I haven’t posted in awhile, but enough material has accumulated that it’s time to weigh in.
Credit where credit is due: when it comes to underwhelming news, the Sens are among the best. Matt Bartkowski‘s PTO is one of those things that makes my head want to explode–let’s bring in a guy who is basically Mark Borowiecki and have him compete with him. Do I think the Sens will pick Bartkowski over the Borocop? No, but the prospect of him winning that spot makes no real difference to the blueline (via the link you can see Nichols go through all the numbers). In theory I love the idea of competition during camp, but I don’t think it’s real (I can’t recall a PTO ever beating out a roster player in Ottawa). Speaking of the blueline, Travis Yost brings up this salient point:
Is Ceci good? I think that’s a legitimate question to ask at this juncture, considering (a) he’s played more than 200 games; and (b) will turn 23 years of age this season. Generally, this is where we see strong defenders start to enter their prime, beating the opposition back into their defensive zone and consistently making life easy on teammates and goaltenders. We haven’t seen that at all from Ceci. In fact, what we’ve really seen is a replication of Phaneuf.
Trevor Shackles wonders which Sens players might regress to the mean, with the Zack Smith leading the charge. It’s pretty straightforward stuff and I certainly expect Smith and Pageau‘s numbers to drop (barring a full season with Mark Stone for the latter), Turris to return to normal, and I have no clue how MacArthur will perform given his concussion issues.
Callum Fraser offers his point projections for the various Sens players (sadly with no explanation at how he arrived at those numbers). Overall the tallies seem on the high side, but without understanding his methodology it’s difficult to truly criticise.
The rookie tournament wrapped up a few days ago with the Sens finishing 2-1 (1-2, 1-0, 6-3). There were no surprise performances (the roster is here), although fans (and possibly the org) have to be pleased the team was able to generate offence in the final game (against Montreal’s rookies). I’ve always thought the mini-tourney was a lot of fun, but not the place to draw conclusions about particular players.
Ary M has a prospect preview up, but sadly there’s little substance to expectations or projections (I’m at a loss for what he means when he writes “I’ve tried to set expectations on the goals for each player in the Sens system for the 2016-17 season” – I guess rough goals of where they will be next year is what’s meant by projections?).
Travis Yost tries to find a link between blueliners and team save percentage, but comes up empty, saying:
For now, there is simply zero evidence that a player can truly impact his team’s save percentage over long periods of time
In the same vein, Yost determines that coaches do impact team defense (which makes a great deal of sense, forgiving the vagaries of the rosters involved).
Somehow I missed that Hockey’s Future shutdown on July 1st. A long time fan institution (despite it’s painfully poor Sens coverage), it’s something I’ll miss (particularly articles on the European leagues). Anecdotally it seems to be part of a larger trend of shrinkage of online hockey spaces, as the aging fanbase gets consolidated on fewer sites.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)