Thursday April 10th 2014rnrnBreathe in, Breathe out.rnA Senators fan’s thoughts on what many are calling a disappointing Season.rnrn On Sunday, the 2013/2014 campaign will come to an end for the Ottawa Senators. This season came with great expectations, many of which were not met. From my perspective as a Sens fan, this season was Agony. We were constantly taunted with flashes of brilliance, our optimism rising with every victory and plummeting with every defeat. Erik Karlsson will end up finishing first amongst defenceman in the NHL for scoring. Kyle Turris had the breakout season that pays tribute to his 3rd overall draft selection and is showing game in and game out that he has the stuff, the jam, the fire within to be a force in this league. Clarke MacArthur was a bright spot, fitting seamlessly into the lineup when many had no idea what he could bring to the table. Mika Zibanejad is showing that his confidence is growing with every game he plays, and the late season emergence of Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone and Cody Ceci are encouraging as well.rnrn So why is it then that so many people are calling for the Coaches head; the head of general manager Bryan Murray? For a season that had so many positives, this seems a tad drastic.rn There is an old saying that every dog has its day. This season for the Ottawa Senators defense corps, was not their day, month, year etc. Jared Cowen was 2 steps behind the play all year. Chris Phillips regressed exponentially, and the inconsistent play of Eric Gryba, Marc Methot and Cody Ceci plagued the Sens all year. Erik Karlsson, barely 7 months removed from a 70% cut of his Achilles Tendon, was the point-producing machine we have grown accustomed to, but his play in the defensive third seriously leaves doubts about his complete game. The Joe Corvo experiment was an absolute bust, not to mention taking development time away from Patrick Wiercioch.rn Well there we have it, our defence sucked! But there must be something more to it than that; could it be that Sergei Gonchar was seriously undervalued and under-appreciated? Could his veteran presence have helped to stabilize the defense? What about a calming voice to our young and inexperienced defense corps? rnrn Our Goaltending was sub-par, no question about it. However, when we take a look back to last year, notice that Craig Anderson was on pace to set an NHL ALL-TIME record for save percentage. Surely that pace is not something that would be sustainable. Common sense tells us that his numbers would come back down to a more “human” level and that would be around the league average which would be more than sufficient. rnWe also must consider Alfie-Gate in the summer. I firmly believe that the blame should rest squarely on Ownership’s shoulders for that debacle. As the season went on, information came out that Eugene Melnyk placed several drunk, profanity laced phone-calls and emails to Mr. Alfredsson. Couple that with a contract offer that was no-where near what should have been offered, and Alfie really had a very easy decision to make. Of course, the “low” offer can be attributed to Eugene’s absurd Internal Cap and Cost Per Point fixation, Bryan Murray really didn’t have much wiggle room until it became apparent that the face of the franchise would actually walk.rn The general public and even media, with a few exceptions, are usually not privy to what goes on behind closed doors in an NHL organization. We are left to wonder what actually happened. Draw our own conclusions and make our opinions from that. It would not be a stretch to say that Alfie-Gate was a distraction for the players. Sure, they are professionals, but they are also young, impressionable, and human. I can’t imagine that someone of Alfie’s stature being treated that way would be an easy thing to look the other way.rn Let’s re-cap; our forwards were a bright spot. Our young defense corps had a rough year. Our goaltending regressed back to normal numbers but were hung out to dry by a defense that had a rough year. That’s tough to deal with on its own, but we still have to consider that we have an owner that continuously meddles in the hockey-ops, the face of your franchise was disrespected and allowed to walk in free-agency and a new Captain that is unexpectedly trying to fill Alfie’s shoes. rn We entered this year, the 3rd year of a re-build. Years 1 and 2 both produced better than expected results and more of the same was expected this year. The fact of the matter is that the results didn’t happen. The worst thing we can do right now is call for the Coach & GM to be fired or call for Spezza to be traded. Why don’t we support our team? Why don’t we show them that even though this year was tough, we see through the haze. We see that the future is bright! Ceci, Cowen, Turris, Wiercioch, Ryan, Hemsky, Spezza, Methot, Karlsson, MacArthur, Lehner!!! We have the talent, we may need some tweaking, an addition or a subtraction but we have a solid foundation. rnSo I urge you Sens Army, Support your team! Show them that we believe in this team and the players we have on it! rnBreathe in, Breathe out. The Future is Bright.