Binghamton Senators: Number Crunching

At the end of last season I did a “with-or-without” list for players versus team-performance and I was curious where things stood with that stat this year.  For those unfamiliar with the idea, what you’re looking for is significant impact of a player being in (or out) of the lineup in terms of wins and losses.  The more games played the more a player’s numbers will regress to the mean.  For the numbers below I excluded those with minimal games played (so Erkamps, GrantDunn, Loiselle, and Doornbosch).  Before the individual stats we can compare this year’s team to last years (for the latter go here, with green representing improvement, red decline):

2015/2016
7-17-2 (0.30), 29th in the league/10-17-3 (0.38), 30th in the league
Goals For: 2.73/2.33 (-0.40)
Goals Against: 3.61/3.33 (+0.28)
PP: 14.6 (13 goals)/11.7 (13 goals) (-2.9%, goals even)
PK: 79.2 (25 against)/78.8 (21 against) (-0.4%, -4 goals)
Win/loss when scoring a PPG: 4-5-1/5-4-2 (slight improvement)
Win/loss when surrendering a PPG: 3-13-1/7-11-1 (improved)

So what has the Kurt Kleinendorst accomplished?  He’s played four more games than at the same point last year and arrives with a slightly better winning percentage.  Offensively the team continues a decline whose trend goes back a few seasons, but defensively there’s been marginal improvement.  On special teams the offensive decline is present and the PK isn’t any better, although the impact of special teams on results is heading in the right direction.  It’s not included above, but Binghamton gives up far fewer penalties than under Luke Richardson’s limp regime.  I’m inclined to put most of the blame on the teams struggles on management–this is their assembly of talent–but Kleinendorst doesn’t get off scot-free.  I’ll delve more into where I think he deserves blame below.

Winning Percentage Individual Numbers (the team is 0.38)
Gabriel Gagne 0.55
Jason Akeson 0.45
Chad Nehring 0.44
Nick Paul 0.42
Chris Carlisle 0.41
Ben Harpur 0.41
Patrick Sieloff 0.40
Alex Krushelnyski 0.40
Fredrik Claesson 0.40
Mike Blunden 0.39
TEAM 0.38
Francis Perron 0.38
Casey Bailey 0.38
Jack Rodewald 0.38
Kyle Flanagan 0.37
Buddy Robinson 0.37
Gulliaume Lepine 0.36
Chris Rumble 0.35
Andreas Englund 0.34
Curtis Lazar 0.34
Mike Kostka 0.33
Phil Varone 0.31
Ryan Rupert 0.31
Zack Stortini 0.29

The least surprising thing about this data is the drag Stortini is on team performance–he’s a terrible player who has neither the speed nor skill to help his teammates.  No one should get excited about Gagne‘s number here–it’s a small sample size during which individually he’s done nothing (10-0-0-0).  Both Akeson and Nehring are quickly regressing to the mean, so on the top side there’s nothing truly notable.  On the bottom end it’s interesting seeing Varone and Kostka well below the norm–this could be a symptom of being overplayed (particularly in the latter’s case)–albeit it’s still a little alarming.  I think where you can question Kleinendorst is in player usage–who he dresses, who he starts, etc, and there’s room for improvement here (albeit we can’t know how hamstrung he is by management edicts).

Here are some other numbers:

Powerplay Leaders
Kostka 5
Rodewald 4
Bailey 4
Carlisle 4
Varone 3
Rumble 3

Even Strength Leaders
McCormick 13
Varone 12
Flanagan 12
Bailey 10
Blunden 9
Paul 9
Robinson 9

Shot Support for Goaltenders (as in, a better shots-for than shots-against ratio)
Matt O’Connor 8-10
Chris Driedger 8-1
Andrew Hammond 2-0
Scott Greenham 0-2

I included this stat simply because of how much more support Driedger has received.  Last year I noted there was more scoring when he was between the pipes–I have no explanation to offer here, I just find it interesting.

A selective Binghamton ‘Where Are They Now’ from last season (Luke Richardson remains unemployed):
Cole Schneider (AHL Rochester) 25-11-17-28
Leads the Amerks in scoring
Eric O’Dell (KHL HK Sochi) 34-5-8-13
He’s 7th in team scoring
David Dziurzynski (DEL Iserlohn) 30-6-5-11
Middling numbers in Germany
Jerome Leduc (Czech Pardubice) 31-3-5-8
2nd in blueline scoring
Travis Ewanyk (ECHL Idaho) 28-12-11-23
Doing well at the level he belongs
Michael Keranen (KHL/Liiga Jokerit/Ilves) 7-1-2-3
Struggling mightily since leaving the Minnesota organisation
Danny Hobbs (Denmark Sonderjysk) 26-9-18-27
Randy Lee-favourite has found a good league for his skills
Mark Fraser (AHL Bakersfield) 25-0-1-1
Being big and fast continues to give him unwarranted opportunities
Ryan Penny (ECHL Reading) 28-6-13-19
Third in team scoring
Nick Tuzzolino (ACH Stoney Creek) 8-0-7-7
If you’re asking wtf is the ACH it’s the Allen Cup League

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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Senators News & Notes

I had some scattered thoughts to share as I take a break from writing Netflix articles:

I was very happy with Ary M‘s prospect piece (go read it if you haven’t).  I like comparative analysis, but I don’t see it enough in blogs (just endless opinions based on…god only knows).

