Cory Conacher has been a name prospect the last year or so, but I can't say I've caught enough Tampa, Norfolk or Syracuse games to give an informed take on his game. So I turned to John Fontana (@Johnny_Fonts) who writes at SBN's Tampa Bay Lighting blog Raw Charge to answer a few questions fans in Ottawa may have. Oh and if you're looking for a more in-depth and detailed scouting report, John has one of those too right here.
1. How surprised were you to see Conacher in the trade Wednesday?
"Gobsmacked" is the way I described how I felt, speaking to friends and publicly on Twitter, regarding the whole deal. "Surprised" just doesn't cut it. Most (if not all) Tampa Bay Lightning fans never saw this coming, no one expected it. No one thought Conacher would be dangled as a trade chip, let alone moved. That goes doubly for me.
2. What kind of player is Ottawa getting?
Besides short? A spark plug. Think of Tampa Bay's Martin St Louis, subtract 14 years, add a little more willingness to jump into a scrum or stick up for himself and you have an idea of what Ottawa is getting. Conacher has the wheels and ability to go places in this league, though the Lightning have been trying to round-out his game in recent weeks (I'll explain that in question 3 and 4).
3. Which part of his game needs the most work?
At times, I think Conacher can be a little careless when speeding into the opponent's zone - and that leads to losing control of the puck or a general turnover. So puck possession could use some strengthening. At the same time. The Lightning were specifically working with him on improving his defensive game. That took him off the Bolts top line combos (next to Steven Stamkos or Vincent Lecavalier) and saw him on the lower lines.
4. Has he been playing noticeably different as the points have slowed, or is it just a matter of the bounces not going his way anymore?
I think there's been a general lack of opportunity for Cory lately with thanks to being demoted to the lower lines (to work on this defensive game). That's also lead to a drop in ice time. Those are both key contributing factors in his production trailing off. If he's turned loose, I think you'll see the points (and goals) come.
5. From what you saw this season, what kind of potential do you think he has?
Let's not just use one season to judge Cory. I watched him in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals in 2011/12, I watched him with the 2012/13 Syracuse Crunch, I've watched him with the 2013 Lightning as well. He's got a fearlessness and ability to go places in this league and be a force. It wasn't a fluke he draws comparisons to the aforementioned St. Louis.no comments
Ottawa went 7-3-2 over the third quarter of the season, and continue to look secure of a playoff spot despite dropping the last two in regulation. There was concern the poor stretch the Senators experienced after losing Karlsson was a sign of things to come, thankfully they've been better than that since. As it stands they're an average to below average possession team with elite goaltending. Curious to see how well they play down the stretch, and of course what kind of matchup they get in the first round (assuming they make it). Wouldn't be thrilled about playing Boston or Montreal...even though I"m sure it'd be great TV.
And this is the scoring chance definition I adhere to when tracking games:
"A scoring chance is defined as a clear play directed toward the opposing net from a dangerous scoring area - loosely defined as the top of the circle in and inside the faceoff dots (nicknamed the Home Plate), though sometimes slightly more generous than that depending on the amount of immediately-preceding puck movement or screens in front of the net. Blocked shots are generally not included but missed shots are. A player is awarded a scoring chance anytime he is on the ice and someone from either team has a chance to score. He is awarded a "chance for" if someone on his team has a chance to score and a "chance against" if the opposing team has a chance to score."
The "home plate" scoring chance area can be seen below.
If you have any questions, or need clarification on anything just stop by in the comments.no comments
With yesterday's NHL trade deadline behind us, @creecher1200 and I jumped into the studio to record our thoughts on the Cory Conacher acquisition on this latest episode of The 6th Sens Podcast.
Joining us on the pod was AJ Jakubec. I have no idea why you wouldn't be following the Ottawa 67's play-by-play man and voice of the Senators' pre and post-game shows on the the Team 1200, but if you're not already, do so here -> (@AJonSports).
If you have any questions or comments about the podcast, please leave us some feedback in the comment thread below. Thanks for listening, we hope you enjoy the show.
Here is the tracklist for the show: Podcast tracklist: Warm Soda Busy Lizzy; Umbrella Cult Another One Goes; and Virginia Leaves No Where's Worse.
Ben Bishop has been told he's been traded from OTT to TB. #tradecentre— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 3, 2013
The Ottawa Senators have acquired forward Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for goaltender Ben Bishop.
