Sens Show Life, But Fall Short in Frustrating 5-4 Loss to Avalanche

I will not blame the refs I will not blame the refs I will not blame the refs

Here’s the thing with the Ottawa Senators: right when you decide you finally know who they are, they love to go and flip the script on you. Admit it - you went into this game fully expecting a blowout loss, but with a tiny voice in your head reminding you that they’re going to start winning again eventually, and maybe this is the game that does it.

Because they will. At some point before the end of the season, they’re going to go on another winning streak. Don’t pretend you don’t know this. The only question is when. Did it start tonight? Nope, but there was a moment where it looked like it might. Will it start on Saturday against the Leafs? Maybe, but I don’t know. All I know is that I am so, so tired of it. The bit is overplayed. Find something new, Sens, please.

First Period

The Sens didn’t even play around with our expectations this time, getting scored on on just the second shot of the game. 1-0 Colorado.

A bad look for Sogaard, unfortunately. Let’s hope his confidence isn’t too badly affected by this awful stretch of games.

Hamonic took a penalty, and it was killed off but another defensive breakdown soon ended up at the back of Ottawa’s net. It was a weird one, but I’m not sure you can blame the goaltender. 2-0 Colorado.

We were five minutes into the game and the shots were 6-0, by the way.

Ottawa picked themselves up after the second goal, but either didn’t get the bounces or couldn’t finish anything, depending on how you look at it. A great powerplay by the Sens couldn’t get the job done, and then Stützle and Sanderson had the best chances on an Avalanche powerplay, after Greig went to the penalty box for being Ridley Greig.

Another good but unsuccessful powerplay followed, and by the time the end of the period was in sight, the Sens had more than caught up to the Avs in shots. They looked better, but at this point in the season and with the way the team has been playing, it just wasn’t going to cut it.

Thankfully, the powerplay finally pulled through right as time was about to expire, as the Sens cut the Avalanche’s lead in half. 2-1 Colorado.

Second Period

It was a different team that came out of the Sens’ dressing room for the second period, high-flying and able to hem the defending Cup champs in their own zone. Everyone looked great on the first few shifts of the frame, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to even things up.

It’s precisely because the Sens were playing with so much energy that the next goal felt like such a backbreaker. These are the kinds of saves you need to trust your goaltender to make. 3-1 Colorado.

The good news is that it didn’t take long for Pinto to strike back off a great feed from Gauthier. 3-2 Colorado.

The Sens continued to be good for a little while, until they suddenly got overwhelmed by Colorado again, and soon found themselves down by two goals yet again. 4-2 Colorado.

It got worse from there.

In one of the weirdest plays we’ve seen this season, Colorado seemingly iced the puck but it was waved off for reasons unknown to the players on the ice, Sogaard covered the puck but didn’t get a whistle. When he released the puck - assuming, with good reason, that the play had stopped - the Avalanche shot it into the net. The Sens challenged it, but apparently the refs can’t reverse that. The Avs players did nothing wrong by playing to the whistle, but this is completely nonsensical. 5-2 Colorado.

Third Period

Nothing was going right for the Sens at this point, so of course we started the third period with a possible head injury to Claude Giroux. He got pushed around in front of his net and slammed face-first into the ice. He was back on the bench only a few minutes later, so hopefully he’s okay, but you never want to see that happen.

When the Sens found their way back into the offensive zone, it was Tim Stützle leading the way as he always does. Hamonic batted the puck into the net, but Stützle was the one to create the chance. 5-3 Colorado.

The Sens got a powerplay opportunity in the second half, and Timmy did it again, wasting no time putting the puck on net, where Brady Tkachuk was waiting - as usual for the tip. 5-4 Colorado.

Are the Sens... back?

Things got a bit heated after the Sens got within one. Giroux finished a big check on Bowen Byram, who had been the one to injure him earlier in the game, and Byram stole his stick then decided to cross check him in the back. Naturally, both players went to the box. Banner night for the refs!

It was “embellishment” for Giroux, by the way. I guess because he fell down after Byram cross-checked him from behind?

4 on 4 heavily favoured the Sens, especially after they pulled the goaltender to essentially make it a powerplay. The last few minutes of the game were absolutely electric, with the Sens actually looking like they’d be able to tie it. Another penalty to Colorado made it 5 on 3.

I’ll let this prophetic tweet from the second period explain what happened next.

The puck wasn’t in the net, but it was still in play when it got whistled down.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

If I can put aside my anger and frustration about this result - which I don’t want to do, to be clear - I can say that at the end of the day the Sens shouldn’t have put themselves in a position where they were chasing the game and giving up so many odd-man rushes. You have to be better than that.

Notable Performances

  • Wow, what a game from Jake Sanderson. There were moments during the road trip where he didn’t look very good, but he was probably the Sens’ best player tonight. He actually stood out a lot more in the offensive zone than the defensive zone this time.
  • As always, all the offense ran through Timmy tonight. On top of his three assists, he also had multiple chances to tie it late in the game.
  • Sogaard made some good stops and I still hope he’ll turn into a good goaltender for the Sens, but I think Pierre Dorion might have spoken a little bit too soon when he declared him NHL ready. Some of those goals were real bad./



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