Ary M breaks down Ottawa’s 4-3 OT win over Chicago (an entertaining game to watch). After the game the chatter continued about how poorly Murray gambled playing hardball with Mike Hoffman this summer (Travis Yost and Dmitri Filipovic discussed it on their podcast). Any time you want to figure out how well the organisation assesses talent you just look at how they treated Hoffman and compare it to Jared Cowen or Mark Borowiecki.
This morning the Sens recalled David Dziurzynski; Dizzy had a good start to the season, but is in the midst of his worst slump of the season.
Something I didn’t mention about the Randy Lee interview the other day was brought up on social media and is worth emphasizing (Tweet is from here):
You also have Lee pulling out the “we’re a budget team” when referencing Wikstrand’s probable ~$75K signing bonus. Squeeze is in.
This is pretty ridiculous, although it did remind me of something that happened not long ago: back in the summer of 2011 the Sens signed Lee Sweatt to be a key player on the blueline for Binghamton. He was given a signing bonus and once that was handed over he promptly retired. I’ve forgotten the amount he was paid, but I imagine the pain of that mistake has not been forgotten by Murray.
I missed Bob Howard calling for Luke Richardson’s head earlier this week. He writes:
I don’t think Coach Richardson can teach defense, no one is teaching the goalies and to [too] much thought on toughness, wrong plan. The players are talented and have been so since Richardson has come to the BSens, but defensively they are no better! Makes no sense. I know many will have my head for saying this, but Luke most go. I like him as a person, but he and the BSens are stuck. Needs to go
This is hardly a radical thought, but it seems it hasn’t occurred to management.
Catching up on player moves: the BSens called up Adirondack’s (ECHL) diminutive center Kyle Flanagan (12-2-8-10). The 26-year old NCAA grad has played in the AHL before (76-7-22-29), but was essentially invisible in his debut on the fourth line. The team also retained Darian Dziurzynski (I saw a transaction note earlier in the week that he’d been sent back down, but that was apparently in error), while calling up Evansville’s Ryan Penny (17-3-7-10) and getting Colin Greening back from Ottawa.
Last night Binghamton lined up against division-rival Syracuse (Tampa Bay’s affiliate), a team they’d lost to twice before (both by one-goal margins). Oddly enough Matt O’Connor has suited up in every game against the Crunch and previously he’d offered his best performances (not saying much, granted), but tonight’s 5-1 loss looked nothing like that. Richardson scratched Tobias Lindberg again [learned this afternoon that he’s actually injured] and just like every other time he’s done that the team was promptly hammered (17-6 in the three games); Guillaume Lepine also sat, but that was due to injury (this was Mark Fraser‘s first game of his two-game suspension as well). The play-by-play:
–Harpur opens with a needless penalty
1. McCormick with a brutal turnover at the blueline and Harpur accidentally deflects the puck into his own net
–Kostka gets his pocket picked but Carlisle saves the day
2. Harpur throws the puck to the wrong team and on the subsequent play doesn’t have his check who makes a nice tap-in on a pass from the corner
–O’Connor stops a breakaway
–Robinson takes a dumb elbowing penalty in the offensive zone
Harpur was benched for significant parts of the rest of the game
–Carlisle and then Kostka get turned around but O’Connor holds the fort
–Claesson saves a goal as O’Connor is late going post-to-post
–Dziurzynski takes a pointless penalty poking the goaltender
–Mullen with a great chance in the slot but his shot with a rolling puck misses the net
–O’Connor stops a breakaway
–Ewanyk passes to the wrong team
-Great steal by Schneider that turned into a great chance for Dzingel
–Paradis hits the post on a breakaway
–Paul draws a penalty, but McCormick ends it with a mindless stick infraction
3. O’Connor beat through a screen (PP goal); Schneider out of position to take the man on the point
-Good chance for McCormick in tight
–O’Connor a nice stop on a 3-on-2 rush
4. Harpur‘s first shift of the third with no one pressuring him he throws the puck to the wrong team, loses his check, and a wide open Tambellini scores
5. Puempel finishes off the 2-on-1 (via Dzingel) while teams are 4-on-4
–Puempel takes a dumb tripping penalty in the offensive zone
6. Dzingel deflects the puck into his own net
-Kostka passes to the wrong team, but recovers
I said this last night, but Ben Harpur might be the worst defensemen in the AHL. While I didn’t think O’Connor let in any particularly bad goals, the guy does need to make a key save now and then. Binghamton continues to take unnecessary, dumb penalties (particularly in the offensive zone), and were fortunate the refs kept evening up the play. In essence last night was simply more of the same–bad coaching, bad decisions, and an inevitable result. What annoys me is that the talent isn’t this bad–they could bat .500 (possibly more if Driedger was back and O’Connor was in Evansville), but that seems impossible with Richardson at the helm.
A couple of notes: Dieude-Fauval is still injured; the game Leveille missed was also due to injury. Evansville was shutout by Missouri 3-0 in a pretty lifeless performance on Wednesday (Reichard took the loss; a Bryce Aneloski signing for those who remember the former Sens pick). The goals:
1. Lafranchise (best name in hockey) scores five-hole on a nice tip
2. Reichard is beaten top-shelf short side off a rebound
3. Trebish makes a back-pass to the wrong team and on the 2-on-1 Reichard is deked
Some of you may have wondered how well a 29-year old goaltender starting the season on his couch performs, and Cody Reichard is here to show you. After two excellent performances initially, he’s gone straight into the tank and was pulled for the second game in a row (this time against Fort Wayne). The IceMen lost 7-5 despite outshooting their opponent (the only lineup change was Dunn replacing the recalled Penny). The goals:
1. Reichard gives up a juicy rebound is beat on it
2. A wide open Sims scores in the slot
3. On a delayed penalty call Reichard is beat from the point without traffic in front
4. Dunn makes a blind pass to the front of the net and a wide open Guptill cashes in
5. Reichard is beat five-hole on the PP with no one in front of him
6. Reichard isn’t ready for a shot from must inside the top of the circle
7. Leveille scores backhand on a wraparound (should have been a Rutkowski assist on it, but c’est la vie)
8. On the powerplay Wideman (playing the point) is deked as is Reichard in tight
9. The same PP Leveille scores on his own rebound
10. Again on the PP, having given up a 2-on-1 the last time, Himelson‘s pass hits the leg of its intended receiver and Fort Wayne scores on the ensuing 2-on-1 (Asmundsen now in the net)
11. With the goaltender pulled Zay bangs in a rebound
12. Moon passes to the wrong team resulting in an EN goal
Goaltending, formerly a strength, continues to be the issue for Evansville and they need to stop running Reichard out there as he’s been awful in his last three starts (by my count he’s allowed 8 bad goals over that span).
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)