Coming To Terms With Reality


Another tight game, another 2 pts.  Impressive.

It’s becoming clear that this team is not “elite”.  The players are recognizing it, the coaches recognize it, and, slowly, even the fans are coming to terms with it. Although this may seem to be a slight on the team, the truth is, well, the truth, and the sooner the team comes to terms with it, the sooner they can commit to doing what it will take to win on a consistent basis…hard work, for 60 minutes.

Last season the Sens may well have been victims of their own past success.  They used to be able to win with ease.  Float for 40 minutes, then pour it on, and still walk away with the W.  Then it changed, and the frustration, confusion, and losing settled in.  How else do you explain a roster wide poor season?

But now, this season, the team is posting some hard-fought wins.  Getting points as a result of sticking to the plan, and grinding away at the opposition, for 60 minutes.  The results are showing in the standings, with the Sens having consistently remained in a play-off position, no small feat in a tight eastern conference.

To see the importance of gaining points consistently one need look no further  than the state of the Sens impending opposition, the Leafs.  Prior to its last ten games the Leafs were second last in the east, second last over-all.  Then the wins started coming in, with the Leafs posting a tremendous 7-3-0 run, by far the best run among the bottom half of the eastern conference.

The result of this great effort and season high point accumulation?

Second last in the east, second last over-all.

As a non elite team, Ottawa must continue to work hard to maintain their play-off status, and so far so good.

Great game by Kovy, let’s hope he’s back into the groove.  Spez contributed at both ends of the ice to play a major (pivotal?) role in getting the win.  Pics looked good, particularly for having missed the last few games, and Cheech posted another solid effort, and was once again snake bitten despite his efforts.

GN

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6 Responses to “Coming To Terms With Reality”

  1. How’s Jordin Cheechoo been playing this year for the Sens?

  2. GN:

    The truth hurts! You are correct!

    But I got ’em middle of the pack “plus”, with the return of Neil (Did I just say that?) our edge will come from the expensive but performing 3rd and 4th lines…I still got ’em 7th or better well inside a fading group of Habs and Leafs.

  3. I agree – I think if Ottawa stays healthy (a big if I know) they are a legit 6th or 5th place team – but they are not elite – and only a minor miracle will make them legit Stanley Cup playoff winners (although that has also been said about the 86 and 93 Habs) – I’m afraid it is time to bite the bullet – trade away players to get draft picks – cut salary – be bottom feeders for 2 to 3 years and then rebound and pick up some relatively young free agents to be true Stanley Cup contenders

    • Not sure I agree Kerry, but I understand your argument, and it has some merits.
      Personally, I don’t think being elite is mandatory for winning the Cup, or at least having success in the post season (see almost every post season). What is mandatory is effort, playing to your strengths and teamwork.
      It is my contention that we’re beginning to see these characteristics in the Senators.
      GN

      • Woozle man Says:

        I agree. I think that shrewd drafting and good luck in development are where future success lies for the Senators. Can Mike Hoffman can develop into a scoring threat at the AHL/NHL level? Can Andre Petterson become a more consistent player? Will Patrick Wiercioch mature into a more mobile and physical defender? This is how Ottawa will succeed. The days of drafting at the top of the order are over for the meantime, and Ottawa is not the most attractive place for high profile FAs to sign; it’s create value out of prospects or face mediocrity for Ottawa. Let’s hope Regin & Lee rediscover what made them great players at lower levels, and achieve success in the bigs.

  4. There’s no need to hit bottom to rebuild…and no need to be drastic. With Murray doing some solid drafting and trading, the Sens can slide up and down from being a top team in the conference to a middle one…and hopefully avoid many years like the last one. In Sept I predicted the Sens to be a 5-6-7 team and for the Habs and Leafs to miss the playoffs. So far, chances are pretty good it could happen. With the standings so tight, though, there is so little difference between a 7th and 11th place team. Every point counts so much…you even have to “win” when your team has the night off!

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