The Ottawa Senators are reeling. There's really no other way of putting it. They are 1-4 in the last five games, with their impressive victory over the Montreal Canadiens surrounded by some very ugly blowouts--including tonight's 5-2 loss against the St. Louis Blues. The worst part is that it was obvious the Senators could compete with the Blues, as they did in the first period, but four straight penalties and some brutal goaltending from Brian Elliott killed any mojo the Sens may have had in their favour. The Blues scored three goals in 1:26 in the second, and Ottawa had no response.
Sens Zero: Brian Elliott
Little to say, really. Another night where Elliott gets lit up, and he seems to have lost whatever was helping him play well earlier in the month. Part of the problem--perhaps the biggest part--is how far back in his net Elliott is playing. It's a reflection of his lack of confidence, or so it would seem, and it's probably due at least in part because Elliott has started 17 of the last 18 games. The guy needs a break (or needed it a while back, it appears), and unfortunately now it looks like his poor play will earn him some.
Sens Zero: The powerplay
After looking good for a little bit, Ottawa's powerplay has fallen off. The Sens were 0-for-4 today, and really had little actually generated in the way of actual scoring chances. Not pretty.
Sens Hero: Chris Phillips
One of very few bright spots tonight was the play of Phillips, who gave us a solid defensive game tonight. It's sad that we've gotten to the point where Phillips playing an unremarkable game earns him Hero honours, but here we are.
Slump-buster: Mike Fisher
Got his first goal in forever off a tricky backhand that handcuffed Ty Conklin to give the Senators the early lead. When it happened, it looked like tonight might just be a turnaround game for Ottawa. It didn't take long for that optimism to fade, though.
Save Us: Bobby Butler 1
Butler scored his AHL-leading 14th goal of the season tonight against the Hershey Bears. I’m not advocating calling him up, but that kind of offensive spark has been absent from the Senators lately. This needs to change.
1 - Ryan Classic (2010). "If I did a recap it'd be about seven lines long. Finding words for this game would be hard." Silver Seven, Nov. 19, 2010. Available: Here.
Look at that thing again. Look at all the shots right in and around the crease. No wonder why Elliott had a hard time keeping the puck out of his net.
You wait and see. Forthcoming.