• By: Dave Gross

Have the Senators Flat-lined?

SENATORS: A Week in Review is a weekly column looking back at the week in Ottawa Senators hockey written by OLMSports Dave Gross.

Feature photo Courtesy NHLI via Getty Image


We're running out of things to write here.

The Ottawa Senators are a terribly dysfunctional and unresponsive patient.

They have flat-lined.

It's kind of unbelievable isn't it? With more than half of the season still yet to be played, the season is over.

Done like dinner, as former Leaf and Canucks enforcer Tiger Williams infamously spouted.


Yep. I had this collection of talent as being one of the best in the Eastern Conference in my season preview.

Based on last season's playoff run, I can bet a lot of you felt the same way. One goal away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final, then this mess of a hockey team shows up.

There is really no explanation.

But there are still things to keep your eye on, for the optimists.

First and foremost, the play of the kids.

The days of giving Johnny Oduya and Tom Pyatt and Alex Burrows and Nate Thompson (although he's been pretty good) ice-time over Ben Harpur and Thomas Chabot and Filip Chlapik and Colin White need to be over.

This needs to be an organizational 'buy-in.' I understand that general manager Pierre Dorion and head coach Guy Boucher want to keep their jobs, but not promoting the kids towards 'proper' minutes is going to stall the rebuilding process further.

Owner Eugene Melnyk gripes about people plumping themselves into seats – or not – but this formula is just not working.

So what has  to change?


Team management?


Well, perhaps all.

What we have here folks is a train-wreck.


Play the kids, and hope.

Oh yes, there's always hope.

NEWS, NOTES AND NOTIONS:  The idea of situating the most important game of the world junior championships outdoors, in a snow storm, is/was ridiculous. USA versus Canada is meant for a regulation rink. The alternative was a lark . . .  Max Pacioretty getting traded out of Montreal makes a lot of sense, but what are you getting back? The Habs need plenty. By the way, I am not a Pacioretty fan – too soft when the going gets tough . . .  Auston Matthews might not be the best player in the NHL but he's getting damn close. He can turn a game around with a stride and a step . . . Can we please get away from the term: 'Winter Classic'? Anytime, anywhere, please?


Wednesday, Jan. 3: Ottawa at Detroit (7:30 pm)

Friday, Jan. 5: San Jose at Ottawa (7:30 pm)

Saturday, Jan. 6: Tampa Bay at Ottawa (7 pm)