How The West Was Won
Well, how did you like that western road swing? 5 of a possible 6, solid hockey in all three match-ups, and no injuries…seems like a near perfect scenario to me.
The *loss* in Vancouver was another one of the Sens patented “could have gone either way” losses, and for a young squad still learning how to win, losing against a superior team, on the road, in over-time, is no shame at all. In fact, it only helps to improve their game, emphasising how important it is to play 60 minutes, and bury your chances when you get them.
The sens victories have not been hard to watch, either. It isn’t as though the teams they’re beating have been laying down for the Sens, and gone are the nights off when the opposition views the re-start Sens as easy pickins. No, the Sens have had to win their games by putting in solid team efforts, and some above average goaltending.
The strength, and weakness, of this team to date has been offence. It has been a very pleasant surprise at the depth of scoring this team has generated, and if the wins are gong to continue, it will require those who have hit the score sheet to continue doing so. The ten game scoreless drought of Spezza should have spelled disaster for this club, yet in that period the team has still managed to play .500 hockey.
It was believed, going into the season, that scoring would prove to be this teams fatal flaw, and in some ways this is still true, as could be witnessed in the game versus Vancouver. The players generated the scoring chances, they just couldn’t finish, and ended up with the loss to show for it. Good teams score, average teams generate chances…to date, even though they have been better than expected, the Sens are just an average team.
Simply put, Spezza and Alfie have to generate more offence in order for this teams decent winning record to continue. If these two continue to not score goals, it is just a matter of time before the “luck’ runs out for the rookies and games like the one versus Vancouver become the norm, not the exception.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic about how this team has been playing, but it would be fool hardy of me to not point out the obvious issue lurking in the shadows…offence from the best players.
I, for one, have little doubt both of these players will get back to scoring on a regular basis, and if the kids can keep up the pace, or even near to it, the wins will continue to appear in regular fashion.