After two hard fought, one-goal road losses against the Boston Bruins on February 27, 2013, and a day game on March 3, 2013 against the pesky Philadelphia Flyers, the Ottawa Senators are looking for more fairy dust.
The magical story, that seemed to be lighting the path of the beat-up but goalie-dominating team, looks like it has lost its legs.
On Saturday, March 3, 2013, Ben Bishop stopped 39 shots against the Bruins, but his teammates couldn’t add any more scoring than one Marc Methot point blaster to help out the red-hot netminder.
On Thursday, February 27, 2013, young goalie Robin Lehner played his first game of the season, and did a dynamite job against the Bruins, but let one measly trickler get past him in OT.
Both games were lost by a score of 2-1.
Even though the Sens mustered up 34 shots against Ilya Bryzgalov in Philly, they still can’t seem to get past their team-wide scoring slump. The Sens have only scored 50 goals in 22 games, putting them in 20th place in goals scored in the NHL (out of 30 teams). After having played 22 games, Kyle Turris leads all Sens scorers with the low total of 12 points, while Daniel Alfredsson is just behind him with 11 points. Turris, however, has not scored since January 25, 2013.
Even though this team is still making it close every game, there’s something to be said for the missing firepower of A-list scorers like Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson.
If there was ever a time to pout and have a hockey-pity-party, that time would be now.
Unlike most sports writers, however, who tend to focus only on W’s and G’s (wins and goals), I try to be more empirical and objective in my view of the Nation’s Capital hockey team.
All three of the Sens goalies have played incredibly thus far, and no one could have predicted a 6-game point streak in late Feburary for such a green team. Whether the Sens administration decides to keep Big Ben after this year, or trade him to give Lehner the #2 spot, he has earned his stripes for Ottawa. After finally losing their first game since February 16, 2013, the Sens are still sitting pretty with a record of 12-7-3 and a point total of 27. Currently, they sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a firm hold on playoff contention.
Getting play from unexpected sources (like 5 goals from grinder Jim O’Brien), the Sens will continue to be a tough opponent for any team if their goaltending keeps giving their offense second, third and fourth chances.
Sure – maybe the fairy tale has ended for the time being, but a new chapter will surely unfold for this team full of surprises.