Welcome to the first ever segment of Senshot’s 5 down. 5 down will be recapping everything Ottawa Senators in the last 5 games and will be repeated every 5 games throughout the regular season.
Record in last 5 games: (1-2-2) 4pts
Movement in last 5 games: 0-T6 in the Atlantic Division (Start of the season)
Last 5 Games:
1. 1-0 W @ Buffalo Sabers: The Senators kicked their season off in Buffalo. Goaltending stole the show in this one as both Craig Anderson and Ryan Miller owned the highlights. The Sens eventually notched the game winner as Erik Karlsson broke the ice late in the 3rd. Senshot player of the game was Craig Anderson (SA35 GA0 SV%100)
2. 5-4 S.O.L @ Toronto Maple Leafs: The Senators blew a 4-2 second period lead to The Leafs and eventually lost on a controversial move by Mason Raymond in the shoot out. Penalties costed The Sens as they were far to indiscipline taking 7 penalties to The Leafs 2. Senshot player of the game was Kyle Turris (1G 2A +3 5S)
3. 4-3 O.T.L @ Los Angeles Kings: The march to the penalty box continued for The Sens. They allowed 3 unanswered goals in the first period alone 2 of which came on the powerplay. The Sens responded with 3 of their own taking the kings to O.T. where LA defeated Ottawa just after yet another powerplay ended for The Kings. Senshot player of the game was Bobby Ryan (1G 1A 0+/- 2S)
4. 3-2 L @ San Jose Sharks: The Sens were held pointless for the first time this season as they were badly outshot by The Sharks. The Sens had the lead in this one as they seemed to grab momentum through the ladder stages of the 1st, after Chris Neil dropped the mitts with the heavier Matt Pelech. The Sharks regained ownership after The Sens once again took too many penalties. Senshot player of the game was Robin Lehner (SA50 GA3 SV%.940)
5. 4-1 L @ Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks were the mightier team start to finish in this one, if not for Robin Lehner it could have been 10-1. Again The Senators penalty box parade was again a common theme as they recorded 6 penalties to Anaheim’s 1. Bobby Ryan did notch a goal against his former squad but was by no means pleased with the outcome. Senshot player of the game was Kyle Turris (0G 1A +1 1S)
Penalty parade: The Senators have been taking far too many penalties this season. They have been shorthanded 27 times, that’s the most out of any team in the league through 5 games this season. That’s an average of near 6 penalties per game and 12min shorthanded. Spending a whopping average of 20% of the game short-handed is a recipe for disaster and has led The Sens to 4 losses in 5 games. Chris Neil leads in PIM with 13 followed by Zack Smith at 8PIM and Jason Spezza who’s surprisingly racked up 6PIM in just 4 games played. Maybe the biggest problem with the amount of penalties taken is The Senators amount of penalties drawn. The Senators have taken more than twice the amount of penalties drawn at 27 vs just 12 penalties drawn. The 12 Power Play opportunities is the lowest number in the league through 5 games and as mentioned the 27 TSH is the most through five games.The -15 PPO vs TSH is by a long shot the biggest discrepancy in the NHL (Next is Detroit at -8).
Short handed nightmare: The Senators are far from the penalty killing dynamo that they were a season ago. The Sens have allowed 5 GA (3rd most) while playing a man short this season. Last season The Sens ranked 1st overall at 89% on the PK and through this 5 game stretch are ranked 13th overall and are killing at 81.5%
Record setting: There are good records and there are bad records to set. The Senators, unfortunately set a bad one early on this season. The Sens played back to back games against San Jose and Anaheim and let an astonishing 106 shots on goal through those 2 games. Fortunately, Robin Lehner played very well and kept the GA somewhat respectable. The Senators have given up and average of 43 shots through 5 games, again the most of any team by a large (Dallas is 2nd at 36). The Senators shot differential SF vs SA is a staggering -10 ranking them the 2nd worst in the league behind only Dallas at -11.
HOT & NOT:
HOT: Kyle Turris G: 1 A: 4 +/- +2 S: 13 PIM: 4 TOI: 18:42
Turris has been Ottawa’s best player through the first 5 games this season. Turris has made a case for #1 centre in the lineup and has been the most consistent Senator by a landslide. His best performance came against The Leafs when he recorded 1G and 2A. If Jason Spezza fails to turn his season around and Turris remains consistently the best center, you have to wonder is Spezza’s days as a Senator are numbered.
HOT: Bobby Ryan G: 3 A: 2 +/- 0 S: 16 PIM: 4 TOI: 17:04
Ryan was ridiculed early in Ottawa. His lack of production after 2 games was blown completely out of proportion and had some, already questioning the blockbuster trade that sent him to Ottawa. Ryan quickly turned that negativity around by scoring in all of his last 3 games and pushing a PPG pace with 5 points through 5 games. Ryan’s shot looks like it could be the weapon that The Senators desperately needed on their Power Play. It seems that 35-40 goals could certainly be in reach this season for the 4 time 30+ goal scorer. Bobby Ryan seems to have this ability to disappear, go completely unnoticed and then change that with one shot.
NOT: Erik Karlsson G: 1 A: 1 +/- -3 S: 14 PIM: 2 TOI: 26:51
No, Karlsson has not been Ottawa’s worst player so you may think it’s a little unfair that he’s in this column. Karlsson is in the “not” column because he has not played and contributed nearly close to the high expectations placed on him. Whether it’s the injury he suffered last season or just a lack of confidence combined with a tough schedule that has set Erik back, it’s clear he is going to have to do something differently to turn it around. To put Karlsson’s start in retrospect he had 3G 2A +5 in his first 5 games last season and stood on his own planet among defenseman in The NHL. Karlsson’s 1 man breakout is something that sets him apart from other d-men and something he will have to work on if he wants to return to his pre injury success.
NOT: Stephane Da Costa G: 0 A: 0 +/- +1 S: 8 PIM: 2 TOI: 11:27
Again, Da Costa like Karlsson has not been the worst Senator but his lack of production has earned him my selection on this column. Da Costa is essentially the replacement for Mika Zibanejad, who was sent to AHL Binghamton for letting Da Costa take his position in training camp. As Mika’s replacement Da Costa has not done anything to suggest that the Senators made the right decision. Da Costa has been invisible when playing and has been the healthy scratch twice. Many people, including myself are just done wanting to give this guy a chance, especially if that chance means that a far better/younger player will be kept in Bingo. Da Costa has simply expired here in Ottawa.
PARTING SHOT: While their is certainly no need to panic at this point, if The Sens can’t get back to the win column more often in their next 5 then they’ll be climbing a steep hill in a very strong Atlantic division. The next segment of 5 down will come October 26th after The Sens take on: Phoenix Coyotes, New Jersey Devils, Edmonton Oilers, Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks.