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General Sens Talk - Part III

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  • I wouldn't say I'm a fan of Connor Brown. Just exactly the type of situation we want. Skilled offensive player; 20 goals and 36 points as a rookie when he had to play a prominent role for a weak team. He'll be able to challenge some kids for top six and powerplay minutes. Still just 25 and on the last year of his contract, so if he does have a good year we have the option to try to sign him or trade him at the deadline for picks/prospects.


    • Ugh. Would have been perfectly happy with this trade if we didn't give up a third round pick.


      • Originally posted by matchesmalone View Post
        Ugh. Would have been perfectly happy with this trade if we didn't give up a third round pick.
        I honestly have no clue how Dorion justifies a 3rd rounder going AWAY from the team helping the other with cap space?


        • So I was going through looking at scoring leaders from various years in the early 2000s, and I suddenly had this nostalgic feeling where I remembered what a huge Dany Heatley fan I was when he first broke into the league and for his first couple years with the Thrashers.

          And then I realized that I had completely forgotten that Dany Heatley killed a man...


          • Originally posted by Matt the Aussie View Post

            I honestly have no clue how Dorion justifies a 3rd rounder going AWAY from the team helping the other with cap space?
            Well, maybe Connor Brown will surprise.


            • Some numbers are showing up different on NaturalStatTrick than on Corsica. I think it has something to do with the "aggregate" and "adjusted" modifiers on Corsica, but I can't figure out what they mean. I think "adjusted" means score and venue adjusted but dunno about "aggregate" and doesn't seem to be in the glossary. So I'm just gonna use NaturalStatTrick. Score adjusting is far more useful for corsi than for goals anyway.

              I'm gonna skip career minor leaguers who may or may not get into some games for us this year.

              RelGF% (5on5)

              Anthony Duclair (as a Sen) : +23.16
              Filip Chlapik : +17.95
              Christian Wolanin : +15.09
              Thomas Chabot : +10.52
              Dylan DeMelo : +10.35
              Brady Tkachuk : +6.70
              Ron Hainsey : +2.54
              Colin White : +2.00
              Drake Batherson : +1.14
              Connor Brown : +0.06
              Artem Anisimov : 0.00
              Mikkel Boedker : -3.60
              Chris Tierney : -3.81
              Alex Formenton : -4.92
              Bobby Ryan : -5.37
              Christian Jaros : -6.37
              JG Pageau : -7.26
              Nikita Zaitsev : -8.71
              Tyler Ennis : -9.47
              Mark Borowiecki : -10.35
              Maxime Lajoie : -10.65
              Rudolfs Balcers : -12.22
              Nick Paul : -15.62
              Max Veronneau : -21.11
              Logan Brown : -25.00
              Vitali Abramov : -33.33
              Erik Brannstrom : -40.00

              RelPPGF/60 (5on4) (only players with 50+ PP mins last year, or who may see regular time this year)

              Max Veronneau : +8.27 (1:11 per game)
              Christian Jaros : +6.61 (only 17 seconds per game)
              Rudolfs Balcers : +4.66 (1:26 per game)
              Drake Batherson : +1.66
              Chris Tierney : +0.87
              Christian Wolanin : +0.87
              Bobby Ryan : +0.48
              Mikkel Boedker : -0.15
              Maxime Lajoie : -0.76
              Colin White : -1.20
              Thomas Chabot : -1.28
              Connor Brown : -1.47
              Brady Tkachuk : -1.55
              Dylan DeMelo : -2.09
              Anthony Duclair (as a Sen) : -2.94
              JG Pageau : -3.41
              Artem Anisimov : -4.15
              Tyler Ennis : -5.33

              Very strange that Chabot was a negative influence to the PP, but I suppose that has to do with the QOC, while Jaros and Wolanin were taking advantage of easier matchups. He also played the most total time on ice and double shifted a lot, so he was playing at times with Duchene and Stone, but also at other times with the second unit, and that time on the second unit would hurt his numbers.

              And hate on Bobby Ryan all you want, he's still pretty decent on the powerplay. Interesting potential in Veronneau and Balcers.

              Apparently Pageau and Anisimov aren't great on the PP, so expect to see some young players getting opportunities.

