Monday Musings: Senators need to get road act together | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaMonday Musings: Senators need to get road act together

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013 | 06:00 AM

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Kyle Turris (7) of the Senators is foiled by netminder Scott Clemmensen in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Panthers in Sunrise, Fla. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) Kyle Turris (7) of the Senators is foiled by netminder Scott Clemmensen in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Panthers in Sunrise, Fla. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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This week's Monday musings take a look at the Ottawa Senators road woes, Alex Ovechkin getting his groove back, the New Jersey Devils' slide, Jaromir Jagr's midnight skates and the success of players who were dealt at the deadline last week.

Tossed out of their building for the 2013 IIHF women's world championship, the Ottawa Senators look like a homesick bunch these days.

They have lost four in a row, including the first three outings of their seven-game road trip, and there was a common scenario evident in the defeats away from home. 

On each occasion, the Senators have arrived at the halfway mark of the third period tied -- with the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers -- but have failed to score a clutch goal. Instead, they have been blanked 4-0 in the final 10 minutes of the third period.

The Bruins scored late to win their game last Tuesday. The Sabres scored twice to go on to victory on Friday. The Panthers checked in for a go-ahead goal on Sunday and benefited from a standout 40-save effort from goalie Scott Clemmensen to preserve the victory.

Clemmensen notched his first win since Feb. 26, five days after Sentors No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson suffered his ankle injury. Anderson returned from the ailment on Sunday.

Earlier in the season, the Senators scored plenty of key, late-game goals. Now with this current slump, they have slipped to sixth in the Eastern Conference, only four points in front of the ninth-place New Jersey Devils and Winnipeg Jets.

With 10 games remaining, there is time to turn around this trend. But the Senators may not want to wait until they return to the friendly confines of Scotiabank Place, where they have the third best home record in the East at 13-3-3.

They need to figure out this late-game problem this week.

Great 8 great again

One player who doesn't appear to have problems these days is Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. There was plenty of concern and criticism about his game earlier this season. But after a dreadful start, Ovechkin has caught fire.

He has scored 15 times and registered 21 points in his past 12 games after checking in with only 10 goals and 22 points in his previous 27 outings.

The Capitals have been the benefactors. They have gone 9-2-1 in this 12-game stretch to move into top spot in the Southeast Division after an ordinary 11-15-1 start.

Ovechkin's recent run also has moved him into a tie for the league's goal-scoring lead, at 25, with Tampa Bay Lighting centre Steven Stamkos.

Devil of a time

Sure, the Devils lost Zach Parise to free agency last summer. But it didn't seem to hinder their play earlier this season when they emerged out of the game with a 10-3-4 start, only to struggle at 5-11-6 in their last 22 games.

The Devils' downward slide has been the reverse of the Los Angeles Kings, the team that beat the Devils in the Stanley Cup final last year. The Kings struggled early with an ordinary 5-6-2 start, but have gone 17-7-2 since.

Here's how the Stanley Cup winners and losers have done the following season since the 2004-05 lockout:

2010-11: Boston (out first round); Vancouver (out first round)

2009-10: Chicago (out in first round); Philadelphia (out second round)

2008-09: Pittsburgh (out second round); Detroit (out second round) 

2007-08: Detroit (lost in final); Pittsburgh (won Stanley Cup)

2006-07: Anaheim (out first round); Ottawa (out first round)

2005-06: Carolina (missed playoffs); Edmonton (missed playoffs)

Burning the midnight oil

Bryan Heft and a handful of his teammates walked out of the rink at 12:30 a.m. after their late-night men's league game on Wednesday morning, only to be stopped in their tracks.

There, by himself, on another ice pad that houses the Dallas Stars practice facility, was the familiar figure of 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr. Heft and his friends were astonished. Earlier in the day, they knew Jagr had been traded to Boston. But before he headed to Beantown, he got one final late-night training session in.

"It was amazing," recalled the 44-year-old Heft of Flower Mound, Texas, a suburb to the north of Dallas-Fort Worth.

"We all were pretty impressed. We watched him for a few minutes.

"The next day he's leaving for Boston and there he is doing some skating and puck handling drills in a knit cap. It was 12:30 in the morning."

Jagr wearing a toque and going for a midnight skate was a common scene at the Philadelphia Flyers practice facility last season, too. He had a key to each team's practice facility.

The extra passion simply exhibits why Jagr continues to make an impact in the NHL at his age.

Deadline success

We're only five days removed from the 2013 NHL trade deadline, but already we've seen an impact from several players with their new teams.

Here's a list of players moved close to last Wednesday's deadline who have recorded at least a point with their new team and the stats of the two goalies traded last week:

Ryane Clowe (NY Rangers): 2 goals, 2 assists in 3 games

Derick Brassard (NY Rangers): 1 goal, 3 assists in 3 games

Marian Gaborik (Columbus): 1 goal, 2 assists in 3 games

Jay Bouwmeester (St. Louis): 3 assists in 3 games

Lane MacDermid (Dallas): 2 goals in 2 games

Jason Pominville (Minnesota): 1 goal, 1 assist in 2 games

Raffi Torres (San Jose): 2 assists in 1 game 

Jussi Jokinen (Pittsburgh): 1 goal in 1 game

Jaromir Jagr (Boston): 1 goal in 2 games

Cory Conacher (Ottawa): 1 goal in 2 games

Steve Sullivan (New Jersey): 1 goal in 2 games

John Moore (NY Rangers): 1 goal in 3 games

Jarome Iginla (Pittsburgh): 1 goal in 4 games

Derek Roy (Vancouver): 1 assist in 2 games

*Mike Santorelli (Winnipeg): 1 assist in 2 games

Marc-Andre Bergeron (Carolina): 1 assist in 3 games

Robyn Regehr (Los Angeles): 1 assist in 3 games

Michal Handzus (Chicago): 1 assist in 3 games

Kent Huskins (Philadelphia): 1 assist in 4 games

Douglas Murray (Pittsburgh): 1 assist in 5 games

Brenden Morrow (Pittsburgh): 1 assist in 6 games

Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay), 1-2-0, 2.02 GAA, .945 SP

**Steve Mason (Philadelphia), 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SP

* Picked up off waivers last Wednesday

** 20 minutes of action in relief

By the numbers

13 -- Canadians on the roster of the No. 1-ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats who, along with Yale, Massachusetts-Lowell and St. Cloud State, will compete in the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four in Pittsburgh later this week.

52 -- The projected total points needed for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with less than three weeks remaining.

54 -- The projected total points needed for eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with less than three weeks remaining.

200 -- Games played for Canadian national team member Caroline Ouellette in international competitions, when she suited up last Friday. Ouellette is third overall in team history behind Hayley Wickenheiser (256) and Jayne Hefford (248). Canada plays Russia in the semifinals at the 2013 worlds in Ottawa on Monday.

62 -- Point total reached by the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday to become the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot with 10 games remaining in the regular season.

70 -- Total points for the Detroit Red Wings when they finished first overall in the 48-game 1995 lockout-shortened season. Back then, there was no overtime loss or shootout loss point available. Chicago has four such points so far this season.

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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