First of all, let me introduce myself, I’m Neil Lapointe and I’ve been a Sens fan since the Quebec Nordiques left in 1995 and to me it was just unacceptable to cheer for Montreal Canadians. Due to the lack of blogs on the senators, I told to myself why not write by myself so that would be a great way to know what everybody is thinking on our famous Hockey club. I read everything I can found on the sens: newspaper, rumours, blog, website, everything. I’ll keep posting pre-game, after, what I’ll tell you my toughs on the practices, injuries, trade rumours, suggestions, everything. That’s it, now, let’s talk hockey!
When we look what the sens have done since the beginning of the year, there’s not a lot to celebrate about. Their record is below .500 (7W-9L-4OT) and the offense is going nowhere. Many people have already pushed the panic button but I think it’s a little bit too early.
First of all, when we look at this year offense compared to last year offense when the senators were 15 wins and 2 losses, there are not a lot of different faces in the locker room. We still got the Pizzaline (Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley), Fisher, Vermette, Kelly, Neil, McAmmond, Foligno, Donovan and Schubert sometimes. I don’t think the reason why the offense isn’t working is due to the fact that guys like Patrick Eaves or even Cory Stillman (even if he was not there when they were 15-2) are gone. When you look at this year new faces, we’ve got Ruutu, Winchester and recently Zubov (Add to this Shannon that played one game and his likely to play Thursday against Toronto). Remember Sens fans when the team went to the Stanley Cup Final 2 years ago, the club was going nowhere before Christmas and was 14th in the East. Believe me, I just think we should patient, even more with the way they’ve been playing the last 3 games, it’s only a question of time before the red light burn goalie’s back.
Now onto the defence, definitely, we’ve lost big pieces that we tough weren’t that big: especially when it comes to the first pass from our back end. Redden and Mezaros were to skilled guys at this aspect of the game. Even if the new comers like Kuba and Picard have good offensive skills (mostly in the other zone and on Power play), neither of them is as good as the one we’ve lost when comes to making the first pass. But when you do look at the goals against, if it wasn’t from Gerber poor Goalkeeping in September, the goals against the team would have been a lot lower. Guys like Phillipps, Volchenkov and Smith are also doing the job right now on defense.
That brings me to Alex Auld, who’s been completely brilliant since the beginning of the season and maybe he has become the catch of the summer. His stats, his play and his attitude tells it all! Both, his save percentage and HIS goals against per game are in the top 10 of the league and if he keeps playing the way he is, he will be the main reason why the senators will be part of the playoff. Doesn’t it reminds you the story of a young Ray Emery stoling the job of Martin Gerber and the Sens went on to go to the Stanley Cups Finals? I’m not saying here that we’re going back to the finals but, don’t you think 20 games is too early to fire everybody from the coach to the GM.
I’ll be back with the second part of this blog this evening in witch I’ll talk about the staff.
If you got any comments, i’d like to have your opinions on this so write me to:
Maybe Ek should read this column.He made some comments about Ottawa not having any confidence in the current goaltending. Ottawa is 4th in goals against. Goaltending is fine. They need to score more goals and take advantage of Auld's stellar netminding.
Hey man good attempt at a first sens blog. You might want to do a spell/grammar check next time and make sure you spell players name correctly. I know you are french so I commend you on writing in english. Cheers!