Originally posted on The 6th Sens  |  Last updated 11/2/13
If we looked at last night’s game in a vacuum, allowing a franchise record 57 shots to the New York Islanders would be bothersome on its own. Here are some key numbers from last night: The Okposo-Tavares-Vanek line’s shot differential was off the charts. For shots directed at the opposition net, Okposo (36-12), Tavares (33-10) and Vanek (35-11) when on the ice, essentially directed three times as many pucks toward the net as their opposition. That’s an unbelievable rate for such a ridiculous volume of shots. Not that others weren’t annihilated in the possession game last night, but it’s worth pointing out that when Jason Spezza (29.2%), Eric Gryba (28.6%), Milan Michalek (26.3%), Chris Neil (26.3%), Jared Cowen (25.6%), Cory Conacher (22.2%), Zack Smith (20.6%) and Mika Zibanejad (18.2%) were on the ice, they were all below a 30% Corsi For Percentage. (In other words, Mika Zibanejad was on the ice for 4 shots directed at the Isles net and 18 directed at the Ottawa net. 4 divided by 22 total shots = 18.2%.) As crappy as those numbers are, it’s not like we can brush them off or pretend that this was one isolated game. This team’s season-long defensive struggles have been well documented – including last night’s vomit inducing post-game post by Scott – and if things don’t improve, and soon, eventually something is going to give. So learning that Mark Borowiecki has been recalled by the Ottawa Senators, shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise. Thus far, management and the coaching staff have consistently tried to shake things up by shuffling players (Grant, Zibanejad, Pageau and Da Costa) between Binghamton and Ottawa and by drastically altering the lines. Borowiecki’s recall will mark the first time that a defenceman has been called up from Bingo this year. Interestingly, he leads the Baby Sens in PIMs, so it remains to be seen how he’ll help an Ottawa team that has been plagued by discipline problems. To date, the Sens have accumulated the second most minor penalties in the NHL behind only the Los Angeles Kings – the Sens have 66 and the Kings have 67, albeit, the Kings have also played one more game. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been an injury to Ottawa’s blue line, so unless there’s some other roster move to accompany Borocop’s recall, Ottawa will have eight defencemen on their roster. As a player who projects to be a sixth or seventh defenceman, my expectations of what he can bring to the table contribute are reserved. Actually, I wonder if he’ll be much of an upgrade at all. It’s nothing against the player, I just think much of the fan fare for this move is tied up in the fact that he’s a local product who has been drafted and developed internally. If his name was Colin Sharabango and he hailed from Kelowna, I doubt anyone would be that geared up for this move. Ultimately, it’s starting to feel like the fan base is getting more geared up for another type of move. Given Borowiecki’s promotion, it certainly feels like the Senators have or are close to exhausting the number of internal options available to them. If Ottawa’s going to turn things around with this current roster, the players better do it soon. There’s only so much you can do before management has to start looking elsewhere.
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