SensNation Hotstove – November 2nd

Follow the panel on Twitter: @DefenseMinister, @Fffeisty, @IneffectiveMath, @Senturion. Be sure to chime in with your answers and feedback below in the comment section and on Twitter. Enjoy!!

Q1: Yay or nay 3 v 3 OT?

@DefenseMinister:

I have no problem with 3-on-3 because I hate ties and I think anyone who says they like ties either doesn’t remember how meaningless they made the game you just watched feel or are just lying for the sake of being assholes. Is it some kind of new revolutionary brand of hockey? Of course not and it should have never been sold that way. It makes it more likely (for every team that isn’t the Sens) that the game ends before it gets to a shootout and that’s a good thing.

@Fffeisty:

It’s a gimmick. It’s kind of like hockey heroin right now because it’s all shiny and new, but all the things the rest of you hate about the shootout, also apply to 3 on 3. It’s fun and exciting because in normal hockey play, it’s relatively rare and it has a high risk/high reward feel to it. Adding it as a regular element of hockey play means that eventually coaches will figure out how to take out all of the risk elements that make it so exciting. And I promise you that “safe” and responsible 3 on 3 play will not be as much fun to watch in the longer term. My primary issue with 3 on 3 is that it fails to address what I feel is a much larger problem: the NHL’s points system. As long as the NHL continues to weight regulation wins as a OT/shootout win with 2 pts, and continues to give out the loser point, there will be less of an incentive for good teams to risk going for regulation wins when they always have the insurance of a loser point. Regulation wins should be worth 3 points. Gimmick wins (OT or shootout) should be worth 2 points. And shootout losers should get nothing.

@IneffectiveMath:

Yay! Although the coaches need to unleash the players and tell them to play offence-first. Ottawa has one of the better 3v3 rosters and they should be going for the throat.

@Senturion:

So far 3v3 looks good but it’s inevitable (and we’re seeng it already) that coaches will figure out how to lock it down to a crawl as well. The problem is incentive, and so far the NHL has shown zero interest in providing coaches with any reason to not just play for the shootout. A 3-2-1 points system that valued a shootout win less than an OT win would provide the incentive coaches would need to actually try to make OT, in any format, the deciding factor.

Q2:  What’s the scariest (Boo!!) thing about the Sens right now?

@IneffectiveMath:

The unwillingness to healthy-scratch below replacement-quality defenders in favour of call-ups who might well be legitimate NHLers. It’s especially surprising given that Cameron was quite willing to do so late last year.

@Senturion:

They are an Erik Karlsson injury away from being a lottery team. What’s truly scary is the idea of wasting the prime years of a generational talent by not surrounding him with a team that can win.

@Fffeisty:

What could be scarier than seeing Dave Cameron throw out McCormick-Smith-Neil-Cowen-Boro in a one goal hockey game? I was also terrified when Cameron kept putting Cowen-Boro out to kill the 5 on 3s vs Detroit on Friday night. Imagine being the Sens goalie when the coach does that to you. For me the scariest thing is that for the third year in a row, the Sens brain trust has decided to wait and see if Cowen develops. I’m done with waiting. Fire him into the Canal.

@DefenseMinister:

That Dave Cameron looks more and more like the second coming of Paul Maclean I guess.

Q3: (a) When if, if ever, is it appropriate to impose a lineup mandate upon a coach? (b) What influence, if any, do you suspect Murray imposing on Cameron’s lineup decisions?

@Fffeisty:

(a) I really want to impose my lineup recommendation on the Sens because mine is the only one that includes using Alfie on L2 and/or on the left point on the PP. It’s a great idea, and I’ll hear no other arguments.

(b) I don’t think that BM gets too heavily involved in lineup usage on a day to day basis, unless his coach gets into serious trouble. That being said, he provides the coach with players so, although we can complain about Cameron’s usage of Cowen-Boro, ultimately what choice does he have? Until EK is able to play 40 mins per game, or BM finds a top 4 d, we are stuck with the meatheads. Lineup upgrades are the responsibility of BM, so much of the issues (lack of talent/skill in key areas) are due to his influence.

@Senturion:

(a) There is a hierarchy in hockey just like anywhere else. The GM tends to have a longer term view so it is natural that he would want to give players a little more leeway than a coach might. That said, the coach should have the latitude to do what he needs to do to win. He’s the one on the firing block so to not give him the ability to play the players he wants to play is tying his hands unfairly. Short answer: bench Cowen.

(b) Judging by Cameron’s treatment of Cowen at the end of last season, it’s pretty clear he has been given orders to let him play. It’s bad enough that Murray cleared rosters spots to pave the way for Cowen (when you need to have a #7 defenceman traded just to give you room you have issues) but to continue to roll with a player who is not executing simply to try to cover up the GM’s mistake is detrimental to the franchise.

