Thoughts on Belleville, ECHL Situation Update, and More

80s scoring

I grew up watching hockey in the 1980s, so whenever there’s a brief bump in scoring I want to get excited about it, but I’m not. We saw something similar to this in 2005, but the conservative folk who run the league freaked out and after a couple of months things reverted to the modern version of the dead puck era. How long will this scoring surge last? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d imagine not very long.

belleville sens

Kurt Kleinendorst made some interesting comments in the wake of the weekend loss. The ones that stood out:

we have a very, very young team — and I’m not making excuses

He is making excuses and it’s not even true–Belleville is the 10th oldest team (the oldest is Texas, the youngest Tucson), but the variation is very small (22-25 is the entire range). The only core element that’s youth dependent is the blueline–the goaltending is veteran, the forward group is experienced–making it an odd thing for him to say.

(Marcus) Hogberg is a young guy with a phenomenal future and we’ll try to get him some games at some point in the ECHL

So as expected Belleville will go with the Taylor-Hammond duo to start (the latter’s AHL numbers have never been good, but there’s no option to send him to the ECHL, so Kleinendorst’s hands are tied as long as he’s on the roster).

But we’re here to win too. I’ve got to be very clear about that. … But winning allows our team to develop farther, rather than losing. We’re committed to winning and making the playoffs.

In a way this is exactly what you’d expect him to say, but given the last two horrendous seasons for the Sens AHL affiliate (59-82-11) this is a bold task, especially given the veteran detritus GM Randy Lee has shoved into the lineup. It suggests that Kleinendorst will lean on veterans in lieu of prospects–although without a certifiable scorer and a thin blueline, I’m not sure there’s much point to such a push. I’d rather see young players play.

Belleville’s already thin blueline got a lot thinner when both Thomas Chabot and Christian Jaros were recalled by Ottawa. The BSens don’t play again until Friday (the 13th), so it’s possible one or both could be returned by then (given Boucher’s predilection for veterans, Jaros‘ is almost assured), but in the meantime Macoy Erkamps was recalled from Brampton (the ECHL team’s season hasn’t started yet). [After I initially posted this Cody Donaghey and Daniel Ciampini were recalled.]

In other roster moves, Brendan Woods, now healthy, was released by Belleville (as expected) and signed a PTO with Utica.

small sample size

Speaking of Belleville, Spencer Blake has taken up Jeff Ulmer’s AHL mantel over at The Silver Seven and in the midst of his first effort he said this:

[Standouts] McCormick also threw five pucks towards the net and performed his usual role of gritty forechecker as well as he’s always done.

I get the feeling Spencer looked at the stat sheet trying to find something of interest about the game and focused in on one of the few for the BSens given the shutout (my suspicions were raised when he got Binghamton’s powerplay units wrong for the game). McCormick had five shots, which is great, but he played a ton and it didn’t result in anything. With eight powerplays in the game and a ton of TOI, he should be putting pucks on net–it’s par for the course, especially for a guy who isn’t a passer (46 career goals versus 40 career assists). At best he was average and his invisibility in the second game doesn’t help his cause–I expect a lot more from a veteran player like that.

brampton

Confirmation of the Brampton affiliation has come, albeit not officially. The Sens have cut their ties to Wichita, apparently including the promise of a goalie. How much latitude they’ll have with Montreal’s affiliate is unknown, but given Belleville’s limited depth there’s only so many to send there anyway.

kevin lee

The powerhouse that is Kevin Lee (not the UFC fighter) urged the people on Twitter to follow me, which was very kind of him. I wondered what the impact would be–turns out it was pretty close to the potency of Brianne from years ago. Thanks to him and to anyone who doesn’t follow him, you should!

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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