Sporting their heritage jerseys for the first time and looking dapper to boot, that was the only thing that looked remotely good on the ice for the Senators in all 60 minutes of play.
Despite scoring a first period goal and holding a lead for the first time this season, it was a short-lived high as everything fell apart for them after that.
Three minutes after Milan Michalek scored his third goal of the year, fellow Czechmate Milan Hejduk scored to tie and that was the closest the Senators got all night.
The youth of the Avalanche took over with Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog each finishing with a goal and an assists and Ryan O’Reilly notching three assists of his own.
During the Team 1200′s post-game show, former Senator-turned analyst Shean Donovan mentioned how hard it is to pinpoint specific players who had bad games when the team as a whole looked like one giant mess. This game was an example of something all Senators fans should be prepared for this season, which is brutal execution from the back end out.
As good as Erik Karlsson looked in the home opener playing 28 minutes and showing his offensive capabilities, it’s the soft defensive plays or lack thereof that bring him right back to normalcy as a player. When he gets running around in his own end, the puck finds itself in the back of the Senators net more often than not.
And it’s not just a knock on Karlsson as the rest of the defence didn’t look much better. After making an NHL debut that saw him getting better as the game went on, David Rundblad will no doubt be erasing this one from his memory forthwith.
Of course, people are going to look at the score and wonder whether Craig Anderson just decided to check out for the night. But when the players in front of him have only put 13 shots on the opposing goal, it isn’t exactly much if anything for him to work with.
So while this was a disappointing game and effort by the team to say the least, it’s one of those games that everyone just needs to forget about it and move on. There’s no use trying to tell the players what they could have done differently because they know that better than anyone.
Growing pains are tough and may hurt like a you-know-what this season, but that’s exactly why they’re called growing pains in the first place. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so hold on to those cheesy-but-true sayings and let’s all get through this season together.