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.
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.
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.
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).
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)