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.


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]


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

Christian Jaros (Asploven) – 9-1-1-2

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

Joel Daccord (Muskegon) – 4.02 .842

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.


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)