Sideline Today

The only good news for Sens: things can't get any worse

cropped_2017-12-07T055400Z_2085649921_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_NHL-OTTAWA-SENATORS-AT-ANAHEIM-DUCKS.jpgts1512663387

Craig Hagerman

14m ago

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

It was another depressing result Wednesday for the Ottawa Senators, being shut out for the second-straight game, 3-0 versus the Anaheim Ducks.

The blanking was just the latest in an almost unbearable stretch for the Sens that’s seen them go 1-8-1 in their last 10 games. That said, if the optimists out there can hang their hats on one thing, it’s that things can’t get much worse.

Things began to go off the rails after the Senators swept the Colorado Avalanche in Sweden, just after the blockbuster trade in which Kyle Turris was swapped for Matt Duchene.

On Nov. 11, after a 4-3 win, the Senators had an 8-3-5 record, good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference and third in the Atlantic Division (just three points back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second with three games in hand).

However, since then the club has plummeted 10 spots in the East and sit tied with the Florida Panthers with the second-worst record, ahead of only the lowly Buffalo Sabres.

So what’s gone wrong? Well, in a word, everything.

During the 10-game slide, the Senators have averaged just 1.5 goals per game, while giving up 3.6. In addition, they’ve been out-shot by nearly three shots per game.

Their special teams have been pitiful with the power-play connecting on just 8.57 percent of opportunities, and the penalty kill giving up a goal 25 percent of the time.

Further to that:

Stat Number (NHL Rank)
SCF% 47.12 (25)
Team SV% 88.16 (29)
Team SH% 5.43 (30)
PDO .936 (31)

It’s been a wide-scale failure. Since the Duchene deal, much has been made about his mere two points in 12 games, but the fact is no one’s been immune from terrible play over the last 10 games.

Mark Stone leads the way offensively with six points, while Ryan Dzingel and Mike Hoffman have scored the most goals (three each). Perhaps most puzzling is that Erik Karlsson has gone pointless in 10 straight games, the longest streak of his career.

Between the pipes, both Craig Anderson and Mike Condon have struggled with consistency. Last season, Anderson’s .926 save percentage was third among goalies with at least 25 games played, but he’s gone winless during the current stretch and sports a .894 save percentage and a goals-against average greater than three. Condon hasn’t been much better. In four games, he’s gone 1-2-1 with a .900 save percentage and 3.38 goals-against average.

So where do the Senators go from here? There appears to be only one direction: up. And here’s why that may happen: with the NHL’s worst PDO – generally a good indicator of a team’s luck – the Senators have been extremely unlucky. Furthermore, Karlsson and Duchene are too talented offensively to continue down this road, while Anderson and Condon may be dealing with a loss of confidence.

Things are looking bleak for the Senators, but it’s hard to envision things getting any worse.

Source link

6 total views, 2 views today