Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Senators returned from the All-Star Break with an effort that contrasted their four games going into the break, but looked a lot like most games they've played this season: All-break stars. Star players who've taken the year off.
Twenty-two shots, including zero for Jason Spezza, zero for Mike Fisher, one for Daniel Alfredsson, and two for Dany Heatley--even though Ottawa had five powerplay opportunities. Ten players on the minus, including each of the big three at -2 and Filip Kuba and Alex Picard tied for a team-worst -3 (although at least Picard had the Sens only goal off a one-timer pass from Alfie). It wasn't pretty one bit.
I'm not going to rag on Brian Elliott, because he wasn't the problem.
The problem was that the Sens weren't ready to play when the game started. And they didn't really wake up as the game went on. And the result demonstrated that fact.
One bright spot: In Anton Volchenkov's return, he was even, had four hits, and three blocked shots. Thank you, Volchenkov.
That's all I have to say, really. If the Senators continue playing like this for a couple more weeks, they'll make Bryan Murray's decisions a bit easier, because he doesn't really have to wonder whether or not it's time to throw in the towel on the year.