The Senators have 82 games and many hurdles to clear to get back to the playoffs this year. The early reviews? Uh…well, Perdita Felicien thinks they’re off to a shaky start.
The Sens fell 5-2 to the Rangers Saturday night in New York. It’s early but the game exposed many vulnerabilities. The big one for me? The Sens blue line remains below average. Erik Karlsson and Chris Campoli had really rough nights. Karlsson looked like the kid he is. Campoli has yet to show me anything that would refute my belief that his acquisition for (basically) a first round draft pick is bad dream. No one played very well on defence.
You can’t play the chemistry card. The Sens have half a dozen new bodies. It takes time to gel. Uh-uh. The Rangers had 10 newcomers. No excuse in that one.
The Sens were right there with the Rangers, tied 1-1 late in the second when Michael Del Zotta scored just before the break. That was killer, a kick in the crotch, knocking the Sens' swagger badly off stride. The chances were about even but the Rangers scored on some great shots while the Sens consistently pounded pucks into the geometric centre of Henrik Lundqvist. This just in. King Henrik's really good.
So the key to success this year is simple. The Sens will win the Northeast Division if the blue line can play way over its head, if Pascal Leclaire stays healthy and plays out of his mind, if Cory Clouston is truly a really good NHL head coach, if Peter Regin can be a second line centre in the NHL, If injuries don't hit and if Alfie’s gas tank isn’t sneaking into the red zone, dwindling down toward E.
That’s it. No biggie.
Anyway, you cannot panic after just one game. No sir. That will happen after game 2 should they not recover versus the evil blue empire Monday night.