"There isn't a focus that you have to win 30 games or whatever, but it's almost like we're in the playoffs already. That's how we have to approach it." ~ Chris PhillipsNo offense Chris, but if that's Playoff hockey, then I want no fucking part of it. I didn't enjoy last season's four game sweep to the Penguins and I won't embrace another. I'll take a potential lottery pick any day of the week.
However, maybe I should be thanking Phillips for providing some clarity as to whether or not this team has the gusto to turn this around themselves. Given the body language of the players and coaches, you can tell they lack confidence and will fold when faced with any form of adversity. With each passing game, you can't help but get the impression that the players are waiting for something to give. The black cloud that has hung over this team from last year is still there. The blame has been passed from the coaches to players with character issues, but as Ottawa continues to struggle, it's imperative that the blame be placed on the only alternative - on the talent level in the dressing room. It's simply not good enough.
As I watched the Sens game, I browsed through the Ottawa Citizen's website and noticed a Ken Warren article that discussed the likelihood that Ottawa makes the Playoffs. Warren was a little less forgiving than I was and used last year's standings as the basis for how many points Ottawa needs to play into the Spring. Here's what he had to say:
In order to hit 94 points -- the Senators and Boston Bruins finished tied for the seventh and eighth playoff spots in the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference last season with 94 points each -- the Senators will need to pick up 63 points during their final 47 games, beginning tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.After the loss to the Leafs, it means that for the Senators to have any shot at a post-season, they'll need to win approximately 68.5% of their games to get the aforementioned 63 points. It'd take a hockey miracle for the Senators to reverse their losing this season and fortunately, I think Ottawa got its lone hockey miracle when Team Canada came back and won tonight. Hopefully the majority of Sens fans recorded the Russian vs. Canada game -- It's replayability is what's going to get Sens fans through the months of April til June.
Think about it. Can you picture the Senators closing out the season with a record of 31-15-1, 30-14-3, 29-13-5 or 28-12-7? ~ Ken Warren, The Ottawa Citizen