The Noon Number: 17
17 - The takeaway-giveaway plus-minus of Milan Michalek, tops on the Ottawa Senators.
Michalek has 29 takeaways so far this season, which is nowhere near the top of the league--that honour belongs to Jonathan Toews, who has 79 takeaways this season--but is still a good number, especially considering he's committed just 12 giveaways. Erik Condra (+16), Zack Smith (+15), and Bobby Butler (+10) are the next three leaders in TkA-GvA on the team.
At the bottom of the standings are our three veteran defencemen: Filip Kuba is -32, Chris Phillips is -23, and Sergei Gonchar is -20. Although TkA-GvA certainly only paints part of the picture, but it goes a long way in explaining one very important (and dreadful) number: The Senators' league-worst 32.1 shots against per game average. It also reduces the amount of possession time for the forwards, and limits time in the offensive zone.
Recently, Sens head coach Paul MacLean acknowledged that the team is spending too much time in the defensive zone, and having too much trouble getting out of it. Limiting the giveaways committed by the team's veteran--and highest-paid--defencemen would be a good place to start in solving that problem.