Silver Nuggets: Fast Starts
Fans were understandably disappointed when the Sens couldn't hold a 4-2 lead late in the second period of Saturday night's game against the Maple Leafs, resulting in a dropped point after a disappointing shootout loss. Still, three out of a possible four points after back-to-back games is a decent start to the season, especially ahead of a difficult west coast trip. The Sens don't return home to the Canadian Tire Centre for ten more days. The trip will see the Senators play the Kings, Sharks, Ducks, and Coyotes before returning home to play the Devils. The schedule doesn't get easier after the six-game road trip either, as the Sens visit the Motor City and former captain Daniel Alfredsson on the 23rd, play the Sharks at home on the 27th, and wrap up the month in Chicago against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks on the 29th.
Today's Nuggets look at how the Sens typically start seasons and what, if anything, those starts mean at the end of the year.
| SEASON || 1ST MONTH || 2ND MONTH || END OF SEASON || PLAYOFF RECORD |
|1992-93 ||1-9-1 ||1-13-0 ||10-70-4 ||did not qualify |
|1993-94 ||2-6-2 ||3-9-1 ||14-61-9 ||did not qualify |
|1994-95 ||0-3-2 ||2-9-1 ||9-34-5 ||did not qualify |
|1995-96 ||5-5-0 ||1-11-1 ||18-59-5 ||did not qualify |
|1996-97 ||3-3-4 ||4-7-2 ||31-36-5 ||Lost Conference Quarter Finals|
|1997-98 ||8-3-3 ||2-10-1 ||34-33-15 ||Lost Conference Semi-Finals |
|1998-99 ||5-3-0 ||5-4-3 ||44-23-15 ||Lost Conference Quarter Finals|
|1999-00 ||8-2-1-1 ||6-6-1-0 ||41-28-11-2 ||Lost Conference Quarter Finals|
|2000-01 ||7-1-3-0 ||6-6-1-0 ||48-21-9-4 ||Lost Conference Quarter Finals|
|2001-02 ||6-6-1-0 ||6-2-2-0 ||39-27-9-7 ||Lost Conference Semi-Finals|
|2002-03 ||3-4-1-0 ||10-2-2 ||52-21-8-1 ||Lost Conference Finals |
|2003-04 ||5-2-0-1 ||4-6-2-2 ||43-23-10-6 ||Lost Conference Quarter Finals|
|2005-06 ||8-2-0 ||11-1-0 ||52-21-9 ||Lost Conference Semi-Finals|
|2006-07 ||5-6-0 ||8-6-1 ||48-25-9 ||Lost in Cup Finals |
|2007-08 ||9-1-0 ||7-5-2 ||43-31-8 ||Lost Conference Quarter Finals|
|2008-09 ||4-5-1 ||4-5-3 ||36-35-11 ||did not qualify |
|2009-10 ||6-4-2 ||7-3-2 ||44-32-6 ||Lost Conference Quarter Finals|
|2010-11 ||4-6-1 ||7-7-0 ||32-40-10 ||did not qualify |
|2011-12 ||7-5-0 ||5-5-2 ||41-31-10 ||Lost Conference Quarter Finals|
|2012-13 ||5-1-1 ||7-5-2 ||25-17-6 || |
Lost Conference Semi-Finals
1992-92 to 1998-99: wins-losses-ties; 1999-00 to 2003-04: wins-losses-ties-overtime losses; 2005-06 to 2012-13: win-losses-overtime losses
So what does this illustrate?
Ottawa's two best seasons (the Presidents' Trophy-winning 2002-03 season and the Stanley Cup Finals 2006-07 season) began in rather pedestrian fashion. In 2002-03, the team played .500 hockey during October before breaking out in November. In 2006, there was little indication the Sens would repeat their stellar record from the previous season, as the they played .500 hockey for the first two months.
Ottawa's best starts have often ended in heartbreak. In 1999-00, the Sens got off to a blistering start, only to sputter in November. The team would eventually lose the first installment of the Battle of Ontario. Through the first two months of the 2005-06 season, the Senators were 19-3, only to lose Dominik Hasek, and eventually a second round series in five games to the Buffalo Sabres. In 2007-08, the Sens set an NHL record for best start to the season after 14 games and won 15 of their first 17 games. However, the team sputtered in the second half of the season, winning just 18 of the final 44 games of the season.
Poor starts cost jobs. Ottawa's first coach, Rick Bowness was fired after an abysmal November record in 1995. Good starts prolong jobs. Ottawa's record start in 2007-08 bought John Paddock another 47 games (a span in which the team went 21-20-6), behind the Sens bench, despite the team's obvious struggles and he was fired on February 27, 2008.
Most importantly, it illustrates that nothing is determined by October alone.