After being traded to the Rangers Matt Puempel sounded off about the Sens coaching staff (not teaching skill and the double standard for skilled players).  This is self-serving on his part, but as it’s something we’ve heard over and over again from players when moved there’s something fundamentally wrong with how Ottawa handles its assets (I’ve discussed this before; about Puempel himself there’s this).

Tom Pyatt and Chris Kelly are struggling…does this really surprise anyone?  When the former was signed I naively assumed he was Binghamton bound, that belief born of the understanding that he’s not an NHL player.  When Kelly was signed it was time for eye-rolling (with later analysis) and a failed attempt to understand why the normally sensible Nichols (and Ross A) were happy about it.  As I pointed out then the move made little sense–an old, declining player with nothing left in the tank?  Apparently more than just management were unable to see the flaws in the off-season.  The question for both players isn’t “why are they struggling,” but rather, “why were they on the roster.”

A bit more randomly: I thought Travis Yost had an article looking at Colton Parayko (3-86/12) and the struggle to draft defensemen, but if so I can no longer find it.  I bring him up because another defenseman taken in the third round of the 2012 draft (3-78 Shayne Gostisbehere) is putting up crazy numbers. Unlike Parayko the Flyer defenseman doesn’t have size (he’s 5’11), which is probably why scouting services didn’t rank him for the draft, but both players are interesting examples of how relatively poor NHL teams are at assessing blueliners.  For those curious, the Sens took Chris Driedger before the Flyers defenseman and Jarrod Maidens before Parayko.

Let’s do a Where Are They Now segment from the draft:
Tobias Lindberg
 (4-102/13 part of the Dion Phaneuf trade) – AHL 22-3-6-9
Mika Zibanejad
 (1-6/11 T – Derrick Brassard) – NYR 19-5-10-15
Stefan Noesen
 (1-21/11 part of the Bobby Ryan trade) – AHL 18-3-8-11
Matt Puempel
 (1-24/11 waivers) – NYR 6-1-0-1
Shane Prince
 (2-61/11 T – 3rd flipped to NJ as part of the Logan Brown trade) – NYI 20-4-5-9
Marcus Sorensen
 (4-106/10 unsigned FA by SJ) – AHL 19-4-4-8
Jared Cowen
 (1-9/09 part of the Dion Phaneuf deal) – was caught up in a failed legal challenge against being bought out by Toronto
Jakob Silfverberg (2-39-09 part of the Bobby Ryan trade) – Ana 29-8-12-20
Robin Lehner (2-46/09 T – 1st pick Colin White) – Buf 5-9-4 2.45 .920
Patrick Wiercioch (2-42/08 FA) – Col 25-2-6-8

What can we gather from this mishmash of characters?  They love trading young prospects for aging veterans; they were 1 for 4 in first round picks between 09-11 (ouch); Silfverberg is better than Ryan now who, in three full seasons, earned the Sens one first-round exit; Zibanejad has been much better than Brassard (as expected); they gave up too early on Lehner (as expected); it’s much harder to call the Prince deal one way or another yet (or giving up on Wiercioch); while his numbers aren’t good this season, I still think tossing Lindberg away was a mistake (he’s buried amidst a talented Marlies roster).  The only silver lining here is that the Sens are able to get something for players who aren’t very good, but it’s almost always older, fading assets.

A final note: Varada emerged from the ether to write 17,000 words on…nothing that actually interests me, but it was good to see him–WTYKY really hasn’t been the same since he hung up the gloves.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Ottawa Senators System Update (Binghamton, Wichita, and Prospects)

We’re far enough into the season to dig into the performances being accrued by Senators prospects and their affiliate teams.

