FIVE QUICK THOUGHTS
-Started the game well. Finished it okay too. It was just that whole second period debacle that ended up being the difference.? Playing the second game of a tough back to back, the Senators got off to a good start, scoring the game’s first goal and taking that lead into the locker room through 20.? The Panthers took over from there.? Whether it was a case of their legs not being there or the Panthers just being the better team, it was really no contest in the middle frame. Four unanswered goals and this one was basically wrapped up through 40 minutes.? Ottawa played okay in the third period but the game was well out of reach by then.
-It’s hard to blame a loss on a 35 year old journeyman AHL goaltender but it’s safe to assume that Mike McKenna would like another crack at a couple of those goals.? Although in McKenna’s defence, there uhh wasn’t any defence in front of him.? The Senators have been a bit of a mess in their own end of the rink and that second period was probably as bad as they’ve looked all year.? Often when an NHL team knows that the goalie might be in over his head a little bit you, they all collectively step up their defensive game.? Yesterday was the complete opposite.? They gave McKenna zero help in there.
-It will be interesting to see how the Senators handle the back-up goalie position going forward.? It’s been well-documented but the Senators lead the league in back to backs this year and they’re going to need a second goalie capable of giving them at least respectable goaltending. Based on what we saw last night, I’m not sure that Mike McKenna is that guy. Unfortunately Mike Condon’s AHL debut doesn’t exactly inspire a ton of confidence either.? Condon gave up 6 goals on 23 shots in his BSens debut. Eeep.? It would be a mistake for the Senators to use assets to acquire a back-up goalie at this point but they may want to at least keep an eye on the waiver wire.? Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard have both been scooped up on waivers already this year and would certainly have been an upgrade over McKenna and Condon.
-This one has to feel pretty good for Mike Hoffman. He picked up two assists, extending his point streak to 12 games in the process. That ties Hoffman for the league high this season and he’s now just one game off of Pavel Bure’s franchise record.? Hoffman looked exactly as I remember him- a constant threat on the power play, always looking to shoot the puck and always a threat in the offensive zone.? There was plenty of talk about the reception Mike Hoffman might get from his former teammates in this one but I’m not sure anybody touched the guy all night. No hard feelings, I guess?
-Just when things we’re starting to trend in the right direction for Colin White, the injury bug strikes.? White left the game in the second period and it doesn’t sound like they know much about the extent of his injury.? And with a full day off today, we may not find out his status until Tuesday at the earliest.? The replay of White’s last shift really didn’t reveal what may have caused the injury but he was clearly shaking his hand/wrist while he skated off the ice.? It’s hard to imagine the injury is overly serious but it’s worth pointing out that White broke his forearm in the preseason last year. Hopefully it’s not that severe this time around because frankly, the Senators really can’t afford another injury to a centre.