After putting together a strong ending to November and a solid
December beginning, the Senators were supposed to be a team that
was going somewhere. Two weeks ago they sat just back of the
division leading Leafs and were starting to surge. Today they
sit in fourth place, seven points back of the Leafs, and barely
holding on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
We know that it's not even Christmas - there is a way to go
before the second season (playoffs) starts - but this is not a
team that has achieved consistency. Winners of one of their last
five games, they have proven themselves to be solid but are still
lacking the killer punch both in scoring and in defending
GM Dudley seems to be too busy worried about the size of the net
than worried about the size of the goons opponents are throwing
out against the toothless Senators.
The Senators were looking like a shooting star after outshooting
(44-19) and outscoring Tampa Bay 4-2. After the game and over
their last 10 games, their record then stood at 7-2-1. Every
once in a while a team then plays in a strange game which can
lead to a skid. This is what seemed to happened to the Senators
as they continued their Florida trip with a game against the
The game started out somewhat normally back and forth until the
Senators Vaclav Prospal received a five-minute major penalty for
cross-checking Paul Laus. Five shots later and it was 4-0
Panthers. Finally the Prospal penalty ended and the game
resumed. York and McEachern power-play goals added to an
unassisted tally by Arvedson and suddenly it was 4-3. The
Senators tied the game at 5-5 midway through the third period but
lost with Hossa in the box when Whitney netted his eighth of the
Despite giving up four first-period goals, this was a game the
Senators should have won. They had enough to come back and tie
but not enough to win.
* Against Tampa, Shawn McEachern had two goals and an assist.
His last goal was November 23rd.
* Against Tampa, Ottawa's Ron Tugnutt made 17 saves, improving to
5-0-1 in his last six starts and 6-1-1 overall.
* The Panthers' five power-play goals in the game tied a team
* Hossa picked up a pair of assists against Panthers.
* David Oliver was assigned to Houston of the IHL and quickly
picked up four points in his first game. He had two goals and
five assists with the Senators in 17 games.
Public Service Announcement
The new Panthers arena is the National Car Rental Arena. It's in
a place called Sunrise which is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.
Despite a solid Senator effort the Senators faced a hot hand in
Phoenix goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. He made 42 saves for his
third shutout of the season. Phoenix's early second-period goal
stood up until a late third-period empty-netter iced it.
* Phoenix avenged a season-opening 4-1 home loss to the Senators,
one of only two games in which it has allowed more than three
* After the game a downcast Chris Phillips, in his first real
slump, decided a good idea would be for the team to bench him
against Boston. "Maybe this will wake me up and give me a chance
The Bruins soundly defeated a jumpless Senator team 5-2. The
Bruins' two power-play goals (on three attempts) were no match
for the 0-for-4 Senators' power-play unit.
* Ray Bourque had a pair of assists to move into a third place
tie with the legendary Gordie Howe on the all-time assist list at
1,049. The odd game or two each decade notwithstanding,
Bourque's first year in the league was Howe's last. Bourque
turns 38 later this month.
* Vaclav Prospal played in his 100th NHL game. When asked to
contrast that with the 1400 that Ray Bourque has played in over
his 20 season, Prospal responded, "That means I have just 17 more
seasons to catch him."
* As he predicted, Chris Phillips was benched for the game.
Coach Martin was trying to send him a message that he simply
needs to perform better. With Phillips and Lance Pitlick
(bruised hip) both out, Patrick Traverse and Sami Salo got the
Maybe Friday Is a Lucky Day for the Team - Yeah, a Win!
Snapping their three-game losing streak, the Senators soundly
beat Carolina 5-1 in a rare Friday night game. Goalie Arturs Irbe
was coming off consecutive shutouts but surrendered five goals on
30 shots before being pulled in favor of Trevor Kidd with 11:36
remaining in the third period.
* Alexei Yashin scored twice and added three assists. His four-
point second period eclipsed his own mark for most points in a
* Carolina coach Paul Maurice was quoted as describing the game
as his team's worst of the year. "In fact it was so bad, we're
not going to spend a lot of time worrying about it."
* Hassa Alfredsson, father of Senators forward Daniel and Ottawa
67's Henric, had a tough choice to make when his sons were both
playing in town on the same night. Hassa decided to watch little
Alfie (hey, it was also name the mascot night) but his team could
only muster a 1-1 tie. Senior Hassa Alfie is set to return to
Sweden early in the new year.
Fan mail has been kinda slow lately so we thought an easy quiz
would maybe allow you the opportunity to write us to tell us what
a stupidly easy quiz we gave this issue. Here goes - Alexei
Yashin is now generally recognized as one of the top 25 stars of
the NHL. What is his career high one-game point total?
Name that Line
The line of Shawn McEachern, Alexei Yashin, and Andreas Dackell -
the MC-YA-DACK line? - has been on quite a tear of late. Overall
through 28 games, the line has 71 points.
A rare day game for the Senators when the Pacific Division
leading Dallas Stars paid a visit to the Kanata Cow Palace. The
Stars lead the Pacific Division because of players such as
Modano, Sydor, Nieuwendyk, Hull, Verbeek, Zubov and character
winners from good-Hab days past such as Carbonneau, Keane,
Skrudland, and Ludwig. The Stars' power play is number two in
the league and their penalty killing unit ranks fourth.
This brings up a quick "hum - wonder if" the Stars have more
ex-Habs then any other team in the league and "another hum -
wonder if" that's why they are winning. On this date goalie
Roman Turek (playing in place of usual number one Ed Belfour) may
have something to do with it as he stopped 27 shots including
third-period takeaways from Yashin with six minutes to go, and
Johansson with just under three minutes.
* Dallas is 6-0-2 in its last eight games.
* Mike Keane netted his first goal since April 12th of last
season - a short-handed goal on a play where the puck came loose
from a bad bounce and a worse Senator offensive press.
Alexei's five points against the Carolina Hurricanes tied his
career high point mark. The Sens record for most points in a game
belongs to Dan Quinn with six, which he accomplished in 1995.
The Nosebleeders wish to share some cheer and extend a Merry
Christmas and Happy New Years to one and all - have a great