Sens fall 5–1 to the very-unmighty Ducks

The Sens laid an egg against a bad team

Sens fall 5–1 to the very-unmighty Ducks
Photo by Kerin Gedge / Unsplash

After a four-game win streak had Ottawa Senators fans feeling a certain sense of optimism, this one brought us all back to earth. The Anaheim Ducks scored 5 goals on 20 shots, the Sens went 0/4 on the powerplay while the Ducks went 2/2, and any Sens fan who watched was left shaking their head. Maybe the only bright spot was this was the first #FreeMaxence game of the year, with Maxence Guénette called up to replace the ailing Artem Zub, so the Sens finally listened to me on this one. So Jacques, if you're reading this, uh hello!

The first period shot clock flattered the Sens, reading 8–7 for Ottawa. The Sens looked super flat, hardly getting any sustained pressure, even though they got both powerplays. The only goal came off the stick of former Ottawa 67 Pavel Mintyukov, but there could easily have been more. It reminded me of games in November and December, when the Sens wouldn't show up until the end of the first period.

The second period was mostly boring, much as it pains me to write such. There were more icings than shots on goal. The Sens actually held the Ducks without a shot on goal through the first 12 minutes of the period so the defensive play was mostly on point. The biggest moments came from Ilya Lyubushkin deciding to bowl over his own goalie, after which John Gibson stayed down for a minute but eventually got up, and then Frank Vatrano deciding to cross-check Ridly Greig on top of his goalie a few minutes later. But then, late in the period, the Ducks scored on their first powerplay. They controlled the puck the whole time, and a botched zone exit let Mason McTavish waltz in an tuck a perfect shot in off the near post.

Gibson must've been more shaken up than we realized, because Lukas Dostal was in net to start the third. Play itself began with Greig missing a great setup on a wide-open net, and then McTavish tucking it home at the other end. It seemed like one of those nights nothing was going to go right and, given that the Ducks had 3 goals on 3 consecutive shots, everything was going to go wrong. The teams then traded goals, with Claude Giroux salvaging a little bit for the Sens with a goal where he did everything himself (the takeaway and the beautifully placed shot) but then the Ducks powerplay went to work and Cam Fowler scored a trickler that got through Joonas Korpisalo. From there on out it was McTavish and Chychrun doing some wrestling, but basically nothing else happening. It was just a sorry performance all around.

My Thoughts:

  • I think I could've written these points three months ago, and they would be the same. A real stinker.
  • The Sens didn't bother to show up until... well, I'm not sure they ever did. They got less sloppy in the second period, but they also mustered 3 shots on goal in the first half of the period while allowing none.
  • The powerplay was off. Very off. I'm not sure why Stützle is still on the second unit and Josh Norris is on his non-one-timer side. I get demoting Timmy for a game to send a message, but he's this team's best offensive player and it actively hurts the powerplay to keep him demoted out of stubbornness or whatever the heck is going on.
  • The penalty kill couldn't clear the zone.
  • Joonas Korpisalo was hung out to dry a bit, but both the Vatrano goal and the Fowler goal he could have had.
  • Per Natural Stat Trick, in all situations, the Sens had 3.44 expected goals, while the Ducks had 1.41. Sure, the Sens couldn't score, but they also stopped trying for a while when it seemed they were never going to get a save.
  • The Sens couldn't complete a pass in their own zone or the offensive zone. They just looked super off, and hopefully it's a one-off thing, because this was a gimme against a bad team.

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