Binghamton_Senators_svg

The Binghamton Senators are an utter disaster.  There’s no other way to frame it–no excuses to offer–they’re terrible and their season is over in terms of making the playoffs.  The only hope for fans is to see development and improvement.  Normally I compare the BSens to their conference, but let’s look at their overall league performance: 30th (5-14-1-1), trailing the 29th and 28th place teams by 5 points (already!); they are last in scoring (5 goals behind the 29th scoring team), and 24th in goals allowed.  One plus I’ll give Kurt Kleinendorst is that he’s put a stop to Luke Richardson’s regime’s endless parade to the penalty box–the BSens are the 4th-least penalized team in the league. Unsurprisingly the team has a terrible powerplay (29th), although their PK is hovering around average (16th)–the percentage about the same as the team finished last season.  I don’t know what, as a coaching staff, you do with this roster.  With that said, there’s still odd personnel decisions being made and (between the pipes) you have to wonder how many of those are dictated by Sens management.  Onto individual performances (players are organised by points-per-game, PPG):
[Key: italics = rookie, (D) = defenseman, (V) = veteran contract, (A) = AHL contract]

Phil Varone (26) (V) 18-5-8-13 (0.72 ppg)
Casey Bailey (25) 21-6-4-10 (0.47 ppg)
Kyle Flanagan (27) (A) 20-1-8-9 (0.45 ppg)
Jack Rodewald (22) (loan) 12-3-2-5 (0.41 ppg) (ECHL 6-5-3-8)
Buddy Robinson (25) 18-3-4-7 (0.38 ppg)
Chris Rumble (26) (D) (A) 11-1-3-4 (0.36 ppg) (ECHL 3-1-2-3)
Mike Blunden (29) (V) 20-3-4-7 (0.35 ppg)
Francis Perron (20) 21-4-3-7 (0.33 ppg)
Max McCormick (24) 15-3-2-5 (0.33 ppg)
Ryan Rupert (22) 19-3-3-6 (0.31 ppg)
Chris Carlisle (21) (D) (A) 20-1-5-6 (0.30 ppg)
Curtis Lazar (21) 13-3-1-4 (0.30 ppg)
Michael Kostka (31) (D) (V) 21-0-6-6 (0.28 ppg)
Andreas Englund (20) (D) 18-1-4-5 (0.27 ppg)
Nick Paul (21) 18-1-4-5 (0.27 ppg)
Vincent Dunn (21) 8-0-2-2 (0.25 ppg) (ECHL 9-1-1-2)
Zack Stortini (31) (V) 20-2-1-3 (0.15 ppg)
Alex Krushelnyski (26) (A) 9-1-0-1 (0.11 ppg) (ECHL 6-2-5-7)
Fredrik Claesson (24) (D) 9-0-1-1 (0.11 ppg)
Chad Nehring (29) 9-0-1-1 (0.11 ppg)
Patrick Sieloff (22) (D) 19-1-1-2 (0.10 ppg)
Ben Harpur (21) (D) 17-0-1-1 (0.05 ppg)
Gabriel Gagne (20) 2-0-0-0 (ECHL 14-3-4-7)
Jason Akeson (26) (A) 3-0-0-0
Guillaume Lepine (29) (D) 14-0-0-0

Andrew Hammond (28) 0-2-0 2.56 .907
Matt O’Connor (24) 2-8-1 3.03 .895
Chris Driedger (22) 3-3-1 2.84 .890
Scott Greenham (29) (A) 0-1-0 7.00 .774 (ECHL 6-4-0 2.85 .927)

The Sens went for character signings in the off-season and the results are apparent.  The desperate addition of Akeson (who was cut by his KHL team), while it should help scoring a bit, isn’t nearly enough change to help the roster.  The blueline is atrocious (with no help coming).  Varone is the only offensive player performing near expectations.  The number of managerial mistakes here is enormous, but it’s worth going through some of them:
Stortini – why is he getting dressed?  I said it all last season and nothing has changed; should have loaned him elsewhere or bought him out
Nehring – an older player coming off a career year…and he’s regressed beyond the mean; the only “skilled” signing of the off-season, incidentally
Lepine – ECHL blueliner kept afloat by Kostka last year has regressed to the mean
Harpur – he’s terrible; he was terrible last year–trade him, loan him, something
Sieloff – why the Sens thought they could do something with him is beyond me; reminds me a bit of the flyer they took on Josh Godfrey years ago (another 2nd round pick who’d struggled), but at least that was an AHL-contract
Paul – the warning signs were there last year, but he cannot function without skilled linemates
Dunn – see below (but what a waste!)
A final note on the non-goalies: plus/minus is a terrible stat, but that said, Kostka has accumulated a truly beautiful -16 (his closest competitors are -9), while Perron and the recalled Englund are the only players with an even or plus who have played most of the season.  And yes, I realise part of Kostka‘s terrible rating is simply that he’s overplayed in an effort to make up for an awful blueline around him.

As for the goalies, Driedger had a good start to the season, but struggled since returning from his Ottawa call-up.  O’Connor is exactly what he was last season–rarely wins with his numbers all over the place–he’s consistently inconsistent.  I have to wonder: does he lose this much because the team in front of him doesn’t give him the same effort?  I’m not sure if O’Connor has value at this point, but with Hogberg in the pipeline and the big ‘tenders contract up at the end of the year, I’d dump him and let Driedger and Greenham take over (the latter is much better at the AHL level than the above numbers indicate).

wichita-thunder-logo

I know no one cares about Wichita, but I’m going to look at them anyway.  The team is 9-7-0-1, slowing down after a hot start.  I won’t go through the league numbers, but they’re in a better place than Evansville was at this time last year (I’ve noted players with Sens or BSens contracts in bold).

