A blown 2-goal lead, undisciplined play, and a deflating game-tying goal allowed by Pascal Leclaire were the lowlights of a game that Ottawa had dominated for the better portion of the first two periods. Last night's loss was the kind of game that drives most fans nuts and drives sensationalist fans to post drivel using interweb forums, newspaper comment spaces, and or start masquerading as Leafs fans.
There's been a distinct trend with the way the Senators have played lately, win one game, piss away the next game or two. It's been this way since the Nashville and Boston games and fans are ready and willing to lay the blame anywhere. To assist in my point making, I'm going to reference the Have Your Say comment thread over at the Ottawa Sun's website to gauge the response to last night's loss to the New Jersey Devils. As always, my comments will be in bold.
Why oh why do they keep making Shean Donovan a healthy scratch? He's the only one on the team who plays at full potential all the time. He adds energy to the team when they need it the most. ~ Mike in Nepean
I may be going out on a whim when I say this, but it likely has something to do with Donovan having the least amount of talent on the team.
Bryan Murray and his GM wanna be nephew are responsible for destroying this team. I am lost for words lately about the Sens, once a power house, no more. Murray is building the team for a cup run in 2017, not now or any time soon. Yah, Mucklar gave away high end draft picks, but built the team to win then not 5 years later. Bad move by Melnyk to fire Mucklar. Should of kept Murray as the coach and the rest is hstory. Murray and side kick Bob must pay for the Kovalev signing, this will go down as the worst Sens signing or NHL signing in history. And not signing Mike Comrie for a million bucks still disturbs me. Fire Murray now before he destroys the team any further. ~ Bob the short-sighted fucking idiot
Bob's at a loss for words, consonents and vowels. He's also a short-sighted fucking idiot who can't see the irreparable damage that John Muckler created during his tenure here. Muckler didn't build the Senators to win. He sat on a roster that was assembled by his predecessor, Marshall Johnston and got lucky.
Can everybody just RELAX!! The first half of last night's game, the Sens looked fantastic (except, of course, for Kovalev); yes this team needs to ratchet up the intensity and learn how to close out a game, but this is also a team that has 4 effective lines and a better D than they are credited with. Kovalev? I said it was a mistake when they signed him, but in my most pessimistic moment even I didn't imagine he would be this bad...he's embarrassing himself and, more importantly, he's embarrassing the organization. Sit him down for a week...do something...do anything! ~ John
Everybody relax! It's not the team's fault. It's only Alexei Kovalev's fault that the team isn't playing well! It's his fault that the third and fourth line pluggers took some undisciplined penalties and it's his fault that Leclaire let in a soft equalizer. But of course, we should have known that Kovalev would be mediocre through 14 games because John predicted it! Pat yourself on the back John. You deserve it, you all knowing SOB. (Editor's note: Would people fuck off with this Kovalev was a bad signing shit until the season's at least half over. Granted, he's not playing very well right now. However, we knew what he was when he signed here. 50-60 points and some half assed efforts. Considering the shitty free agent classes last summer and this upcoming summer, there's not that much inherent risk in signing Kovalev if he reaches his projected point totals. Besides, Ottawa's not exactly brimming with offensive prospects, and secondary scoring was an issue last year. Imagine if Murray never signed Kovalev and the team had to cope by rolling Cheechoo and Shannon on the second line every night? Fans would be fucking outraged.)
The reality is Ottawa clearly has a toxic relationship with the NHL officials and its hurting us. We need to start showing a lot more respect even when we disagree with the calls. Ottawa should immediately create a new team policy that only the coach, captain, and assistant captains will speak to the refs and linesmen about the officiating. No more arm waving, pained looks, or yells from the bench. They need to show respect. Refs are human and they have big egos. The few players we allow to talk to the refs must always do so in a calm respectful manner. The bruised egos of the refs from our whining is costing us a 60/40 disadvantage in PP vs PK. We are being called by the letter of the law and the visitor gets the benefit of the doubt. ~ Benjamin
Benjamin, your 60/40 disadvantage in PP vs PK statistic is the most unsubstantiated thing I've read on the Sun's website since Evgeni Malkin was rumoured to be dealt to the Los Angeles Kings.
