Awwwww! I kind of wish I was in this hug. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators have won six straight games, but the last five wins have been all by one goal. In fact, six of the Senators seven wins this season have been by one goal. The only exception was a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets that started the current streak. Not only that, but the Senators have trailed at some point in every game they have won with the exception of the 3-2 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
What I am trying to say is, everything has gone right for the Senators recently. Out of the 12 games that the Senators have played, eight of them have been one-goal games. that's 67% of their games, behind only the Minnesota Wild's 80%. The Senators are 6-2 in one-goal games and 1-3 in games decided by more than one goal.
Is it realistic to expect a team to win this many close games? Well, the Senators have done it before. In 2009-2010, the Senators played the second least amount of one-goal games, (37.8%) but went 20-5-6 in those games as well as going 14-5 in two-goal games. Last year, the Senators played roughly the same amount of one-goal games (40.2%) but went only 13-10-10 in those games. Had the Senators won the same ratio of points in one-goal games last season as they did in 2009-2010, they would have finished with 87 points.
A couple of bounces here and there can decide these close games. In 2009-2010 the Senators managed to win those games, last year they did not. So far this season, Ottawa has been very successful in this area. Can they repeat? Maybe, but they are playing a lot more one-goal games than they did in 2009-2010.
Links after the jump.
- Game recap. (Silver Seven, Ottawa Sun, Senators Extra)
- Stats from NHL.com [Boxscore] [Game summary] [Face-offs] [Play by play] [Ice time]
- Advanced stats from TimeOnIce.com. The Senators only faced five face-offs in their own end in 5-on-5 situations, and the Phillips/Rundblad pairing was out for three of them. Also, Phil Kessel played 67% of his even strength ice time against Kuba/Karlsson and could not score. [Corsi Ratings] [Head-to-head ice time] [Zone starts]
- Life seems to be pretty good for Robin Lehner. Making only his sixth career NHL start last night, Lehner won his second career game. He also seems to be accepting his role in the AHL this season and the reason for being there. I think he's probably ready to be an NHL backup, but I feel he will benefit more from playing regularly in the AHL. Lehner is 4-2 with a 2.77 GAA and a .927 save percentage in Binghamton. (Ottawa Sun)
- Lehner also feels Nikita Filatov is too good to play in the AHL. I have a feeling these two players are very good friends. (Ottawa Citizen)
- Wojtek Wolski has so far not been suspended for his hit on Daniel Alfredsson. Paul MacLean has been diplomatic, but Eugene Melnyk might not be. It's crazy to me that there was no suspension. (Ottawa Sun)
- Alfredsson will not travel with the team to Boston and will at least be out for a few games after MacLean said the team will follow "league protocols". So, Alfie has a concussion then. (Ottawa Citizen)
- The Senators recent run has captured the imagination of the city. Have you talked about your Senators with co-workers today? Paul MacLean is staying grounded, preferring to wait and see until the 20-25 game mark. (Senators Extra)
- The Binghamton Senators, missing Robin Lehner, Nikita Filatov, Kaspars Daugavins and Corey Locke, lost 3-2 to the Hershey Bears yesterday. (Press & Sun-Bulletin)
- A great FanPost by Gabriel17 takes a look at the Senators off-season in 2012. The best part? Its en francais! Le woo de la hoo! (Silver Seven FanPost)
- Don't look now, but others are starting to notice the Senators surprising winning streak! (SB Nation)
- Jason Spezza has lost a goal but gained an assist. The Senators goal that made it 4-2 against New York, has now been given to Milan Michalek from Spezza and Filip Kuba. Originally it was Spezza from Kuba and Michalek. This moves Michalek to third in the league in goals. (Ottawa Senators)
- Kaspars Daugavins has been sent back to Binghamton. I guess Filatov and Zenon Konopka both play tomorrow then. (Ottawa Senators)
- UPDATE: Daugavins is returning to Binghamton to have dental surgery on his wisdom teeth. Maybe he will return soon? (Ottawa Senators)