Ottawa Returns to its Playoff Form
Now that it seems apparent the Ottawa Senators will complete their hard-to-fathom collapse, it's a good time to analyze this disappointing club.
Last playoffs, the Senators were praised for finally "coming so far" - they won the Eastern Conference, they competed for the Stanley Cup. They still ended the playoffs a loser; perhaps the biggest loser because no team carries as much disappointment than the conference champion who fails in the final round.
These playoffs, the Senators are a team on the verge of being swept (again) in the first round. Who could have predicted this when Ottawa was the No. 1 club in the league in October?
It gets worse for Sens fans though. What options does this club have in the off-season? Only hard ones; much harder than anything the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to make.
Do the Sens fire Bryan Murray, one of the smartest general managers in the NHL?
Do the Sens trade Daniel Alfredsson, one of the league's best captains?
Do the Sens trade Danny Heatley, one of hockey's most lethal snipers?
Or do the Sens trade Jason Spezza, an extremely talented playmaker?
The easy thing for Sens fans is to blame the team's pathetic goaltending. But if you move Martin Gerber or Ray Emery, can you name me a superstar goaltender that is available? Of course, one can be had for one or more of the Senator's prized players above.
It's destruction time for this team, though. Despite all of its talent, it hasn't proved to be a playoff winner. The team can blame goaltending but that doesn't explain four goals in three playoff games. There's something else wrong with this team and the only way to fix it is to overhaul the roster.
If the team wants to win the Cup - and which team doesn't? - it'll mean a few more painful months.