It started with a 2-1 loss to Buffalo, and ended on a 3-1 loss to Boston.

But that’s where the similarities end.

To start the 10/11 season all of the talk was about the teams lack of goaltending, and it proved all too true.  Leclaire, inexplicably, came up lame, again, leaving Brian Elliott in a role he was neither mentally, nor physically capable of succeeding at.

The result was a team of shattered confidence, playing every game avoiding the puck and digging itself deeper and deeper into the loss column.

Then cue the critical injuries to players who started the season;

Michalek, 16 games, and worse, they injury came AFTER he recovered from off season knee surgery.

Spezza, 20 games, right in the thick of it, when the Sens still had some hope of salvaging the season.

Alfredsson, 28 games, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as Alfie played many, many games he should not have.

Add to this long-term injuries to Carkner, Regin, Gonchar, Kuba…and there you have it, a team with no goaltender, and an endless list of critical injuries.

But if you spoke to Sens fans after the final game, the talk wouldn’t be about what might have been, it would be about what might be, and that is a credit to both the fans, and the play of recent call-ups, signings and Spezza.

The Bingo Boys have certainly made themselves known, and not just because we fans need something to grasp on to before sinking too deep into depression.  Greening, Butler and Condra have impressed, and can be directly pointed to as catalysts to the teams improved play down the stretch, not to mention fan interest.

Some will say this improved play was achieved while facing little or no pressure, but in the case of AHL call-ups, that is not entirely fair.  These kids faced playing with the knowledge that their every move was being scrutinized and evaluated in determining their place on this roster going forward.

They all proved to have legitimate NHL skills.

Next comes the play of Craig Andersson, which, in a word, was spectacular.  Andy proved able to make saves, direct play, and rebuild this teams shattered confidence.

Last, but not least, comes the play of Jason Spezza.  Jason has emerged as the player so many have hoped he would become.  Able to control the play with his offensive skill, and face-off ability, while able to contribute defensively, even having earned a regular shift on the PK.

What is done is done, I’m turning the page on the 2010/11 season, and instead focusing on what must be done to improve this teams fortunes going into next season and beyond.





One Response to “Book-End”

  1. Good analysis. Most will point to the over-paid, under-achieving vets, who were traded, but the injuries have been crippling again this year. Much of that I’m sure has to do with the age of the roster, but a lot of this is also bad luck. Pro sports is unpredictable and a lot may have to do with luck. You have to be lucky to be good I suppose, but I also agree that you have to be good to be lucky. Here’s to some more entertaining hockey next season, and some good playoff runs sooner than later!

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