Last night's "game" against the Stars was a real eye-opener -- please note that I use the word "game" very lightly, as games are supposed to be fun and entertaining, not so boring that they lull you to sleep -- insofar as the team's complete lack of goal-scoring prowess. Sure, our favourite scapegoats, the goaltenders, haven't been stellar. Common consensus is that our defense is softer than Alex Daigle's nurse uniform and more apathetic than an emo kid. Hell, you know it's bad when popular opinion is that a future phenom who's been a bit light on the physical play should be scratched for a journeyman 7th defenseman.
But beyond that, how often do you see anyone attacking the team's offense, or lack thereof? After scoring seven goals in the past seven games, you can bet that these articles will start popping up everywhere, but the bare facts are simple: with goaltenders like Pascal Leclaire and Brian Elliott, you need more than one goal per game to win. And the "regular contributors" sure as hell aren't helping issues.
Players who were counted on to bring a scoring touch this year have been very hit and miss. Some, like Spezza, are maintaining their usual production. Others, like Alfredsson and Kovalev, are exceeding expectations so far. But the vast majority of the offense lines -- the Michaleks, Regins, Folignos and Fishers of the team -- just aren't cutting it. Together, they've combined for 32 points through the first 22 games of the season. To put this in perspective, that's the same amount of points that Alfredsson and Gonchar have, combined.
Of course, no one expected any of the secondary scorers to be competing with a top-tier guy like Alfie or Spezza. But when Alfredsson is nearly doubling the scoring pace of Regin or Michalek, that's a sign that the secondary isn't doing its job.
Adding to the struggles of the four aforementioned players...
- Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil have only got one goal each on the season.
- Our defence (combined) has accounted for 10G, 29A.
- Milan Michalek has the team's second best shooting percentage among regulars (14.3%) but is only 8th on the team in shots (35). Maybe he needs to shoot more?!
- Two young goal-scorers, Regin and Foligno, have the third-worst and worst shooting percentages, respectively, among Sens forwards. (2.9% for Regin, 0% for Foligno)
At some point, something has got to be done to fix this glaring problem. We've tried stacking the top line, that didn't work. We tried spreading the offense out. That didn't work. We've tried everything short of, y'know, actually scoring. What would you do to fix this, readers?Friday's game at Pittsburgh is an afternoon game (1 p.m.). Hope they do better offensively, or you'll be reading an article from me after I get back from the Binghamton game, insisting that we call up Butler and Locke and send down Shannon and Winchester.