October 19 2011 Roundtable of Darkness

And lo, did the Ottawa Senators begin their fated rebuilding cycle with a FUCKING AWFUL couple of games.


The team’s been exactly as bad as everyone said, not just losing most of its games but doing so in spectacular fashion and on home ice a couple of times. If not for the bizarrely inept Columbus Blue Jackets we’d be dead last. (Which, I know Carter is hurt and Wisniewski suspended, but really, both of those guys and the Jackets are 180 degrees better? You’ve got to feel for them. Spending to the cap this year and everything. That coach is done for.) Question: anyone think we turn this around? And by “turn this around” I mean have a ten game stretch where maybe we win as many games as we lose? Lastly, how awesome was it that we got to go to the Sens one win this year?
Or how about Karlsson somehow still having a multi-point game in a 7-2 loss? Eight points in six games, that’s pretty amazing – even if he’s already a -5. By the way, also leading the league in assists on a team that’s 18th in scoring. Shine on, single bright light in an inky black universe. I see a 5% increase in Karlsson jerseys week-over-week until the end of the season.
How bad has our goaltending been? Do we blame this entirely on defensive lapses by the players in front of Auld and Anderson, the baldest duo in sucktown? Personally, I think Anderson’s play has been the most disappointing part of the early season. I’m not usually one to assess the “interest” or “effort” levels of a person I’ve never met, but he seems strangely lax out there. There’s none of the leaping saves we became accustomed to at the end of last season. He’s way out of position, not making himself big in the net, not getting down fast enough. Some goals are just tough luck. (How the hell did Read score that first goal on Auld last night, for example?) But Anderson looks resigned to a hellish season.
Who’s the first person to get traded this year? I’m going with Foligno.
Also of note is that yesterday both the new album by M83 and the videogame Batman: Arkham City were released, both of which I’ve been looking forward to.


The play in front of the goalies has been pretty bad. Multiple rushes from the wings right to the front of the net. Ottawa’s d-men are being turnstiled before our eyes. Opponents forwards are going wherever they want and secondary scoring chances in front of the net leave them scrambling.

Did we expect all that? Yes. I’m taking issue with the constant line juggling and the mixed messages of starts vs scratches. I don’t think MacLean should be searching for the magic bullet. Look for consistency, develop a routine. I doubt all the answers are going to be stumbled upon by trial and error. Get these guys comfortable playing with each other, reward consistent play and admonish those caught out of position. Case in point last night vs Philly I watched Chris Pronger put in a clinic of positional play, you know how I could tell? Cause the announcers rarely called his name. He’s never flashy but he’s always in the right spot. During the Sportsnet broadcast Kuba and Rundblad were noticeable because they were all over the ice. Dean and Denis (when he was paying attention) couldn’t keep their names off their lips. Not something I expect from defensemen.

And now for some stats. Ottawa’s two worst seasons in franchise history 1992-93 and 94-95 both featured the team grabbing 2 points in the first 6 games. This years team has scored more goals, 16 compared to 15 in 1992 and 13 in 1994 while allowing 30 compared to 32 in 92 and 22 in 94.

Obvs it’s early but we’re in rarified air here. If the trend holds expect our next point to come in late November and only 5 one goal games (losses or ties) before Xmas. (notice I didn’t mention the proliferation of 10 games or more losing streaks in this franchise’s history, the stats are pointing we might be in for a few of those

To summarize, I fear to watch yet I cannot turn away. I’ll be in the stands for Thursday’s game.


