This team is weird.
Just when you think you have the 2013-14 Ottawa Senators pegged down as a non-playoff team, they keep defying the odds.
At the same time, just when they defy those odds and notch a big/emotional win, they turn in a dumper of a game and regress into the Problem Sens (as opposed to the Pesky Sens).
Having said that, it’s important to note that in a three game stretch against the elite Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, the Sens won two of three games.
Taking on the Ovie-Office-powered Washington Capitals in Ottawa tonight, the Sens have a chance to do something they haven’t been able to do since November; win two games in a row.
TIPS DON’T LIE:
In an emotional 4-3 comeback win against the Beantown Bullies on the 28th, the Sens looked a bit lost at times but they outshot the Bruins 22-16 through the first two periods and got some nice early scoring from Patty ‘Cribmaster’ Wiercioch and Cory ‘Honey-Badger’ Conacher.
Even after the Bruins had tied the game at 3-3 (and nearly went ahead on a called-back Iginla goal), Bobby Ryan made a play out of nothing, intercepted a floaty pass and mooned a beautiful breakaway ‘top-shelf-pickled-pepper’ goal to help win the game.
Something that the Sens have done well in the past few games has been the tip drill. Ryan has become a master at this skill, but Conacher looks like he has also been practicing his puck-knifing skills as well.
With a goal and an assist against the Bruins, it’s possible that the highly-touted Conacher may finally be finding his offensive stride in the NHL.
If the Sens continue to throw pucks at the net and get well-placed bodies in front, good things will happen and the garbage-goals will start to flow. It’s a matter of mathematics and timing.
Also – Zack Smith needs to keep listening to whatever pre-game music he’s been listening to, because he has three goals in his last four games. If ‘ZSmith’ truly does what he wants, let’s hope he keeps doing exactly that.
HIT ‘EM HARD AND CATCH ‘EM OFF THEIR GUARD:
When the Sens try to play like a finesse team, bad things happen and mistakes become plentiful like gourds in a harvest basket.
The RABHA are at their strongest when they are hitting opponents, winning board battles and letting the other team know that they will have to feel a massive amount of pain in order to beat them.
In their last game, the Sens outhit the Bruins by a count of 37-33. Big hits allow the Smith/Neil/Greening to get activated within the game and to become a forceful factor.
If they keep trading paint and driving the net, it’s only a matter of time before that evasive streak becomes a reality.
The 16-18-7 Sens sit 6 points back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the wild card spot, and face off against the deadly Washington Capitals tonight in Ottawa at 7:30 EST.