Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thirteen points out of... fifth?

Can't let the day go by without congratulating the whole team for bringing back nine of a possible ten points on the road. Makes it hard to believe that this is the same team that only got fifteen points from their first 25 away games this year...

Hopefully any time that Alfredsson loses to the puck-in-the-jaw he took will be minimal, and the team will be able to keep up the momentum and work ethic that's done so well over the last seven games.

But I have to come clean -- with every game, my previous defense of Craig Hartsburg (and by extension, Brian Murray) looks more and more wrong. I'm not ready to hold Murray up as an example of stellar management, but hockey is a results-driven business.

And yes, having written that, I wonder if I am just as guilty as the other band-wagon jumpers who jump on whatever the latest short-term trend is. For example, Alex Auld. First he was a backup. Then he was a starter. Then he was The Guy. Then he was The Goat. Then Elliot became The Guy. But suddenly Elliot gets pulled, Auld puts in some solid games, and he's The Guy again. Short-term trends are easy to cheer, but proving that they are indicative of the future is hard to do -- even Martin Gerber was briefly The Guy after he had just two solid games earlier this year. Just about the only person involved with the team who doesn't have a bad record is "interim" coach Cory Clouston... who's record is all of seven games long at this point. All it would take is two or three more consecutive losses, and I'm sure Clouston would lose his shine and we'd be clamoring for Murray to be shoved under the bus again (along with both goal tenders).

But I wanted to mention something weird that happened today. With all the teams going down (New York Rangers) and stalling out (Montreal), there is a four-way tie for fifth overall. This means that while the Senators are thirteen points out of eighth, it also means they are technically thirteen points out of fifth. One of those strange statistical coincidences that won't last as the teams will start to separate again, but interesting to look at.

Overall I still think that the playoffs are a fantasy at this point. But for your entertainment, Steve Warne has a detailed fantasy that gets the team into the post-season.