Thursday, October 19, 2006

Don't Sweat the Weak Start

I've convinced myself the diminished expectations mean the plan is unfolding as it should [cue NFL films music]:

The Senators stumbled out the gate to start the 2002-2003 season...

....Heading into a November 9th game against the Boston Bruins, the Senators were an uninspiring 5-5-1. Fans and media started to panic. The familiar "maybe it's time to make a deal" cry flooded the airwaves and papers. It wasn't that the Senators were playing terrible hockey. They just seemed unable to put together quality back-to-back performances.

The game against the Bruins was the lowest point of the season. The 7-1 loss wasn't what bothered fans but the uninspired play. The Senators played selfish, apathetic hockey. It was one of their worst performances in recent memory.

The Senators were determined not to let the loss get the better of them. After the blowout, the team went on a 10-game unbeaten streak and by the end of December they were at the top of the Eastern Conference, battling with Dallas for the lead in the overall league standings.

-Chris Robinson, "The Ottawa Senators - Great Stories From The NHL's First Dynasty"

So let them lie in the weeds for another month or so, then watch them pounce. I'd much rather see the team battle through this haze and come out stronger for it than float through 82 games with minimal adversity. This time round, though, Redden will pick up the open man...

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