Senators News & Notes

Cracking open the paper this morning…no wait, no one under 40 reads newspapers.  Ahem.  Logging onto the Interwebs this morning I was confronted by a giant wall of text from Nichols explaining the ins and outs of Mike Hoffman and I thought, haven’t we been here before?  Isn’t this deja vu?  It is, twice over!  I can feel his exasperation as he patiently tries to lay things out and it reminds me of trying to explain climate change to my conservative mother-in-law–the lights are on, but no one is home.  It’s not a bad metaphor for Sens management–old and uncomfortable with change.  But hey, there’s always next year, right?

Other tidbits: Jordan Mandy talks about the Sens playoff chances being buried, which seems a bit redundant as those bells were ringing in the pre-season.  Callum Fraser wants to be positive about Scott Gomez because…just because goddamnit! (I love that he used David Legwand as some sort of positive association).  Gomez has bounced through five organisations over the past five seasons, including an extended stay in the AHL this year, but given that this season is going nowhere, why not?  That’s as positive as I can make it.

I wonder if Bryan Murray ever wakes up in a cold sweat and remembers he had Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner in his grasp and got rid of both of them for nothing–sacrificed on the pyre of an aging Craig Anderson because, you know, the Sens were going on a deep playoff run, right?  By the way kids, as Lehner rounds into form in Buffalo, let us recall what I wrote before he was moved.  For those waiting for Matt O’Connor to save the day, see below.


I haven’t posted a Binghamton update since late January and a lot has changed since then, so let’s take a brief look: the team has gone 7-11-1, which is a lower winning percentage than my last look (they are 22-31-4 overall); their 157 GF is also a drop (2.75 from 2.86), and their 190 GA is also worse from last time; the PP is about even (18.2 vs 18.5), as is their PK (81.1 vs 81.5); but the overall picture is a team getting worse and that comes as no surprise.

The team moved their top-three 5-on-5 scorers (Lindberg and O’Dell were traded and Dzingel is in Ottawa), as well as two of their top-three PP producers (Schneider, also traded, and O’Dell).  Collectively five of the team’s top-six scorers are now gone (four via trade) since last time.  Players in italics were either traded or are now in the ECHL, while players in bold are currently on the NHL roster.

Phil Varone 14-4-13-17 (3-1-3-4 with Bingo)
Cole Schneider 18-6-10-16 (16-5-7-13 with Bingo)
Eric O’Dell 18-6-8-14 (16-4-7-11 with Bingo)
Michael Kostka 18-3-11-14
Kyle Flanagan 19-3-7-10
Casey Bailey 18-2-8-10 (11-2-4-6 with Bingo)
Jason Akeson 18-2-7-9 (3-1-2-3 with Bingo)
Michael Keranen 15-2-5-7 (2-0-1-1 with Bingo)
Buddy Robinson 18-5-4-9
Tobias Lindberg 17-4-3-7 (6-1-1-2 with Bingo)
Max McCormick 16-3-4-7
Ryan Dzingel 6-2-4-6
David Dziurzynski 8-1-4-5
Chris Carlisle 18-2-2-4
Nick Paul 8-1-2-3
Michael Sdao 10-0-3-3 (9-0-1-1 with Bingo)
Ryan Rupert 17-1-2-3 (11-1-1-2 with Bingo)
Conor Allen 17-1-2-3 (15-1-2-3 with Bingo)
Travis Ewanyk 15-2-1-3
Zack Stortini 18-1-2-3
Mark Fraser 19-1-2-3
Matt Puempel 2-2-0-0
Danny Hobbs 9-1-1-2
Ben Harpur 12-1-1-2
Jerome Leduc 18-1-1-2 (3-1-0-1 with Bingo)
Fredrik Claesson 19-1-0-1
Guillaume Lepine 19-1-0-1
Ryan Penny 9-0-1-1 (returned to Evansville)
Vincent Dunn 3-0-0-0 (returned to Evansville)
Alex Wideman 3-0-0-0 (returned to Evansville)
Nick Tuzzolino 2-0-0-0

Chris Driedger 5-4-1 2.98 .903
Matt O’Connor 2-7-0 3.50 .882

If O’Connor is the next great goaltender in the NHL I’ll eat my hat.  Otherwise we have the problem Binghamton has had all year: terrible coaching, an awful bottom group of forwards, and a talentless defense.  Trying to project forward to next season there’s nothing to be excited about (except, maybe, Driedger).


I haven’t updated Evansville in literally forever, so here’s a look: the team is 15-14-7 since my last update, which is a modest improvement over their start to the season.  Their 161 GF is a welcome improvement (from 2.5 to 2.87), while their 190 GA isn’t much of a change (3.39 vs 3.45).  The powerplay has completely collapsed (11.9% from 15.6%), and while their PK improved (79.1% from 75%) it’s still the second worst in the league.  It’s a truism that special teams are an area coaches have the most influence over, so draw your own conclusions.  Here’s a look at player performance since last time (they are organised by points-per-game because of how varied the games played are):

Ryan Penny 6-4-4-8 (1.33)
Danny Hobbs 13-7-5-12 (0.92)
Jordan Sims 34-10-18-28 (0.82)
Nathan Moon 36-12-17-29 (0.80)
Vincent Dunn 29-9-11-20 (0.68)
Alex Guptill 25-9-8-17 (10-4-3-7 with Evansville) (0.68)
Chris Rumble 32-8-13-21 (0.65)
Alex Wideman 26-8-9-17 (0.65)
Tyson Fawcett 36-9-14-23 (0.63)
Daultan Leveille 32-6-14-20 (0.62)
Mike Duco 21-8-5-13 (0.61)
Justin MacDonald 15-2-7-9 (0.60)
Troy Rutkowski 26-3-11-14 (0.53)
Ben Harpur 4-0-2-2 (0.50)
Andrew Himelson 36-2-13-15 (0.41)
Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel 22-5-4-9 (1-0-0-0 with Evansville) (0.41)
Spencer Humphries 33-2-11-13 (0.39)
Andrew Harrison 14-2-3-5 (0.35)
Sebastian Strandberg 23-3-5-8 (0.34)
Matthew Zay 31-4-6-10 (0.32)
Alec Hagaman 9-1-1-2 (0.22)
Jonathan Carlsson 26-1-3-4 (8-0-3-3 with AHL Rockford) (0.15)
Curtis Leonard 29-0-4-4 (23-0-3-3 with Evansville) (0.13)

Scott Greenham 6-3-2 2.62 .922
Christoffer Bengtsberg 6-6-5 2.93 .903
Cody Reichard 2-2-0 3.78 .892 (retired)

The team has been plagued by injury problems, but they also suffer Binghamton’s issue of a poor defensecorps.  Why Al Sims traded away the useful Dieude-Fauval is beyond me, but overall the Evansville group is (at this level) more talented than Binghamton’s.  For those who haven’t paid attention, Strandberg, despite being a forward, continues to play on defense (his numbers hurt more by his injury problems than the position switch).  It’s interesting that Carlsson has been more productive at the AHL level.  Regardless, there’s no real chance the Icemen make the playoffs and in that respect they are an echo of Binghamton.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)