Ottawa started off the week on a high note with an impressive 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at Scotia Bank Place. Ottawa had an odd schedule last week with home games against Edmonton on Monday, San Jose on Thursday, Buffalo on Saturday, and finished with a road matinee game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Would Saturday’s victory over Toronto be a good building block for Ottawa or was it nothing but a tease? Let’s just say I’ve seen better days.
It was a tough week in Ottawa for the Senators losing three straight home games before bouncing back in New York with a 3-1 much needed win. Ottawa had one good first period against Edmonton on Monday that saw Nick Foligno notch his first of the year…can you say relief? That would mark the end of Ottawa’s scoring for the week. Ottawa came out flat in the second taking numerous penalties and handed the win to the Oilers who took it 4-1. Ottawa was also reminded that there are no easy victories or nights off in the NHL. I have seen this team’s offense dry up in the last couple of years, but not to the extent it did last week. Ottawa almost went an entire week without scoring a single goal which spanned over 9 periods of hockey.
Next up for Ottawa was a Thursday game against the San Jose Sharks and was also the highly anticipated return of Dany Heatley since he requested a trade at the beginning of last season. I guess almost three days off wasn’t enough for Ottawa’s players to rise to the occasion. Unfortunately for Ottawa, Heatley and the Sharks flourished under the wrath of Boo’s from the Ottawa crowd. Ottawa once again dropped their second straight home game to the tune of 4-0.
Saturday was a match up against the surging Buffalo Sabres who would not make it easy for Ottawa to score with a world class goaltender by the name of Ryan Miller. It was much of the same from Ottawa, lots of chances, no puck luck and NO GOALS! It was a goal tending showdown that saw Brian Elliot and Ryan Miller each earn a shutout in a 0-0 game after overtime. Miller made one extra save in the shootout to give his team a 1-0 victory. Ottawa’s woes would continue.
A quick turnaround and a call up from Binghamton seemed to be the answer as the team skated to a nice 3-1 victory on Sunday at MSG. Chris Kelly was the hero when he snuck a quick snap shot past “King” Henrik Lundqvist for a shorthanded goal that lifted the Senators out of their funk. Kelly would add two more for a well deserved hat trick. It certainly was a big boost for this team, but they cannot rely on a third line center every night.
This past week saw the team place defenseman David Hale on waivers. Hale cleared waivers and was assigned the teams AHL club Binghamton Senators. Ottawa then called up forward Bobby Butler who has 23 points in 25 games this year and is almost a point a game player. Clouston also faced a lot of heat with the team’s poor performance and lack of roster moves and line-up changes.
Last week’s Grade: D- A solid win in New York saved them from an F.
The week ahead…
Time to look ahead at the upcoming week the Ottawa Senators have in front of them. After a week that saw the team lose three out of four contests with home losses to Edmonton, San Jose, and Buffalo and a road win in New York, can it get any worse in Ottawa? It will be a quiet week for the team with just three games on the schedule with a rare Saturday night off. Ottawa will visit Montreal for a big divisional game on Tuesday and are back home Thursday and Friday for games against New York and New Jersey. The next three games will be a huge evaluation as points are now more precious than ever and with another repeat performance like last week Clouston’s job may not be so secure. Look for a big week in Sens land, possibly another roster move and perhaps a minor trade involving an un-named defenseman. Check back every Sunday for a complete re-cap on the week that was for the Ottawa Senators.
About the Author
Written by Avi Slack
I am just an average guy with a passion for sports. I was born and raised in Ottawa ON. and I am a huge Senators fan! I'm also a big fan of the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. I enjoy almost all sports from Curling to Golf and everything in between.