H. Shit. I read some quote in the press from Auld when it was announced he’d be starting against Philly. He said something along the lines of “I rarely get to start two games in a row. So blah blah blah feels good.” Starting to see why this doesn’t get to do that much. He looked absolutely brutal. I think so far this season has been a combo of breezy goaltending AND shoddy / non existent D coverage but early last night those first two? I think scored 1.1 seconds apart (have to check the stats) smacked of Dave Nichols’ Memories of Brian Elliot Cajun Backbreaking Rib Sauce.
That bad angle shot (and hey, sometimes they do go in…I’ve seen Spezza score a couple of those, always worth a try as if it fails the rebound tends to come back to you behind the net) and then Giroux’s Chris Campoli special, put the puck in the net twice when the initial goal isn’t called…those shits were all Auld. All’d.
The air must have just been sucked from the building after that 2 for 1. Say what you will about that crowd at SBP, sorry what’s that? No one ever shuts the fuck up about that for 5 minutes? I swear, if SBP was filled with self loathing fans complaining about the noise level at the arena it would make the Bell Centre sound like a sensory deprivation tank.
Sorry about that rant (sort of…actually, not really sorry at all)
I still expect the lines to look super weird until the 9 game try outs are up. Paulrus might feel a bit of pressure after last night’s shite storm but for sure after game 9 I expect to see some more conservative shit going on. I must admit it is funny when you hear MacLean going, “I know Michalek, Spezza, Alfredsson can be a very effective line so I can default to that if we need to generate something.” Yeah, or, you know, you can just make that your first line. It’s not weird for a team to put their three best forwards on the top line. Can we hear it for the fact that one of, if not the, best player on our team is turning 39 in a couple months. Happy birthday to ALL OF US. YIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKES
I know the team needs to stay above the cap floor and all but does anyone have less of a place on the team than Kuba? All we have are accident prone puckmovers now. I don’t think it would be crazy to pay a bunch for a boring stay at home crease clearer. Kinda wishing David Hale would page me right now… Don’t worry Sens fans, we’ll still tank, I just want people to keep going to games and 7-2 losses are not the way to do it. And you know what? This is not the fans’ fault. I heard someone on a podcast say (sorry, forget which one) “what have fans done so far to indicate they wont support a rebuild?” and I agree. The general consensus after the Washington game seemed to be, “Now THERE’S a loss I can get behind!” Excited about the effort and potential behind a loss, if that’s not support I don’t know what is. Ottawa fans understand what a rebuild entails but also what A MODICUM PRIDE entails. Fans have limits. 2 blowouts in a week already? Remember when leafs fans were wearing bags on their heads a couple seasons ago? I kinda get it. I love this team but I hate to see this type thing. Anyway, I’m trying to hold back a little until we’re 10 games into the season and maybe the line up settles down a little bit. But for me right now, we’re in puck mover hell on D. What are you did me Carkner’s knee!?!?!

Filatov must be pissing himself about his “backchecking” watching the rest of the team look like saloon doors in his absence. Put the kid back in and play him in the top six all night long. Im not saying he’s the solution to the Sens problems at all, I’m just saying I want to see a fast dynamic forward…you know, like the other teams have. If the team’s already giving up like 5+ goals a night might as well put some people up front that might score some themselves. Eric Condra sure don’t seem up for it so far. ONE WAY CONTRACTS FOR ALL!

Also, I hate to bring this up as he has a goal and seems like the nicest guy in Springfield but is anyone getting a little bit of Nick Foligno-getting-constantly-sonned-trying-to-break-in-wide fatigue? I think teams have a book on this move now homie. Let’s switch it up a little.
Spezza, Alfie and Karlsson showing they are truly the backbone of this team. Spezza is pretty obviously hurting a bit. Physically and likely spiritually. Terrified thinking of any combo of these guys sitting out. Also hat tip to Michalek for looking threatening most nights/ not being hurt yet.

Things that make you go fklaja;erbgjrv:
Peter Regin is a +3.. Good for that guy. How did he even pull that off? Splitting for the bench every time Philadelphia had the puck?


1 thought on “October 19 2011 Roundtable of Darkness

  1. I dont think you can put much blame on Maclean, but i do completely agree with the constant line juggling being an issue, especially for a team with 2 rookie defensemen and a rookie 2cnd liner center. Its has gone from “hes seeing what hes got” to “what the hell is going on here”. I guess he doesnt know training camp is over.

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