2) Then the roof fell in. In reality they shouldn't have been as good they started or as bad as they finished. They made it to the Finals last season because they possess a great deal of talent. This year's problems began with last off season.
- After their near Cup run what did they do? Fired the architect, GM John Muckler and replaced him with then coach Bryan Murray. Mistake #1.
- Despite their playoff run almost anyone with any hockey knowledge could see they lacked a true #1 goalie. Emery was NOT the guy. The Sens thought differently. Signing the enigmatic (euphemism for nut job) tender to a long term lucrative deal. Mistake #2.
3) Any coach who comes in to replace the Now-GM has to be constantly looking over his shoulder, wondering when that GM will fire him to go back to coaching. It happens so often. John Paddock never had a chance. When he was fired in late February Murray hoped it would light a fire under the team to get them back to playing well. It had the opposite effect. The team seemed to fade even faster since he assumed both roles.
4) Anyone who watched this team play the last 6 weeks of the season could see that they would be in trouble IF they even made the playoffs. They almost collectively seemed to quit on Murray. Essentially the same talent that had vaulted them atop the east last season looked like a beaten team. Despite the efforts of pest Chris Neal, these Sens had little fight in them. As good as Pittsburgh is, there is NO way they should have swept the Senators with relative ease.
5) It would be easy to blame Murray. Clearly he does deserve quite a bit of blame here, and will likely feel the blade across his proverbial head this off season by owner Eugene Melnyk. However it seems that Ottawa now has a long history of choking/scape goats. The team is still underachieving despite ridding themselves of past underachieving lightning rods such as: Alex Yashin, Marion Hossa, Patrick Lalime, Radek Bonk, firing Jacques Martin, etc. Despite these moves the team still has been unable to bring the folks of Ottawa a championship.
6) We'd have to say the real problem/reason why the Sens have never gotten over the top is that despite their plethora of talent at forward and on defense through the last few years they have never had a real elite goalie. With few )if any) elite goalies available as UFA's this off season the Senators problems will probably continue into next fall. There is no Yellow brick road to lead them to the Emerald City or a Wizard to give this team what it needs most, Heart.