Alexis Loiseau 17-14-9-23
Nathan Moon 20-5-11-16
Louick Marcotte 16-4-7-11
Nick Trecapelli (D) 17-3-7-10
James Melindy (D) 17-2-7-9
Daultan Leveille 14-3-5-8
Logan Nelson 13-2-6-8
Matt DeBlouw 15-2-6-8
Mitch Holmberg 12-3-4-7
Landon Oslanski (D) 17-1-6-7
Macoy Erkamps (D) 15-0-7-7
Gerrad Grant 14-2-3-5
Blake Tatchell 14-2-3-5
Ryan Tesink 13-0-3-3
Alexis Vanier (D) 17-2-0-2
Ian Lowe 10-0-2-2
Vincent Arseneau 2-1-0-1
Martin Nemcik (D) 10-0-1-1

Scott Greenham 6-4-0 2.85 .927
Drew Owsley  3-3-0 2.49 .929

From what I can tell the primary impact the Sens affiliation has had on Wichita is getting them to trade for management favourites Nathan Moon and Daultan Leveille (from Rapid City and Elmira; both of whom played for Evansville last year–the team also trading for Moon with the Icemen).  Do these moves help the Thunder?  I really don’t know.  The Sens may have had a hand in signing BSens castaway Nick Trecapelli as well (who is good at this level).  I mentioned last time that I remembered James Melindy from the 2012 draft, I also recall Ryan Tesink from the 2011 draft.  Enough trivia.  Of the various Sens fodder included here there’s nothing to be excited about–Macoy‘s numbers are okay, but not great, and Gagne should not be struggling here.  Dunn should be loaned out of the organisation, as he’s clearly disinterested in Wichita and isn’t good enough at the AHL-level.

prospects

Finally, here’s a look at how various Sens prospects are doing:

CHL
Filip Chlapik (Charlottetown; 2-48/15) 25-20-22-42 (1st in scoring)
Filip Ahl (Regina; 4-109/15) 25-17-14-31 (tied for fourth in scoring)
Cody Donaghey (Charlottetown; T-16) 28-8-21-29 (1st in blueline scoring)
Logan Brown (Windsor; 1-11/16) 15-8-13-21 (hasn’t played since my last update)
Tomas Chabot (Saint John; 1-18/15) 12-5-12-17 (1st in blueline scoring)
Maxime Lajoie (Swift Current; 5-133/16) 28-5-11-16 (2nd in blueline scoring)

NCAA
Colin White (Boston; 1-21/15) 17-10-7-17 (sophomore; 2nd in team scoring)
Robert Baillargeon (Arizona; 5-136/12) 15-8-7-15 (senior; 1st in team in scoring)
Kelly Summers (Clarkson; 7-189/14) 18-1-7-8 (junior, 2nd in blueline scoring)
Shane Eiserman (New Hampshire; 4-100/14) 16-2-5-7 (junior; 9th in scoring)
Mile Gendron (Connecticut; 3-70/14) 17-2-5-7 (sophomore; 1st in blueline scoring)
Christian Wolanin (North Dakota; 4-107/15) 14-0-6-6 (sophomore; 3rd in blueline scoring)
Chris Leblanc (Merrimack; 6-161/13) 6-2-1-3 (senior)
Todd Burgess (RPI; 4-103/16) has not played (freshman)
Joel Daccord (Arizona; 7-199/15) 5.40 .859 (freshman; worst of three goaltenders)

Europe
Jonathan Dahlen (Timra; 2-42/16) 25-12-8-20 (2nd in scoring)
Markus Nurmi (TPS Jr; 6-163/16) 21-10-11-21 (1st in scoring)
Christian Jaros (Lulea; 5-139/15) 22-3-5-8 (tied for 2nd in blueline scoring)
Marcus Hogberg (Linkoping; 3-78/13) 2.12 .925 (better than his partner)

First, a bit of trivia: former BSen Craig Schira plays on Jaros‘ team in Sweden (the two are currently tied in scoring).  That aside, I have a few observations: the change in scenery has done a lot for Baillargeon, albeit scoring on a terrible team isn’t always a strong indicator; Hogberg has recovered from a slow start to put up his usual numbers (I keep thinking about how much better Binghamton would be if Ottawa had skipped the O’Connor experiment and gone with Driedger/Hogberg).  Generally those you expect to excel at this level are–no warning signs and no one unexpectedly overachieving.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)