Alex Auld's poor effort on this Zach Parise shootout goal wasn't the only reason the Senators collapsed. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators have played five games in December and lost four of them. What's more alarming is that in three of the four losses, the Senators were leading in the third period. Let's look at the three collapses.
Exhibit one, 1 December: Leading Dallas 2-1 with less than six minutes left.
It was a 1-1 game heading into the third period and after Milan Michalek had put them ahead 2-1 at the 11:42 mark, the Senators seemed on their way to a win. Ottawa ended up allowed the tying goal with 5:34 left and the winning goal with 2:20 left.
Result: 0 points.
Exhibit two, 7 December: Leading Washington 2-1 with just over 10 minutes left.
Nicklas Backstrom ties it at the 9:45 mark, Alexander Ovechkin puts them ahead at 13:50, Troy Brouwer makes it 4-2 at 14:05. The game ends in a 5-3 loss.
Result: 0 points.
Exhibit three, 8 December: Leading New Jersey 3-1 after two periods.
At 2:59, Dainius Zubrus makes it a 3-2 game. Two goals at 9:08 and 9:45 shockingly put New Jersey ahead. Ottawa ends up tying the game with five seconds left but loses in a shootout.
Result: 1 points.
In the other two games, Ottawa entered the third period tied 1-1. In both games they fell behind 2-1. Against Tampa Bay they came back to win 4-2 and against Washington they took it to overtime before losing. Still, while the Senators have had some thrilling comebacks, they are starting to pile up some shattering losses as well. It might be expected on a team with such a young defence, but it doesn't make it any less painful to watch.
General Sens News
- Recap from last night's cluster!@#$. Reader discretion is advised. (Silver Seven, Ottawa Sun, Senators Extra)
- Bruce Garrioch feels Alexander Ovechkin should have been suspended. He was also surprised Nikita Filatov didn't play last night and that Paul MacLean didn't even consider it. (Ottawa Sun)
- With Daniel Alfredsson approaching his 39th birthday and still in the top three in voting for all-star forwards, he admits playing at the all-star game at his home rink would be huge. (Ottawa Senators)
- Look at that guy leading the NHL in goals all by himself. And that other guy tied for the lead in the assists. (NHL)
- The schedule for the All-Star weekend has been announced. There will be a procession of various NHL trophies including the Stanely Cup on Thursday, 26 January at 2:30 followed by a fan fair at 3:00. The all-star draft will be also on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. There will be another fan fair on Friday and Saturday. Saturday will also have the skills competition at 7 p.m. The game itself will be 4 p.m. on Sunday. (Ottawa Senators)
- With the sale of the Maple Leafs to Rogers and Bell for a whopping $1.3 billion, here are some hilarious tweets about the sale. Even a tweet by yours truly made it. My favourite though was someone else saying: "So if a #Leafs player wants to be traded to another team will he have to first talk to the "retention" dept. before leaving?" With Bell's pension plan owning part of the club, the blog name should stay the same. (Pension Plan Puppets)
- Should players be suspended for embellishment? (Yahoo!)
- The latest chapter in the Tampa Bay Lightning's saga of hurt feelings was when Rangers forward Artem Anisimov scored a goal and celebrated by grabbing his stick like a rifle and pointed it at the Tampa Bay goal. I thought it was hilarious. The Lightning did not. Vincent Lecavalier rushed at him, Steve Downie jumped off the bench to come at Anisimov and if I recall correctly, Steven Stamkos sucker punched him. This is the same team that cried about Ovechkin's "hot stick" and Linus Omark's 360 spin in the shootout. (Yahoo!)