Trevor Shackles writes about how the Sens need to spend money now because their window is closing. His argument goes like this:
1. Craig Anderson‘s age
2. Lack of significant depth
3. The East is weak
4. He doesn’t foresee a better time in the near future
This is interesting stuff, but I only partially agree with the first point:
1. Craig Anderson is a very good goaltender, but there are at least two goaltenders better than he is in the East (Henrik Lundqvist and Carey Price), so his talent alone doesn’t really guarantee anything. I realize the argument is that the talent behind him is much worse, but if we’re talking about a Cup run there’s no evidence that Anderson is able to carry the team very far by himself.
2. Quite a few bloggers harp on the depth of the Sens and it’s a puzzling thing to me (I’ve gone over this before). The issue for Ottawa is not its lack of depth, but rather the preference of coaches to play guys who are “good in the corners” instead of those who can carry the puck. As bad as Binghamton has been this season there are a few players who could easily bump the likes of Chris Neil to the pressbox (and beyond) if the organisation had the wit and will, so I don’t see this as a valid point–as long as the GM and coaching staffs can’t see the forest for the trees then the depth is largely irrelevant.
3. The East being weak doesn’t mean the Sens can dominate it; their underlying numbers are atrocious and there’s no forthcoming change from the organisation to optimize what they have
4. I don’t know that right now is going to be the best time for the Sens–I just don’t see this squad (with whatever limited additions it could make via trade) being able to truly challenge for the Cup; my fear is that Murray agrees with Trevor and pulls the trigger on one of his typical abominable deadline deals
The question for Trevor is, does he believe this management group will ever put together a team that wins? I don’t see it; their philosophy is outdated and until there’s a change at the top I see continuing mediocrity.
The mighty Nichols weighs in on coach Dave Cameron as he’s hit the year-point as head coach. He makes two particularly salient points:
1. The Sens have a good record under Cameron
2. The underlying numbers are terrible and reminiscent of the Paul MacLean era
He adds the obvious ominous omen of the latter:
teams whose horrendous underlying numbers belied their records and saw precipitous falls in the second half of their seasons
Throughout the course of Cameron’s first 27 games, it’s been a Paul MacLean redux where superior players like Chris Wideman, Shane Prince and Patrick Wiercioch were benched at the expense of lesser alternatives
Behind this, and you can see it throughout the organisation, are old school attitudes and approaches which most teams in the league are discarding. As Hockey Prospectus‘ Craig Smith Tweets:
Other teams yes may follow suit [in taking chances on skilled players]. But unfortunately not the Sens. Such a strange team.
From the outside it seems like nothing will change so long as Bryan Murray is in charge–is Pierre Dorion more savvy? We really won’t know until (if) he takes the helm as GM.
It turns out Nick Tuzzolino has a broken jaw from his “fight” with McCarron, but with Michael Sdao finally healthy the team isn’t short on defensemen.
Evansville has brought up SPHL goaltender Matt Zenzola from Pensacola as Bengtsberg and Reichard are still out with injuries.
Francis Perron (Rouyn-Noranda) 27-24-28-52
Fourth in the league in scoring (third in points-per-game)
Filip Chlapik (Charlottetown) 26-6-17-23
Second on the team in scoring
Tomas Chabot (Saint John) 22-7-13-20
Has been injured the past week or so
Gabriel Gagne (Victoriaville) 4-3-0-3
Joel Daccord (Muskegon) 8-6-1 2.56 .909
16th in the league in save percentage
Colin White (Boston College) 15-8-15-23
Leads his team in scoring as a freshmen
Christian Wolanin (U North Dakota) 15-3-5-8
Third on the team in blueline scoring
Quentin Shore (U Denver) 14-4-2-6
Continues to struggle in his senior year
Kelly Summers (Clarkson U) 15-0-6-6
Second in scoring from the blueline
Robert Baillargeon (Boston U) 15-2-2-4
Continues to struggle in his junior season
Shane Eiserman (New Hampshire) 14-0-5-5
Eighth in scoring among forwards
Miles Gendron (Connecticut) 11-2-2-4
Third on the team in blueline scoring
Chris Leblanc (Merrimack) 12-1-0-1
Fallen off completely
Marcus Hogberg (Linkoping) 8-3-3 2.64 .897
Save percentage remains low, but continues to win
Andreas Englund (Djurgardens) 24-1-0-1
Shows no progress with his puck-skills
Filip Ahl (HV71) 12-0-0-0 (HV71 Jr) 17-17-12-29
Crushing Swedish junior
Christian Jaros (Lulea) 3-0-0-0 (Asploven Jr) 20-2-3-5
Continues to be 5th in scoring from the blueline
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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