Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Finger nearing panic button

We saw a few positives in the Senators' loss last night to the Tampa Bay Lightning:
  1. Lots of scoring chances for Heatley and Spezza
  2. Daniel Alfredsson kicking ass once again - 3 points
  3. A great comeback to force overtime
  4. Emery strong in overtime
But there were also a ton of negatives:
  1. Wade Redden giveaways... *sigh*6 million a year? Muckler!!!!
  2. Emery looked weak on high goals - didn't seem like he was trying too hard to stop them
  3. Schubert giveaway ... okay, he hasn't played D for a while and he's not making 6-freaking-million dollars a year!
  4. The chart at right... where has Mike Fisher gone?
  5. Where has the once-great pickup Randy Robitaille gone?
Just like last season, this is the test that will inevitably make the Senators a better team down the stretch. It's the teenage-years of the season and, after finding their #1 goalie (whomever it is), and the coach giving the team a well-deserved verbal (and maybe physical) smack down, this team will be better for it.

This is the challenge of John Paddock's career; it's been the same for most Senators coaches in the past decade: turn a good team into a great team. Flashes of brilliance are not enough.

The first obstacle is getting that first win, and there's no better time than tonight against the Florida Panthers (did they share a plane with the Lightning?). If Emery starts tonight, I would have to conclude that all faith in Martin Gerber has been shattered.
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