The 6th Sens’ latest podcast was posted a few days ago and had Elliotte Friedman on and he had a number of things to say of which the following interested me:
-he admitted his inclusion of Ottawa as a possible target to move to Quebec was simply speculation (he apparently doesn’t like to use that word to describe it, but that’s what it is)
-he indicated that he believed Bryan Murray did not want to leave his position, implying he was pushed out internally
-he talked about how he thinks getting a coach like Guy Boucher after his first stint in the NHL is a good thing–he’s learned what works and what doesn’t–and as vague as this is it does fit the limited analysis of coaching success that I’ve seen (as I mentioned when Boucher was hired)
-when asked if he thought Ottawa’s talent was too middling to succeed (so they should rebuild), Friedman countered that he thought given the team-friendly contracts the core players were signed on the organisation has to go for it–push for success–which is certainly the sentiment that management has shared; Friedman thinks the Sens have the talent to win, but thinks their style of play has been the problem (which basically boils down to coaching, although that’s not how he framed it)
-on Mike Hoffman: suggested there’s something we can’t see on the ice that’s caused him to get pushed to the fourth line–my guess is friction with his coaches, assuming that’s true, because as Friedman points out Hoffman has incredibly rare skills in today’s NHL; he also added he thought that Boucher’s prior relationship with Hoffman was part of the reason why he was hired
-he said many NHL teams are reluctant to depend on analytics when it comes to big decisions (he said he didn’t think they paid attention to Corsi, but used other metrics to measure the same thing); he echoed a Tweet from Nate Silver that said “I’m not sure that hockey is that much different than random,” which I think is way too flippant and vague to take seriously
A few other Sens items of note:
-Tim Pattyson was moved from his position as the video coach to oversee analytics for the team; it’s an interesting move about which I have mixed feelings: 1) as a trusted voice in the organisation whatever information he brings to the staff should be respected, but 2) as part of the group-think in Ottawa that’s rejected analytics, what will he bring? (You can read Nichols thoughts on the move here)
-For the first time in a long time the Sens choose not to bring any top picks to the city (I like the move–don’t create room for disappointment in the fanbase)
-Pierre Dorion seems to have moved away (at least publically) from Bryan Murray’s never ending search for a top-six forward, expressing the belief that the team has nine players who could potentially score 20-goals–unless he has a time machine that takes him back to the 1980s I agree with Nichols that this is a pure flight of fancy, but I do like that he’s pulling back from echoing Murray’s unending desire
-Dorion confirmed that Clarke MacArthur is 100% healthy
-Like Nichols I’m puzzled that the Sens are (publically at least) expressing an interest in bringing back Alex Chiasson
Nichols invited Craig Smith to predict who the Sens might pick at the draft this year (as Smith did for Senschirp last year). Smith does the right thing by looking at the team’s picks since Tim Murray left and noting the Sens interest in size (something I mentioned not long ago), as well as the limitations in where they draft from (nowhere in Europe outside of Sweden, always someone from the Q, etc). Unfortunately Smith mentions a pretty terrible piece written by his colleague Ryan Wagman (which Craig must not have re-read as it includes an erroneous contradiction to his own thoughts (on size); as for why I have issues with Wagman I’ll refer you here and here; Ryan tends to Google his own name, so hello Ryan). After various first round profiles (which seem pointless in context, but without them the piece would be extremely short), he eventually concludes the Sens will pick defenseman Jake Bean (no relation to Sean Bean). He then suggests four potential players as second-round selections (defenseman Cam Dineen, defenseman Adam Fox, winger Cameron Morrison, and forward Jordan Kyrou).
What do I think about the predictions? I posted my ultimate 2016 draft list yesterday and certainly all the players should be an option at that time, so they’re reasonable suggestions. I’ll post a brief Sens draft preview to offer my predictions separately.
Erik Karlsson lost the Norris vote and while I think the decision was wrong I don’t really care–I’m not attached to awards–but for those who want some sympathetic outrage Ross A breaks it all down.
Nick Valentino argues that Sens fans should be patient with Matt O’Connor and not give up after his atrocious rookie season. He makes the argument his struggles were largely a product of the team in front of him and while he has a point I do think more of an explanation should be offered over why he had so many more problems than the other goaltenders who played in Binghamton (rookie nerves is a possibility).
Former Sens prospect Darren Kramer was tasered and arrested recently. The story (via the link) is a fascinating display of Kramer‘s apparent lack of common sense, although until the case goes to court (I imagine it will be settled before that) nothing has been proven.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)