              RelSHGA/60 (4on5) (only players with 50+ SH mins last year, or who may see regular time this year) (reminder: the more negative the better)

              Andreas Englund : -20.63 (3 games, 2:34 total)
              Thomas Chabot : -2.33 (35 seconds per game)
              Dylan DeMelo : -2.26
              Connor Brown : -0.99
              JG Pageau : -0.98
              Artem Anisimov : -0.17
              Maxime Lajoie : +0.04
              Chris Tierney : +0.16
              Mark Borowiecki : +1.11
              Nikita Zaitsev : +2.79
              Ron Hainsey : +3.79
              Colin White : +4.12 (total of 16:31)
              Christian Jaros : +7.58

              Turns out Harpur, Ceci and Borowiecki were responsible for a large portion of the powerplay goals against last year. Obviously Chabot needs to play more on the PK. Not a strong showing by Colin White in 13 seconds per game, but it's very rare to see young players who are good on the PK; hopefully they'll continue to break him in slowly.

              That's a pretty solid top four forwards on the PK in Tierney, Pageau, Brown and Anisimov. The PK could be strong again this year as long as the defense can hold up, led by Chabot and DeMelo.

              Some general comments: I think the hate on Boedker is a bit overblown. He's not what he once was, but I think he could still be a serviceable depth winger with some offensive ability. I'm more excited for the upside of Connor Brown and Anthony Duclair now. Brown in particular should end up a regular on both special teams and I have a feeling he'll surprise people and maybe earn a long term contract with Ottawa.
              Last edited by matchesmalone; 08-30-2019, 06:27 PM.


              • Lineup I would like to see:



                Of course the centers would be completely interchangeable, but I like those combinations of wingers, particularly on the second and third lines. Actually might be best to put Pageau between Balcers and Batherson for a defensive conscience, but with someone like Anisimov or Tierney who can work down low, that could be a solid offensive zone possession line.

                I fully expect Logan Brown and Brännström to start in the AHL, but both should see some NHL time throughout the season, especially after the trade deadline. Would be encouraging to see 30+, especially for the elder Brown, but as of now it's not even a guarantee they'll be the first call-ups, with Lajoie on defense and Nick Paul and Chlapik at forward. Have to admit, if Brown doesn't get into upwards of 30, I'll start to worry about him. Brännström is still so young, another full season of AHL wouldn't be the worst thing.

                Melnyk will be encouraging playing the kids, but if DJ Smith has his long term NHL career in mind, he's gotta have some balls and ice the best possible roster.

                Based partly on the above stats, I'd like to see on the powerplay:


                Chabot on the point, Ryan running the left half-wall, Tkachuk working the slot. Everything would run through Chabot first, Ryan and White secondarily.


                And on the PK, the forwards, in order of ice time:

                Pageau, Brown, Tierney, Anisimov, White, Balcers

                On defense we know Chabot, DeMelo, Hainsey and Zaitsev will be anchors on the PK, for better or worse.
                Last edited by matchesmalone; 08-31-2019, 12:35 AM.


                • Lemme break this down a little further. Wanted to see how the TOI numbers might work. I'm gonna assume we average 4:30 per game each on the powerplay and penalty kill, leaving 51 minutes at even strength.

                  Duclair-Tierney-Ryan ~ 13:30
                  Tkachuk-White-Brown ~13:30
                  Balcers-Anisimov-Batherson ~ 12:30
                  Boedker-Pageau-Veronneau ~ 11:30

                  ES - PP - SH = TOI

                  Tierney - 13:30 - 2:00 - 2:00 = 17:30
                  Tkachuk - 14:30 - 2:45 - 0:15 = 17:30
                  White - 14:30 - 2:30 - 0:30 = 17:30
                  Pageau - 14:00 - 1:00 - 2:15 = 17:15
                  Anisimov - 12:30 - 1:30 - 1:30 = 15:30
                  Ryan - 13:30 - 2:00 - 0:00 = 15:30
                  Brown - 12:00 - 0:30 - 2:00 = 14:30
                  Batherson - 12:30 - 2:00 - 0:00 = 14:30
                  Balcers - 11:30 - 1:00 - 0:30 = 13:00
                  Duclair - 11:30 - 0:45 - 0:00 = 12:15
                  Veronneau - 11:30 - 0:30 - 0:00 = 12:00
                  Boedker - 11:30 - 0:00 - 0:00 = 11:30

                  At ES it works out to 49 minutes total on each wing, and 55 minutes at center. Meaning the centers will be doing some double shifting. Pageau spends some time with White-Tkachuk and Anisimov-Batherson. White sees time with Anisimov-Batherson. And Tkachuk would do some shifts with Tierney-Ryan. All SH mins are accounted for forwards, but PP time has to be calculated as a total with defensemen.

