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Thursday, October 12, 2006 | 08:00 PM ET
By Scott Morrison

What a difference a week makes.

Think about it: A week ago, when the NHL was starting its new season, the idea of Ottawa and Calgary meeting in October surely inspired visions of a similar showdown in late June, with champagne on ice and the Stanley Cup nearby.

That may still happen, of course (we did, after all, predict the Flames would win it all and that Ottawa would be in the hunt), but let's just say it has definitely been looking like the faith has been wavering in certain parts of the country this past week because neither the Senators nor the Flames had gotten off to particularly impressive starts.

Heck, two games into the season in Ottawa and the owner gave an impromptu press conference and vote of confidence for his management team. Three games in and the number one line is dismantled and the three best players - Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson - are put together on the top unit. And then there is the matter of the second-string goaltender given the start in a fairly significant game against the Flames.

But that's what happens when expectations are great, you start 1-2 and look ordinary more often than you look good. Especially, in the case of the Senators, when it is contrasted against an impressive 3-0 start last year when the power play was magic and the goals were aplenty. Even coach Bryan Murray has already declared that the Senators won't win games the way they once did, that they will have to win the low-scoring battles.

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I think so. Maybe if it were a month or two into the season, it would be much of a concern, but right now every team is making adjustments and trying to get things going in proper order.

Nashville for instance. I doubt they'll be at the bottom of the standings in a month's time.
 
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