Belleville Senators: January Report

Training Camp

Another month is in the books in yet another failed season for the Sens AHL affiliate (the architect pictured above), so it’s time to take a look at who did well and who did not.

The team compiled a middling 5-6-1 record (better than December’s 3-8-1), anchored around a a three-game winning streak and trailing off with four straight losses. Their limp scoring from December carried on unabated (2.08 vs 2.16), although they did cut down their goals against (3.58 vs 4.33). The team fired a similar number of shots, but gave up even more than the previous month (-91 differential vs -74 in December), meaning the change in goals against is a reflection of goaltending rather than improved team defense. On special teams the powerplay improved slightly (15.7%), although it scored fewer goals (6 vs 8); the penalty kill continued to be terrible (74.5% vs 75%), despite giving up one less goal (13 vs 14).

The Roster

Ben Sexton and Patrick Sieloff missed the entire month with injury (Sieloff has been out since late December, while Sexton hasn’t played since November 4th). Thomas Chabot is gone forever playing out the string in Ottawa; Andrew Hammond missed all but one game this month on recall in Colorado. Filip Chlapik, Colin White, and Ben Harpur spent significant chunks of the month in Ottawa.

Cody Donaghey remains banished to the ECHL (32-2-3-5 for the season), despite a desperate need on defense. Vincent Dunn also seems to be gone permanently (14-7-1-8), with the more useful Daniel Ciampini (14-3-10-13) playing just one game in Belleville. Chris Driedger, who was given only one start this month, wasn’t sent to Brampton for playing time.

The Chris Kelly experiment recurred, as he signed a new PTO coming off winning the Spengler Cup. His second chance kept him in shape prior to his Olympic appearance, but he again failed to deliver. Kleinendorst, unlike the first round of Kelly, inexplicably put him on scoring lines most of the time (which was a disaster).

Stats (arranged by points-per-game; FA signings in blue, ELC’s in green)

Ben Harpur 5-0-4-4 0.80
Jim O’Brien 12-3-4-7 0.58
Max McCormick 12-2-5-7 0.58
Colin White 7-3-1-4 0.57
Jordan Murray 10-2-3-5 0.50
Christian Jaros 9-1-3-4 0.44
Gabriel Gagne 11-3-1-4 0.36
Jamie Doornbosch 3-0-1-1 0.33
Ethan Werek 10-1-2-3 0.30
Chris Kelly 7-0-2-2 0.28
Erik Burgdoerfer 11-2-1-3 0.27
Chris DiDomenico 11-0-3-3 0.27
Filip Chlapik 4-0-1-1 0.25
Mike Blunden 12-3-0-3 0.25
Andreas Englund 12-0-3-3 0.25
Max Reinhart 9-2-0-2 0.22
Kyle Flanagan 10-0-2-2 0.20
Nick Paul 12-2-0-2 0.16
Francis Perron 12-0-2-2 0.16
Jack Rodewald 12-0-2-2 0.16
Max Lajoie 7-0-1-1 0.14
Macoy Erkamps 10-0-1-1 0.10
Daniel Ciampini 1-0-0-0
Willie Corrin 3-0-0-0
Tyler Randell 4-0-0-0

Danny Taylor 3-1-1 .920 2.53
Andrew Hammond
1-0-0-0 .913 2.00
Marcus Hogberg 1-4-0 .880 4.32
Chris Driedger 0-1-0 .851 5.25

A few players are going through profound slumps:
Perron has no points in his last six and hasn’t scored in fifteen (admittedly with minimal PP time and mostly playing on the fourth line)
Rodewald has no points in his last eight and hasn’t scored in fourteen (this hasn’t impacted his ice time, although he has been yanked off the PP); since signing his ELC he’s tanked hard (27-2-2-4), echoing his hot/cold performance last season (when he was on an AHL-deal)
Paul, prior to scoring in the team’s last game, had gone ten games without a point and has just four since November 3rd (21-3-1-4)–definitely time for the team to move him elsewhere
Gagne went through a terrible streak (12-0-0-0) going back into late December, but has pulled out of it of late (5-3-1-4)

DiDomenico has also fallen off a cliff in terms of scoring, albeit he spent most of the month banished to the third or fourth line (because reasons). Werek, like DiDomenico, is producing less, but received limited ice time.

The primary positives are: Jaros, whose production and defensive play have improved; Harpur (offensively, albeit a small sample size); and White (offensively and defensively).

Special Teams

The raw numbers are above, but I’ll quickly go through usage vs effectiveness (minimum five games played, averaging a shift per game).

Powerplay
Usage
Forwards: Werek, DiDomenico, White, Gagne, Paul, and Blunden
Defense: Murray, Harpur, Lajoie, and Jaros
On-Ice for Goals Scored*
Forwards: White, DiDomenico, Werek, Paul, O’Brien, and Gagne
Defense: Harpur, Murray, Jaros, and Lajoie
* this has limitations in terms of value, but it’s an indicator on the extremes

The main takeaway from this is what a tank Blunden is on the PP (despite extensive usage) and how org darling McCormick continues to be a non-factor (he played less this month, but still saw regular action). Games played keeps Chlapik off this list, while who knows what Perron needs to do to get consistent chances here.

Penalty Kill
Usage
Forwards: McCormick, Kelly, White, and Blunden
Defense: Harpur, Burgdoerfer, Englund, and Jaros
On-Ice for Goals Against (fewest)
Forwards: White, O’Brien, Perron, and Kelly
Defense: Jaros, Harpur, and Englund/Burgdoerfer

Half the most successful forwards aren’t on the most frequent list, as McCormick and Blunden were burned the most on the PK; on the blueline Burgdoerfer is the torpedo for his partner–dragging Englund down with him. White’s improvement on the PK since the start of the season is startling (in the last two months he’s only been on the ice for just two–two!–goals against (through 19 games). Jaros has also improved tremendously, as he started off as one of the worst PK defenseman (statistically at least). Incidentally, since Jaros’ injury Kleinendorst has varied between using just one pair of blueliners for the entire PK or rotating with three.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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2 Comments

  1. […] a middling January the team (in the midst of divisional games important to their opponents) tanked, going 3-9-0. […]

  2. […] for the month itself, the team was 5-6-1, which is identical to their January record and on par with most of the months this year (December and February are the months that […]


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