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Another Failed Comeback Attempt in a 6-4 loss to the Wild

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Milestones for Jaros and Pyatt overshadowed by frustrating loss

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Minnesota Wild Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Another game, another frustrating loss by the Sens. The most worrisome part of it all has to be the shaky play by Craig Anderson the past two games. It didn’t help that the offense was nowhere to be found until the third period in a game that started ugly and ended in a frustrating fashion.

The Senators seemed to have lost all their hockey sense in the first period and there was absolutely nothing good about that period. After being down 1-0 with less than 4 minutes to go on a goal by Jordan Greenway. Brady Tkachuk took a penalty with 2:03 left in the period and the Sens found themselves on the infamous PK. They were momentarily saved when Parise was called for a slashing call against Tierney to make it 4 on 4. That didn’t last long and the Sens found themselves back on the PK with Chabot in the box for a slashing penalty. Smith won the faceoff back to Cody Ceci who made the laziest clearing attempt I have seen in a long time which of course ended right behind Andy to make it 2-0 with 18 seconds left in the period.

The second period didn’t show any promise, with the Sens continuing their uninspired play, the Wild’s Eric Staal makes it 3-0 on yet another failed penalty kill attempt by the Sens. When even Anderson isn’t playing well, you know it’s going to be a painful game to watch. Sometimes I forget that Mikkel Boedker is on the team, tonight though he was noticed on a fantastic pass to Chris Tierney to make it 3-1. The Sens got fired up after that one (no fight needed) but the Wild made sure to not give the Sens any energy and got it back a few mins later to make it 4-1 headed into the second intermission.

The problem with games like this is not that they’re losing or that they’re taking too many dumb penalties; it’s the effort. Too many lazy plays and passes that go nowhere. The power play is a mess and provides absolutely no momentum to the team.

The third period started on what seemed like another disaster when Mark Borowiecki took a penalty which usually would have guaranteed yet another goal for the Wild. Thomas Chabot had other ideas and decided to start the comeback early with a short handed goal that seemed to have inspired the whole team. For someone who seems to always be down on Ceci, I will give him credit for the good defensive play he made in his zone to free the puck. The Sens seemed to dominate the third from that moment on but missed on some golden opportunities to score.

The game still at 4-2, it seemed nothing was going in for the Sens and the worst part was they had finally started waking up in this game and just needed one good bounce their way. That bounce came compliments of Christian Jaros who scored his first NHL goal in the most crucial time. The Sens having all the momentum now, tied the game with a great goal from Colin White to get all our hopes up. The most significant aspect of that goal wasn’t that it tied the game but that it was assisted by Tom Pyatt who finally reaches his 100th career point after being stuck at 99 points for 26 games, shows you how effective he’s been all this time.

Unfortunately, because Sens can’t have anything nice all the momentum was sucked away by Eric Staal who made it 5-4 with 6 minutes left. This is typical Senators, it’s just infuriating seeing them blow away games like this. At least tighten it up to get 1 point; try to be smart for at least 20 full minutes after horribly executing every play for the first 40. The comeback attempt was officially killed with an empty goal by Eric Fehr, who for some odd reason I thought had retired.

I envy the fans who no longer care, who either don’t watch the games anymore or aren’t bothered by the score. I want to be those fans, I want to not be so angry after losses. I want to stop hoping this team can actually fix its defense. It’s not just one or two games, it’s every game now. Someone needs to be held accountable and since the players aren’t being held accountable then maybe the coaching staff should because it’s THEIR job to clean this mess. This team has a lot of potential that is being wasted on bad defense and bad goal-tending. Anderson cannot sustain this kind of workload alone and it’s starting to painfully become evident. This stat by SensCharts founder and NHL correspondent Callum Fraser highlights how much of a deep hole the Sens are in when it comes to their defensive woes.

Notable Performances:

  • Drake Batherson was all over the ice; he even tried becoming a defenseman by stuffing himself in the net behind Andy to ensure no puck could get in.
  • Mark Stone had more than a few perfect opportunities to score but missed, he’s noticeable in every shift he takes whether he scores or not.
  • Christian Jaros finally has his first goal and eventually he will convince Boucher to trust him with more ice time.
  • Thomas Chabot because we have to mention how incredibly good he is every game now.

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Up Next:

Probably another loss to the Dallas Stars on Friday with another 8PM start.