Methot Voices Frustration

Marc Methot made waves this afternoon in a post-practice interview in which he expressed obvious frustration with being paired with Joe Corvo during practice – a clear indication that he could be scratched from tomorrow night’s game versus the Lightning.

Via Ken Warren’s article on SenatorsExtra.com:

“I was a little bit caught off (guard),” he said, rather tersely, following Wednesday’s workout here in preparation for Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. “I felt really good in the morning and it was their decision and I have to deal with that.”

Methot feels that he’s ready to play and after being bag skated at the direction of the coaching staff, he firmly believes that they know he’s ready to come back into the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game in Washington with an injury.

Paul MacLean calmly brushed aside the issue by alluding to a number of other instances in which the organization did not rush a number of other veteran players back from injury. Chris Phillips, the captain Jason Spezza and most recently, Chris Neil, have all been held back from returning earlier than they otherwise would have.

Via the Ottawa Sun:

"We want them to play the most games they can all year long. It's up to us. (Athletic therapist) Gerry (Townend), the medical staff and I are going to decide when they are ready to go back and play. They can tell us they are ready to go but sometimes they stretch it and it's not right. We've been there in our previous two years. We might be a little bit old and we might be a little bit grey-haired but we can still learn.

"One thing I've learned about this group, and it's the same with any group, they all think they are ready before they are ready. It's up to us to make sure we have them in the lineup when they are 100% and they're not stretching it so they can get back in. I want to play. We all want to play. It's up to our medical staff and ourselves that we're putting the right team on the ice to give us a chance to win."

Having listened to the audio of MacLean on TSN 1200, it certainly didn't sound like he was dismissing the possibility that Methot could get back into the lineup, it's just that he had to confer with his staff before making a decision.

So there is that, but it's worth noting that Methot was also held out for an extra game earlier in the season when he contracted the flu. Unlike the other players, who probably shared Methot’s frustration, he’s been the only one outspoken enough to voice it.

Suffice it to say, Methot hasn’t lived up to expectations this season. Invited to the Team Canada Olympic orientation camp back in August, Methot’s struggled to replicate the success that he had in his first season with the Senators.

Via stats.hockeyanalysis.com, below are some advanced stats outlining the performance of Ottawa's individual defencemen this season while playing at five-on-five. The bolded numbers reflect the numbers that lead the individual categories. (Note: GF20 = goals for per 20 minutes of ice-time; GA20 = goals against per 20; CF20 = Corsi Events per 20; CA20 = Corsi events against)

 

TOI

GF20

GA20

GF%

CF20

CA20

CF%

Ceci

244:13:00

1.147

0.819

58.300

20.560

20.060

50.600

Corvo

366:29:00

0.709

0.928

43.300

20.300

18.500

52.300

Cowen

752:00:00

0.771

0.718

51.800

19.710

19.260

50.600

Gryba

318:49:00

0.816

0.565

59.100

18.690

17.750

51.300

Karlsson

961:54:00

0.790

0.936

45.800

21.080

18.130

53.800

Methot

744:36:00

0.833

0.967

46.300

19.980

19.530

50.600

Phillips

637:13:00

0.785

0.973

44.600

19.590

19.020

50.700

Wiercioch

391:07:00

0.920

0.767

54.500

21.320

19.380

52.400

 

As you can see by the numbers, Methot does not lead the defencemen in any category, but it’s not like he’s been lights out either.

Methot receives the third most ice-time and has the third highest rate for GF20, but he’s also second last in GA20. He also is tied for giving up the highest rate of shot attempts and his Corsi For % is tied for the worst mark on the team.

I realize that the blue line has had its struggles this season, but if anyone should be complaining about being made a healthy scratch, it’s Patrick Wiercioch – who to this point, has been an advanced stats darling.

Even in last year’s lockout shortened campaign, Wiercioch thrived. Putting up a 63.3-percent goals for percentage and a CF% of 57.5. Sure, you can attribute part of Wiercioch’s success to Ottawa goaltenders having a .956 save percentage last season, but from a puck possession standpoint, he was and has been, pretty damn good. And from a production angle, in what essentially amounts to a full NHL season, Wiercioch has tallied eight goals and 36 points.

Wiercioch has essentially averaged 0.44 points per game in his

Conversely, those who have played ahead of him regularly on his natural left-side, have been average to mediocre.

There were reports that Chris Phillips was looking to sign an extension with the Sens and assuming he does, things are only going to get more congested when Mark Borowiecki, armed with his one-way contract, will have the paperwork necessary to force the Senators to make a decision.

Eventually, one of Phillips, Cowen, Methot (UFA at conclusion of 2014/15 season) or Wiercioch will have to go.

But if anything is certain, it’s that Patrick Wiercioch should be the individual complaining about having to sit more often than should.

As an aside, Eric Gryba’s advanced statistics are quite incredible. Of course, in looking at the team’s on-ice shooting percentage (10.27%, leads all Sens defencemen) and save percentage (.947, leads all Sens defencemen) when Gryba is on the ice, his numbers aren’t sustainable. 

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