Belleville 4 Manitoba 3 (SO), Belleville 3 Manitoba 2 (OT)

The BSens went to Winnipeg and picked up 4-points in a pair of sloppy games against a good team. This complete’s Belleville’s month on the road and I’ll be digging into the numbers on that in a separate article. They were badly outplayed in the first game, but before my observations here are the basics (the box score is here):
Shots: 27-38
PP: 1-3 (one cut short)
PK: 3-4 (brief 5-on-3 they were scored on; another was also brief)
Goaltender: Andrew Hammond was fantastic (I had him making 11 big saves–many in overtime); Danny Taylor served as the backup and a now-healthy Chris Driedger was scratched (presumably he’ll be loaned to the ECHL at some point–there’s no room in Brampton, so either they swap him with Hogberg or loan him to a different team)

The Opposition
The Moose are a good team and probably deserved a better fate, particularly in this game, as goaltender Eric Comrie could not make a save in the shootout. There were a couple of BSens connections, with Buddy Robinson and pugilist Darren Kramer on the team (as well as tryout Charles-David Beaudoin).

The Goals
1. Manitoba: Sieloff can’t control the stick making the deflection in front
2. Burgdoerfer on the PP (nice set-up by Lajoie, but full credit to Burg for the goal)
3. Manitoba: Sieloff out of position so he can neither block the pass or take the man
4. Sexton finishes off a nice three-way passing play (nice short-side shot)
5. Gagne bangs in a fantastic pass by Perron
6. Werek falls, turning the puck over and neither Burgdoerfer or Sieloff get back to the net in time to stop a wide-open deflection
Sexton – hits the post
Ciampini – scores on a deke
Gagne – scores on a slapshot (!)
Werek – scores on a deke
Paul – wrist shot

Scoring chances (7): Ciampini (2), Gagne, Paul, Burgdoerfer, Sexton, Reinhart

The Roster
Chalpik, DiDomenico, McCormick, and newly ELC-signed Rodewald were all with Ottawa; Blunden and Flanagan remained out as expected, but Chabot also missed both games with a lower body injury; Erkamps sat presumably due to injury (he was on the presumed lineup for tonight, but did not play and the BSens spent the night a player short). Joining the lineup was Ben Sexton, who hadn’t played since October 7th; Dunn also drew back in given the lack of forward options, joined by Justin Vaive (yes, son of Rick), who was called up from Cincinnati. Jordan Murray was sent down to Brampton prior to the trip, but has not suited up for the Beast yet.


If these lines look underwhelming you are correct. Harpur looked like he was skating in cement and wasn’t sure what the puck was for. Lajoie was a big help for Burgdoerfer and Jaros played a ton.

Special Teams
Sexton-Paul-O’Brien/Burgdoerfer-Lajoie (scored)
Werek-Perron-Randell/Harpur-Jaros (once)
Perron-Reinhart-Randell/Harpur-Jaros (once)
Perron-Ciampini/Englund-Jaros (this is half a line change from the above)
Penalty Kill
Sexton-O’Brien/Sieloff-Burgdoefer (once)
Vaive-O’Brien/Englund-Burgdoefer (once–Sexton was in the box)
O’Brien/Sieloff-Harpur (5-on-3) (scored on)
Yes, with a one-goal lead Tyler Randell was on the powerplay twice–who wants to win in regulation, am I right? Jim O’Brien doesn’t belong either. The overtime lines, for the most part, struggled to get anything done.

Notable Plays
To save my sanity I’m going to collapse good and bad into one little text box. In the first Harpur threw a hip check to the head of Spacek who missed the next game (no intent, just size differential and bad luck). Late in the second Burgdoerfer managed to deke himself out with no real pressure–it was pretty amusing. In the third Jaros walked through a couple of players, but had no support on the rush. Classic O’Brien: wide open breakaway in overtime–fanned on the shot; Jimothy also repeated a play he made in Syracuse where with offensive pressure (in OT this time) he carried the puck outside the zone and made change.

Player Notes
Harpur: coming off injury he was atrocious; struggled with speed, struggled to handle the puck, and struggled to make decisions
Sieloff: his worst game of the season with a lot of mental errors defensively
Lajoie: pretty quiet game, but no big snafu’s and a nice assist
Englund: outside of one mistake (going for a big hit which lead to a 2-on-1 against) he was solid; after a terrible start to the season he’s been fine (albeit, no hands)
Jaros: couple of great defensive plays and a great rush in what was an underwhelming game from his team
Burgdoerfer: I’m not his biggest fan, but by his standards he’s on fire
Dunn: barely played and accomplished nothing
Vaive: his dad is Rick–did I mention that earlier?
Randell: on the powerplay? Really?
Reinhart: buried pretty deep in the Kleinendorst doghouse and in limited duty didn’t do much (a turnover and a scoring chance)
Ciampini: I’m warming up to him a bit–not sure he’s true AHL material, but as long as KK doesn’t put him on the first unit PP again I’m happy
Gagne: finally seeing the shot that made him a second round pick–if you get a chance to see his shootout goal check it out–not many guys can just walk in and blow it by a goalie with a slapper
Perron: solid game, although he’s got to be feeling pretty snake bitten with no goals
Werek: AHL’s best player was largely invisible, but he got a nice assist and made the play responsible for Manitoba’s tying the game late
O’Brien: typical game for him
Sexton: solid return after missing a lot of action

Belleville was lucky to win–they gave up a lot of opportunities and were stuck in their own end for much of the game. With that said, they had a 3-2 lead late in the third and you have to wonder how much Kleinendorst choosing to play conservatively allowed for the tie. it’s worth noting officials put their whistles away for much of the game (albeit not as much as in the next).

