Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Flames Game Day

Flames @ Senators, 530PM MT, Flames PPV.

Here's something you probably didn't know about Ottawa's Big Three One. Vic has mentioned over the years, generally in passing, that Alfredsson is the one who drives the bus in Ottawa. He was right!

This morning I went digging into the Sens' underlying numbers this season, because I had an inkling that, if possible, they're probably better off trying to trade Heatley than Spezza. The answer there was "inconclusive" (samples are pretty small, though if you had to keep one I still think it's Spezza). These numbers (all at EV), to me though, are mind-blowing:

The Senators are a much better team with Alfie (#11) on the ice than on the bench; that's no shock, he's a terrific player and has been for ages. What is shocking is how poor the Sens are when one or (generally) both of Heatley (#15) and Spezza (#19) are on the ice without Alfie. By raw numbers and by For vs Against ratios, the Sens are actually worse with Spezza and/or Heatley on the ice (sans Alfie) than they are with their depth and scrubs. Some of this is due to competition effects (not many coaches are sending their 4th line out against Spezza/Heatley, even without Alfie), but seriously folks: two $7M forwards in their mid- to late twenties should be outshooting, outchancing, and outscoring their opposition, no matter who the hell it is.

Calgary 3 (Iginla x2, Phaneuf), Ottawa 2 (Alfredsson, Schubert). Go Flames.


Listening to the Leafs/Sens on the way to my own game Saturday night and they interviewed a guy who does 67s games as well as about half of the Sens' games and he was very clear that one of the biggest (if not the biggest) issues facing the Sens was the fact that guys (Spezza/Heatley) signed huge contracts and got satisfied.

He felt that, more then the goaltending, the loss of puckmovers on the back end, the lack of secondary scoring, was the main reason for the fall of the Sens.

(btw if this is you cutting back on posting, keep it up)

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