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Less to Smile About

Posted By Mika Oehling On Mar 4 2011 @ 10:14 pm In Ottawa Senators | No Comments

There was considerably less to smile about in Ottawa as the team suffered a 4-1 beating from the New York Rangers. It looked like Ottawa just might have a fighting chance against the Rangers who are under pressure to grab wins in a tight playoff race for last place with no less than 4 teams nipping at their heels. A more relaxed Ottawa team didn’t have an edge over the motivated Rangers, playing in front of Henrik Lundqvist, who reminded us all of why he’s called the King. He stonewalled Foligno and Svatos at short range and even got into a front of the net scuffle. Nobody should ever underestimate him.

The game started off as a highly undisciplined affair with lots of penalties taken, most of them the result of unnecessary, sloppy play. But the second period blew the Senators apart as the Rangers scored two goals within 12 seconds of each other and despite a good late period rush by Karlsson (with 3 good bullet shots from the point in the dying seconds), the Senators couldn’t make a comeback.

Gonchar got a beautiful goal on a power play in the third, but it was too little, too late. The defensive errors on the night show that the team still has substantial growing pains to overcome as they learn to communicate with each other. Kuba has gone back to making costly errors, which is plain bewildering. He really should have been traded, but it’s likely that he was a hard sell around the league given his bush league play. While Spezza has played a good leadership role and relishing his new challenge, he did one or two of his classic moves that cause Ottawa fans to hate him- the drop passes to nobody. It’s infuriating.

Andy had a rough game, but it’s hardly time to rethink his future with this team. The defensive errors were a big part of the reason why the team fell apart and it’s clear that New York simply wanted it more. They didn’t knuckle underneath the pressure and they very clearly played for stakes. While Ottawa could easily have played the role of spoiler, they sat back a little too much in this game. A loss is disappointing, but not devastating for Ottawa at this point. There is still time for the team to have a lot of fun together and for things to gel. And for Anderson to show that he’s the real deal- which I sincerely believe he is. Just give him time. And right now, that’s one of the things that Ottawa does have.

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