Shane Prince seems to be shaping up to be this year's version of Patrick Wiercioch. Last year, the blogging community was clamouring for Wiercioch to be in the lineup due to his analytics, while he seemed to be ignored by management and the coaching staff. It took injuries to Chris Phillips and Mark Borowiecki, as well as a suspension to Jared Cowen just to get Wiercioch into the lineup regularly. He ended the season as Ottawa's lead point-getter in the playoffs, and played for Team Canada at the World Championships.
This year, Shane Prince basically made the team because the team figured he wouldn't make it through waivers. He started the season as the team's 13th forward, and only got into the lineup due to a concussion to Clarke MacArthur. Since then, he's been chugging away on the fourth line. People figured that when Mike Hoffman got hurt, Prince would slot into the top six. Instead, Curtis Lazar got the new spot in the top six, but he got injured after only seven shifts. Even then, Mark Stone was double-shifted to fill out the top six. In 40:10 of even-strength time this season, Prince has just under three minutes with Kyle Turris and about six minutes with Mika Zibanejad (all stats 5v5 and from Natural Stat Trick). Also, that means Prince has been averaging about 10 minutes per game, solid fourth-line minutes. Not to mention that somehow Max McCormick got put on the third line with Milan Michalek and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, a spot that seemed a better fit for Prince to me.
The thing is, Prince has made something of the bottom line. Chris Neil runs at 45% Corsi without Prince, and 57% Corsi with him. Of note is that in the 15 minutes Neil has played without Prince since Prince joined the lineup, Neil has a 62.5% Corsi, so Neil was even worse in the first few games. Zack Smith shows a similar story: 55% Corsi with Prince, 44% without him.
Neil and Smith also got goals for the first time in a year with Prince on their line. And sure, both were injured for large chunks of that year. But in that time, both spent time on the fourth line with Mike Hoffman. You know, the guy who currently leads the team in goals and points. The guy whose injury was said to be a huge blow to the team. If he couldn't kick-start the offence of the guys that Prince is now helping, what does that say about Prince?
I'm not saying Prince will suddenly lead the team in points. This also comes with a huge small sample size (SSS) warning. I'm just saying he deserves a shot to show what he can do. With Matt Puempel called up, we'll see if he actually gets the chance.
- Your Arycap of the Sens' loss to the Coyotes [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances]
- Jeff has you covered for the two B-Sens games from the weekend, a thrashing of the Marlies and then an undisciplined loss to the Albany Devils [Marlies recap, Devils recap]
- B_T with some great satire, on the Sens petitioning the league to shorten game times to accommodate Sens fans who leave early [Silver Seven]
- How did everyone do last week? Callum has your Ups and Downs [Silver Seven]
- And for the week ahead, Ary's got you covered [Silver Seven]
- Chet Sellers also has you covered, with the Hater's Guide to Week 4 [WTYKY]
- The Sens called up Matt Puempel due to Curtis Lazar's injury [Silver Seven, SensChirp]
- Now that Stephen Harper is ex-PM, Rob Poirier looks at his new job: one of the racing former Prime Minister's during the second intermission at Sens games [Bonk's Mullet]
- The latest in Mike Wheeler's Sens friends series, explaining with Borowiecki gets to be Erik Karlsson's partner [Bonk's Mullet]
- Steph's first recap-in-drawing-form of the year doesn't disappoint. From the Sens' loss to the Coyotes [WTYKY]
- SensChirp also has a recap from Saturday's loss [SensChirp]
- Peter Levi with thoughts on Sens games, B-Sens games, and people who reject analytics [Eye on the Sens]
- Ian Mendes, on Teemu Selanne reaching out to Bobby Ryan to encourage him during his scoring slump [TSN]
- The Sens are joining up with IBM to get a stronger sense of fan opinion (hint: change the 25th anniversary logo!) [Ottawa Citizen]
- A look at how Kyle Turris has grown from his Phoenix (remember when they were the Phoenix Coyotes?) days [Ottawa Citizen]
- The little bit we know on the weird and frightening Ryan Johansen situation [Jackets Cannon]
- Arguing for the John Tortorella hire, by a Blue Jackets blogger [Jackets Cannon]
- The latest name to be championed as coach if the Ducks fire Bruce Boudreau is Trent Yawney - here's a look at who he is [Anaheim Calling]
- A look at how Roberto Luongo's fantastic Twitter account has helped to show his looser side [Sports Illustrated]
- Which offseason moves have had the most impact on NHL teams so far this season? [Bleacher Report]