When pretty much all of the Senators’ best players succumbed to injury, the natural reaction for many was to write off this shortened 2013 season and hop aboard the tank. And really, who could blame us?
We expected the team to have a difficult time scoring without the likes of Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson - and they have dutifully lived up that astute assumption (1.77 GF/G the last nine games). But I'm not sure anyone expected the team defense to hold the fort as well as they have.
Bishop and the Lehner have stepped in seamlessly to replicate Craig Anderson’s gaudy first half numbers.The defencemen and forwards have done an admirable job clearing pucks, and keeping shots on the outside. Also Eric Gryba is routinely playing 20+ minutes and yet the Sens have continued to bank points, somehow.
For a team that spent the past two seasons sporting the 24th highest goals against per game rate (GA/G) in the NHL (2.99 in 2010/11 and 2.88 in 2011/12), coming into this afternoon’s game against the Islanders, Ottawa has allowed 1.81 GA/G; good enough for the league’s second best mark.
The style responsible for their recent success is a definite contrast to the exciting run and gun 11/12 Senators - fronted by the league's fourth-best offence. The team at present is essentially Nashville but less talented. They're staying in games with stingy defensive hockey that hasn’t been seen around the nation’s capital since the days of Jacques Martin behind the bench staring up at the clock. (though I'm sure Jacques could do without some of the shots against totals of late)no comments