Senators News & Notes

Ottawa lost 2-1 to Washington as Dave Cameron continues to lay out his future plans as an AHL or OHL coach by playing Mark Borowiecki at forward.  NKB offers an overview of the game.

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The other day Jeff Ulmer (who covers Binghamton) said this:

I don’t normally rely on stats in player evaluations

What does this mean, exactly?  What does he rely on?  The problem with being overly dependent on the “eye test”, which I assume he’s referring too, is that it’s completely subjective.  Jared Cowen looks good via the organisation’s eye test, so is that a viable option?  To me, evaluation has to be based on events–events that can objectively be seen and judged by anyone looking at the game (it did or didn’t happen).  If I want to write that so-and-so is playing well or playing poorly, there needs to be tangible reasons for that evaluation as opposed to me having “a feeling” etc.  Too often journalists (and bloggers) will simply say someone is good or bad without delving into specifics–I’m not saying that’s Jeff’s approach (unfortunately I don’t know where he was going with the above), but in general it’s not useful for analysis or assessment.

Last night Binghamton fell 3-2 to Toronto (the best team in the AHL).  With Guillaume Lepine healthy Chris Carlisle was inexplicably scratched (why it wasn’t Ben Harpur is anyone’s guess).  Matt O’Connor started, which was a surprise given how much Chris Driedger has outplayed him this season.  The play-by-play:
-Great shot block by Fraser
O’Connor passes to the wrong team and is lucky Toronto misses the net
-Dumb penalty from Fraser
Lepine turned into a pylon on the PK, but fortunately the Toronto forward missed the net
Fraser can’t make a three-foot pass, but Mullen bails him out with a great defensive play in front of the net
1. Claesson sweeps a rebound away, but Toronto recovers the puck and O’Connor is beaten short-side on a bad angle (an ugly goal)
Second
2. BSens lose a faceoff and off a juicy rebound O’Dell can’t get the stick of the Toronto player
Stortini throws a high hit (replay was pretty useless to decide if the hit was legal or not)
3. O’Connor is beat short-side/bad-angle again, but it hits the post and Flanagan is caught puck-watching so an untouched Marlie scores on an empty net
Third
Fraser takes a boarding penalty (a potentially dangerous hit)
-BSens about to get a PP and Mullen decides to start throwing punches for whatever reason; after the melee the PP is preserved, but it was still a selfish decision by the defenseman (the PP accomplished nothing)
Puempel on another PP has a great chance with the goaltender down and out, but he can’t get the puck through the crowd
-Pointless fisticuffs with two minutes to go (removing Stortini and Ewanyk from the game–see the result of their absence below)
4. McCormick backhands in a rebound
5. Kostka‘s point shot is tipped in by Schneider with virtually no time left

Toronto was a much better team throughout and Binghamton rarely had possession of the puck (it was frankly a boring game to watch as the Marlies easily smothered the Sens).  Prior to the game Richardson talked about how he thought being physical was the way to beat the Marlies, which while being completely wrong does explain his thought-process.

I wanted to give an example of Harpur‘s hockey IQ from the above game (not a bad one by his standards, but certainly not good).  Early on (before the first play-by-play moment above) he’s skating out of his zone under no pressure wanting to make change.  A fresh forward unit is in good position ahead of him, all of them open–Harpur can make a quick pass to a teammate or fire it hard around the boards; instead he skates slowly over the red line, freezing all the forwards (who have no idea what he’s going to do), and then makes a soft dump as he goes for a change.  This results in Toronto gaining possession and rushing up the ice, forcing the new defense pairing (and the forwards who are now standing still) into a desperate defensive posture.  Every player will make mistakes under pressure, but in its absence you have to make good decisions.

EvansvilleIceMenCHL

The IceMen released goaltender Keegan Asmundson (a disappointment all season).  The team added forward Mike Duco (who put up middling numbers in the ECHL last season with Indy, but started this year in the EIHL (UK)).  The team also added assistant coach David Leger, who seems to be replacing Johan Lundskog (so those rumours that he might be back after Christmas now seem unlikely).

The IceMen blew a 5-4 lead late in the third to lose 6-5 in OT to Atlanta. Sims, Dunn, and Duco were added at forward while Strandberg,  Anthoine, and Lukin sat.  The goals:
1. Himelson can’t keep up with his check who is therefore wide open
2. Leveille tips in Wideman‘s centering pass
3. On the PP Rutkowski, shortly after keeping the puck in the zone, fires home a one-timer
4. Off a face-off Greenham flubs a weak shot with his glove deflecting it into his own net
5. On the PP Duco tips in a point shot
6. Rumble deflects a centering feed into his own net
7. Guptill‘s centering pass goes in off an Atlanta defenseman
8. On the PK (5-on-3) the defenseman is allowed to walk down main street and beats Greenham with a low wrist shot
9. Dunn steals the puck and centers it to a wide open Sims who makes no mistake
10. With the goaltender pulled Greenham is beaten five-hole as he guesses pass instead of shot
11. In OT on the PK (after failing to score on a PP themselves) Atlanta scores on a pretty passing play

There were several weird goals on the evening, but the blame for this loss rests on the shoulders of Greenham who was not sharp–he really hasn’t been the same since coming off his early season injury.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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2 Comments

  1. “I don’t normally rely on stats in player evaluations”

    Lol too bad, because the league relies on stats and records on which teams get into the playoffs.

    • Yeah it’s an odd thing to say–not really sure where he’s going with it


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