The captain has been struggling by his own admission. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
As the venerable Mark Parisi pointed out, when Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza are not scoring, the first thing Paul MacLean tends to try is to load up on Spezza with Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek. Well last night, Karlsson didn't score and Spezza wasn't playing. No one else on the Senators scored either and Ottawa lost despite allowing only a single goal.
Luckily for Ottawa, they have two superstars in Karlsson and Spezza that have been able to carry the offence for most of the games this season. In the few games that they have not been able to, Ottawa doesn't have the offensive talent to win. After last night, Ottawa has now won only one of the fourteen games in which both Karlsson and Spezza fail to register a point, sporting a 1-10-3 record.
Alfredsson hasn't scored a goal for 11 straight games and has only three assists in that span. Kyle Turris has just four goals and three assists for seven points in 25 games since late January. Nick Foligno has a goal and two assists in the last 10 games. Zack Smith has four points in his last 32 games. Chris Neil has a goal and an assist in the last 10 games. Sergei Gonchar has a goal and no assists in 12 games. Erik Condra has a goal and two assists in 31 games.
With Erik Karlsson reduced to just "alright" with four goals and two assists for six points in nine games in March, Ottawa needs someone to step up. Right now, they might not have the players to do it. If Ottawa is going to put up a fight in the first round, I suspect they will have to be largely carried by Karlsson and Spezza like they have been all season.
More after the jump.
Here are today's links:
- Recap of last night's game. (Silver Seven, Ottawa Sun, Senators Extra)
- Zenon Konopka might have taken a stupid penalty for the winning goal but nobody wants to win more than Konopka according to Don Brennan. (Ottawa Sun)
- Jason Spezza was not at practise today. (Sylvain St-Laurent)
- Will Matt Carkner ever play for Ottawa again? He was once again not among the top three pairings in practise. (Sylvain St-Laurent)
- It's been a rough season for Binghamton but they are going to get some young additions. (Press & Sun-Bulletin)