Hockey Fan Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

· Registered
25,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A team whose only shining attribute is its penalty killing will be on the road for
four key games this week, Allen Panzeri reports from Washington.
Allen Panzeri, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, November 06, 2006

Nothing is going right for the Ottawa Senators.

Daniel Alfredsson finally scored a goal, but he and his teammates couldn't hold onto a two-goal lead and lost their third consecutive game, 3-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night. The power-play inexplicably continued to go south even after it had hit the bottom, missing on seven chances, including twice with a five-on-three advantage.

Off the ice, Alexei Kaigorodov took a page from Alexei Yashin's playbook. He gave Binghamton a refusnik, returned to Russia and was suspended. There was no change in his status yesterday.

Not likely to be, either, until the team he's traded to lifts the suspension.

There have been some memorable snit fits in Senators history before. Chris Phillips and Jason Spezza raised considerable fusses when they were demoted -- Phillips back to his junior team, Spezza to Binghamton of the American Hockey League -- but at least they reported and kept their careers alive.

Here's hoping not too many people got stuck with a No. 55 Kaigorodov sweater.

Now, beginning here tonight, the Senators face three of the league's emerging offensive powers in the next three games: the Capitals, Atlanta Thrashers, and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Boston Bruins round out this four-game road trip on Saturday.

It's a trip during which there will be the smell of blood. Indeed, it was already there yesterday in the gallows humour as the Senators boarded their charter flight to Washington.

The players had better hope that their closed-door meeting after Saturday's loss started to turn the Titanic in the right direction.

If not, watch out. Alexander Ovechkin (Capitals), Marian Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk (Thrashers) and Sidney Crosby and Evengi Malkin (Penguins) could make this road trip ugly.

By the time the trip finished, the Senators will have played 16 games, a little less than a fifth of the schedule. If they continue to struggle, you can bet there will be changes. Maybe even before then, with NHL general managers meeting tomorrow in Toronto.

There's really only one thing the Senators can brag about: They are third-best in the 30-team league in penalty killing, at 90.6 per cent. Phew. Imagine if it wasn't very good.

Otherwise, the Senators are a statistical nightmare, individually and collectively:

- Five of Dany Heatley's seven goals have come in three games, all routs: 8-1 against New Jersey, 6-2 against Toronto and 7-2 against Toronto. He does have two game-winning goals, though.

- Alfredsson has only two goals -- one into an empty net -- and no game-winners.

- Neither does Jason Spezza.

- Defenceman Wade Redden, still sidelined with a groin injury, has one assist.

- Peter Schaefer has no points.

- Martin Gerber has a decent goals-against average (2.8
and a decent save percentage (.917), but his 2-5 record indicates he's let in more than one ill-timed goal.

- Ottawa is 0-2 when it trails after one period and 0-4 when it trail after two, suggesting the Senators would rather quit than fight.

- The power play, of course, couldn't be any worse without falling off the NHL chart: last in the league at 8.4 per cent, good on only six of 71 chances.

"The bottom line is that we have to start scoring some goals," coach Bryan Murray said yesterday.

He's right about that, but he also needs a better performance from his defencemen.

They've been showing an astonishing inability to get the puck out of their own zone, resulting in extra chances for the opposition. Andrej Meszaros, averaging 23 minutes a game, is a team-worst minus-5. This is the same player who led the league in plus-minus for most of last season.

For tonight's game, at least, Murray won't Wade Redden (groin) back. The earliest he could play is on Wednesday in Atlanta. In goal, Murray will go back to Ray Emery, who is 3-2-0 with a 1.86 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage.

Yesterday, Murray was lamenting how every little mistake ends up in the net when a team is struggling.

Along with the defence failing to make the first pass to clear the Ottawa zone and star forwards (Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson et al) unable to score decisive goals, Senators goalies have also been giving up more soft goals than can be excused.

Even the team's hardest critic would have to admit that the Senators haven't caught many breaks recently.

Nonetheless, they also have to do something about making their own.

The Senators This Week


· Registered
6,099 Posts
Washington scored 3 straight goals to tie the game, and added 1 more in Overtime.

Alexander Ovechkin was huge for them.

Washington-4, Ottawa-3 - Final/OT.

Chris Philips has "'splainin' todo".

· Registered
25,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well if people didn't know it before this game, they better know it now.

There is going to be some big moves now in Ottawa, and you can't blame them!! There is no reason what so ever for these losses?? Up 3-0 to loose 4-3 in OT, totally unacceptable!!
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.