Carvel's power play still stinks:
Zero for fifteen...
For two games at least, the Ottawa Senators have proven The Hockey News' prognostication correct. Not only has the team barely resemble team that finished fifth in the standings last season but their their performance (or lack thereof) is reminiscent of the Craig Hartsburg coaching era.
Poor gap control has led to poor puck support, longer outlet passes and a break out that's worse than Mike Piazza's bacne. Now compound these problems with inefficient specialty teams performances and it's hard to believe that just one week ago, people were concerned about the goaltending.
The timing of Ottawa's losing streak leaves much to be desired. Had it occurred during the middle of the season, it wouldn't resonate as much as it has. Instead, everything has been micro-analysed and much of the blame game has been focused on poor individual performances. (Ed. note: Don't believe me? You can read articles on Erik Karlsson's struggles here, here and here.) As easy as it is to single some out for poor play, I feel like the problems are more systemic. That not enough emphasis has been placed upon Ottawa's piss poor preseason schedule or Cory Clouston's reluctance to dress veteran laden exhibition lineups. As Elliotte Friedman addressed in his most recent article for the CBC, Ottawa played four back-to-backs. Amount of games their best lineup played together: 0. Amount of games it was even close: 1.
Here's a closer look at Ottawa's preseason schedule:
- September 21st: 5-0 win in Toronto
- September 22nd: 4-1 loss in Toronto
- September 24th: 4-2 loss in Montreal
- September 25th: 6-2 win in Ottawa over Montreal
- September 28th: 2-1 loss to Buffalo in Dundas, Ontario
- September 29th: 4-3 loss to Toronto in Ottawa
- October 1st: 5-4 OTL to NYR in New York
- October 2nd: 8-5 win in Ottawa over NYR
Even in the last exhibition game in which the Senators won with a reasonable lineup, Clouston remarked, “I don’t know if it was focus or a couple of bad goals each way, but it was almost pond hockey."
Thankfully, the timing of the Capitals game was a godsend. As an elite Eastern Conference offensive juggernaut, there was an impetus on Ottawa's players to get their shit together or risk being embarrassed further. Albeit, the team still lost, their effort level was there and they did manage to pick up their first point of the regular season. It's a step in the right direction and something that can be built upon. Next on the dockett is a Carolina team that arrives after playing their first two games of the season in Finland. It should make for some favorable circumstances.
New Scoreboard In Ottawa For the 2011-12 Season:
Via the Team 1200's Twitter account (@TEAM1200Ottawa)
There will be a new video board @ SBP for 2011-12 season, Sens owner Eugene Melnyk just told us that on The Team 1200 NHL Power Hour.
Alfie and More Alfie?
According to reports, Daniel Alfredsson didn't play in tonight's OT because he sustained an undisclosed lower body injury.
Here's more Alfredsson information from that aforementioned Elliotte Friedman's article. There was a rumour this is going to be the last season of Daniel Alfredsson's NHL career. He laughed it off. "I haven't made that decision."
Jim O'Brien Is Tearing It Up In Bingo
After two games down on the farm, Jim O'Brien already has three goals on the season. At this breakneck pace, he should have no problem amassing the six goal threshold necessary to surpass last season's totals. To check out the rest of the Binghamton Senators player statistics, click here.