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Silver Nuggets: Should the Senators spread out their offense?

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A familiar reaction when MacArthur, Turris, and Stone were on the ice together.
A familiar reaction when MacArthur, Turris, and Stone were on the ice together.
Justin K. Aller

Last week, I asked you folks who should feature on the second line. The results were mixed, with Chiasson, Stone, and Michalek all with a ton of votes, and Hoffman close behind. However, there's one other possible top-six combination that has been floating around, especially after training camp this week, so I thought I'd present it here to see if we have any kind of consensus.

The question revolves around Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone. Ryan, who missed yesterday's split-squad games after colliding with Kyle Turris in the Senators intersquad game, sat out with an injury that luckily doesn't seem like anything serious. His replacement on the top-line with MacArthur and Turris was Mark Stone, who played in that role after Ryan was shutdown last season due to his sports hernia injury. As you'll see below, MacArthur - Turris - Stone did very well in a limited sample, and Stone adds another playmaker who has very good defensive positioning to an already-solid possession duo. Thus, the question becomes whether the Senators should spread out their offense a bit more and instead of loading up the top-line, shift Bobby Ryan to play right-wing with Mika Zibanejad in offensive minutes. This would push Alex Chiasson down to play 3rd line minutes for scoring depth, and would create a 1A, 1B situation for Paul MacLean to give ice-time to in the offensive zone - assuming that Legwand is going to get primary defensive minutes. One potential issue with this is how Ryan would take it, as he asked for an expanded role and being stripped of his linemates in addition to possible ice-time could be detrimental to his well-being.

TOI

GF%

CF%

Ryan w/ Turris

730:23

59.4

51.3

Ryan w/ Zibanejad

82.29

66.7

49.3

Stone w/ Turris

150.26

80.0

59.4

Stone w/o Turris

89.37

33.3

55.3

(stats from Hockey Analysis. GF% represents the goal totals of that duo when there were on the ice; CF% represents the shot attempt totals of that duo when they were on the ice)

As always, there is not significant ice-time where Ryan played with Mika Zibanejad, or when Stone played without anyone named Kyle Turris, but the results are still interesting. I don't expect Stone - Turris to keep up their ridiculous GF% totals, but generating 59.4% of the shot attempts for Ottawa when they were on the ice is elite. The goal totals with Ryan - Turris are more "real", given the extra minutes that they spent together, and their shot attempt rate of 51.3% is nothing to be scoffed at.

Thus, the question becomes - would you spread out the offense and play Ryan with Zibanejad and Stone with Turris, or would you keep the top line together?

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Sens Links

  • In case you were wondering what all the fuss was yesterday, the Senators played two split-squad games vs. the New York Islanders in Newfoundland! Amelia has to great media round-ups of all the important moments so don't worry if you couldn't follow the game like me! [Media Round-up Game 1Media Round-up Game 2]
  • Some thoughts on the pre-season openers from around the Sens blogosphere and media. [SensChirpSenShotOttawa Citizen]
  • The links from the Senators official website: MacLean [On the intrasquad scrimmagepre-game v. the Islanderspost-game 1], Prince [On his great game v. the Islanders], Pageau [Also on his performance v. the Islanders], Karlsson [On his pre-season debut]
  • A SensTV feature on Lehner's new (bloody) mask. [SensTV]
  • The Senators returned Ben Harpur (GUE), Nick Paul (NB), and PTO Matt Murphy (HFX) to their junior teams. They now have 54 players at training camp. [Ottawa SenatorsOttawa Citizen]
  • As part of our season preview here at Silver Seven, we have a series running this week to look at players who are under pressure to perform this season in order for the Senators to be successful. Yesterday, I looked at whether this is Jared Cowen's last chance in a Senators uniform, and today, NKB examined how key Mika Zibanejad is this season. [CowenZibanejad]
  • If you need some catching-up on last week, check out Sheer_Craziness's five thoughts for Friday! [Five Thoughts]
  • An Ottawa-centric story from B_T around where the next Senators arena should be placed in Ottawa. [Silver Seven]
  • A really helpful piece from B_T that helps us navigate where we can find the Senators on TV this season. A lot has changed with Rogers getting national broadcast rights, with Bell (TSN) getting the Senators regional rights. [Silver Seven]
  • Amelia's weekly question to us this week is around who the best defensive defenseman in Senators history is. My vote goes to good-ol' Chris Phillips, who was fantastic in his prime. [Weekly Question]
  • For your daily dose of optimism from Jared, who gives us five reasons on why we should be optimistic about the Senators this season. [SenShot]
  • Jeff is starting a must-read series about the Binghamton Senators that will be breaking down our AHL affiliate over a series of four posts. Here's the first one on the BSens defensive core [SenShot]
  • ESPN looked at all the teams in North American's four pro sports leagues (NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB) and ranked the Senators 92nd out of 122 teams. Nichols has more. [6th Sens]
  • Elliotte Friedman was on the Fan 960 and had a ton of interesting things to say about the Bobby Ryan situation. Here's the link to the audio (4:20 - 9:30), and here's Nichols transcript if you prefer that. [Fan 9606th Sens]
  • Here's a great preseason piece by Varada looking at a couple of trends that "shouldn't be a thing". [WTYKY]
NHL Links
  • I missed this before, but here is NHL.com's 30-in-30 feature on the Ottawa Senators. [NHL]
  • Elliotte Friedman's fantastic 30 thoughts column. It focuses a bit on the injuries that have happened in training camp and the effect of overtraining during summer, but he does touch on Bobby Ryan + Marc Methot contract negotiations in thoughts 7-10. [Sportsnet]
  • Justin Bourne has had an amazing series looking at each team's unique trait from a tactical standpoint. Here's Ottawa's - the best breakout machine in the league, Erik Karlsson [The Score]
  • A feature on the 2015 Draft. We all know about McDavid and Boston University's Jack Eichel, but have you heard about Noah Hanifin? That draft class looks super deep, with high end talent available all over the first round. [TSN]
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Thanks for reading!