Thursday, November 12, 2009
Flyers 5 Senators 1
Obviously, a game to forget for Ottawa.
It seemed as if the Senators went in to Philadelphia intent on playing the perfect road game - laying back and waiting for the Flyers to get frustrated.
That's a good recipe if you have a solid defense core that can put bodies on Flyers forwards.
Unfortunately, Ottawa's defence is missing Anton Volchenkov and features the likes of Chris Campoli, Alex Picard and Brian Lee.
Can you imagine going into a hard fought, blood and guts playoff series with those 3 players on your back end? Against a team of men like the Flyers? No chance. You can't even mention the Stanley Cup in the same sentence.
Somehow, Cory Clouston found 24 minutes to give to Alex Picard. That was the highest ice time mark on the Senators. Higher than Chris Phillips. Higher than Filip Kuba.
So what is going on here?
Another head scratcher is Clouston's unwillingness to dress Shean Donovan, a player who at least gives a damn about what he gives on the ice. He was part of a very effective fourth line which was helping the Senators win games early in the season. He won't be the difference between winning and losing, but the Senators seem to perform better when he's in the lineup giving his all on limited shifts.
You can point the finger at Pascal Leclaire and Alex Kovalev for having another bad game but to me, the Senators are carrying an inept set of defenseman who have zero defensive acumen and zero character on the ice. They simply don't register against a character team like Philadelphia. Yet Campoli and Picard seem like they are here to stay because of their cheap contracts and their supposed "offensive ability".
In short, the Senators were outclassed by a much better Philadelphia team tonight. When Alex Picard plays almost two more minutes than both Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timmonen, you know the Senators are in deep trouble here.
So what is Bryan Murray going to do?
If you take him at his word, he's not even concerned about his defenseman. He says the Senators need another forward.
Black Aces Senators 3 Stars
1. Ray Emery (still being paid by the Senators to beat them)
2. Jason Spezza
3. Mike Fisher