Maybe instead of tinkering with their lineup, the Senators would be better off calling in a tailor.
Because as it sits now, they’ve been unable to patch the hole in the middle of their lineup.
As a result, opportunities are falling through that hole and into the sewer.
The team prevents pucks from entering their own net just fine. Their goaltending has been outstanding. Their defence, once full of question marks, has done a better than decent job of defending.
Heading into Sunday’s NHL games, the team goals against average of 1.83 was, by a considerable margin, the best in the Eastern Conference. After the 1.82 mark posted by San Jose and Nashville, it was next best in the entire league.
But minus Jason Spezza, they are wasting too many brilliant efforts. In the seven games without their top centre, they have a 3-3-1 record because they have scored just 15 goals.
The guys who have been handed extra needles and thread have, for the most part, pricked themselves.
Centres Kyle Turris, Zack Smith, Peter Regin and Stephane Da Costa have no goals since Spezza disappeared Jan. 27. Jim O’Brien and Mika Zibanejad, who have split time between the middle and wing, have two and one, respectively. But nothing from them either while the Senators have lost four times in the past five games, including two 1-0 shutouts to a pair of backup goalies.
“And (Craig Anderson) and Bish (Ben Bishop) are unreal, they’re playing amazing,” Turris mused after Saturday’s inability to get a single puck past career journeyman Al Montoya while Bishop stopped 36 of 37 Winnipeg Jets shots.
“When they’re playing that well for us and giving us a chance, we want to help them out, too. We want to put at least one or two on the board, to give us a chance. They keep us in it for the full 60 minutes. We’ve got to do a better job of helping them out.”
Ottawa Senators can't thread eye of needle
Ottawa Sun | Feb 11