As LL Cool J so succinctly put it when he was still a rap music artist and not an actor…”Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years”. While the Ottawa Senators followed up a 5 game losing streak with a 2 game winning streak led some to say that the Senators are back. Those people would be wrong. In fact, they never left.
I looked on with a little bit of humor as Sens Army started flailing about during the losing streak, but the fact is, the Senators never fell below 6th in the conference. While the teams below them narrowed the gap, they couldn’t overtake the Pesky Sens.
And really, the Senators never changed the way they played, they were a victim of puck luck. Just as during the good times you could point to games and say that they stole a game they might not have deserved, you could say the opposite during the losing streak. They deserved a better fate in some of those losses.
I took the games over the last month and broke them down with some meaningful stats, at least in my mind. Although Corsi rating is a common advanced stat, I really don’t put much stock in it and have not included it. Here are some of the results:
SHOTS ON GOAL
|OPP||Ott Shots||opp Shots||Diff|
|at New Jersey||W||11||33||-22|
|New York R||W||29||24||5|
|at New York I||W||23||29||-6|
The Senators have outshot their opponent 7 times and been outshot 7 times and been even once in the last month
Record when outshooting their opponent – 4-3
Record when outshooting their opponent by 10 or more shots – 1-1
Record when being outshot – 4-2-1
Record when being outshot by 10 or more shots – 2-0-1
Record when getting 30 or more shots – 4-5-1
Record when getting less than 30 shots – 4-1-0
Record when giving up 30 or more shots – 4-2-1
Record when giving up less than 30 shots – 4-4-0
|at New Jersey||W||44-56||-12|
|New York R||W||59-41||18|
|at New York I||W||44-56||-12|
Record when posting a higher faceoff % than the opposition – 3-1-1
Record when posting a 10% or higher positive faceoff differential – 1-0-0
Record when posting a lower faceoff % than the opposition – 5-5-0
Recored when posting a 10% or lower negative faceoff differential – 3-3-0
|at New Jersey||W||0-2||0-4|
|New York R||W||1-2||0-4|
|at New York I||W||0-1||1-6|
Record in games with 3 or more PP opportunities: 3-5-1
Record in games with fewer than 3 PP opportunities: 5-1-0
Record when scoring a PP goal or more: 5-1-1
Record when not scoring a PP goal: 3-5-0
Record when opponent gets 3 or more PP opportunities: 6-3-1
Record when opponent gets fewer than 3 PP opportunities: 2-3-0
Record when opponent scores a PP goal: 1-3-1
Record when opponent does not score a PP goal: 7-3-0
So as you can see, in the past month the Senators have gone 8-6-1 in the past month.
It is tough not to get wrapped up in the successes and failures of the team, but even in a shortened season there are going to be stretches of ups and downs. That is why the points that Ottawa put in the bank during their two long homestands were so important. Because this team as it is composed right now doesn’t bode well to playing on the road where they can’t get the line matchups as easily as they can at home.
What this article has attempted to show is that win or lose, the Pesky Sens mentality didn’t change a bit. There wasn’t much difference in the way they appraoched the game or the way the game plan was executed. The only differences were a bounce here or there in most cases. They have won games they should have lost, and lost games they should have won. There isn’t many games they didn’t give themselves at least a chance to win.
They are still in great shape to make the playoffs, and will not be an easy out in a 7 game series no matter who they line up against.
Just like they should be….Pesky.