On Tuesday, the TSN1200 Twitter account shared the below poll about the topic du jour:
Is changing the coach right now the best option for the Senators?— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) November 28, 2023
It is rare to see such unanimity among Ottawa Senators fans. Furthermore, the subject has been somewhat beaten to death at this point; I do not have anything of interest to add on the question of whether DJ Smith should continue to be the coach.
What has been less discussed, though is perhaps much more pertinent in explaining the team's struggles, is the recent disappearing act from the supporting cast up front. One of the biggest issues facing last year's edition of the Sens was that they were for all intents and purposes a one line team at 5v5. When the Tim Stützle, Claude Giroux, and Brady Tkachuk trio were on the ice, Ottawa dominated play, but when they were off, well, things didn't go so well.
With the return of a healthy Josh Norris, and a group that was presumed to be deeper all-around, the lack of support was supposed to be less of a problem this season. If anything, so far the problems have gotten even worse.
Here's how the squad has fared without any of Stützle, Giroux, or Tkachuk on the ice for the last two seasons: