Ottawa Senators

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Sens lose fifth straight…….the misery continues!!

The Ottawa Senators started the game strong and finished with a bang but it still wasn’t enough as they fell 5-4 to the Dallas Stars this afternoon, extending their losing streak to five games.   Unfortunately for Sens fans this team continues to play parts of games but doesn’t seem to understand that it takes a 60 minute effort to win a game down the stretch drive.  This is no longer the first part of the season when you can win games by playing periods of games, you need to outwork your opponent for a full sixty minutes. 

Once again, goaltending failed the Senators as Pascal Leclaire never came up with the gamechanging save that was needed.  He was pulled after allowing the Stars fifth goal on a play in which Sens forward Jarkko Ruutu was slashed therefore leading to a turnover and the Stars immediately scoring what led to be the gamewinner. 

The duo of Chris Campoli and Erik Karlsson was miserable all game long.  Karlsson saw some time with Andy Sutton but it was the soft duo of Campoli and Karlsson that got burned badly on the Stars fourth goal, a 2 on 1 break.  You would think Cory Clouston would switch up the duo or take flat out take them off ice after such horrible play, instead he puts them right back out there to end the period.  Karlsson was a minus four and I don’t want to hear that he is learning and young.  You can’t have him in the line-up at this point of the season as his GAP CONTROL is brutal and he continues to put his team in a very difficult situation with his rookie mistakes. 

Between the decision of giving Karlsson 20 minutes of icetime and the goaltending change, one has to wonder if Clouston is losing this team.  On far too many occasions he is setting up a double standard with his players by holding some accoutable but by favouring others.  Lets face it Leclaire wasn’t that great today but he couldn’t be faulted on many of the goals, yet when Elliott allows six goals in Atlanta 2 nights ago he leaves him in. 

One bright note was the play of Jason Spezza who notched his third career hat trick and added an assist.  The line of Spezza, Cullen and Alfredsson was buzzing all afternoon and created endless scoring chances but the 2nd and 3rd lines struggled to find the net.  Kovalev and Fisher need to do far more if this team is going to be more productive offensively.  The fourth line of Neil, Kelly and Ruutu were solid once again. 

Ottawa ends their three game road trip in Montreal on Monday night and could be in seventh place in the Eastern Conference by that point which is extremly disappointing considering where this team was at just a few weeks ago.

With the way things are going at this point in the season the Sens can kiss the division title goodbye and will most likely back into the playoffs in the 7th or 8thspot while getting eliminated in 4 or 5 games in the first round of the playoffs. 

As always I can be reached at


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Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on


In response to “Sens lose fifth straight…….the misery continues!!”

  1. Eric Cooney Mar 20 20107:07 pm


    Seems like the Sens are drinking the same water as the Kings/Sharks/Hawks/Devils. Maybe they were all a little too comfortable with their place in the standings coming out of the Olympic break.

    1. Kevin Lee Mar 21 20103:23 pm


      Whatever it is, this Sens team will back into the playoffs and get swept in the first round.

  2. Ozzyb Mar 21 20102:50 pm


    I have no idea why Clouston’s playing Karlsson this much. He should go back to limiting his ice time like he did earlier in the season. He’s only had about 5 really strong games when you think about it.

    I still like Clouston, but I’m starting to second guess a lot of his decisions. I’m really trying my best to like this coach, but I just don’t think he’s the right fit for the Sens. I wish we had of hired Tortorella. What a stupid decision by Murray. By the 2nd inexperienced coach firing, you’d think he would of got it right the 3rd time…. But no, bad coaching plagues this team again…..

    1. Kevin Lee Mar 21 20103:22 pm


      I hear ya on Karlsson, he plays favourites like a teacher in HS. Just awful……Shannon, Elliott and Karlsson can do no wrong and he continues to reward them with icetime. He keeps playing Winchester over Donovan, go figure that one out.

      As for Murray, I truly think it was all Melnyk on Clouston…..he was paying Paddock and Hartsburg therefore he didnt want to pay more money and just had Clouston coach under his AHL contract last year. Even this year he is making pennies compared to other coaches that are in the first or 2nd years. I think DeBoer makes more in Florida.

  3. Dan Rakusan Mar 21 20104:52 pm


    The Senators STILL haven’t done anything to address their annual flaw – goaltending. Admittedly Leclaire has been horribly unlucky with injuries this season, but after a while they’re going to have to bite the bullet and shell out some big-bucks on a proven veteran. They had the opportunity to go after Giguere, Turco or Vokoun at the trade deadline (well, Giguere shortly before that), but weren’t willing to cough up the asking price. They’re never going to win with average goalies like they have now…

    1. Mike Mar 21 20105:41 pm


      Someone wrote in Kevin’s blog on Thursday a great synopsis of the goaltending problems that Ottawa has. Ottawa and Philly each should have won a Cup over the past 10 years but neither team has done a damn thing with their goaltending. Boo hoo, they will never win with Murray as GM and Melnyk the meddling owner. Look at how many guys the Sens are paying to be in Ottawa. Emery half mil a year for 2 more years, Schubert 450,000 this year. They are paying for Paddock and Hartsburg still. They are paying Donovan to sit as a healthy scratch. What a joke, if they had that extra money maybe they could have gone out and had a number one goalie but Murray’s mistakes have cost this team dearly!!

      1. Dan Rakusan Mar 21 20105:44 pm


        Havin met Donovan recently, I can tell you that he’s the consumate pro. I don’t think his salary/cap hit is the reason for Ottawa not being able to pursue a big-name goalie. I blame Murray for being an impulse buyer. Leclaire seemed like a good bet, but I remember thinking at the time that getting a guy who has never won ANYTHING at the NHL level is kind of a gamble. His health issues don’t help, but that has been more bad luck than anything else…

        Ottawa needs to get their goalie via the draft I think. Realistically, that’s hard to do, but other teams occasionally seem to invest a first round pick into goaltending, and it works out sometimes. Ottawa has to take that risk this year, or risk being mired in mediocrity for a LONG time…

        1. Dave Gutzman Mar 22 20108:06 am


          Nashville had Chet Piccard. Not sure we would offer him up in a trade, but he is only 1 or 2 years away from being NHL ready..

          If you draft a goalie, unless he is the next coming of Patrick Roy or Brodeaur, you are looking at 3 or 4 years for him to develop. Not sure what we would demand for him as he was our 1st rounder 2 years ago.

  4. Mike Mar 21 20106:49 pm


    I think Jeff was saying you have 1.8 mil gone to Schubert, Emery and Donovan, oh plus another forward and defensemen as healthy scratches that could have been sunk into getting a top goalie. They are going to be paying Leclaire 4.5 mil next year, factor in over 2 mil in salaries for players that arent here or arent dressing and that says alot for Murray. You could then pay a guy like Vokoun or Giguere easily. Dumb ass Murray.

    1. Dan Rakusan Mar 21 20106:58 pm


      Yeah, but $1.8M isn’t the difference with this team. The way I see it is that you’d likely have to trade Leclaire to get a top goalie, which opens up cap space. However, you’d need to add some salary being shipped out to level the deal either way – like throwing in Donovan or someone else, and likely a pick. Either way, I agree with the last phrase of your comment, although I do love to see the Senators not playing well…

  5. Ozzyb Mar 22 20103:39 am


    Don’t worry about the cap room for next season. With all the UFA’s we’ll have 9 mill in cap space. If we buyout Leclaire we’ll have enough cap space to sign a goalie and and several players. So I don’t think this teams that screwed at all. I don’t know about you guys, but Marty Turco is my choice. Check out Turco’s numbers, they’re great!

    1. Dave Gutzman Mar 22 20108:09 am


      Would you guys be in the Dan Hamhuis sweepstakes come signing day? Don’t know anything about your D-men on your current roster. I know we have Chet Piccard as a highly regarded Goalie prospect, but not sure we would trade him. Heck, we also have Dan Ellis who is becoming a UFA.

      1. Ozzyb Mar 22 20101:03 pm


        It all depends on what Murray wants to do with Volchenkov and Sutton (both UFA’s). I can easily see him signing Sutton instead of paying top dollar for Volch. I guess it depends on what other teams offer Volch, but I really hope Murray doesn’t get into a bidding war and overpay. How much do you think Hamhuis is going to want?

        1. Jeff Mar 22 20108:33 pm


          Well Murray screwed himself giving Kuba almost 4 mil when Phillips and Volchenkov both took hometown discounts. What a slap in the face to them as they were making significantly less and doing far more than that idiot stiff Kuba who is 6’4″ and never uses his size. Trade him in the off season, injury prone too.

          1. Dan Rakusan Mar 22 20108:39 pm

            How are you going to trade Kuba when you’ve listed every reason no other team (other than Sather and my Rangers) would want him? Kuba was never a physical player, but has decent offensive skills… I just don’t see him as a value pickup in any trade scenario, so I think moving him will be near impossible (unless Ottawa wants Redden back in a straight up trade)…

          2. Ozzyb Mar 22 201010:10 pm

            I don’t see Murray trading Kuba at all and I don’t agree that he’s injury prone. He has been injured a couple times this year, but that could happen to anyone. I’ll take Kuba over Redden any day.

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