31 October 2014

Pondering the Sens as a special teams team.


Forget being a high-event team: meet your 2014-15 Ottawa Senators, a high-special teams-event team. ...Okay, I take that back, that makes the club sound too much like a group of scantily-clad faux-firemen available for hire to flaunt their parts at special occasions. But look, the Sens spent an average of 17 minutes per game over the month of October playing in situations other than 5-on-5 (as calculated from war-on-ice.com game logs). League-wide, they're 6th in terms of time with the man-advantage and 23rd (or, inversely, 8th) in terms of time spent down a man. These measurements aren't quite precise, since teams evidently haven't played the exact same number of games. But combine it with the eye test and it seems reasonably safe to conclude that the Sens have been relying quite heavily on special teams for these first nine games.



17 October 2014

To think about: looking for chemistry & balance.


When Paul MacLean shifted Bobby Ryan to the second line somewhere in between the second and third game of the season, the rationale seemed, well, rational. In separating our lusciously fruitful most prominently productive scoring forward from the hot duo of Turris and MacArthur, the Sens would be able to roll at least two skill trios in a 1a/1b-type split against opponents. This would thus avoid the Turris-centred line being killed possession-wise (although the boys at hockey-graphs have speculated whether matching competition truly has an effect at the team level). So the new second-line became Ryan-Zibanejad-Chiasson, while Stone moved up to play with Turris and MacArthur. Seemed logical.



13 October 2014

Game n°3 preview: Sens stop by Sunrise, FLA for fall hockeying


Don't look now, but the Ottawa Senators are straddling a .500 average two games into a season that's presented them with yet another road trip to start (albeit one theoretically easier than last year's Opening Line-Up of Death). There's one last game to play down south before settling in for a two-week homestand, and it'll be one chez les Panthers.



2 October 2014