Silver Nuggets: Paralysis by Analysis

Sometimes having no bad choices is its own bad choice.

Ottawa Senators head coach Paul MacLean had an interesting quote yesterday, where he said:

I like Mika [Zibanejad] as a centre but at the same time I’m not going to be stubborn if we need to have him play on the wing. If he can be one of our guys who can play on the wing and be successful and make us a better team, we’re not going to be stuck with he has to play centre.

This, of course, is in response to the play of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has picked up where he left off in last year's playoffs. Pageau is simply playing too well to keep out of the NHL--but so are Jason Spezza, Kyle Turris, Mika Zibanejad, and Z. Smith.

It behooves MacLean to put the most possible talent on the ice, so what else is he going to do but move one of those four players to wing? It's a testament to his personality that he's willing to adapt his system to the personnel available to him rather than forcing the personnel to adapt to his system (which is what got Turris into a Senators jersey despite being drafted 3rd overall by the Phoenix Coyotes.)

Still, one wonders if this is MacLean's ideal position. It's great that he's not painting himself into a corner with his own desires, but as a head coach, he'd probably rather be figuring out how to prepare his team for the next game--not figuring out what his team actually is.

Ultimately, you'd rather have too much talent than not enough talent--that's self-evident. But the team had too much talent in goal last year and turned it into depth at another position. Why not do the same thing here rather than trying to convert one of your own players into something you could trade for--instead of standing pat and hoping everything just works out because everyone's too skilled for it not to?

Sens Links

  • Wayne Scanlan warns us not to underestimate the dependability of players like Chris Neil and Z. Smith. [Senators Extra]
  • Over at Stanley Cup of Chowder, our friend Sarah Connors puts together a horrifically weak argument for hating the Senators [SCoC]
  • Jim O`Brien isn't going to let the inevitable affect his play on the ice [SE]
  • Bonk's Mullet forced me to include this division preview AT GUNPOINT. Thankfully, it's awesome. [RBM]
  • Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiercioch are still figuring out how they're going to play together. [SE]
  • Varada wrote so many words about NHL '14's "Be a GM mode." And it's only part 1?!!? [WTYKY]
  • Nichols has a transcription of general manager Bryan Murray's latest interview with The Fan 590. Included is a revelation that Wiercioch and Turris repeated their workout summer plans. [The6thSens]
  • Finally, some good comes out of Eugene Melnyk's financial troubles, as the Senators are ranked highly by ESPN for being successful while cheap! [ESPN]
  • Paul MacLean talks before tonight's game. Quotes on Jason Spezza and Craig Anderson missing time with injuries, on Pageau and Stephane Da Costa, and the roster logjam. [Sens]

NHL Links

  • Jakub Voracek is hurt. BUY LOW, BRYAN! [Twitter]
  • Viktor Stalberg is also hurt, but I don't want to trade for him. [Twitter]
  • Corey Tropp broke his jaw in the big Buffalo Sabres/Toronto Maple Leafs brawl earlier this week. I don't even know what there is to joke about here. On the one hand... just reinforces the stupidity of that whole situation. On the other hand... don't fight if you can't protect yourself. [Twitter... again]
  • Darnell Nurse didn't make the Edmonton Oilers this year. I mean, when you have to choose between Nurse and Jeff Petry, it's no choice at all, right? [Oilers]
  • Washington Capitals GM George McPhee thinks that the trade market is starting to pick up as teams start to figure out what they have. [Washington Post]
  • In a move that everyone had been predicting for the entire summer, the New Jersey Devils finally signed Damien Brunner. The deal is for two years, at $2.5M per year. [Devils]
  • Jay Rosehill thinks the code of the enforcer is changing. If the code is changing to "punch anyone to keep your job," it's not something I can get behind. [CSNPhilly]

Tickets for Silver Seven game nights

Adnan here. Another shout out for our Silver Seven game nights, specifically the home opener. Email Adnan at the address on his profile if you are interested. Payment is with Interac E-transfer.

  • Home opener, Thursday 17 October 2013 against New Jersey Devils. (Sold all 40 tickets)
  • Saturday 19 October 2013 against Edmonton Oilers (maximum 6 tickets remain, end of week deadline)
  • Saturday 21 December 2013 against Phoenix Coyotes (11 seats left until end of November)
  • Monday 23 December 2013 against Pittsburgh Penguins (Sold all 24 tickets)

All games will be in Section 323 (near Centre Ice) and some where in Rows J, K, L and M. All games will be $39 (about $25 cheaper than if you buy the same tickets yourself).

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