I didn't think leclaire was going to be a savior but I thought he might be able to hold on to a two goal lead. He let in two goals last night that should have been stopped had he concentrated a bit more. I think we made a mistake by letting Alex Auld get away to bring in a goalie who was a flash in the pan for one year. Is this another nail in the coffin for Brian Murray? (Ed. note: It's amazing how many locals don't know how to spell Bryan Murray.) The sens keep working on the power-play in practice and are not getting much success during game time, they should be practicing what it takes to hold on to a lead (review tapes of games when Martin was coaching) we didn't lose many after we had a lead in the second period. Getting p-off now, Ray. ~ Ray Routhier
Okay, isn't it a bit naive to assume that Pascal Leclaire will be a savior when Ottawa's defence is characterized by three #3 defencemen and three 6th d-men? How do you even evaluate Leclaire properly when Kuba and Volchenkov have already missed significant time due to injury? Or better yet, how do you favour Alex Auld over a "flash in the pan" Leclaire? The only footnote in Auld's career was that he was dealt in the infamously lopsided Roberto Luongo trade.
Sign Brendan Shanahan. Bottom Line. He'll bring ACCOUNTABILTY, GRIT, AND DETERMINATION. Something this team lacks. Plus the two stanley cup rings, leadership, and pure heart to the locker room. Why the Sens are sitting on the fence on this guy is beyond me. He's the Gary Roberts type player we always try and look for mid season. Well he's sitting at home Murray, call him. And he'll light a fire under Kovalev's ass. Kovalev is the worst signing in Sens history. Murray baffles me, we could of signed Comrie for 1.1 mil and he passed on him too. You are ruining this team with quality, good guy, home town players. So frustrated right now, I feel like starting a protest outside SBP Place. ~ Todd
Please don't sign Shanahan Bryan Murray. He's old, slow and more one-dimensional than Alexei Kovalev. The game's passed him by. I don't know who Martin Gerber is, because I'm a sensationalist fan and I've deemed that through fourteen games, Kovalev is the worst. Give me a good ol' Canadian lad instead, like Mike Comrie because I'm a revisionist and think that Comrie is the bomb.
I'm not going to say that the Senators didn't deserve any of the penalties that they received, as that would be an outright lie. However, my gripe is with the consistency of the officiating. There were numerous occurences of New Jersey Devils players taking liberties with Senators players. I watched as New Jersey players were able to clutch, grab and interefere with Senators players who didn't even have the puck. If they are going to call those hooking, holding and interference penalties on the Senators, then they should be calling them on the Devils too. This season has been a complete joke, as far as the officiating is concerned. ~ Morris Levy
That last comment should read, Morris Levy smartest Sun reader ever.
Mario, what are you talking about?
I read through these comments and they're all pretty reasonable.
Here's a solution:
If you can't handle an UNMODERATED FORUM, don't read it! There are a ton of moderated arenas out there, such as hfboards, sensnetwork.com, the6thsens, forumice where you can get your hockey discussions on.
I know you mean well, but with Team 1200 (especially the afternoon show) basically with their lips connected to the organization's backsides and with Garrioch the only one in print media daring to challenge common perception, I welcome free flow of opinions, however irate and silly. ~ Steve in North Gower
A free plug on the Ottawa Sun website? Thanks Steve in North Gower! (Ed. note: In the future, please don't encourage dumb Ottawa Sun readers like Ray, Bob and Todd to visit this site. They may be overwhelmed.)
Lack of discipline tied to a lack of focus leads to another home loss.
It's often been whispered that the players run the show in the Ottawa Senators organization and nowhere was that more evident than last night.
Neil attacks a New Jersey player that was getting ready for a faceoff, an extremely selfish and show-boating move.
A marginal Carkner puts the team down a defenseman early on the game, leading to subsequent penalty trouble.
Clouston, the man-boy, will sit on his hands through it all. He is afraid, timid and unable to stand up to the Senatorium Country Club dressing room. Meanwhile, Murray looks confused that the low-talent pluggers and overpaid Kovalev and Cheechoo don't produce.
Will be a struggle to make the playoffs... ~ Greg
I'm with Greg. That early Matt Carkner penalty opened the floodgates to undisciplined play. (Ed. note: Sarcasm was intended here. Lots of it.)