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These are interesting times for the Ottawa Senators

Sidney Crosby

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby (87) gets the puck behind Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) for a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Ottawa Senators in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. The Penguins won 6-5, with Crosby getting three goals. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


The Ottawa Senators are a bad defensive hockey team.

In fact, out of 30 NHL clubs, only one -- the Columbus Blue Jackets -- has given up more goals per game than the Sens have (3.08).

For head coach Dave Cameron, it’s a matter of pride.

“All the good teams take pride in their defensive play,” Cameron said, per TSN’s Brent Wallace. “We don’t.”

But for captain Erik Karlsson, there’s another reason to make a bigger commitment to defending.


“First off, we’re a budget team here,” Karlsson told the Ottawa Citizen last week. “We don’t have the same players as most teams do that are high-skilled and we’re not going to win games from a skill base. We’re not going to win games by scoring fancy goals and stuff like that. We have to realize we’re a grinding team.”

It’s comments like that that have many Sens fans wishing owner Eugene Melnyk would consider selling the team. Recently, Melnyk has been adamant about not doing that, despite the reported interest by the deep-pocketed group in competition with the Sens for building a new arena on LeBreton Flats:

Certainly, the precipitous decline of the Canadian dollar will not help the Sens in the revenue department. However, Melnyk believes that that particular “minefield will work out” in the end. For now, he’s focused on the arena project.

The Sens’ defensive issues were on full display last night in Pittsburgh, where they lost 6-5 while getting outshot 44-23.

With just one win in their last five, the Sens have fallen five points out of a playoff spot. They host the Oilers Thursday.