Thursday, December 13, 2007

Game Day: Sens at Pens

The Sens appear to be back on track, but according to these frank and enlightening comments by Paddock the other day, their powerplay still ain't "worth a crap"

"I think our power-play percentage is better than it deserves to be," said Paddock. "I looked at the stats a couple of weeks ago and our power-play percentage is higher than (it was) at this time last year and it's higher than we finished at in the regular season last year.

"But it really hasn't been worth a crap. In saying that, it has scored a lot of key goals in the third period. It got the winner (Friday) night in Dallas, but for most of the game it wasn't that good. I would say we have five- or six-game winning goals in the third period."


"We don't put enough constant pressure on the opposition's penalty killing," said Paddock. "It's for different reasons: We don't outwork the penalty killers. Joe Corvo shoots the puck as hard as anybody from the point, but he doesn't always want to shoot it. He gets sucked in by some of these skill guys wanting it on the side and wanting (the puck) to go through them. When he does shoot it, there isn't always someone in front.

"(The power play) can be substantially better and, at least, give us some momentum. It's not right and it's not good enough, that's for sure."


"We need to include everybody on it. Spezza doesn't have to always look for (Heatley)," said Paddock. "Wade and Joe need to move their feet across the blue line. There's lots of things that can be better."

Well, then! In last night's shelling of the Canes, all 6 goals were scored at even strength, although the Sens only had three defined opportunities with the man advantage. I fully concur that a 14th place PP is inconsistent with a Conference-leading team, particularly one with a perplexing inability to convert 5-on-3's into clutch goals. Sweet individual even-strength efforts like Vermette's on Friday or Spezza's on Wednesday may get the job done against lightly penalized teams, however, certain memorable foes are going to key in on the fact that they can gangster it up and not have to pay a price.

Here's to a 5-4 NON SHOOTOUT, REGULATION TIME victory for the Ottawa Sens. Penguins will come out fired up after the debacle in Philly, but 07-08's most over-hyped team will be no match for their now alert and awake opponent.

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