What Went Wrong: The Ottawa Senators
This is a continuing series that will explore why the various teams that fall by the wayside did exactly that.
The press, bolstered by a series that was really more about Montreal’s deficiencies than Ottawa’s strengths, lionized an Ottawa Senators team that just flat out wasn’t that good, let alone good enough to beat the Penguins. Ottawa wasn’t even superior in the trivial matters, the effort-based meaningless statistics that the old guard likes to crow on and on about, blocking fewer shots (56-96), missing more shots (67-62), and barely winning the faceoff battle (179-175). They weren’t good on special teams either, going 2/19 on the power play while allowing Pittsburgh to go 6/25 and Tomas Vokoun replacing Fleury and Craig Anderson coming back to earth largely neutralized their goaltending advantage.
It was fun to watch the emergence of Kyle Turris (6g, 3a) and to a lesser extent Jean-Gabriel Pageau (4g, 2a), Cory Conacher (3g, 0a) and Colin Greening (3g, 1a) and to see Daniel Alfredsson possibly have his last go round (4g, 6a), but in the end, Pittsburgh was simply better and that’s as far as the story extends. It’s an exciting loss for Senators fans because the bulk of the load was carried by their young stars, and though Spezza and Alfredsson
and Heatley might not have much left in the tank, reinforcements are on the way.