Four games in, still far too early to panic. (And panic about what? We weren’t expecting a competitive team, were we?) But worst Goals Against Per Game (5.45…the next worst team is Winnipeg at 4.5), blown out by a team most seem to think will be picking alongside us in the lottery, allowing on average 35 shots against per game and Craig Anderson, the one factor we all thought could make a difference this year, sporting a .853 SV%. Not what you’d call the sort of start Ottawa wants to the season.
Next up is Washington, on the road, and then Philadelphia. Two of the best teams in the East. If Ottawa drops those two games by similarly huge scores, putting us five games below .500, we could see a repeat of the Auld / Gerber mini-crisis we experienced back in 2008-2009. Our (relatively) high priced acquisition supplanted by our budget back-up. If that doesn’t work, we may actually see Robin Lehner sooner than we thought. And if that doesn’t work, then we’re officially in New York Islanders territory.
I think we all expected some bumps in the road this season, and some adjustments as the team tried to right the ship, but to find myself thinking about substantive changes a few games in is too bad. Here’s hoping Anderson gets some more support from the defense in front of him before the crowd turns on him too.
In terms of deadline resources, Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba aren’t exactly helping themselves along to a contender. (Though Kuba’s been getting at least 20 minutes a night almost by default.) At least Karlsson’s been lights-out.
Yield for Yakupov!