Senators News: October 19th

-After last night’s game there was a team meeting, which when added to Paul MacLean’s difficult practice last week are the two most obvious strategies to get the team going.  Chris Phillips said “It was a wakeup call to all of us to be more accountable. We have to figure out what our identity is and be better to a man really. We can’t be going home thinking, ‘I had my guy and everybody else is doing a bad job.’ We have to take a long, hard look at ourselves and figure out how we can be better and how each guy can help the team more.”  He refers to the Senators primary problem of defensive coverage.

-Fans should keep in mind that the combined record of the team’s Ottawa has played is 21-1-2 thus far.

The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch looks at the reaction to the game (link) with Paul MacLean saying “It’s time for some self-evaluation and to look in the mirror and ask the guy there if you’re doing enough. The coaching staff is going to have to do that itself because obviously what we’re doing is translating from a practice into a game. We need to have a self-evaluation of ourselves and make sure that we’re doing the right things.”  He stood up for Alex Auld despite a terrible game, but Auld himself was direct, “I didn’t really give the guys much of an opportunity to get off to a good start. I definitely feel like they deserve better goaltending. I don’t feel like I did my job.”

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Ken Warren is already impatient with the rebuild (link), for which he supplies no particular reasons before talking about the game itself.

-Rod Brodie writes about David Rundblad for the Sens website (link), who talked about playing the Flyers, “It’s good for my game. When you play against very good players, it makes you learn things and it makes you a better player. It’s good for me to play against them” and playing in general, “When you get to play more and more, it’s easier. You get to feel everything and learn every situation … it’s easier to get into the game and get into the feeling of the game. Against Washington, it felt good. I got to play a lot in the second and third period and it was nice to get my first (career NHL) point, too.”

Senshot‘s Ian Mendes thoughts on last night’s game (link) and The Silver Seven‘s Darren M’s thoughts (link).

-Binghamton called up Josh Godfrey and Jack Downing to practice with the team.

-For those interested in wrapping up Don Cherry’s mea culpa on the weekend and giving it some context check out Sports Illustrated‘s Stu Hackel’s article (link).  Like Stu, I still remember Don’s “diatribes against Europeans and Francophones” (essentially they don’t play “our” style of game–they’re soft).  For me, Coaches Corner stopped being relevant when the CBC fired Dave Hodge in 1987 and replaced him with Ron MacLean.  Cherry became an increasing self-parody intended as much to sell Rock ’em Sock ’em videos as look at the game.  Incidentally, Grey Wyshynski (Puck Daddy) has posted Stu Grimson‘s statement (link).

Ottawa 2, Philadelphia 7

The Ottawa Senators got hammered tonight by the Flyers.  I missed the final four minutes of this game (so the last three goals), but while the Sens weren’t good in this game they at least didn’t quit.  For the box score go here linkStephane Da Costa may be looking at a future in Binghamton as he received the second lowest minute totals in the game.  Taking a quick look at the goals tonight:
1. Philadelphia, Read
Scored on a near-impossible angle; a terrible goal let in by Auld
2. Philadelphia, Simmonds
Goalmouth scramble and Phillips slide to block a shot prevents the forwards from corralling the rebound
3. Philadelphia, Giroux
A great shot, but not one Auld should be letting in
4. Philadelphia, Talbot
Michalek loses his check in coverage
5. Ottawa, Spezza (Alfredsson, Karlsson)
Good net drive by Spezza is rewarded with a great feed from Alfredsson
6. Philadelphia, Van Riemsdyk
Brian Lee can’t handle his check out front and he makes a great tip
7. Philadelphia, Couturier
Karlsson leaves his check and Kuba is late to pick him up
8. Philadelphia, Zolnierczyk
Konopka loses his check
9. Ottawa, Karlsson (Smith, Konopka)
Good net drive by Smith with Karlsson pouncing on a loose puck

I don’t think any player really stood out in the game, but there are a few who were particularly bad:
Alex Auld – let in two terrible goals and was unable to make a meaningful save in his one period of action
Erik Karlsson – he wasn’t the only player to struggle on the powerplay, but poor decisions on their 4-on-3 and 5-on-3 in the second period really cost the team momentum
Brian Lee – he has to do something when he’s on the ice and was most notable for turnovers

There will be cries of woe after this game, but as bad as the loss is I just see it as part of the growing pains fans should expect this year.  On the whole it was (again) veterans making mistakes that caused problems–that’s actually a positive since when the team matures that personnel will no longer be here.  As I said above, the team never quit and that’s what I take away from the game.