@DefenseMinister:

(a) I don’t think it’s the worst thing as long as it’s not an asinine reason, like you don’t want to look stupid because you paid that player a lot of money. A GM has the right to direct personnel decisions as long as they don’t micromanage everything.

(b) I really don’t think Murray is driving a whole lot of the day to day lineup decisions. He more or less drives the roster via the number of 1 way deals he gives out though which doesn’t really offer a whole lot in leeway for Cameron. You can only play the guys you have available to you. Cowen, I think is more of an indirect order to play based on his off-season comments. I think Cameron is well aware of what Murray wanted with respect to seeing him in the lineup going into the season but at the same time, I don’t think Murray’s sending a memo on a weekly basis to continue to play him. Cameron isn’t stupid, he understands what his boss wants in that case.

@IneffectiveMath:

(a) Never. Don’t buy a dog and bark yourself.

(b) I don’t suspect much beyond Cameron being told that he ought to give Cowen and Borowiecki a long leash to show if they’ve made the off-season improvements and injury recuperations that the team hopes for.

Q4: How would you structure the Sens top two lines (assuming MacArthur is never coming back)?

@Senturion:

I defer this question to Micah and DM. I’m at the point where I don’t think it really matters all that much what the combos are so long as the roster has glaring holes.

@IneffectiveMath:

I think Hoffman is needed on the second line to give speed for Ryan and Zibanejad, so the only tricky question for me is who to put on the top line with Stone and Turris. If MacArthur is never coming back, then I would alternate between Chiasson and Michalek until I felt sure about which one was better — they’ve both shown chemistry in shot measures with Turris in the past.

@DefenseMinister:

Prince-Turris-Stone / Hoffman-Zibanejad-Ryan … probably provides you with the most balance. Not much chance of us seeing those combos though.

@Fffeisty:

See my response to 3(a) for the best suggested lineup tweak. Outside that, I would go with 9-7-61 and 68-93-6, mainly because L2 needs Hoffman more than L1 does. Michalek fit in well with Turris and Stone last year (and really, anyone is fine with them). (Even 42 yr old Alfie).

Q5: What’s the biggest reason for optimism for those hoping the Habs somehow implode?

@Fffeisty:

Carey Price’s groins are another year older. And their head coach is still Michel Therrien, so there’s always hope for exciting days ahead.

@DefenseMinister:

Michel Therrien still coaches the Habs, right?

@IneffectiveMath:

Carey Price almost certainly can’t sustain the same level of play as last year, though he will still be extremely good. The habs are very strong this year, but they’ve benefitted from clustering — all of their goals against coming in a few games and their goals for being evenly spread. That’s no more than fortune and they’ll have stretches where the same number of goals, for and against, fall less favourably to them. Also, Michel Therrien is reverting to type recently, scratching one of his best players (Semin) for multiple games for no defensible reason. If he continues to make arbitrary roster decisions there is no limit to the damage he can do to his team.

@Senturion:

The Habs are a playoff team, I don’t think any fair-minded fan would have disagreed with that before the season, but what is happening here defies explanation. Price is probably the best goalie in the NHL, and PK is a top 5 defensemen in the league but it’s hard to wrap your head around how the rest of that lineup is doing so well. My best guess is that Carey Price will get a season ending injury when one of the Habs epic pregame ceremonies goes awry and a torch carrying peewee runs him over.

Q6: Which Sens player is most likely to benefit from the Trudeau / Liberal sweep to power and why?

@DefenseMinister:

Erik Karlsson was the easy choice until he went from being the guy with the best hair on the team to the worst hair over the course of an offseason.

@Senturion:

Bobby Ryan, as the new tax bracket on the top 1% will trigger him to demand a trade to a U.S. team.

@IneffectiveMath:

Erik Karlsson, since more Canadians will realize that it is possible to be extravagantly handsome /and/ an excellent leader.

@Fffeisty:

The Sens philosophy is the polar opposite of real change. No changes to the defence in 3 years, no significant changes via trade/free agency beyond deletions in the last 3 years. BM hasn’t even been able to supply the top 6 forward he’s been pining for. Their most significant signing in the past year was bringing Alfie back into the fold. The Sens are anti-change. The Sens are the embodiment of George Bush Sr. Stay the course/thousand points of light….

Q7: Will Chris Phillips ever play again?

@IneffectiveMath:

No.

@Fffeisty:

Yes and no. One game or warm up and then retire, Alfie style.

@DefenseMinister:

No.

@Senturion:

Yes 🙁

 

 

 

 

1 comments
HockeyPlayoffRunSensFan
HockeyPlayoffRunSensFan

You all forget that Cameron is a Melnik hire on a promise made when he sent him from Binghamton to the Ice Dogs. The other Melnik influence in all this is the budget and what other teams want in exchange for a top player be it a forward of defense. I am sure Melnik has no appetite to pay two NHL contracts in the minors so Cowen is not going anywhere. As for BM's influence as far as the on ice product it is very possible that Cameron may seek advice since the view from the press box for BM is much better than the view from the bench.