- Game roundups: Sens vs. Sabres [Silver Seven] [Senshot] [Black Aces] [Yost] [Senators Extra] [Die By The Blade] [Sabre Noise] Sens vs. Leafs [Silver Seven] [Inside the Senate] [Senshot] [Black Aces] [Radek Bonk's Mullet] [Yost] [6th Sens] [Senators Extra] [Editor-in-Leaf] [The Hockey News]
- Kevin Lee looks at the game day experience in Buffalo [Radek Bonk's Mullet] and Toronto [Radek Bonk's Mullet]
- Photos from the first two games: Buffalo [Senators Extra] Toronto [Senators Extra]
- The Sens thought Mason Raymond's shootout move was illegal; this seems like something they should have known about before Saturday's game [Senators Extra] Rory Boylen wants the move to stay [The Hockey News]
- Mark wrote about last season's big hits [Silver Seven]
- News and notes from Scott [6th Sens]
- Looking ahead to the California road trip [Senshot]
- Varada has opinions about everything, you should read about them [WTYKY]
- Ups and Downs are my favourite thing written by Mark, check out the Week 1 edition [Silver Seven]
- Clarke MacArthur doesn't like former coach Randy Carlyle, Bobby Ryan says join the club [Senators Extra] But some in Leaf Land are sad to see him go; JP Nikota takes a look at MacArthur's value and possession statistics [Pension Plan Puppets]
- Peter Levy has some Bingo and Elmira notes [Eye on the Sens]
- Luke Peristy looks at lines [Radek Bonk's Mullet]
- Some have been disappointed with Erik Karlsson's start, but not Craig Anderson [Senators Extra]
- Greg Brown suggests the Sens need to be road warriors early [The Hockey Writers]
- Kyle Turris talks about his early season success and why he's not satisfied yet [Le Droit]
- Bingo vs. Syracuse [Senshot] Joy Lindsay reports Mark Stone injured his shoulder and went to hospital, Mark Borowiecki has a sore neck [Senators Extra]
- Nichols' guide to Sens storylines [6th Sens]
- Weird self-promotion moment: I painted this watercolour painting of Erik Karlsson [Me]
- Latest Sens podcasts: Episode 203 [Sens Underground] Episode 204 featuring Stuntman Stu and Ian Mendes [Sens Underground] Episode 4 [SensNation] Episode 5 [SensNation]
- Travis Yost is optimistic after the first two games [Yost] Wayne Scanlan looks at the good and bad from the opening two games [Senators Extra]
- Senators by the Numbers: #39 [Silver Seven]
- Apparently Mika Zibanejad doesn't hate Bingo as much as Andre Petersson did [Senators Extra]
- Jared Crozier talks Milan Michalek and UFA status [Senshot]
- Saturday marked the 10th anniversary of Dan Snyder's death [Sunbelt Hockey Journal] [CBC]
- If you haven't yet looked at SB Nation's 2013 NHL Preview, do so! [SB Nation]
- Fighting in hockey: a player's perspective Q&A with Eric Selleck [Too Many Men on the Site] baseball blogger Dustin Parkes' take as a casual fan [The Score] youth coach perspective [Puck Daddy] satirical look [Lighthouse Hockey] does fighting actually deter all the things it's said to deter? [Pension Plan Puppets]
- Things to do on your visit to Nationwide Arena (Columbus) [The Hockey Writers]
- Teemu Selanne made his last trip to Winnipeg [SB Nation] [SB Nation] [Anaheim Ducks] [Jets Nation] [The Hockey News] [Grantland]
- Cam Charron's review of the 2013-14 Hockey Prospectus guide [NHL Numbers]
- Andrew Roman wonders why more defensemen don't win the Calder [The Hockey Writers]
- "Borje Salming: Hockey's Most Important Player". Salming opened doors for other European players; interesting given the Sens' Swedish connections [Greatest Hockey Legends]
- Goal scoring and how to build a champion [Blueshirt Banter]
- A great look at Paul Kariya, his importance to the Mighty Ducks and the hole that remains in Anaheim's history [OC Register]
- Week 1 fantasy free agents and trade targets [Fantasy Hockey Scouts]
- Jason Strudwick looks at two areas of concern for the Oilers [Oilers Nation]
- Video: Patrick Kaleta interviews WWE's Rob Van Dam [Die By The Blade]
- A look at Mexican hockey history [Greatest Hockey Legends]
- Ken Campbell looks at the Red Wings relationship with the city of Detroit in connection with Charlie LeDuff's recently released book Detroit: An American Autopsy (the book is on my "to read" shelf) [The Hockey News]
- Did EA Sports leak a new Flames third jersey? Perhaps it was just a hideous joke [Flames Nation]
- Former Senator Sergei Gonchar was asked about his all-time all-Russian team [Greatest Hockey Legends]
- It didn't take long for John Tortorella to have a dispute with the media [Nucks Misconduct]
- Is the deification of Patrick Roy short-sighted? [The Hockey Writers]
- Q&A with Mikhail Grabovski, who has been staying with Alex Ovechkin [The Washington Post]
- Joel Ward got trapped in a Dallas bathroom [Defending Big D]
- Katie Baker wonders if Seth Jones can live up to the hype [Grantland]
- Minnesota's power play is clicking [Hockey Wilderness]
- Luck, talent, parity, and prediction [NHL Numbers]
- Is there a new rivalry brewing between the Avalanche and Predators? Dirk Hoag explains [On the Forecheck]
- Interesting shooting stats in St. Louis [St Louis Game Time]
- New advanced stats blog: Extra Skater [Extra Skater]
- Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was fired after just three games. When in Philly, remember that's it's never Paul Holmgren's fault [SB Nation]
Traditional Adnan Ticket Reminder: Win Tickets to See the Senators play the San Jose Sharks at CTC on October 27, 2013
Here is what you have to do. Follow these instructions.
Pick one of the following two topics:
- Why Jean-Gabriel Pageau will be Ottawa's #1 centre in three to five years.
- Why Patrick Wiercioch will be Erik Karlsson's partner on the top pairing (5-on-5).
Now write a FanPost about one of these topics. If you don't know where to write a FanPost, feel free to ask me! The post judged to be the best by my arbitrary criteria and possibly others on the staff will receive the free tickets.
Now before you get too excited, the tickets are in Section 323 (one the ends) in row P. Still, free is free right? This package has a combined value of $100.50 so think: what would Adnan like?