Belleville 1, Rochester 3

The BSens lost the most boring game of the season last night–a snoozefest where neither team seemed particularly interested. Before I delve into specific observations, here are the basics (the boxscore):
Shots: 32-24
PP: 0-5 (one very brief)
PK: 6-6 (one very brief; also a 5-on-3)
Goaltender: Danny Taylor got the start and had no trouble extending his personal losing streak to seven games (he made three key saves); Chris Driedger served as the backup, with Andrew Hammond scratched and Marcus Hogberg remaining in Brampton.

The Opposition
The Amerks were 16-6-6 coming into the game and never seemed in any danger of losing (don’t be fooled by the shots on goal–despite the difference it’s not a reflection of quality scoring chances).

The Goals
1. Rochester – tip-in
2. Rochester – Burgdoerfer gets caught puck-watching and his man bangs in a loose puck
3. Rochester – score from the side boards
4. Ciampini bangs in a nice pass from White who fakes the wrap-around (Blunden got a phantom assist on the play)

Scoring chances (7): Rodewald (x2), Ciampini, White (pp), McCormick, Blunden (sh), Reinhart (pp)

The Roster
Filip Chlapik and Ben Harpur were recalled before the game, which brought Vincent Dunn and PTO T. J. Melancon into the lineup. Chris Kelly was released from his PTO, which caused Ciampini to be recalled from Brampton. Jaros, Sieloff, Werek, Sexton, and Flanagan remain out with injuries.

The Lines
McCormick-O’Brien-Gagne
DiDomenico-Reinhart-Rodewald
Perron-White-Blunden
Dunn-Ciampini-Randell
Englund-Burgdoerfer
Murray-Erkamps
Lajoie-Melancon

I have no idea why Reinhart was given the #2 center position, because as in the past, it didn’t work. The fourth line, outside of Ciampini, is pretty embarrassing. There’s just so much that I’d change with the forward group here. On the blueline Melancon barely played, but from the second period on Kleinendorst rotated the other five regularly.

Special Teams
Powerplay
Perron-Reinhart-White/Murray-DiDomenico
McCormick-Gagne-Rodewald/Lajoie-O’Brien
4-on-4
White-Rodewald/Englund-Burgdoerfer
Gagne-DiDomenico/Murray-Erkamps
Penalty Kill
McCormick-O’Brien, Randell-Blunden, Perron-White, White-Blunden, McCormick-Randell
Englund-Burgdoerfer, Murray-Erkamps, Lajoie-Murray, Murray-Burgdoerfer, Lajoie-Erkamps
5-on-5
McCormick-O’Brien/Burgdoerfer
Randell-Blunden/Burgdoerfer

The the first game without Kelly and the BSens didn’t give up a PP goal for the first time since he joined the team (so they gave up a PP goal in every single game Kelly played). The struggles certainly weren’t only his fault, but it is an interesting fact. The powerplay continues to struggle, although the zone entries have improved.

Notable Plays
Reinhart missed the net on a breakaway (first); Taylor with a brutal giveaway that he’s very fortunate didn’t wind up in the back of his net (first); Burgdoerfer and Blunden collided and were slow to get up (first); Gagne made a couple of excellent passes in the first, but those receiving them did nothing with them; Blunden couldn’t get a shot away on a 2-on-1 (second); McCormick double-clutched in the slot on the PP and couldn’t get a shot away (second); Englund threw a huge hit (third).

Player Notes
Lajoie: I was happy to see him back on the regular powerplay rotation, although it would make a lot more sense to have him in Murray’s spot on the first unit
Reinhart
: took two selfish, dumb penalties in the game but this didn’t impact his ice time (accountability has never been the org’s strong suit with veterans)
Gagne: played well, although would have been better served on the first PP unit; nice to see him making passes, although given who he plays with he’s better off shooting
Rodewald: his best game since late November (threatening his now seven-game pointless streak)

This was not the kind of game for a lot of standout performances as the first two periods were largely event-free. For fans who like glass half-full interpretations, you can be happy the BSens kept the game scoreless for 43 minutes. Realistically, however, the team seemed to be playing for a 0-0 tie and once the goal-scoring started were incapable of doing anything about it. Another question the game raises is: when is the team going to face the fact that Danny Taylor just can’t perform? He hasn’t had a good game since October 28th and that’s one of just two good starts all season. The org would do themselves a favour by getting rid of him and clearing up the goaltending clog (but it’s not a move I’m expecting).

Today the BSens added another assistant coach (Tony Cimellaro), who was an assistant at Queen’s University. Unless Tony is going to lace up the skates I’m not sure what this is meant to accomplish (is it a precursor to removing Kleinendorst?). One of the many fears I have about what Randy Lee might do is making a former Sen like Shean Donovan the coach, and we’ll get another nightmare like Luke Richardson in the AHL.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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1 Comment

  1. […] in as relief (four key saves; it’s the first time he’s played since a December 20th loss to Rochester). Both goalies let in weak goals, but I wouldn’t blame either for the loss per […]


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