Ottawa dropped a 3-0 decision to Chicago, which I think Ary M sums up best with:
Sens Zero: Dave Cameron
That applies to much of the season, although it’s not like Bryan Murray is helping matters.
Sens fans are in a tizzy at the prospect of landing Jonathan Drouin, who demanded a trade from Tampa back in November. Drouin appears to be suffering the Ottawa treatment for skilled players–as Nichols puts it:
leads one to believe that the coaching staff hasn’t put faith into him because of whatever perceived deficiencies there are in his game caused by some combination of inexperience, work ethic, defensive acumen or blah blah blah.
Jon Cooper’s poor judgement benefits whatever team lands Drouin, so ultimately the pain is for Lightning fans. Could Murray make a deal for him? I really don’t know–he’s been more miss than hit in his deals, but the possibility is there.
Jack Han looked into whether coaching can impact shooting accuracy and concludes the following:
Essentially, Micah found that in the past two years, NHL coaches have shown no ability to affect how skilled their teams are at putting shots on net.
The best coaches are better at driving shot differential (Corsi or any other shot differential measure) with their systems, but once a shot is taken, all bets are off. Across teams, the proportion of shots on net to blocks and misses tends to even out with time.
This is an interesting tidbit because one of hockey’s great coaching cliches is about getting shots on net–apparently that has no impact at all and is literally lip-service.
An interesting note from the Hershey broadcast of the game below: apparently the AHL told teams at the start of the season that borderline/dangerous hits would be called more frequently, which explains Claesson‘s clipping calls (among others).
Binghamton blew a four-goal lead to lose 6-5 to Hershey on Saturday. Driedger got the start, with the only lineup change seeing Lindberg out due to injury (Hobbs drew in). The play-by-play:
–Stortini takes a dumb interference call in the offensive zone
1. Penny makes a steal on the PK and scores on a breakaway (Robinson earns a phantom assist)
–Flanagan is stoned while in all alone
2. Mullen is out-muscled in front and for some reason Sdao leaves his own check to go after Mullen‘s, leaving the former free to bang home the rebound
–Robinson misses an empty-net on a sweet pass from Dzingel
3. Puempel finishes off a pretty three-way passing play
–Dzingel dekes his way in front but can’t quite score
-Nice stop by Driedger on a wraparound
–Kostka with a brutal giveaway, but Hershey misses the net
–Penny takes a dumb elbowing penalty in the offensive zone
-Great save by Driedger right in front while the BSens were shorthanded
4. Penny comes out of the box creating a 3-on-1 and Ewanyk cleans up Schneider‘s garbage
5. On the next shift Dzingel makes a great pass to Robinson (who created the turnover) and he out waits Peters for the goal (the latter was pulled after this goal)
-The bulk of the next 10 minutes is spent in Binghamton’s zone, but without yielding a good scoring chance for Hershey
6. Dzingel scores on a backhand from behind the net
7. On the subsequent shift Hobbs is turned into a pylon and an uncontested Walker scores high glove from the slot
–Ewanyk tries the stuff play
8. A 3-on-2 develops on the same play (a lumbering Stortini never quite gets involved) and Fraser gets caught puck-watching leaving a Hershey player wide open in the slot who scores high glove
–O’Dell with a chance off a rebound on a 5-on-3
–Schneider can’t tap a bouncing puck into an empty net
–Driedger stops the stuff play (Flanagan and Kostka turned into pylons)
9. Driedger is beat off a tip in front
–Puempel misses the net on a great chance right in front
10. Lepine misses with a pokecheck and Kostka can’t adjust his position in time as Driedger is beat glove-side
–Schneider decides to keep on a 3-on-1 and shoots it into Ellis‘s pads
11. Off the above Hershey is sprung on a breakaway and Driedger is beaten on the deke
Despite Binghamton’s 5-1 lead they weren’t the dominant team in the game and the better team won. That said, for a team stacked with “defensive defensemen” and guys who are “good in the corners” this is not the type of game you are supposed to lose.
The IceMen lost 4-3 to Missouri on Saturday with Bengtsberg taking the loss (the only lineup change was Strandberg drawing in for the injured Leveille). The goals:
1. Moon creates the turnover and MacDonald scores with a laser from the dot
2. Four-way passing play ends with Fawcett burying it into an empty net
3. On the PK Sims is turned into a pylon and Bengtsberg is deked
4. Duco creates the turnover and Guptill scores from the slot
5. Bengtsberg is beat from the point (not a great goal)
6. Himelson gets crosschecked to the ice, leaving his man open to bang in a rebound
7. In OT all three IceMen pursue the puck leaving a Missouri forward wide open in front who makes no mistake
A game Evansville should have won, but it’s still encouraging to see a team that was so awful to start the season compete with the ECHL’s best.
On Sunday the IceMen lost 3-2 to Toledo in a shootout; Bengtsberg again with the start. The defensive pairings were slightly juggled, but the forward group remained unchanged. The goals:
1. After Dunn took a dumb penalty off a faceoff, Bengtsberg is beat by a low, far-side shot through a crowd
2. Moon creates the turnover and then gets the pass on a 2-on-1 to score
3. On a 2-on-1 the Toledo forward keeps and beats Bengtsberg short-side
4. Moon dekes the defender down low and then the goaltender
The IceMen haven’t scored a powerplay goal in six games (0-25), although their other issue is a thin defense now that Rutkowski is in Binghamton.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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