                  Chabot - 20:00 - 3:00 - 2:00 = 25:00
                  DeMelo - 18:00 - 0:30 - 2:00 = 20:30
                  Zaitsev - 17:30 - 0:00 - 2:15 = 19:45
                  Wolanin - 16:30 - 2:00 - 0:15 = 18:45
                  Hainsey - 14:30 - 0:00 - 2:15 = 16:45
                  Jaros - 15:30 - 0:30 - 0:15 = 16:15
                  Last edited by matchesmalone; 09-02-2019, 12:43 PM.


                  • I like the idea of Anisimov-Batherson together because Anisimov provides an analogue for what Logan Brown could be. Different skillsets and upsides, but both big playmaking centers. Assuming Tkachuk-White is a longterm pair, Brown-Batherson should be another, and Balcers might even end up being a good compliment to them.

                    Duclair's speed and skill with Ryan's skill and savvy could be a good combination, but they need Pageau or Tierney between them. If it was Anisimov they might never leave their own zone.

                    Backtracking a bit from a couple posts ago where I said I was excited for Duclair's upside, I was looking at the Vollman charts, and he was by far the most sheltered player on the team.

                    The more I think about it, the more I like the addition of Brown. There wasn't really any good linemates for Tkachuk-White on the roster. Ryan? Nah. Dukes? Meh. They'll be the de facto top line this year so matching up against other top lines. Batherson would be too exposed with them. Brown can be the defensive conscience, as well as bring a bit of skill


                    • I know there aren't a lot of stats to get excited about the Sens right now, but I found one that's kinda interesting. Among players in the league with under 50% raw CF%, the top three players in RelCF/60 are Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot and Colin White. Next comes another depressing stat - Mika Zibanejad ranks fourth. But then Dylan DeMelo is fifth.

                      For those who math, that means the Sens average raw corsi was around 43% so by virtue of having raw corsis in the high 40s, Tkachuk was +6.0% (14.0/60), Chabot was +6.1% (13.6/60) and White was +3.4% (8.1/60).

                      I'm getting pretty excited for this season. Those three will be handed the reigns and I'm intrigued to see what they do with it, particularly White and Tkachuk without Stone. I've been thinking about what would be the best possible case realistic scenario for the Sens this year.

                      I'd like to see Chabot continue to work on his defensive game and play upwards of 2:00 a game on the PK. He'll also get every opportunity to continue to improve on the powerplay, as everything runs through him now with Stone and Duchene gone. White and Tkachuk should improve on last season's offensive totals with their increased opportunity and responsibility, but I don't expect a drastic improvement because they'll also be the focus of opponents' defense now.

                      On the plus side, that should create a little bit of breathing room for Batherson, who I feel could be a legit Calder candidate. Brännstrom and Logan Brown will at least get some long looks I'm sure. I said before I'd start to worry if Brown doesn't get upwards of 30 games, but on second thought, I'd be quite worried. He needs to see at least 30+ NHL games, and should do a point per game at the AHL level. For Brännström I'd like to see at least .75 in the AHL, and upwards of 30 NHL games would be nice, but I'm not as worried about it as with Brown.

                      Ideally we'll be pushing the veterans for the first half of the season, both to try to pump their value to trade before the deadline, and to let the kids slowly grow into bigger roles. Really hoping we can sign DeMelo and one of Tierney/Pageau, and then trade the other before the deadline. I mean I love both Pageau and Tierney, but can't imagine we sign both, and not even sure it would be practical if we could.

                      I also can't wait to see what Wolanin and Balcers can do with a full NHL season.

                      As some veterans are dealt, would be cool to see Högberg, Lajoie, Chlapik and Paul find their way onto the roster full-time.

                      And in the AHL, will be looking for solid rookie pro years from Norris and Formenton, a major bounceback from Gustavsson, and a big step forward offensively for Abramov. Veronneau and Davidsson are question marks to me - I'm not overly excited about either as prospects, but wouldn't be shocked to see them quickly establish themselves as NHL role players given their age and experience.


                      • Abramov looked great in last night’s roomie tournament game. And not just offensively - he was breaking up exit plays by the Habs and had the stamina to stay out for double shifts without affecting his speed.

                        Veronneau is as fast as advertised. Could be an entertaining player to watch even if he doesn’t score in heaps.


                        • Good to hear about Abramov. He and Brown are the biggest wildcards in our system. Huge upside but significant bust potential, to different extents of course.

                          I guess the next part to my last post would be expectations for the non-NHL prospects.

