The Senators have gotten off to a rocky start this season, but even with their troubles, they sit in 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Luckily, the Senators’ play has been much improved lately and they are starting to look like the Senators of old.With a convincing win over Chicago and a solid effort against the Rangers, Ottawa is finally getting back to playing solid defensive and offensive hockey.
The Senators standing is rather surprising considering the fact that they are 2nd in the league in goals per game, and 6th in goals against average. This begs the question, what is the problem? Well, the problem has been the timely goals. The Senators have been giving up a lot of late goals which is the reason why they are losing most of their games by one goal. This has to fall on the shoulders of Patrick Lalime. He has not been making the big saves that the team has needed. Luckily, after battling the flu bug, Lalime had a solid outing against NY. He let in a weak first goal, but then came back and made a few monstrous saves. This is good news for the Senators because as Lalime plays better, the Sens will move higher and higher in the standings.
Unfortunately, the injury bug has hit Ottawa. Brian Pothier is out with a concussion, Anton Volchenkov has a shoulder problem, and Vaclav Varada is out 4 weeks with a knee injury. Luckily, Mike Fisher is due back before the New Year and Brian Pothier began skating this week. Sens’ fans can’t wait until the return of Fisher, as he is one of those gritty forwards who can change the course of a game. He has been missed dearly and the Senators will get a boost when he gets back onto the ice.
People should not be worried about the Ottawa Senators. They have no where to go but up, and despite the early season struggles, they will make the playoffs.
More news: The Senators reclaimed D Wade Brookbank from Vancouver this week. This gives them more depth on the back end as they continue to suffer injuries. The Senators are very high on Brookbank and expect him to crack the lineup within the next couple of years. Rumors continue to circulate that the Senators are interested in Florida’s Kristian Huselius. I don’t expect anything to be done because the asking price would be rather high. If the Senators are to do any tinkering in the near future, it will probably be from within. Also, the return of Fisher will have an impact that a big trade would have.