Ottawa - Nov. 12, 2011 - Sixteen seconds! Sixteen seconds is all it took for the Ottawa Senators to lose this game tonight to the Buffalo Sabres. Poor zone coverage and terrible goaltending costs the Senators this game as they lost 5-1 to the Buffalo Sabres. What was surprising was how quickly the Senators lost this game. Back to back goals by Derek Roy and Matt Ellis 16 seconds apart in the first two and a half minutes of the game not only caused the coach Paul MacLean to pull starter Craig Anderson, but ended up costing the Senators the game.
Back-up goaltender Alex Auld, didn't fare any better as he gave up 3 goals on 15 shots for an .800 save percentage. On the fourth goal he gave up the puck was shot from behind the goal line and was going to travel through the crease without hitting the net. However, the puck hit Auld in the back not once but twice before falling in behind him.
The goaltenders aren’t fully at fault for the loss because the defensive zone coverage was shoddy at best. The Senators goaltending so far has not stolen any games for the team. If they’re not going to steal any games, it would nice if they could just play some solid goaltending.
We’ve repeated this time and time again, but if the Senators don’t start getting some goaltending, they’ll soon be on the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Starting goaltender Craig Anderson’s play has been sub-par at best. His goals against average of 3.60 and save percentage of .883 are unacceptable for an NHL starting goaltender. GM Bryan Murray signed Anderson to a 4 year $12.75million contract, it want might turn out to be another of Murray’s gaffs.
Murray has been accused of handing out long-term contracts too easily and with Robin Lehner waiting in the wings to be the future Senators goaltender, one has to wonder whether he is going to get himself into another situation where he has a high-priced contract he can’t get rid of (i.e. Gonchar and Kuba). I’m curious if Murray plans on keeping Lehner in the minors or having him back up Anderson for the next four years.
The Senators outshot the Sabres on the night 37-21. I cannot remember a game where I saw a team so outplayed by their opponents yet have more shots. The Sabres dominated this game, beating the Senators to loose pucks in their zone and creating more quality scoring chances. Most shots directed at the Buffalo net were from the outside and can you remember any great scoring chances by the Senators other than the one they scored the goal on?
Zenon Konopka continues to take bad penalties. The penalty he took for pushing the Sabres defenseman into Enroth was warranted, despite what the TV commentators thought.
Is it just me or do most Sens fans hold their breath at the start of the game. I think I’ve seen more bad starts by the Sens this year then I can ever remember in their history.
The Senators penalty killing was better tonight, going 5 for 5 on the night. For once the Senators looked organized in their own zone and the defense was less panicky when they turned the puck over.
Tomorrow night, the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Let’s hope the Senators can get some solid goaltending this time.