A Play-off Game?

With the Sens regular season about to begin (at least, with this BS schedule so far, it seems that way) the Sens will face one of their toughest competitors to date, and an opponent who may well represent a play-off match-up this spring.

NJ is always a tough team to play, because, although you know it will be a tight defensive match, Brodeur can eliminate any chance you have to win.  This is a game which you absolutely must make every opportunity count.  Go down early against the Devils, and it quickly turns into a long night of icings and dump ins.

As for special teams, neither squad is lighting it up on the PP, with both teams currently ranked in the bottom half of the league in PP%, although to date the advantage, slim as it is, goes to Jersey.

The real battle of the special teams is in PK, with both of these teams sitting top 10 in the league, Ottawa having the slightly better record.

One of Ottawa’s number one goals in this game, and going forward, will have to be cutting down on the number of minor penalties.  As it stands, they are the 16th most frequently penalized team (minors) whereas NJ is the least penalized team (minors) in the league.

Clouston absolutely must get this roster to quit taking penalties.  It’s already cost them points, and if it keeps up, the habit will be too hard to break.

Win the 1st, win the game.

The strength of the data supporting this statement is overwhelming, and Clouston must drive this point home.  Too often the Sens have come out flat footed in the 1st period, often taking as much as 10 minutes to get their game going.  If the Sens want to start securing more wins, and reduce the need to fight in the late stages of matches, they’ll have to begin hitting the ice ready to win.

With a much tougher schedule ahead, Ottawa must do what they can to conserve energy, and putting games away early will go a long way toward keeping them energized for the next match.

After 13 games, I have to say I’m happy with the record of the Sens.  This isn’t to say there isn’t room for improvement, there is;

FO% – 47% (29th).  Some of this is attributable to the loss of Spezza for a number of games, but one of Kelly, Regin or Foligno have to step it up in this department.

PP% – At 16.3%, Ottawa sits in 23rd place for PP%.  That’s not good enough.  20% is the bare minimum of acceptability, and with Kuba and Spezza back let’s hope they start making their way up in this ranking.

Enjoy the game.



One Response to “A Play-off Game?”

  1. […] Sen Say:  A play-off game?  Looking ahead for the Senators, they are going to be facing some tough competition coming up and they need to get off to better 1st period starts. […]

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