Saturday’s game was much more entertaining to watch and, given that the BSens fell behind early, we saw Kleinendorst change his lines to try to score (and without the Blunden button to push). This was the game where I realised Jim O’Brien comes from the Alexei Yashin school of passing: don’t. Before my observations here are the basics (the box score is here):
Shots: 37-39
PP: 0-2 (both abbreviated)
PK: 2-2 (one brief)
Goaltender: Danny Taylor (for a game with a ton of shots I only noted one big save from him); Andrew Hammond backed-up and Chris Driedger was scratched.

The Opposition
Only changes were Spacek out (presumably a concussion) and a goaltender switch.

The Goals
1. Manitoba: Gagne tips it into his own net
2. Manitoba: horrible goal from Taylor (beat by a low weak wrist shot from the circle)
3. Sexton bangs in O’Brien’s rebound
4. Gagne off a nice pass from Chlapik (who intercepted a clear around)
5. Chlapik steals the puck in his own end and scores on the breakaway (deke)

Scoring chances (10): Chlapik (3), Gagne (2), Sexton (2), O’Brien, McCormick, Burgdoerfer

The Roster
Chlapik and McCormick returned from Ottawa; spare tire Dunn was put back into the trunk (no one else needed to be scratched because the BSens played a man short the previous night).

The Lines

Harpur played a lot and it wasn’t pretty. In the second Chlapik was moved to center the second line and it was fantastic when on the ice (incredibly it’s a combo virtually unseen up to this point). It’s been very noticeable that Nick Paul misses Jack Rodewald (reminds me of his early dependence on Tobias Lindberg eons ago).

Special Teams
Gagne-Chlapik/Harpur (scored)
Penalty Kill

The McCormick heroin was in full effect today–I’m not sure what it is with coaches who can’t separate “I love this gritty, responsible player” from “this guy is great offensively.” McCormick has a decent shot, but he’s not much of a passer and his hockey IQ offensively isn’t great either (both well illustrated by his goal/assist ratio). There was also far, far too much Ben Harpur–he’s coming off injury, ease him in.

Notable Plays
Randell and Darren Kramer had one of those “we need to justify our paycheque” fights in the first (win for Randell if that interests you). Late in the second both Harpur and Sieloff abandoned the front of the net leaving a wide open Manitoba player (he missed the net). There was a great shift after that by the Gagne-Chlapik-Perron line where both Perron and Lajoie missed the net on great opportunities.

Player Notes
Harpur: the struggles continued–among the things he’s not ready for was PP duty
Sieloff: bounceback game for him comparatively with only two poor defensive plays
Burgdoerfer: evened up the turnovers with solid D (3 and 3)
Englund: largely invisible, but one notable defensive play
Jaros: pretty quiet game for him, but not a bad one
Lajoie: really came alive when he was matched up with the Gagne-Chlapik-Perron line
Vaive: he’s 6’6 and yeah, his father is Rick
Randell: he punched somebody and he wasn’t on the special teams, so basically a win
Reinhart: while I’d scratch Randell with a healthy lineup, given how little Reinhart is playing he might sit
Ciampini; largely invisible (no snafu’s however)
McCormick: scoring chance shorthanded and a boondoggle of a turnover
Paul: offensively vanished, but made a couple of good defensive plays
Werek: AHL’s best player warranted zero notations
O’Brien: have to credit him for an assist, but has no business on the PP
Sexton: picked up another goal and was generally solid
Perron: can’t buy a goal, but a positive presence and possession player
Gagne: other than accidentally own-goaling, this was one of his best games (he shines when he’s with linemates who can get him the puck)
Chlapik: he set-up the game tying goal and won it in overtime…and this is the third straight game Kleinendorst started him on the third or fourth line

I mentioned back in July that Kleinendorst tends to take a month or two before finding his way to the best possible lineup–relying on veterans in the early going. We’ve seen that in spades this season with an unreasonable addiction to McCormick, O’Brien, the now injured Blunden, Burgdoerfer, and now Harpur. Some of that is comfort level (three of those five players played for him before), but there’s an overemphasis on what’s perceived as “safe” and it’s frustrating to those of us who want to see talented prospects let loose. Gabriel Gagne, who was a disaster last season, has been on a very short leash, but with four goals in his last six games that might be lifting. I’m not a huge fan of Harpur playing his off side incidentally, but to keep him on the left means cutting either Englund or Sieloff’s ice time and Kleinendorst clearly isn’t ready for that.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



  1. Chlapik on the 3rd line. Coach is an idiot. Go have a coffee with hockey intelligence Randy Lee and discuss why Sens prospects are under developed and deprived of opportunity. ?????

  2. […] Belleville 4 Manitoba 3 (SO), Belleville 3 Manitoba 2 (OT) […]

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