Senators Bombing The Rangers Wasn't As Good For The Soul
posted Dec 26, 2005 at 10:38PM
Well were my fears mistaken? Vermette did not get a regular shift and the Senators won easily 6-2. I am not being stubborn here. This game proved little. Indeed it was similar to our victory over the Islanders. Again the Senators exploited brutal goal-tending and brutal give-aways to score four quick goals. With Hasek in net the game was all but iced away in the first period.
Look, the Senators are not going to fall apart just because Vermette isn't getting his ice. We have too many good players for that. But, we are not the team we could be, and certainly not the team we will have to be in the playoffs, when people starting bring their 'A' game.
I must admit, I am just angry seeing such a potential star and potential new weapon in our arsenal get wasted, while lesser players get to use up ice time. If I was Vermette's agent I would be asking him what teams he would like to play on and maybe make some inquiries. If I was an opposing GM, I certainly would be trying to steal him away. I do not think there is a team in the league that could not use a forward of Vermette's obvious ability. It is sucking all the joy out of watching Ottawa play.
It is interesting to read some of the apologists. Their refrain has been, "you can't expect Ottawa to always dominate play." Actually yes you can. With the talent on this team, it's goalies, it's defensive corps and all their speedy forwards, it should be the norm. And if we went back to lines used before Nov 30 we would.
Like I said, if you are expecting Ottawa to win the Stanley Cup, then you should be expecting, nay demanding, that they dominate every game. That is what impending Stanley Cup champions do. They may lose the odd game because of a hot goalie, or sight impaired referee, but they dominate every game. Think Red Wings, think the Oilers of old, the Canadians, and the Bruins when they won the cup. As far as I can remember only Pittsburgh, flopped around in the regular season and then turned it on to win thier "second" Cup. But they were a consistently powerful force the first year they won it.
Right now, the Senators have two lines that cannot score at all. Our even strength play is down the tubes. Yes we will win games. With Alfredson, and Heatley and Schaeffer and Fisher, all our great defenseman, of course we will win games. We will make the playoffs. But nobody who has watched Ottawa play since Nov 30 can say that we resemble anything like the dominant force we once were. We are not the team we could be, and it will come back to bite us in the ass -- like it has every year.