Silver Nuggets: Slow Starts

Jason Spezza, disgusted at Nazem Kadri's sick math skillz - Abelimages

Submitted without comment: A piece of performance art I like to call "Lottery Pick."

October 7th - Loss, 5-3. Outshot 39-32. That's not so bad! It's just the start of the season, and our opponent could be a Cup Contender!

0-1-0.

October 8th (Yes, a back-to-back!) - Loss, 6-5. Outshot 35-32. Toronto always plays us hard! If we played the whole game like we did in the 3rd, we probably could have beaten them.

0-2-0.

October 11th - Win, 4-3 (OT). Outshot them 44-27. If we didn't give them a 2-goal lead in the first period, we could have won this in regulation. We just need to iron things out to really get going!

1-2-0.

October 13th - Loss, 7-1. Outshot 39-16(!). Anderson sucks! Our defense sucks! Should we start thinking about some trades to plug these holes?

1-3-0.

October 15th - Loss, 2-1. Outshot them 34-26. We need more offense! We need secondary scoring! We need more from Jason Spezza!

1-4-0.

October 18th - Loss, 7-2. Outshot 30-23. Our power play is a disaster! Our defense can't stop anyone! Fail for Nail!

1-5-0.

Next six games: 6-0-0.

Next six opponents: Winnipeg Jets (11th in final standings), Columbus Blue Jackets (15th), Carolina Hurricanes (12th), Florida Panthers (3rd), New York Rangers (1st), Toronto Maple Leafs (13th)

Of course, the next five games, the team went 0-5-0. But that's kind of the point. We've been here before. In small chunks, any team can look great or awful. But taken as a whole, the season is the cumulative effect of multiple miniature streaks. In fact, if you charted the 2011-12 Ottawa Senators season (whose start we just chronicled) in terms of games over .500, it would look something like this:

Even_game_medium

And if you compare this team to that one, they're not even in the as deep a hole:

2013_over_medium

This, of course, does not mean that the 2013-14 Ottawa Senators will magically right the ship and make the playoffs like their 2011-12 "Destined for a Lottery Pick" counterparts did. Like that team, this team has some serious flaws to fix. There's no guarantee they'll be able to. But we do know, in this case, that the team is more talented (at least on paper) and has a staff in place that has corrected course before.

Bottom line: Despite a disappointing start, the team isn't out of runway quite yet.

Sens Links

  • As the last rational man standing, RogerTheShrubber sings into the wind. [S7S]
  • I lied. Jeremy Milks rationally preaches long-term optimism as well! [Black Aces]
  • The Prediction Panel is nearly unanimous in calling for a Sens win tonight. Have they not seen Oliver Ekman-Larsson play? [Senators Extra]
  • FINALLY! KYLE TURRIS HAS COME BACK! TO PHOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENIX! Seriously, though, it's important to find players that fit your system. The most talented guy is not always the right fit. [SE]
  • Bryan Murray on the Senators' early struggles:In any sport, you can work as hard individually as you possibly can, but, if you’re not supported by other people or you’re not co-ordinated, then it doesn’t matter, because the structure breaks down." [SE]
  • The team knows they haven't been good to start the season. As usual, Paul MacLean has the best quote, referring to Phoenix tonight: "They must be looking forward to us coming to town." [SE]

NHL Links

  • Speaking of the Coyotes, they're 4-2-0, so anyone expecting a gimme tonight is going to be disappointed. [PHT]
  • The Devils are 0-3-3, but Lou Lamoriello "believes" in them. So expect big changes, am I right? [NJ.com]
  • Pittsburgh's bottom six are performing like we thought Ottawa's bottom six would. [Penguins]
  • Stefan Noesen, who was traded along with Jakob Silfverberg and Ottawa's 2014 first round pick, has suffered a knee injury and will miss the rest of the season. Sorry to see that happen to such a promising kid. [The Province]
  • The Philadelphia Flyers have to improve their penalty kill. Right, because that's the only problem. [CSN Philly, video plays whether you want it to or not)
  • Elliotte Friedman talks about Nail Yakupov in this week's 30 Thoughts. And then he drops this bombshell [CBC]:

    Obviously, the biggest debate in Edmonton is what goalie the Oilers should chase. They are at 49 contracts, so signing a free agent or trading a draft pick for a player completely eliminates roster flexibility. Brian Elliott makes sense, but St. Louis may not be interested in taking salary in return. Is it worth giving up an asset to get someone (Elliott, Ryan Miller) who is unrestricted after the season without trying to sign them first? Ottawa probably wouldn't trade him, but Robin Lehner would be a perfect target.

    Doesn't he know that Lehner does the targeting?

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