up Mikael Wikstrand‘s situation in which Bryan Murray said this:

Well, supposedly his brother is sick and he’d like to be closer to home, but I think the team he hopes to play for is three hours away. We’re about eight hours away on an airplane, so I don’t think there’s that big of a difference in the impact that he might have. But I do understand if there’s an illness. I understand that part of it. The point being that he made a commitment to play here. We signed him to a contract and paid him accordingly to our obligations and we’re asking him to honour that contract at this point in time.

Why Murray included “supposedly” here is beyond me.  Nichols believes the Sens would be better off allowing him to play in Sweden, but for me I’d only indulge him on that point if he signs a favourable extension that precludes him from playing anywhere else (with bonuses due only after he’s reported and started playing).  There’s really no point in letting an asset disappear and that’s entirely possible if they leave him buried in Sweden all year long.  Time will tell if Murray’s hardline stance works or not.

The NHL is remarkably resistant to change and the newly hired John Tortorella illustrates one of the reasons why:

There are so many red flags going on with analytics. … we were 10th in puck possession [in Vancouver] and finished 25th.  Last year LA was fifth and didn’t make it.

Those isolated examples do not refute the theory–the fact that Torts doesn’t understand that is incredibly.  Incidentally (and amusingly), he offered different numbers on the exact same point when asked about it on Prime Time Sports back in September.  I liked Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen as a scout, but it’s clear he’s large lost in his current position.

Incidentally, on the PDOcast (episode 8) they reference the difference between dump and chase hockey versus entering the zone with possession, with the latter creating twice as many scoring chances.

Binghamton_Senators_svg

I watched Binghamton’s 5-4 OT win over Saint John’s yesterday.  There were no lineup changes other than Chris Driedger getting the start in net.  Lamentably Zack Stortini continued to be used on the powerplay, although his dumb penalty of the night (offensive zone hold) was not with the man advantage.  The BSens dominated the first period, but were on their heels in the second.  Colin Greening opened the scoring on a bad angled shot; Mark Fraser‘s terrible turnover beside his own net tied the game, while a missed defensive assignment from Ben Harpur gave Saint John a 2-1 lead.  The third IceCap goal was via a weird bounce off the boards.  The BSens scored late on a defensive turnover (O’Dell), before Saint John made it 4-2 on a harmless point shot in the third that went straight through Driedger.  The BSens stormed back with a great shot from Matt Puempel and then tied is via a Travis Ewanyk (!) deflection.  Offensive maestro Fredrik Claesson won the game in OT with a wrap around effort.  Once again the O’Dell line was by far the best.  God knows what Greening is supposed to do with his linemates–I’d prefer Stortini play with Ewanyk and Hobbs while the aforementioned two-million dollar man lines up with Dziurzynski and McCormick.  At any rate, it was a fun game to watch. [A look at the goals:
1. Greening blocks a shot after an unforced turnover by Fraser and scores off Mullen‘s rebound SH
2. A soft call on O’Dell–when he lifted the stick the St. John’s player let go and it flew through the air–and on the PP 3 BSens lose a puck battle against one player, Fraser takes the man and not the puck leaving Holloway alone to score
3. Claesson turns it over and Driedger is beat cleanly on the bad-angle shot
4. Harpur‘s clear around the boards is deflected out to Dumont alone in front who makes no mistake
5. Dzingel creates the turnover, Lindberg sends O’Dell in all alone who makes no mistake
6. Harpur passes to the wrong team and a tip off the point shot goes in
7. Puempel scores from a shot from the dot on the PP
8. Ewanyk tips in Mullen‘s point shot
9. Claesson scores banging in his own rebound after a wrap around in OT]

prospects

SHL
Andreas Englund (Djurgardens) – 10-0-0-0
Filip Ahl (HV71) – 7-0-0-0 (SuperElit 7-9-5-14)
Marcus Hogberg (Linkoping) – 1.93 .921
Mikael Wikstrand – suspended

Allsvenskan
Christian Jaros (Asploven) – 9-1-1-2

CHL
Francis Perron (Rouyn-Noranda) – 10-9-10-19
Filip Chlapik (Charlottetown) – 10-3-7-10
Thomas Chabot (Saint John) – 7-1-2-3
Gabriel Gagne (Victoriaville) – has not played

USHL
Joel Daccord (Muskegon) – 4.02 .842

NCAA
Colin White (Boston College) – 3-2-0-2
Robbie Baillargeon (Boston U) – 2-0-0-0
Quentin Shore (Denver) – 4-2-0-2
Chris Leblanc (Merrimack) – 2-1-0-1
Shane Eiserman (New Hampshire) – 3-0-2-2
Kelly Summers (Clarkson) – 4-0-2-2
Miles Gendron (Connecticut) – 2-1-0-1
Christian Wolanin (North Dakota) – 2-0-0-0

Josh Weissbock takes a look at the success of NCAA defensemen in the NHL in reference to when they leave college.  He makes the somewhat obvious point that those who leave earlier are the more highly prized players by NHL teams and therefore have a greater chance to succeed.  I wish he hadn’t included Dead Puck Era data, but presumably to get a decent enough sample size he felt he had no choice.  Anyway, interesting reading.