                          I'll start with some possible lineups just so I have something to work from. If we have:

                          Tkachuk - White - Brown
                          Balcers - Anisimov - Batherson
                          Duclair - Tierney - Ryan
                          Paul - Pageau - Boedker

                          Chabot - DeMelo
                          Wolanin - Zaitsev
                          Hainsey - Jaros


                          Would be a real heartbreaker for Paul if he doesn't make it out of camp, so here's hoping. Then that leaves:

                          Abramov - Brown - Veronneau
                          Formenton - Chlapik - Rodewald
                          Klimchuk - Norris - Davidsson
                          Carcone - Kelly - Sturtz

                          Lajoie - Brännström
                          Murray - Golebouf
                          Englund - Ebert


                          Test Brännstrom's versatility and put Lajoie in a position to earn his callup early. Formenton likely starts on third or fourth line, but should be able to move past Carcone and Klimchuk fairly quickly. The top three right wings are pretty closely matched and probably get shuffled around. Norris is stuck behind the top two centers until they start to get called up, but could very well be number one center by season's end.

                          I'd like to see Abramov up near a point per game and be a catalyst on the PP. Chlapik needs to show he has the skillset to be a significant offensive threat at this level and to contribute in all situations. Would be great to see Formenton over .75 p/g but also playing a checking/energy role and contributing on the PK.

                          Gustavsson and Högberg will split the games pretty evenly, while Daccord starts full-time in ECHL, then hopefully Anderson eventually gets traded and Daccord backs up Gustavsson.

                          Looking across the pond, there are likely four defensemen on Ilves who will start ahead of Lassi Thomson on the depth chart, but they're short on the right side so he'll get plenty of opportunity and no reason he can't be the third overall minute defenseman and second or third powerplay option by season's end. Would be surprising to see him pass Laaksonen for the top pair right spot though. 20-25 points is more than reasonable expectations. And unless something goes wrong, Finland's top pair for WJHCs is all but set as Heinola-Thomson.

                          At UND, Bernard-Docker is locked in as the number one defenseman by now, and should be a leader on both special teams and in all situations. 30+ points isn't outside the realm of possibility, but 25 would be a safe bet. He should be a lock for Team Canada, but gonna be very tough competition for a top four position, as always.

                          Tychonick should have no problem beating out Casey Johnson for the third pair LD, but he's likely stuck there behind Poolman and Kiersted all year, barring injuries. We should be satisfied with 10-15 points and hope for a big breakout in his junior year.

                          Their top two center positions look set, but there are holes on the wings. Thanks to Pinto's versatility, he'll be able to move between a wing in the top six, and centering the third line. He should have a legitimate shot at a bottom role for USA Hockey. He's obviously behind Turcotte, Zegras and Drury at center. His main competition for a spot will be from Beecher, Wise and Moynihan.

                          Looks like Crookshank is set to be the man for UNH in all situations. Will be fantastic for his development, but not much offensive support so 25-30 points would be a win.

                          Søgaard is a lock to start for a Medicine Hat team with a very young defense and a 17 year old backup with two games of WHL experience. So he'll be playing a ton and facing a lot of shots - a perfect situation for his development. His ratios might not be pristine but as long as he keeps his SVP up around .915 I'll be happy. No idea if they'll let him go to DI WJHCs but I'm always up for putting players in a position to try to lead a team to a championship.

                          Johnny Gruden will get a much better opportunity in London than he was getting at Miami. He'll be a key member of a high powered Knights offense. Maybe they'll want to balance the lines with Foudy on one and Gruden on another, but if Liam Foudy moves to the right wing, Gruden-McMichael-Foudy could be the best line in the OHL. Gruden will also be a good bet to make team USA, although he'll be locked behind Farabee (unless he makes the Flyers) and Boldy on the left side. His main competition will be Kaliyev, Nicholas Robertson and Blake McLaughlin.


                          • Kevin, you've actually got me excited about the team and its future. I don't want to be. Not until there's new ownership or a complete 180 in how they do things. But damn it's tough after reading posts like those!


                            • Haha yeah I feel you. Not something I think about much, not living in Ontario. And I hardly consume any media, so I only hear the gist of what's going on. Aside from one playoff game in 2017, I never have supported the team financially, except I guess buying a jersey once in a while and such.

                              I can see how it would be a difficult situation though. Even if Melnyk starts spending to the cap in 2021 or whatever he claims, there's still all the fraud and scandal and just being a horrible person.

