While Goodie, Gord and Syl were visiting Graceland, the Grand Ole Opry and tweeting picture of cigarette machines, the Sens were -- well, not exactly sure what they were doing, but they certainly have a lot to think about. Having been thoroughly outplayed in the latter stages of two consecutive games against teams that played the night before, the Sens have a lot of questions that need answering.
Is the Cowen-Borowiecki pairing working? Short answer, no, they've been awful for most of the season. Boro is a good bottom pairing guy but he's not good enough to play his wrong side. The two, together, are not the best option for the first PK unit, and the Sens' dismal PK stats bear that out (75.5%, 28th in the league).
Is there hope for the Sens' power play? 13.5% gets you 25th place in the league, but half of their PP goals came in that one game against the Leafs. Take that game out of the equation and they are dead last in the league. While I'm not suggesting they should be leading the league, with the likes of Karlsson, Turris, Stone, Hoffman they really should be doing better.
How is the Sens' conditioning? As mentioned already, their last two games were played against tired opponents, yet they were badly outplayed in the third period and OT. Are Cameron's practices too hard? Not hard enough? Or is conditioning not the issue?
I don't pretend to have answers to any of the questions, but if Cameron thinks solutions will come to him via trades he's not paying attention to his owner and GM. The "fix" has to come from within and there are certainly things that can be done:
- Cowen/Boro as a pairing does not work; Wideman should replace Boro on that right side
- Which is not to say that Boro should be sitting, but one of him, Weircioch and Cowen definitely should be
- Winning face offs is important for a supposedly puck-possession team; replacing Zack Smith with Lazar (who has spent most of his time playing wing) was not the smartest move. Smith, despite some brain-headed penalties, has played pretty well, actually. He certainly would not have been my first choice for a fourth liner to sit out.
- Karlsson has to start playing up to expectations. He hasn't been bad, but he certainly has to be better for this team to improve.
GO SENS GO!!!