STATS

Ross A offers up a beginners breakdown of analytics (Torts take note), so for those looking to get their feet wet and learn what Corsi and Fenwick are all about, check it out!

The Statstrack app is something being offered by former NHLer Drake Berehowsky and while the utility is targeted at coaches and managers its an interesting development.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News & Notes

I didn’t catch much of the Sens 4-3 shootout loss to Nashville, but you can read Michaela Schreiter‘s breakdown that includes the highlights.  I did see enough to know that Ottawa’s lamentable two defensemen continued to make bad decisions, but I’m not sure what’s left to say about that at this point.

Nichols believes that in the absence of Clarke MacArthur that the HST line needs to be broken up to solidify the second line.  I agree with him wholeheartedly that Alex Chaisson (or Curtis Lazar or Milan Michalek) aren’t the answer, so perhaps that’s one way to go, but I’m uncertain about Cameron’s ability to make good choices at this point.

Binghamton_Senators_svgThe Binghamton lineup for their 2-1 loss to Syracuse was unchanged from the previous game except that Matt O’Connor was in goal.  As for the game itself, Luke Richardson’s addiction to putting Zach Stortini on the powerplay came back to haunt him as the lumbering enforcer took two stupid penalties with the man-advantage, the second resulting in Syracuse’s winning goal.  I hope Richardson will change how he’s using him, but I doubt it.  On the whole I thought the Crunch held the edge in play, particularly dominating the first period.  As for the BSens, they had another strong performance from the first line (LindbergO’DellDzingel); it was also Nick Paul‘s best game thus far (and Matt Puempel‘s). [A look at the goals:
1. Fraser makes an inexplicable check attempt in the offensive zone leading to a 2-on-1 where Tambellini keeps and beats O’Connor short side
2. Schneider picks the pocket of Richard and score SH on the deke
3. Just after a PP had expired Tambellini scores off a weak one-timer through O’Connor‘s legs]

EvansvilleIceMenCHL

It was Evansville’s opening game of the season last night (a 3-1 loss to Indy) and they proceeded with the following lines (with Scott Greenham in goal):
Hussey-Leveille-Zarbo
Penny-Zay-MacDonald
Dunn-Lukin-Fawcett / Anthoine (extra forward)
Dieude-Fauvel-Carlsson
Carlisle-Rutkowski
Himelson-Humphries

I watched the game (broadcast in better quality than the AHL), and it featured a lot of individual play and lack of structure by the IceMen–clearly linemates need to develop chemistry.  In general they seemed to be less talented lineup than Indy, although one game isn’t enough to be sure about that conclusion.  As for players on AHL contracts or ELC’s, Joe Zarbo performed the best (although he didn’t stand out); Chris Carlisle, in contrast, was pretty bad (despite getting an assist on the only goal). [goals: 1. Zay turns it over creating a 2-on-1, 2. On the PP Greenham is beaten high short side, 3. On the PP Zarbo walks out front and scores high with the backhand, 4. Dunn turns it over leading to an empty-net goal.]

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News & Notes

The Sens 7-3 win over Columbus was a lot closer than the score suggests.  I echo Trevor Shackles sentiments about the lamentable Jared Cowen-Mark Borowiecki pairing, which continues to be awful.  At this point you have to question Cameron’s ability to assess his players–lending some credence to Nichols concern that Cameron’s enlightened player usage last season was simply fortuitous circumstances.  As a side note, the bad Karma from signing Mark Fraser had its ripples in the game as Clarke MacArthur was out of the lineup after an innocuous fall to the ice.

There’s not much to say about the Sens lifeless 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh (Callum Fraser reminds us that the dreaded pairing is still awful–Trevor providing the numbers for both).  The players who have performed well thus far this season continue to do so, and those that haven’t still aren’t.  It was nice to see Shane Prince dressed, but other than brief moments when he wasn’t buried on the fourth line he wasn’t that visible.  Incidentally, Nichols recaps the team’s first three games and a lot of what he says involves line and lineup changes (all the ones you’d expect).

Binghamton_Senators_svg

Matt O’Connor was returned to Binghamton now that Andrew Hammond is healthy, resulting in Scott Greenham being sent to Evansville (expect both to start tonight for their respective teams).  Tony Androckitis offers a preview of the North Division, but it’s largely just a list of the prospects who will play.

EvansvilleIceMenCHL

Roster changes continue as the team released Branden Komm, Donnie Harris, and Stephen Pierog (only the former is surprising).  The IceMen claimed P. J. Fenton off waivers from Fort Wayne (30-year old spent the last two season in tier-2 Germany), but he’s not signed so may never play; they also traded for goaltender Keegan Asmundson (from Orlando; he’s a rookie NCAA grad out of Canisius); and acquired the ECHL rights to Samuel Noreau (a failing Rangers prospect).  The final roster posted by the team will likely continue to change, but it’s how the team will open (12 forwards, including one on IR, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders).

STATS

Pension Plan Puppets gave a lukewarm review of Rob Vollman‘s latest Hockey Abstract volume.  According to PPP if you are already firmly into analytics there’s nothing new, but it’s newbie friendly.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)