And the score was probably a generous one; it could have been 4-0 by the half-way point of the first period, if not for a few bounces in Ottawa's favour.
Although they lost 7-1 to the Montreal Canadiens, the game wasn't even that close. There was a very brief few minutes where it looked like the Senators might keep it close, but that feeling ended quickly after the second period started, and the Habs never looked back from that point.
The game started and ended with Mike Brodeur tonight, and his first start of the season was a forgettable one. (I guess Don Cherry was wrong, Brodeur isn't the answer for this team's goaltending problems... ) Not Martin allowed four goals on 11 shots and was yanked just a few minutes into the third, and looked very much like a goalie affected by the lack of defensive support he was getting and seriously lacking confidence on the night.
What makes these games all the more painful to watch are the few players working their butts off. For tonight's game, I'm thinking Chris Kelly, who is likely the only Senator to be meeting expectations this season. I'm thinking Bobby Butler, who played another great game tonight but can't buy a goal. I'm thinking Zack Smith, who never takes a shift off and is always working. And I'm thinking Milan Michalek, who finally looks like he's getting his game back. I can hardly imagine how frustrating it must be for these guys when the team around them crumbles to bits.
Sens Zero: Team play
I'm not going to single out a player for zeroism tonight. Obviously Brodeur comes to mind, but as bad as he was, he didn't get much support. The team was so frantic in the defensive zone tonight, with no coherent play at all, that it's no surprise he struggled as mightily as he did.
Every season, there's one team who finishes at the bottom of the league, and there are a few more who finish near the bottom. Ottawa will be one of those teams this year, that seems to be virtually guaranteed, but if they can leverage that into something constructive moving forward, it can be seen as worthwhile. Which is difficult for fans tuning into each game this season to appreciate (I'm no different, trust me), but that's just about the only solace we can take at this point.
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