You know the team I'm talking about. The kind that has a whole whack of points for playing in a pile of shootout and overtime games. Last year, it was the Florida Panthers. This year, well it is the Florida Panthers again but the Senators are second in the East with 5 overtime losses, to go with 3 shootout victories. In fact, while Ottawa is currently sitting in 6th in the Eastern Conference, they are 9th in regulation and overtime wins behind vaunted teams like Winnipeg and Philly while they are tied with the likes of Washington.
I mean, it is totally understandable. The team is down its 4 top players, arguably 5 of its top 6 or 7 players if you include Jared Cowen. The team made the playoffs last season on the backs of Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza (who also helped carry Milan Michalek to 35 goals). Without them, the game plan needs to change. This team isn't skilled enough to go out and win by 3 goals every night. Heck, this team is barely talented enough to SCORE three goals in the same game.
What this team does have is an excellent coach and a great complement of goaltenders. MacLean has obviously recognized this, and has put together a game plan to eke out as many points from the schedule as possible, at least until the return of some of our stars.
And while I understand it, and while it has worked decently well so far (we are in the playoffs as of right now, after all), it was tough to watch the team essentially kill the remaining 3 or 4 minutes of the third period last night to ensure a point. Can only hope and pray that our stars make full recoveries, and that the Senators can get back to playing the style that made them so fun to watch last season.
- Game recaps of the Senators SHOOTOUT loss to the Bruins. [SSS] [SE] [SCOC] Interestingly, all recaps (including Bruins) hate the visor instigator.
- Booby returns with a look at how coaching strength and consistency is helping the whole organization. [SSS]
- Ryan Classic steps up and tries his hand at Ups and Downs, performs beautifully. [SSS]
- Some really cool data analysis on shot quality against the Senators and what it says about team defence from the guys at 6th Sens. [6thSens]
- Some interesting post-game stats and quotes, with particular emphasis on the Kaspars Daugavins shootout attempt. [SE]
- And Puck Daddy takes a stab at the Daug-o-rama. [PD]