The Ottawa Senators have a pretty consistent storyline this season on the ice, despite all the off-ice drama. It goes something like this: start off the game strong, maybe grab a goal, start turning the puck over, fall behind, rally late in the third and then go home with a loss. It was Washington’s turn to hand Ottawa a 3-1 loss in a game that stayed close right up until the third period; and in an unfamiliar storyline for Washington, it was their goaltending that kept them in the game.
Neuvirth was the real difference maker the other day. He came up with some great saves and had a little puck luck against Filip Kuba in the second. The Ottawa Senators started off the game with a lot of confidence and came out of the gate swinging, taking advantage of a fragile looking Washington team. Riddled with injuries and their star player in a slump, it was no surprise that Washington was playing gingerly in the first. But with Neuvirth’s solid play and some good effort from leaders like Brooks Laich and young John Carlson, the Caps came back in the third to steal the game away.
Ottawa didn’t play a disastrous game by any means. They worked hard and got a lot of chances through the first two periods. They took few penalties and their early quick goal in the first looked promising. Elliott was also solid in the net, getting a helping hand once in awhile from his veteran defensemen. The third period, though, is where Ottawa folded like a tent, with sloppy turnovers and some careless defending. The Caps took advantage of every little mistake and gained confidence in that final 20. It was another example of the too little, too late for Ottawa, who took an early lead, but enough of one, to keep the game.
It wasn’t a stellar afternoon performance for either team, but Washington, also coming out of a slump, had a lot to feel good about at the end of the game. Considering that this Washington team is not the powerhouse it has been in previous years, it wasn’t a given that this game would be a loss. But for some reason, Ottawa hasn’t been able to take advantage of these beaten down opponents who seemingly have lost their edge.
In general, this was another forgettable affair. The storyline is nothing if not consistent at the moment. Theories, solutions, rumours abound, but the story on the ice isn’t changing. I’ve heard a lot of talk about Ottawa’s future, but something has to be done in the here and now, as this is only the half mark of the season.
Let’s not sweep this season under the rug just yet. There still has to be solutions for now.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.