The Upside Down Senators And Their Goaltending Problems

via cdn.picapp.com

The Ottawa Senators have climbed into 5th place in the Eastern Conference despite a goal differential of -8.  If the Oilers 7-7-1 record against the Eastern Conference wasn't a large enough indicator of how awful the East is this year, the fifth and eighth place teams in the East have negative goal differentials.  For a bit of contrast, the Kings are 5th in the Western Conference with a +25 goal differential. Even though the Sens aren't strong by the numbers, the run up the standings has stirred some excitement in Ottawa, excitement that was buoyed on by General Manager Bryan Murray's trade for playoff veteran Matt Cullen.

In an extreme case of excitement, Silver Seven, SB Nation's Ottawa Senators site, recently had a user-submitted FanPost comparing the 2010 team to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals team.  The post was an interesting take and the writer's descriptions of the lines made me take a look at the underlying numbers in Ottawa this season and what I found was curious.  We dive into Gabriel Desjardins' Behind The Net and Vic Ferrari's timeonice.com after the jump.

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via www.sportslogos.net

SB Nation's Senators vs Oilers coverage

Silver Seven

For the year, Ottawa has been outscored 124-134 (-10) at even strength, even though they've posted a team Corsi of .519.  The team even strength save percentage of .905 is pretty terrible -- with a .920 at even strength, the Senators outscore 124-102 (+22).  Foligno has somehow managed a .951 ES save percentage while on the ice - whatever he is bribing the Ottawa goaltenders with should be standard fare in the room.  Perhaps the Antoine Vermette for Pascal Leclaire deal wasn't the saving grace that Bryan Murray thought it was.

 

Player

GP

ES TOI

QC

QT

Corsi RQC

CorsiQC

Corsi On

ZS

GD

Peter Regin

59

10.96

-0.035

-0.008

-0.461

-0.536

19.58

58.7

3

Ryan Shannon

58

10.86

-0.029

0.121

-0.006

-0.098

12.48

60

-7

Chris Neil

52

11.33

-0.071

-0.007

-0.477

-0.566

7.64

57

0

Nick Foligno

48

12.59

-0.024

0.102

0.366

-0.024

2.98

54.5

14

Chris Kelly

66

11.64

-0.049

-0.185

-0.07

-0.01

2.81

55.3

-8

Milan Michalek

59

13.38

0.149

0.005

1.214

0.718

1.29

52.7

-10

Jarkko Ruutu

66

11.11

-0.08

-0.25

-0.228

-0.236

1.23

55.8

-7

Matt Cullen*

65

12.73

0.05

0.041

0.517

-0.622

0.73

50

-2

Alex Kovalev

63

14.53

0.021

0.199

0.595

0.247

0.46

53.2

1

Mike Fisher

64

13.79

0.062

0.205

0.964

0.842

-1.09

50.5

4

Jason Spezza

44

14.54

0.116

-0.09

1.055

1.124

-2.16

52.8

-4

Daniel Alfredsson

54

13.52

0.194

0.005

1.636

1.796

-2.79

54.7

0

*Matt Cullen's numbers were mostly tallied in Carolina, so they don't count here. 

Even though they are mired in goaltending problems, Ottawa has other troubles.  Ottawa's big money players are facing the tough minutes and being slightly outshot and outscored at even strength.  The bottom of their lineup is outshooting the opponents, and except for Nick Foligno's outstanding goalie luck, being outscored at even strength.

Interestingly enough though - put Michalek - Spezza - Alfredsson together and you get...



GF
GA
Corsi Ratio
EV Sv
EV Sh
PDO
Michalek - Spezza - Alfredsson
11
10
.508 .935
7.0% .1005

 

...an outshooting power vs. power line.  Silver Seven blames Spezza a bit as the article said "Spezza’s game seemed to decline until fairly recently, when he finally realized he could shoot the puck." but in reality the Senators are flawed from top-to-bottom.  The goaltending is bad, the defense is thin and the best forwards on the team can't handle tough minutes, even in the East.

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