If you knew better, you would do better.
The team currently leads the NHL with 47 minor penalties, That's nearly an average of six penalties per game. Twelve minutes of power play time per game for their opponents. Extended 5-on-3s. Against the Edmonton Oilers, in a game that the Senators probably should have won, their opponents got 14 possible minutes of man advantage time--though obviously there was some overlap involved. That the Oilers gave up 12 themselves is small comfort.
The Senators simply cannot continue to play games down a man for nearly a period and expect to win them. I mean, how could they? How could any team? The odds just aren't in your favor in that situation, and the longer it continues over a season, the more the results will skew towards unfavorable situations for the Senators to overcome. It's bad.
The players know it. Head coach Paul MacLean knows it. And what are you going to do? Yell at the guy? He knows he's not supposed to hook an opponent. Pointing out what he did wrong when he already knows what he did wrong isn't helpful, and won't motivate him to do better. But there's some kind of cognitive disconnect there, because immediately knowing you did something wrong doesn't always prevent you from doing it again--just as the parents of any toddler. In fact, I bet if you asked Clarke MacArthur why he felt the need to hook Mark Acobello just four minutes into the game, you'd get the universal answer: "I don't know."
Well, I don't know either, but I do know that won't be MacArthur's last hooking penalty of the year. And that's okay--the nature of the game is that penalties will happen. The problem is that they have to be occasional lapses, not constant lapses, as they are now. Far be it for me to tell a Jack Adams-winning coach how to do his job, but I will say this: What MacLean is doing right now isn't working. It's time to try something different.
- What's going on with the fan experience in Ottawa? (WTYKY)
- The Senators want more second and third scoring opportunities. I bet those are easier to come by when you're not killing penalties. [Senators Extra]
- Erik Karlsson is the best defenseman in the world and loves dogs. [SE]
- Erik Karlsson is the best defenseman in the world and is well-dressed. So is Jason Spezza. Well-dressed, not the best defenseman in the world. [SE]
- Wouldn't it be nice if we had some articles talking about how Karlsson was good at hockey rather than charity or fashion? [No link, just a thought]
- The team better shape up because they have a tough schedule this week. [SE]
- How tough? B_T lets you know in a way that can only be described as awesome. [S7S]
- Martin Biron has retired. The Sharks are so good this year, they're retiring players. Keep them away from Teemu! [PHT]
- Speaking of Teemu, he's the first player over age 43 to score in 3 straight games since Gordie Howe. I hear Howe was all right at hockey. [Twitter]
- The Anaheim Ducks have won 7 games in a row since losing their season opener. Is that good? [PHT]
- The Philadelphia Flyers don't care what their fans think: "To us, it doesn't mean anything." Hey, they could have said that about the lockout, too! [Philly.com]
- Brandon Prust of the Montreal Canadiens will miss 4 weeks with a shoulder injury. [Twitter]
- Winnipeg fans love Dustin Byfuglien. Good thing they don't care about their team--only Dallas and Edmonton are lower in Western Conference standings. But, hey, Big Buff! [Winnipeg Free Press]
- Now that St. Louis looks good again, the fans are coming back. I believe we call these people "fair weather fans," and it is universally okay to mock them for claiming to be fans. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
- In case you missed it, Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes scored a goal. He's a goalie. [PHT]