Finding Identities

We have to figure out what our identity is and be better to a man really.” ~ Chris Phillips

The Broad Street Bullies, Kiss and Jerry O’Connell – each have or had their own distinct identities and now the Ottawa Senators are searching for theirs. Although, O’Connell had a secret identity, hopefully the Senators won’t need a couple of aerosol cans to elevate their game.

Unfortunately for the Senators, aside from their 24-percent success rate on power play (7th in the NHL) and the offensive contributions of Erik Karlsson – tied for the NHL’s lead in scoring amongst defencemen with 8 points- every facet of their game has been unimpressive.

  • As the second most penalized team (123 PIM) and having taken the sixth most number of minor penalties (31), owning the league’s worst PK success rate (64.5%) will complicate matters.
  • With 30 goals against, the Sens have allowed the most goals in the league. Six more than the next closest team.
  • There has only one game in six in which an Ottawa goaltender had a save percentage greater than .900%. This wouldn’t be as problematic if the Senators hadn’t allowed the sixth most number of shots in the league.
  • Ottawa goaltenders have combined to average a G.AA of 4.93 and a save percentage of 84.7%. Both numbers are the worst in the league.

It’s been a troubling sight for head coach Paul MacLean.

“The system goes wrong and everything goes wrong,” said MacLean. “The coaching hasn’t been very good, the forwards haven’t been very good, the defence is no good and the goalie is no good when it’s going on.

[…]

“It’s time for some self-evaluation and to look in the mirror and ask the guy there if you’re doing enough.” ~ Ottawa Sun, Tuesday, October 18th, 2011.

Of course, not everyone has the luxury of being able to see a sweet moustache in their reflection but the message is clear – there’s nothing particularly enjoyable about getting shit-canned on consistent basis.

Wednesday News and Notes:

  • At the conclusion of last night’s 7-2 loss, the Senators held a 20-minute closed door meeting. As Tim put it in an email exchange this morning, “Big deal. Nothing new. Player’s words are usually empty anyways. What could have actually been said to make a difference? Unless you can instil skill through speech, this team is destined to suck.
  • According to ESPN Insider’s Craig Custance, Erik Karlsson’s production is the silver lining to the Senators season.
  • “Buffalo was probably the team I probably hated the most. I’ve always had an issue with Buffalo.” Listen to Mike Peluso speak and try and convince me that he’s not one of the greatest Senators of all time.
  • Speaking of Ottawa’s pugilists, the organization honoured a few of their former tough guys like Dennis Vial and Denny Lambert prior to last night’s game. Unfortunately during a photo diary highlighting some of the enforcers in the team’s history, the Senators mistakenly used a photo of Janne Laukkanen for Dennis Vial. (As an aside, one of my favourite memories of Laukkanen was from a playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres when he was photographed getting up in Matthew Barnaby’s grill and puckering up for a kiss. I’ve tried searching for the pic itself, but the results have been futile.)
  • Sergei Gonchar was on the ice and practicing with the rest of his teammates today.
  • Twitter follower @TimHarcoff pointed out to us that through six games, the inaugural 1992-93 Senators team’s record was also 1-5. Fortunately, this year’s version of the Senators has scored one more goal and allowed two fewer (GF: 16, GA: 30) than its original counterpart.
  • We’ll be running a contest in the near future for 100-level tickets (including a parking pass) to the Monday, December 5th game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stay tuned for details.

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