Let me be honest for a second here. I was going to use this space to write PLAY A PUCK-MOVING DEFENSEMAN ON THE THIRD PAIRING BECAUSE NEITHER JARED COWEN NOR MARK BOROWIECKI CAN HANDLE THE PUCK but really, that's all I had. We all can see it -- it was on display in a PRESEASON game vs. the hated Montreal Canadiens for heaven's sake -- and the numbers back it up. From Nichols' transcript of Bryan Murray's recent interview:
On whether there is any issue using an opening night pairing of Borowiecki and Cowen...
"I don't see any issue with it. Obviously it's a coach that would make that call. We'll talk about it, but I think the two of them fit. I think they work well together. They've (spent) a little bit of time together, so I could see that as a very strong possibility."
It's a ridiculously small sample size of 44 minutes and 47 seconds of five-on-five ice time that the two have played together, but the results are horrendous. The Senators averaged 54.93 shots attempts for per 60 to 71.01 shot attempts allowed per 60 with the pairing on the ice. Good enough for a Corsi For Percentage (CF%) of 43.6.
I'm assuming that these two veterans will be given the benefit of the doubt and will start the season together, but by the end of the first five to ten games, I'd wager that "Let Wideman play" will become the next "Put Wiercioch in".
He really hits the nail on the head, doesn't he? There's so much evidence behind having two players with complimentary skillsets play together, and especially with the game transitioning into one that prides itself on smarts and puck-moving ability, it's asinine that the Senators are content to roll out a Cowen - Borowiecki third pair. Yes, it's only 12-15 minutes a night and yes, it may only be for 15-20 games to "give Cowen a "fair" chance" but for a bubble team like Ottawa, that could really do them in. The margin for error is slim, and you'd think, of all the teams, the Senators would know that.
ANYWHO, to take our minds off of that, I thought we'd play a fun prediction game! No, this doesn't have anything to do with Jared Cowen (please prove me wrong), but instead, your goal is to predict the game outcomes for the month of October.
1. Write your username in the left column
2. Predict a score and an outcome (W, OTW, SOW; L, OTL, SOL)
If you predict the exact score AND outcome, you get four points. If you predict the exact outcome (W, OTW, etc.) you get two points. If you're right (i.e. the Senators won the game or lost the game in some capacity), you get one point. Anything else and you get no points.
I'll leave the spreadsheet open till the Tuesday Nuggets are up; after that, I'll lock the spreadsheet so that we can't make any further changes. At the end of the month, I'll add up the scores and post the results.
May the odds be ever in your favour.
- There's only 15 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders left at camp after the Sens made a bunch of cuts on Tuesday. They also signed top 2015 pick Thomas Chabot to an Entry Level Deal. [Silver Seven, 6th Sens, SensChirp, Ottawa Citizen]
- Welp, here's the first injury: a tweaked groin for Andrew Hammond. [6th Sens]
- RECAPS, GET YOUR PRESEASON RECAPS. [SensChirp vs. WPG, SensChirp vs. MTL, Citizen vs. WPG, Citizen vs. MTL]
- OPTIMISM IS FUN. Trevor has five reasons why he's excited for 2015-16. [Silver Seven]
- James joins Trevor in the optimism by pointing out four things that he's looking forward to in a fabulous piece. James also #hearsbothsides by presenting four things he isn't quite looking forward to. [WTYKY - YAY, NAY]
- Andrew has a list of 25 things that every Sens fan should do before they die. How many have you done? I'm at 15! [WTYKY]
- He's on the outside looking in, but Chris Wideman has been impressive this preseason. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Andrew with another important piece on hockey's spaces for women. [WTYKY]
- The staff put together our Senators season preview as part of SBNations NHL-wide piece. Take a look! [Silver Seven, Three Questions]
- Luke over at the Sports Quotient put together a pretty dandy Sens-specific season preview that hits on a lot of relevant talking points for the season. [The Sports Quotient]
- Chirp has a piece on betting and the Sens odds this season [SensChirp]
- Rob has a funny piece that mocks the Toronto Maple Leafs, which I'm always down for. [Bonk's Mullet]
- Ready for some more predictions? Here are the staff's picks for the first Senator to get traded this season, whether the Sens will improve defensively under Dave Cameron, and deciding between Jared Cowen or Chris Wideman. [Silver Seven - Trades, Defense, Cowen vs. Wideman]
- No end-of-Nuggets audio this week, but instead, get to know the person behind the elusive SensChirp blog. [SensChirp]
- As a science student, I always love articles about the science behind the game. Here's an article on what the Leafs are doing to optimize player performance this season. [Sportsnet]
- Earlier in the year, the team over at Canucks Army released a prospect evaluation system called PCS. It's an interesting study that led to some noteworthy results. Take a look here. [Hockey-Graphs]
- Friend of the blog @IneffectiveMath has gone freelance full-time and is looking for support. I've used a ton of his graphs in my pieces (especially recaps) and his visualization work is stunning for clearly explaining concepts to readers. If you feel the same way, please consider a small donation. [Patreon]
- The latest Players Tribune article from James Neal is an insightful read on the trials and tribulations of being a goal-scorer. [The Players Tribune]
- The Sens have been using four forwards on the powerplay for quite some time now, thanks to the infallible production of Daniel Alfredsson on the left point. More NHL teams are catching on - here's why. [Hockey-Graphs]
- David Levin, who's a top prospect currently playing in Sudbury, is from the hockey hotbed known to us as... Israel? Take a look at his cross-continental journey here. [Sportsnet]
- The biggest change in how I #WatchTheGames has easily been my focus on the neutral zone. It's a little bit like a chess match, and is super important for many, many reasons. [The Hockey News]
- A baseball piece on the legendary Yogi Berra. Fantastically written. [New Yorker]
- A 100 year old man is breaking athletics records!!!!!! He's probably more fit than 95% of us. [NYTimes]
- I'd be remiss if I didn't use this space to thank Max Keeping for everything he's done for the Ottawa community. I met him at a Sens game a couple years ago and he was always such a bright spirit and a champion for getting as many people (especially kids) involved. Thoughts are with his family + loved ones. [CTV]