Sens' Woes Continue, Fall 4-2 to Flyers

Things got worse, not better.

Sens' Woes Continue, Fall 4-2 to Flyers
Photo by Alejandro Barba / Unsplash

The Ottawa Senators are playing for pride now. To make matters worse, Brady Tkachuk was a late scratch ahead of tonight's match-up with the Philadelphia Flyers, ending his ironman streak at 219 games, and forcing the Sens to play with only 11 natural forwards. With nothing else by the way of options, Jacques Martin elected to deploy Erik Brännström mostly at forward. Would the Sens rally around their fallen captain to claim an unexpected victory?

If the first period was any indication, they were, sadly, not up for the challenge. A running joke among Sens fans during the darkest days of the rebuild was that the team's Twitter account would tweet "Puck Drop!" and then "The opposition has scored at 19:03" or something before anyone even had the chance to get in their seats.


I wish I could say that things got better from there, but they really didn't. Ridly Greig took a penalty for goalie interference after a hard net drive that could serve as a perfect Rorschach for how you feel about the guy. Maybe you think the Flyer defenseman giving him a shove in the back should have been enough to let the contact go uncalled, or maybe you think Greig is just reckless. Either way, the Sens were down a man.

The Flyers generated some good chances but Mads Søgaard stood tall, particularly on a great sliding glove save on Owen Tippett. At one point in the period, the Sens were hit with the "0 shots in 11:48 minutes" chyron – a sign things aren't going well if there ever was one.

Philly outshot Ottawa 19-4 in the opening stanza, got 74% of the expected goals across all situations and just generally dominated. Sure, the Sens were short-handed three times but they were not good for much even at 5v5. It was a bad period, continuing a trend of bad hockey. To make matter worse, Zack MacEwen hobbled off towards the end of the frame and Ottawa, already playing with only 11 true forwards, were now down to 10.

In the second, the squad did come out with a bit more pep in their step. Before long, Vladimir Tarasenko tied things up off a nice play from Shane Pinto. Felix Sundstrom should really have had the backhand, but I am not a Flyers fan so I am not going to complain!

After Thomas Chabot drew a hooking penalty on Tyson Foerster, the Sens came close to an honest-to-goodness lead thanks to a power play that looked shockingly competent. The first unit held the zone for nearly the entire two minutes, only to have Jakob Chychrun hit the post on a gaping cage.

But before the period was out, just as I was finishing writing something along the lines of "a very solid performance from the Sens in the second", the Flyers tallied one late – with 46 seconds remaining to be precise. Foerster got free at the top of the circle after Philly won an offensive zone draw and his wrister made it past a screened Søgaard. While it wasn't exactly the Great Dane's fault, it was a still goal that stung to give up.

Okay, though, down 2-1 but with a mostly good period of play is something that can be built on, right?


Chychrun coughed the puck up to noted villain Foerster at the offensive blue line, springing the latter on a breakaway where he was hooked (at least in the eyes of the referee!) by Pinto, and awarded a penalty shot. The young Flyer made no mistake and Ottawa ended up entering the final period down 3-1. A total collapse in just over 45 seconds of game-play.

In the third the Sens couldn't get much of anything going at 5v5 but were awarded a series of power plays when Philadelphia got a bit too loose with their sticks. First a four minute double minor to Cam York for knocking one of Chychrun's teeth out. Then a regular old PP chance after Giroux got high-sticked by Scott Laughton, and was mighty ornery about it, but the Sens couldn't find a way to goal.

With the goalie pulled and Ottawa on yet another power play, Thomas Chabot bulged the twice, after first hitting two posts just a minute earlier, to make the last minute interesting. It was an emphatic finish by the rearguard, to say the least.

After a time-out to afford the top guys some rest, the Sens really did look for a second like they might force OT in a game they absolutely did not deserve to be in. Chabot somehow hit the post again (??) but the puck never made it over the line and the Flyers iced it with an empty-netter. 4-2 the final, a disastrous week concluded at 0-4.

Game Thoughts:

-Those Flyers jerseys were absolutely hideous. No bigger point to be made there, just that they were ugly as sin.

-While I do think that Jacques Martin has had a positive impact on the team, the performance across the last four games is eerily reminiscent of the worst stretches under the old bench boss.

- Søgaard didn't have quite as much work after getting absolutely shelled in the first, but he did end up with 37 saves on 40 shots. He wasn't a show-stopper, but he was quite solid. He's earned at least another start to my eyes.

-I'm not sure how robust the trade market will be for Tarasenko, but every goal he scores has to be worth 1/8th of a round of a pick or something so I'm cheering for him to go out on a heater.

-Maxence Guenette played a meagre 11:37, and while I can't say I remember too many gaffes, I also can't say I remember him making too many positive plays either. As this cursed season winds down, it would behoove the Sens to see more of him and figure out if he could be an option on the backend next year.

Game Flow:

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