Flights of Fantasy

Dobber Sports

2009-10-31

spezza

 

Not even one full game. That's how long Ottawa training camp standout Peter Regin stayed on the second line. It's a story replayed in every NHL city. You've got to love the patience of NHL coaches who need to win if they want to stay employed. They are never far away from being the General Managers scapegoat of convenience.

 

 

The Senators have seemingly started the season strong, recording a 6-3-2 record in eleven games. Taking a closer look at those six wins, the Sens beat Toronto 2-1, the Islanders 3-2, Atlanta 4-2, Tampa Bay 7-1, a struggling Montreal 3-1 and Florida 4-3.  The only team that was playing well at the time Ottawa played them were the Thrashers.  If you add up the records of all six teams the Sens have beaten, they have a combined record of 19-31-12 including last night's games. Underwhelming to say the least.

 

Two of the outright losses came when they played quality opponents. They lost to the Rangers 5-2 and then 4-1 to the defending champion Pens. Ottawa is not as good as they may look at the moment. A couple of bad breaks and this house of cards could very likely come tumbling down.

 

The past week has been very telling for the Sens. Last Thursday against Nashville, the sporting Sens spotted the visiting Predators to a three goal head start. Ottawa battled back with the next three tallies and then the teams played last goal wins until the overtime period where the Sens ultimately lost 6-5. This was against a Nashville team that averages fewer than two goals a game and has been shutout three times already this year.

 

Two nights later against a Bruins team playing without Marc Savard and Milan Lucic, the Sens were up 3-1 deep in the third period and gave up two late markers in the last minute and a half. Patrice Bergeron scored in the shootout to lock down the extra point for Boston.

 

Last night without Jason Spezza in the line up, Ottawa looked lethargic in a 5-2 loss and were outworked by Tampa Bay, a team they had easily beaten earlier this season. Granted the Sens were playing the second night of a back-to-back and one of their top players was out of the line up, but those are only excuses.

 

The Sens GM, Bryan Murray has had trouble keeping the same head coach behind the bench in consecutive years (other than himself) since dismissing Jacques Martin after another disappointing playoff in 2004.

 

Martin was replaced by the 63-year-old Bryan Murray who coached 164 games between 2005 and 2007. He was followed by 53-year-old John Paddock, who was fired after only 64 games during the 2007-08 season.

 

Ottawa started 2008-09 by signing a