The Ottawa Senators are right where we thought they’d be: the bottom of the NHL.
This team/franchise has been terrible since last year. One season after coming within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2007, everything went up in flames last year and that may actually be an understatement.
Last season, they missed the playoffs, were one of the worst teams in the league, and were not fun to watch at all. Then, there was this past off-season, which was a complete dumpster fire for the franchise as a whole.
That leads us to today. As of this writing, the team is at the bottom of the NHL standings with 35 points.
The team, which got off to a surprisingly good start, is currently in the midst of an eight-game losing streak. Yes, four of out the eight games were ones in which they lost by one goal, but nevertheless, a loss is still a loss and right now, this team cannot win.
One reason why this team is struggling to win games is that they cannot keep the puck out of their net. The club is currently last in the league in goals allowed as they have given up 172 goals in 43 games, which means they are allowing four goals per game.
This team’s goaltending is atrocious and that’s putting it lightly. Their starter, Craig Anderson, seems to have lost his game, something we started seeing last season.
As of this writing, Anderson is 14-13-3 with a 3.58 goals-against average, a .905 save percentage and one shutout. Sure, the save percentage is over 90, but nevertheless, Anderson has been awful this season.
The team’s array of backups this season have also been bad. This, unfortunately, puts even more pressure on Anderson to perform and unfortunately both him and the team, he’s not doing that well right now.
When it comes to keeping the puck out of the net, the team’s goaltending is not the only problem. It appears that this team does not know how to play defense.
The team is currently last in the league in shots allowed per game as they are giving up an average of 37 shots per game. That’s way too many and for a team that has more than suspect defensive corps, is obviously not good enough.
Because their defense is dreadful and their goaltenders cannot play well behind their hockey club, the team’s penalty killing is one of the worst in the league. When you’re a team that has killed just 73 percent of the power plays they have faced, that’s a problem.
Lastly, another problem, or should I say problems for the Sens, could be the futures of their two best players, Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. They will both be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season so if the team continues to play this way, who knows if they are even going to want to stay.
It’s been an extremely bad season for the Senators and in looking ahead, it’s probably not going to get any better.