Mar 9, 2010, 4:49 PM EDT
The Ottawa Senators have some issues. For a team that sat in third
place in the East coming out of the Olympic Break, they’re certainly
facing a series of problems that proves just how improbable it was they
were winning so much. Ottawa cannot score (three goals in three games)
and the goaltending is becoming a bit of a concern.
Leclaire, who was so good for the Columbus Blue Jackets just two years
ago is having an extremely sub-par season this year. The Senators
starter for much of the season, Brian Elliott, won nine straight games
in January and February but has allowed 15 goals in his last four
Neither goaltender has been able to stay in net for very
long, with both being pulled once in the past three games for the
Senators; Leclaire especially has struggled, allowed two goals on five
shots in the first six minutes against Carolina before being pulled.
now we have a team with aspirations of going deep into the playoffs,
yet cannot figure out just what the heck to do in net. Forget about the
Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals issues in net; they have
the offense to cover up for goaltending mistakes on most nights. The
Senators have no such luck: their offense is certainly not horrible but
nowhere near the powerhouses those two teams possess.
are now switching back and forth between goaltenders, with Elliott
starting tonight against Edmonton despite Leclaire actually putting a
decent game together in his last outing. But the team is struggling and
sliding down the standings and they need to find some combination in net
that can be relied upon. Elliott certainly has shown to be the better
option for most of the season, but he’s struggled lately.
Copper & Blue breaks it down further, and says it’s much more than just an issue with the goaltending:
Even though they are mired in goaltending problems, Ottawa has other
troubles. Ottawa’s big money players are facing the tough minutes and
being slightly outshot and outscored at even strength. The bottom of
their lineup is outshooting the opponents, and except for Nick Foligno’s
outstanding goalie luck, being outscored at even strength.
Silver Seven blames Spezza a bit as the article said “Spezza’s game
seemed to decline until fairly recently, when he finally realized he
could shoot the puck.” but in reality the Senators are flawed from
top-to-bottom. The goaltending is bad, the defense is thin and
the best forwards on the team can’t handle tough minutes, even in the
Senators will play both goaltenders on their current three-game road
trip. So much for stability in net headed into the playoffs.
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