After a strong collegiate hockey career, Conacher signed one-year contract with Norfolk in July 2011. His 39 goal, 41 assist effort earned him AHL MVP honours in 2011/12, as well as a two-year entry level deal with Tampa Bay. This season his 24 points trail only Jonathan Huberdeau's 25 in the rookie scoring race. Oh and he's also listed at 5’8”, 175lbs.
On the surface, it looks like a huge win for the Senators and for Robin Lehner. (And as a minor sub-story to the trade, I would that this trade means that Craig Anderson has been cleared to play.) Lehner officially becomes a NHL regular with this move. My heart goes out to all of you Binghamton Senators fans who were hoping that Robin would be reassinged shortly.
But obviously, that's not going to happen now.
Averaging only 2.42 goals per game, the Senators certainly can use whatever offence he can provide. Of the teams currently holding playoff seeds, only the New Jersey Devils (2.42, tied with Ottawa) and San Jose (2.34) boast similar or worse rates.
There inevitably is going to be some skepticism whether Conacher’s production levels are sustainable or whether he’s just beneficiary of some quality linemates - a Brandon Bochenski if you will. I mean, it's not like Conacher is a phenom relative to his age, how much his game can still grow is anyone's guess.no comments
This basically echoes what Bob said on the Team1200 pre-game show last Saturday:
"I know earlier when the Ottawa Senators were making Bishop available on the basis of good health of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner ready to do the job, that they were looking for at least what they got if not more than what they paid to get him, which if memory serves me correctly was a second-round pick. If anything now that price tag now might be a first-round pick, and the question becomes are teams prepared to do that."
While Pierre Lebrun suggested yesterday that the Senators would be looking for a "top-six forward" in return for Bishop, and Garrioch pegged him going to Calgary in a rumoured Glencross trade. But if the organization really is being offered a first rounder, that would seem to be pretty tough to turn down...though maybe they think they can get more in the summer.
Still if they decide to deal him this would not be a bad time. As an asset Bishop's value has never been higher, he's currently sporting a .922 SV% (the 8th best mark in the league), where prior to this season in the NHL he was a career .903 SV% goaltender. Furthermore the Senators have wisely played him in enough games (partly out of necessity) to keep him a controllable RFA asset. For a cap conscious team, or one up against it heading into a declining cap environment, it's easy to see why a Ben Bishop would be attractive as opposed to a Ryan Miller or Luongo.
With few trade deadline storylines surrounding the Senators, this is one to watch during the next 15 hours...no comments
When I read this morning’s article in the Ottawa Sun which indicated the Senators had expressed interest in Calgary Flames forward Curtis Glencross, I was hardly surprised.
Slated to earn $2.55 million through the 2014/15 season, Glencross is a rarity on the Flames’ roster – a marketable commodity who is actually: a) cost-effective; b) at a relatively decent age; and c) good.
Whether Glencross would be willing to waive his no-trade clause and be willing to accept a move to another organization remains to be seen, but with Jarome Iginla bolting for brighter pastures and Mika Kiprusoff potentially on the way out too, the Flames’ are up to their knees in shit and their GM, Jay Feaster, is digging them out using a spoon.
The Senators do have some familiarity with the player.
Obvious #Sens connection on Glencross rumours. While in Anaheim, Bryan and Tim Murray signed him as a college free agent in 2004.— Steve Lloyd (@Steve_Lloyd) April 1, 2013
So maybe there’s a significant chance that he’d be willing to come to the Senators.
As a forward who has tallied 24 and 26 goals in his last two seasons (he has 14 goals in 31 games this season), Glencross would assuredly help Ottawa now. And with his paltry cap hit, the Senators would continue to have the financial flexibility that allows them to go out and take on a significant contract that can help put the team over the top.no comments
Senators House Sigil done by Habs Laugh. Check it out.
What do we say to serious posts? Not today.
With the highly anticipated return of HBO’s Game of Thrones on television, I figured it would be an opportune time to break away from the statistics, analysis and news to bring you readers something slightly different.
Using characters from the series, I’ve drawn parallels to current and former individuals who at one point, were involved with the Ottawa Senators. Having read the books, I have tried to limit the potential to spoil anything for those of you who have only watched the television series. For those of you who intend on getting into the series but haven't had a chance to, do yourself a favor and stop reading.
Now let’s get to it...no comments