                              As you might guess, I'd rather address Dorion and the hockey operations side of the team and its future and how things are done. I have new ideas. Like I've said before, it's like having a player who might be an elite third liner, a pretty good second liner, but shouldn't be on a top line. Dorion was excellent as a head scout, probably would have been fine as DPP or assistant GM, but is in way over his head as head GM. It drives me crazy when people say a GM is an idiot, worst in the league, worst in the history of the franchise, etc. Great contribution, real insightful... I'm sure they actually went through in depth and researched the franchise' past GMs, or try to evaluate GMs around the league.

                              I wonder if maybe Dorion could have been a good GM, but was mishandled. Just as prospects can be ruined by rushing them, the same goes for executives.

                              Looking at some of the best in the league right now, the last Cup winner, Doug Armstrong was an AGM for eight years (way back with Dallas in the 90s) before getting his first GM job.

                              Ron Francis was DPP/AGM for eight years before being named head GM in Carolina. OK, Yzerman was only VP Hockey Operations four years before getting his job in Tampa, but I guess he's a special case. Also he was GM for Hockey Canada during that span.

                              Jeff Gorton, like Dorion, never played at a high level and came from a scouting background. He was an assistant for twelve years before getting the job for the Rangers.

                              Kyle Dubas was an AGM for four years, but perhaps as importantly, he was a head GM in the OHL for three years, overseeing all aspects of his team. And let's not forget the management dream team he has around him. Likewise with Doug Wilson, to me probably the most impressive GMing performance over the past decade - he only had four years as DPP before taking his first head GM job, but when he took over, both of Lombardi's longtime veteran AGMs stayed on for years while he learned the ropes.

                              Dorion had four years as a DPP, and barely three as AGM, and then his assistant was the former video coach...

                              Just like different prospects have different trajectories and some take much longer than others, I suspect that for guys like Wilson, Yzerman and Francis, who know the league inside out and have those connections and reputations, they might be ready sooner, but Jeff Gorton is a better comparable for Dorion. He spent twelve years as an AGM! Dorion had three.

                              I suppose it was seven years between DPP and AGM for Dorion, but it depends what he was doing as DPP. If it was still mostly just overseeing scouting, and not learning all of the different aspects of management, then that's not doing much to prepare him for a GM role. The fact that someone else was AGM and that there was no director of amateur scouting during that span strongly suggests to me that Dorion was still doing more or less the same job by a different title.

                              I don't mean to make excuses for Dorion, but three years as AGM, and then Melnyk decided he would be a good choice, instead of going out and hiring an experienced veteran, or at least a veteran AGM to support him, instead of a pervert video coach...

                              Once he is done in Ottawa, I doubt he'll ever get another head GM position in the league. Reputation, image, respect among peers, these sorts of things are so important for a GM, dealing with both contract and trade negotiations, and Dorion is tainted now. But I'm sure some smart GM will make him a DAS or DPP, and they'll be a more successful organization for it.
                              Last edited by matchesmalone; 09-10-2019, 04:31 AM.


                              • It was becoming clear that RelPPGF/60 was too luck dependent with such small sample sizes. So I've been looking more at scoring chances for, high danger chances for, and expected goals for, all relative per 60. And then I make some small accounting for TOI%QOC and TOI%QOT.

                                I also noticed that while Zaitsev only played :04 and :14 seconds per game on the PP the last two years, he played 2:00 per game three years ago, and did fairly well on it.

                                After reviewing the stats, it turns out that Connor Brown and Boedker are particularly bad on the PP, and should not be used at all.

                                Ennis, Tierney and Duclair are below average, but not too bad and we don't have a lot of options, so they should be used in secondary roles, and subbed out occasionally to give the rookies some looks.

                                Pageau and Anisimov are decent/average on the powerplay. Ryan is still quite good at it.

                                Statistically speaking, Tkachuk, White, Chabot and Wolanin are heads above everyone else still with the team. With Wolanin injured, Zaitsev will likely be the second option on the blueline.

                                Of players with limited PP minutes last year, Logan Brown had fantastic numbers, albeit in just 5:04 of total PPTOI. DeMelo, Jaros and Chlapik showed pretty good. Balcers, Batherson and Lajoie were not very good; but I still think they should be given semi-regular opportunities to work on it.

                                Ok, given all of that information, I'd like to see for the top unit,

                                Tkachuk - White - Anisimov
                                Ryan - Chabot

                                Where Chabot is high and Ryan is on the left half wall, of course.

                                Then for the second unit, in order of ice time, the D would be Zaitsev, Jaros, DeMelo, Lajoie. And the forwards Pageau, Ennis, Tierney, Duclair, Balcers, Batherson.