Stop me if this starts to seem familiar.
"Primetime" 1pm Sunday start.
Comical inability to break out of the defensive zone.
Take early penalties.
Spot two goal (hell, even four goal) lead.
The Ottawa Senators were flat out NOT ready to play the Columbus Blue Jackets today. In one of the most lifeless performances I've ever seen, the Senators were somehow not able to get up for a 1 pm Sunday start against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the few fans that attended suffered because of it.
The game started much like many others this year. The Senators took early penalties and got burned. Not five minutes into the game, thinly veiled Sens Killer Ryan Johansen had enough time for a picnic in the slot, and fired a puck past Craig Anderson. Shots in the period were 10-5 in favour of the Jackets, and it was an incredibly boring period. However, the Sens were only down one goal as they made their way to the locker room, with one shot ready to get them into the game.
But that is not how it all played out. The Sens Mark Borowiecki took an extremely questionable roughing call 4 minutes into the frame, and 8 seconds later, RJ Umberger was knocking in a rebound from another Johansen shot. Having spotted their opponent a two-goal lead, the Senators were sure to wake up. Except instead, with the Blue Jackets already 2-for-2 on the power play, the Sens took another couple penalties, and the Jackets scored on a five-on-three with 8 minutes left in the period.
The Senators managed to outshoot the Jackets 13-7 in the period, and the best chances came off the stick of Mika Zibanejad and Kyle Turris. All over the ice, the Sens seemed off. Missed passes, poor decisions, sluggish skating. If I hadn't volunteered to do this recap, my afternoon of watching the Sens would have ended after the third Columbus goal.
For those hoping for a third period comeback, Derek MacKenzie and his third period goal where he simply outworked Erik Karlsson put an end to that. Very shortly after, Mark Borowiecki stepped up on Jared Boll inside the line. The referee put his arm up right away, and James Wisniewski flew in to fight Boro. In a bizarre move, the officials tossed Borowiecki for the hit on Boll and the Sens were able to kill off the major penalty.
Very late in the game, Chris Phillips set up Erik Karlsson on a 5-on-3 for his seventh of the season, but it was obviously way too little, way too late. The feelings of fans could be best summed up by our very own Amelia who said (with 7 minutes left in the game):
How is this game not over yet— Amelia L (@millvsSPQR) November 17, 2013
Shots in the game actually finished 30-22 in favour of the Sens, as the Jackets went into a shell after they got their big lead, but obviously, this is not a game where the Senators outplayed their opponent.
Sens Killer: Ryan Johansen: A goal, assist and looked very much like the player Columbus wanted to draft 4th overall a couple of years ago. Best attempt to slow him down was Mika Zibanejad hitting him in the face with his stick.
Sens Killer: Themselves. No two ways about it, after a big win Friday against the Bruins, this was a hideous effort. This team cannot afford to lose games like this.
Dishonourable Mention: These Sunday Afternoon Games: This is no excuse. Both teams have to start at the same time, but can we cut it out with these stupid Sunday afternoon starts?
In the end, this is a game that leaves a bad taste in your mouth as a fan. The Sens will hope to regroup, as they have a big week ahead.
Highlights: Forthcoming, but you don't want to watch these.