18 November 2013

Game n°20 file notes: Blue Jackets add to the Sens' stack of 4-1 losses

I had the (mis)fortune of attending this game in-person. Thus, to avoid rehashing the painful experience twice, I will forgo looking up all the #fancystats and instead present a few brief optical notes on the matinee game.

Despite the person sitting beside me complaining about how awful Spezza is in his own end, Captain Jason was very visible from end to end of the rink; his backchecking effots were almost always present. He won't ncessrarily be able to shoo opposing players and the puck out of our end by sheer willpower like Condra, but Spezza has size and it can be very effective. Conacher also looked very good on his wing, striding all over the ice wily-nily.

Since when was our penalty kill this bad? Especially considering the reurn of Condra, the Sens' inability to kill off man-disadvantage situations was rather puzzling, and immensely dejecting. Grant had a good game in the limited icetime he received outside of the PK (he received a partial breakaway once with a neat pass that split the defence), which made his goals-against that much more disappointing. There's something about our defence right now that doesn't inspire much confidence, particularly on the PK... oh right, it's probably the fact that it sucks. I do not have confidene in Cowen-Phillips being our go-to d-pairing on the kill. Anyone know if Cowen-Gryba happened on the PK?

Conversely, our 4-forward-plus-Karlsson power play unit is something from a fairytale. The ability of all players on the line of Ryan-Turris-MacArthur-Spezza to make both clean and unorthodox passes combiens with Karlsson's swivelling movement magic along the blueline to create a thing of beauty. If there's any positive to take from this game, it's the fact that our first PP unit dominates. Well, it dominates a bottom-ish Eastern Conference team, at least.

Okay, so Anderson. How does one know how much blame to place on the team and how much to place on the goaltender? It seems as though, logically, once a certain threshold number of goals has been reached, the common factor in the situations allowing the goals is more likely to be the keeper than the team. Four goals in the game; three on the penalty kill. Who knows anymore? And does the question come down to "Would Lehner have had those?", or is there something else to look at? Something more to explain the Sens' abrupt lack of peskiness, and maybe something to nudge our season in a different direction than the way we're headed right now?


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