FIVE QUICK THOUGHTS
-The Ottawa Senators got off to a surprising start this year.? While the underlying numbers suggested that there might be some trouble on the horizon, this Sens team was turning some heads in the early going.? Well that trouble on the horizon turned out to be a debacle of a three game Western road trip.? In Colorado, Las Veags and last night in Arizona, the Sens looked the part of a rebuilding team.? Granted it’s pretty tough to win with goaltending like they got vs. the Coyotes.? To their credit, the Senators continued to push when down 3-0 and 4-1 but they were just kind of outclassed in this one. Outclassed by the Arizona Coyotes. Huh.
-After sitting for almost three weeks, that was as bad a period as Mike Condon has played during his entire tenure in Ottawa. It was apparent from the moment the puck was dropped that he just wasn’t ready to play and it resulted in three quick goals against. The 3rd of which may have been the worst goal against in franchise history.? It’s tough for a goalie to get thrown in there after a few weeks without a start but when he’s doing things like he did on that Derek Stepan goal, it’s easy to see why Guy Boucher might be reluctant to put him in there. The Senators have a back to back coming up this week so you would think they need the two goalies to split those games. Man oh man, it will be tough to go back to Condon after the way he looked last night.
-For those that slept through this one, there was a play early in the second period that was honestly unlike anything I’ve ever seen in an NHL hockey game. First of all, Chris Tierney directed the puck into the net with an elbow that was a foot and a half above the cross bar. A high stick can wipe out a goal but a high elbow is good to go, apparently. The call on the ice of no goal was overturned. Then, before the game could resume, the Coyotes challenged for goalie interference. And again, the call was overturned. No goal. The whole production took almost 10 minutes. That’s 10 minutes we all should have been sleeping, by the way.? To make things worse, Alex Formenton’s first career goal was also challenged on a play that looked like definite goalie interference. Only, this one counted. Both I and the NHL have NO idea what goalie interference is any more.
-If the Senators are going to continue to surprise people this season, they are going to need two things. Better goaltending. And a better performance from their star players.? Last night was not Mark Stone’s best effort.? He was a little banged up following yesterday’s morning skate and apparently whatever was bothering him carried over to the game because it’s difficult to recall a night where Mark Stone looked worse than he did in this one.? As the TSN broadcast mentioned on a couple of occasions, you don’t see many performances like that from Stone.? He needs to be better and I suspect he’d be the first to admit it.? Matt Duchene had a rough night too.
-Eugene Melnyk has managed to stay out of the spotlight for about a month now and it has been rather pleasant. Yesterday, we learned the reason why he has been so quiet lately is because he was locking down another sweet, sweet operating loan.? According to a report from the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Senators secured an additional $30 million loan through the Bank of Montreal. Apparently that money they got from that unnamed syndicate of American and Canadian financial institutions? a few months ago wasn’t enough. According to article?five-year loan will be used to “give the team access to short-term credit as well as allowing the team to buy U.S. dollars when exchange rates are more attractive.” Well that’s…weird.