• By: Dave Gross

Senators need to bear and bare down

I don’t know Mike McKenna.

I sure don’t know Craig Anderson.

But I feel for them.


The Ottawa Senators are many things – young and untried, but rich in potential in many areas – but giving a crap about helping out their netminders is not one of them.

At least that is the perception.

We belaboured the shots-against totals at length in this space last week, so we’ll let that be right now.

But the chances?

Good lord.

Sunday night, Ottawa – coming off a shocker of an upset win in Tampa the night before – got off to an early first-period lead in Florida against the Panthers, then arrived the second period.

And with that arrival came an elongated brain fart.

Not only did Ottawa give up 20+ shots in the frame but the quality chances were numerous.

This isn’t anything new – Ottawa is exceptional at dispensing chances left and right at the most puzzling time.

This is the difference between a winning edge and a losing mentality.

Winners thrust on the build. If you’re rolling in on momentous momentum, you keep rocking forward.

Ottawa – at this point – checks the car in park and leaves the game in the hands of hopefully-remarkable goaltending.

We realize that McKenna is not Johnny Bower; somehow the Senators don’t follow the same line of thinking.

Result: Loss against Florida.

The biggest disappointment is not the gumption shown by the kids, it’s the somewhat laissez-fare attitude displayed by the veterans.

Where were the veterans in that second period? (They were terrific the night before).

Looked like they were still licking their fingers off that sumptuous meal the night before in Tampa.


News, notes and notions: Uber Gate morphed into Plane Gate this past week when the Senators refused to allow Postmedia reporter Ken Warren on the charter flight to Tampa (I’m pretty sure y’all have heard). Got to agree with TSN 1200 PD John Rodenburg on this, who tweeted: “Whatever your opinion of the Sens removal of the Citizens @Citizenkwarren from the team charter, having him show up at the airport and then barring him is the epitome of petty.” . . . Not a fan, in the least, of TSN’s Jamie McClennan who takes “calling the regional game” to whole new levels of homer-ism. Defending Ottawa’s effort Sunday was an embarrassment . . . Had the pleasure of watching Saturday’s games – Toronto/Boston, Ottawa/Tampa – with my dad and girlfriend in Montreal at the former homestead. Only trouble was, he’s a big Leafs’ fan and she’s all Ottawa. The clicker got a work out. So too did the swear jar . . . The Senators have plenty of work to do contractually the next while if they want to retain both/either Mark Stone and Matt Duchene. Things are heating up in Toronto too as the chasm between restricted free agent William Nylander and the club seemingly grows. GM Kyle Dubas has three weeks to come to terms with Nylander or the Buds lose him for the season. The fact that the Leafs continue to win without the winger is taking considerable grief off Toronto . . . How about this? Nylander and Jake Gardiner to Minnesota for Matt Dumba and Nick Seeler? Leafs get a solid d-man and much-needed toughness (Seeler), Wild get a forward who can score (needed) and a native free-wheeler in Gardiner . . . New Jersey needs to get going. One of the more improved teams last season, the Devils are lagging near the bottom of the standings. You know what they say: If you’re not in a playoff spot come American Thanksgiving (Nov. 22), you’re likely going to miss out . . . After a frantic start to the month, Ottawa has just a pair of games this week . . . You think Swedish hockey is in good hands? With rookie of the year front-runners Rasmus Dahlin and Elias Pettersson, I’d say so. So would NHL hall of famer and fellow countryman Peter Forsberg: "What they've proven so far on the ice is fantastic," Forsberg told NHL.com this past weekend. "I think everyone in Sweden is excited that two young talents are so good so early."

Senators week ahead:

Thursday, Nov. 15: Detroit at Ottawa (7:30 pm)

Saturday, Nov. 17: Pittsburgh at Ottawa (7 pm)