The Senators have acquired forward Matt Kassian from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a 2014 6th round draft pick. The 6'5, 247 pound left winger is 26 years old, and has played just 28 games in his NHL career, none of which this season, and is a career 0.1 PPG in the AHL.
In other words, he is what you might call a "goon". The kind of player Melnyk has railed against for years, even going so far as to state he had given Murray a mandate not to sign them. Quite the mandate indeed. Yep, the front office is clearly listening very closlely to what Eugene has to say on hockey matters (which frankly is the way it should be).
Bob McKenzie talked about the Sens interest in bringing in "toughness" on TSN last week. And today's move would seem to be a pure reactionary move to Dizzy being KO'ed...and everyone knows "reactionary" moves are the best kind a GM can make.
I am not a fan of this move, even though a 6th round pick for next season's draft is not much to give up. According to Oilers blog Copper & Blue, a team with a pick between 101 and 200th overall has about a 4% chance of drafting a top player (ie a Top 5 forward or Top 3 defenceman on a team).no comments
During the 4th round of the shootout in last night's game, friend of the blog Kaspars Daugavins decided to try something a little different, by pressing the toe of his stick on top of the puck before executing a 360° spin towards the right post. Unfortunately, Rask made a great save, and stopped DOGMAN'S attempt on the goal line with his left pad. To make things worse, David Krejci, Boston's next shooter, scored on Robin Lehner to win it for Boston.no comments
Last season, the Sens struggled defensively, giving up the 6th most goals against, and 2nd most shots against in the league. Fortunately, they had the 4th best offense, allowing them to slip into the playoffs as the 8th seed. Now things have changed completely; they currently sit 1st in goals against, but are 27th in goals for. To boot, the Sens lead the league in shots for, and are the 2nd worst in shots against.
So what has caused this improvement in goals againt? The easy explanation would be goaltending, but one could argue the defence has been limiting shot quality more than they were last season.
Thanks to this fancy website, we’re able to look at shot distances to see whether the Sens are playing better defencively, or are just benefitting from good goaltending. (NOTE: the NHL's shot location data has some issues, so just keep that in mind.)no comments
All but five periods in the second quarter of the season were played without Erik Karlsson, and if you've been watching the games you don't need me to tell you the team is playing different. Shots against have risen, and the Senators have struggled to create offensive chances for long stretches. Nevertheless the team has stayed in games and picked up points in ones they've lost, so much so that I think at this point I'd be surprised to see them fall out of the playoffs. Still, the totals below are pretty ugly, hopefully it was just a blip, they have certainly looked better as a team with Michalek back in the lineup.
The chance totals from games 1-12 can be found here.
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
Craig Custance has a list up on E$PN Insider of top 20 potential rental players for this year’s NHL Trade Deadline.
He prefaced his rankings by acknowledging that the congested NHL standings means a greater likelihood that there will be less trade activity this season.
From an Ottawa Senators perspective, two players made the cut – Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar.
Alfredsson was the second-highest ranked player on the list trailing only Corey Perry. Custance rated him more highly than notable players like David Clarkson, Jarome Iginla, Mike Ribeiro, Mike Smith and Jaromir Jagr.
On Alfredsson, Custance wrote:
First of all, at this point there aren't many people who think Alfredsson is going to get traded. The Senators would have to fall out of contention and Paul MacLean has Ottawa competing at a high level nearly every single night. "He's not going anywhere," said an NHL source. Complicating it further is that, if the Senators do decide to trade him, they're not going to ship him just anywhere. The Bruins and Penguins would be on the short list and maybe Detroit because of the heavy Swedish influence in their organization.
Reasonable asking price: First-round pick, B-level prospect and conditional draft pick based on playoff success.
Based on Alfie’s ranking and the expected kind of return that he could bring in a trade, I’m thinking that Custance is basing the ranking and estimated trade return on Alfie’s reputation more than anything.no comments
Worked for the Sabres right?no comments