This is certainly not the way the Ottawa Senators wanted to head into the All-Star break. After one of their most impressive performances of the season against the New York Rangers, the Senators continued to show their struggles with consistent hockey, losing 3-2 to the league’s 27th place team – the Buffalo Sabres. Now, as the team gets some much needed time off, here are some thoughts to mull over during the break that have everything to do with the Senators and nothing to do with the NHL’s relentless John Scott controversy.
Break Provides Much Needed Rest For Some
For a season that has mostly been encapsulated by bad news, why not start off with a little bit of a positive outlook? The All-Star break is a great time for players to catch a breather and take some time away from the ice (except for those who play in the All-Star Game) before a playoff push. In the case for Ottawa, there are several players that are in desperate need to take some time off to let their injuries heal.
Players currently sitting out of the Senators’ lineup are Kyle Turris, Marc Methot, Milan Michalek and Clarke MacArthur. The chances of seeing Michalek and MacArthur again this season are unlikely.
After dealing with multiple concussions in a small period of time, MacArthur has been skating alone before some of the Senators’ practices, but there’s no timetable for his return. And after injuring his finger earlier in the season, Michalek is now dealing with an injury on the same hand. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.
But, for Turris and Methot, this break could be what they need.
After Turris’ close call with a leg injury, he hasn’t been the same. He’s missed the last four games, which ended his “ironman” streak of 307 consecutive games played. But, he’s sporting a very different kind of streak right now. He hasn’t scored since Dec. 14 and is pointless in his last four games.
Methot is currently dealing with a lower body injury. He was a game-time decision against the Sabres, but did not play. Being so close to making his return, it’s likely that the break will give him the time he needs to be ready to draw back in. The Senators are missing him on defense right now, and Jared Cowen isn’t exactly a fit replacement.
Dave Cameron’s Words Hang Like A Dark Cloud
Inconsistency has been a key word to define Ottawa’s season. The team has shown flashes of great hockey, but it seemed like Dave Cameron finally had enough after the loss to the Sabres.
“I’m starting to think it might be too hard for guys to be able to play in the National Hockey League at a high level…Guys can come up and do it short term. That’s what last year was, it was short term” – Dave Cameron (Sportsnet)
If there’s anything that the Senators’ are going to mull over during the All-Star break, it’s going to start there.
Erik Karlsson Is An All Star
The real positive to this hockey team. Inconsistency is not a word that Karlsson understands. He has been an incredible offensive force for the Seantors so far this season and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Karlsson now has 52 points, one point behind Tyler Seguin for third in NHL scoring race.
— Ken Warren (@Citizenkwarren) January 27, 2016
Erik Karlsson is pacing for a 17G/69A (86) season. I still can't really get over that, esp. in today's NHL.
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) January 25, 2016
Whoever you ask, 9 times out of 10, he’s the winner of this year’s Norris Trophy. Up next – he’s pushing for the Hart Trophy. If you’re struggling to find a positive out of this Senators’ team, just look at the captain.
Can he lead this team to a playoff run this year, or is it already too far gone?