Vacation’s Over, It’s Time To Get It Going.

Yeah, a 5 game losing streak is bad, no need to mix words here.  But it isn’t the end of the world.

I was able to catch the final 2 periods of the Dallas game, and honestly, I thought the Sens were going to win that game, but they didn’t, again.  They didn’t play poorly, but once again it appeared Dallas was playing to win, while Ottawa was playing to hopefully win.  In the end Ottawa didn’t get the goaltending, but this isn’t to say they lost due to goaltending.  They lost because of brutal defensive lapses, but, unlike with Dallas, Ottawa didn’t keep the puck out after poor plays.

Will Elliott be the answer?  Sure, why not.  To be honest, I’m very dismayed by the recent coaching decisions by Clouston.  In fact, I’m hanging this losing streak as much on him as anybody on the ice.  I believe Clouston has failed to recognize the fact Elliott is not a number one, and has instead ignored Pascal in favour of Elliott, even though both are struggling.  I simply do not get it, and I believe Clouston has to be held to account for his poor handling of Ottawa’s goaltending of late, especially if it costs us the post season.

It would certainly appear home ice advantage has been foregone, and, if things don’t turn around, maybe even the post season.  That being said, if, at the beginning of the season, I were to say Ottawa would be in a 3 team saw off for 5th in the east, with 10 games remaining, we’d all be happy.

Now is the time for this team to begin playing post season hockey, stop worrying about winning or losing, or worse, staying healthy for the post season.  Now is the time to play hard, block shots, and round into form, because if this “cruise control” mentality remains, making the post season is all but irrelevant.



9 Responses to “Vacation’s Over, It’s Time To Get It Going.”

  1. "D" Fence Says:

    I agree with your assessment regarding Clouston and the goaltending issue. I think he’s done great things as the head coach of the Senators, but pulling Leclaire and then calling him out for the goals which were caused by the team’s defensive lapses is not the answer. Elliott, as good as he has been at times, does not make the big saves. In fact I cringe everytime there is a 2 on 1 or god forbid, a breakaway on him, as he has been letting these chances in the back of the net consistently. Leclaire hasn’t let many cheap ones in (lately) and is certainly able to the make the big save on occasion.

    In my opinion, neither goalie seems to be the answer, but I would have preferred Pascal over Elliott. The team needs to play defense-minded hockey to limit scoring opportunities and capitalize on mistakes to get back to their winning ways. Hopefully that starts tonight!

  2. Spot on “D”, spot on!

  3. Again with Leclaire, why is it when he is in nets its never his fault, but when Elliott lets a goal that is just as bad or possibly not even as bad as some Leclaire lets in everyone says BE sucks?

    Face it Leclaire has been given chance after chance and just like in Dallas (although I will agree that the defense has been horrible) but regardless like in Dallas he blew it! maybe next year he can start fresh because this year for whatever reason wether its mind-set/confidence or Clouston being pull happy on him or injuries… he just does not have it and it is definitely too late and we’re too close to 9th to have him starting game after game hoping he’ll get it back as he lets in 4-5-6 goals on 15-25 shots

    Neither one seem to be the answer the only one with somewhat “credible consistant” gameplay is Brodeur but from what I hear he is hurt.

    As much as I have stated I believe Elliott is the better choice, I believe that it’s time for Clouston to man up and pick one if its Leclaire as everyone seems to want or if it’s Elliott like it probably should be at this point, but the goalie caroussel has to stop, pick one and roll with him I bet he plays better knowing he is the one even if he has a bad game.

    Because after all even Louongo and the “real” Brodeur have bad games, but they know they don’t have to worry about their position afterwards.

    • Tony, I could care less who’s in nets. Both have proven inconsistent, at best, but of the 2 Leclaire has the most experience, making him my 1st choice. My comment was in regards to Cloustons ready hook with Leclaire, while cutting more slack for Elliott. The result is we may have no goaltender…Brodeur IS NOT the answer. Half of goaltendng is confidence and Clouston seems commited to shattering both of their confidence with his random decision making.

  4. "D"Fence Says:

    I wasn’t able to watch the game last night, but from the replays, Elliott may have made me eat my words (at least for this game). It looked like he actually may have made some tougher saves last night and if that’s the case, good on him.

    @Tony: I didn’t say Elliott sucks and we shouldn’t play him, just that he isn’t a game-breaker and can sap the team’s momentum by not making certain saves. Leclaire has the pure talent is more likely to be the one that can win a game by himself. Brodeur, played well when he was called up last time, but that was more of a product of the Sens defensive system as well as being positionally solid. Once other teams get the book on him, he’d be exposed pretty quickly in my opinion.

    Next year, I’d like to see what an injury-free Leclaire (if there is such a thing) can do, if he still wants to play with us after all of this bs.

  5. Using the excuse that the D sucks or defensive lapses are why Pascal looks bad is a weak argument too. So he’s only good with a strong D? OK that reeks of Scott Clemmenson. Arguably the Dallas chances in that game were good. They buried them. That Daley shot should have been stopped though. Pascal didn’t come up with the key saves when called upon. Saves that befit a starting/go-to money goalie. Like Last night – Sens had 6 or 7 solid scoring chances in the first and Regin was the only one to bury one. Halak made the money saves to keep the Hab nots in the game.

    Strong D that limits shots to the perimeter can make a mediocre tender look good, we need more of that, but to be successful a game breaking save or two will also be required. Joseph, Belfour even Brodeur had the benefits of strong D who kept shots to the perimeter mosttimes, and all had to provide the bail out save on occasion. It’s the bail out capable netminding we are mostly missing. The D needs to “rock up” as well.

    4 more wins should do it. We don’t want to rely on Atlanta for help.

    • IMO, neither Lecalire nor Elliott have proven to be game stealers, and that seems to be the root of the issue.

  6. I really can’t believe ridiculous statements like ‘ ..Leclaire has been given chance after chance…’

    Really? I guess you consider 3 or 4 starts this calender year chance after chance, but it’s just not true. Especially when one of those chances lasted under 7 minutes. Clouston has put Leclaire in a position to fail, and it’s just turning out that way. Even when Leclaire has a good game (like stealing a point against Toronto while half the team was barfing between shifts and the only game he was allowed to complete) how does he get rewarded? The bench; nice way to motivate a goalie.

    As much as people like to criticize Leclaire for the number of shots he lets in when the team defence is weak, there is never a peep about Elliot. The last Leclaire game Clouston hung him out to dry, flat out falsely stating there not too many defensive breakdowns and it was all about goaltending. What happened the game before? 3-3 going into the 3rd and Elliot gets 3 goals against on 3 shots and Clouston has the nerve to say is was poor defensive coverage? Giving me a break! I’m not blind.

    • Wortst case scenario is having a guy on the bench who feels slighted and, if called upon to play, has little or no confidence. Who’s better? At this point it;s probably a saw off, but what is almost certain is that this team lacks a reliable goaltending tandem, and remains an injury or terrible play away from catastrophy. Leclaire has not, for whatever reason, been given a legitimate chance to be this teams #1. Is this to say he would be #1 had he had the chance…absolutely not. There-in lies the dilema.

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