It's been a week of call-outs for Senators management, coaching staff, and media: Pierre Dorion went on radio earlier this week to trumpet the World Junior performances of Thomas Chabot, Colin White, Andreas Englund, and Christian Jaros, Dave Cameron publicly mentioned his disappointment with the Senators second line of Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad, and Bobby Ryan, and Don Brennan wrote about how Kyle Turris' production has fallen off a cliff.
Now, generally, calling-out happens because there's a basis for it, which in this case, comes in the form of his boxscore numbers (via ESPN).
Yikes. One even-strength point in your last 10 is never good, but especially so when you're expected to lead a team that not only is missing a lot of offensive talent due to injury (MacArthur, Michalek) but also features a second-line centre who's inconsistent play has put pressure on the top line to deliver. It's been especially visible with Turris, who's been playing so much recently and has looked visibly shaken when he's unable to pot the puck behind opposing goaltenders, resulting in a lot of broken sticks and door slams on the bench.
From Ken Warren:
On back to back nights, Turris played 22:54 and 25:25, picking up much of Zibanejad's ice time. (Zibanejad received stitches for a cut near his eye, but should be back at practice Wednesday). Turris is now averaging 20:35 per game, seventh in the league among forwards. It's too much over the long-term for Turris, who rather quietly played his 300th and 301st consecutive games with the Senators, but injuries have forced Cameron to overplay one of his most trusted players.
Overplaying your top talent (hi, Karlsson and Anderson) seems to be a worrying trend for the Senators this season, but by no means has this talent underperformed. What's up in Turris' case? Take a look at this visual from the ineffable Micah Blake McCurdy:
The first set of information depicts Turris' linemates, and funnily enough, Dave Cameron's decision to pair Turris with Zack Smith ~ game 30 also is when his on-ice shooting percentage (4th set of information) starts to plummet. On-ice percentages are volatile and always changing, and I believe one of the biggest hockey truisms is the statement "everyone is a streaky scorer." Although there does appear to be a differentiation between 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th liners in terms of their percentages, the differences are not big enough in magnitude to write home about.
In Turris' case, his on-ice percentages dried up at the same time that the opposition started to score on a boatload of shots while he was on the ice (red bar - 4th set of information), which is just terrible timing and contributes to the negative perception some have had of Turris over the last 10 to 15 games. All Turris and his linemates can control is whether they're winning the shot battle when he's on the ice, and as you can see in the 3rd set of information, Turris' and his mates have been consistently generating more shot attempts for while reducing the number of shot attempts against since game 30.
What does this mean? I know many in hockey hate when explanations boil down to 'bad luck' but given the information depicted, that really appears to be the case for the Senators top centre. As one of the only players on the team with positive shot numbers this season, I wouldn't waste my time worrying about his game - the production will come.
- Just one game since the last Nuggets, last night's 3-2 loss vs. the Panthers. Here are your game recaps! [Silver Seven, SensChirp, Ottawa Citizen]
- If you noticed, both BSens call-ups (McCormick, Claesson) stayed in the lineup over the older and more experienced Alex Chiasson and Chris Wideman. Ken Warren has the lowdown as to why. [Ottawa Citizen]
- In other news, Erik Karlsson is the Senators only representative at the NHL's All-Star Game. As top point getters, Mike Hoffman and Bobby Ryan were potential candidates to join the Captain. Nichols and Chirp touch on this news and more in their notes columns, which are good ways to quickly get up to speed on the happenings this week. [Silver Seven, 6th Sens, SensChirp, Ottawa Citizen]
- Wayne Scanlan provides a roster update on the injury front. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Nate has a great piece on Fredrik Claesson, who the coaching staff thinks has played well enough that they scratched Chris Wideman and played Mark Borowiecki on his off-side to accommodate him. [Silver Seven]
- As always, Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts column is a much read. He actually had a couple of Sens-specific thoughts this week focused on the defense, which Nichols elaborated on. [6th Sens]
- Speaking of the defense, here's a piece on the oft-criticized Jared Cowen. [Ottawa Citizen]
- The Drouin rumours are still in full force. Bob McKenzie linked the Sens as one of the team's with definite interest in the Tampa Bay forward, but a deal seems unlikely as Tampa would prefer to trade him out of the division. Nichols suggests one of my favourite young players, Minnesota's Jason Zucker, as a forward the team can target instead if they miss out on Drouin. [6th Sens - McKenzie, Zucker]
- Your end-of-Nuggets audio this week comes from the Sens Callups gang, who recap the last four games, the World Juniors, and project ahead at a roster that includes MacArthur, Michalek, and Ceci. [Sens Callups]
- We've talked a lot about defense, but for good reason: having good, cost-controlled defensemen is integral to succeeding in a salary cap world. Here's a piece on two Anaheim Ducks defensemen who have greatly contributed to the Ducks reemergence. [TSN]
- Two big trades this week! First, the exchange of 4th overall picks with Seth Jones going to Lumbus and Ryan Johansen heading back to Nashville, fulfilling team needs for both. Second, Luke Schenn and Vinny Lecavilier to the Kings for Jordan Weal and a pick. Lastly, the exchange of Mike Richards from the Kings to the Caps. [TSN, Broad Street Hockey, Jewels from the Crown, Japers' Rink]
- I will *always* link pieces that argue how much better Erik Karlsson is than anyone else. [B/R]
- The Panthers are a strange team having a strange season. Dimitri Filipovic breaks down their year so far. [Today's Slapshot]
- Have you ever wanted to track some neutral zone metrics? Garik breaks down how to do so and why it's important in a two-part series. [Hockey-Graphs - I, II]
- Lots of Sens info in Scott Cullen's weekly stats column on TSN, this time with a focus on Bobby Ryan's on-ice percentages. [TSN]