If the 2020-21 season had included 82 matches, would the Ottawa Senator be in the qualifiers?
Probably not. A disastrous start like the one (2-12-1 in the first 15 matches) is usually intolerable, even on a full schedule.
But they may have invited themselves to the race. Because, by coincidence, since the coming of spring, this team is not a secondary team.
Since March 14, her last 20 matches, her GPA of 0.575 places her third in the Northern Division, behind the Toronto Maple Leaves and Winnipeg Jets.
It is very easy to find the reason for this success. Countless young players in the organization find their bearings and learn to win, which is not a good thing for their competitors in the years to come.
Direction des Sens works with a raised eyebrow: We’ve brought the home keys to the next generation. At the age of 21, Brady Tkachuk is unofficially the leader of the group. His classmates, Drake Batherson and Josh Norris, are 23 and 21 years old, respectively. Not surprisingly, the region’s English-language media call them “the line of children”.
In the next unit, we find Tim Stütlze (19) and Colin White (24). And now, Shane Pinto, who recently reached the Hopi Baker Cup Final won by Cole Caufield, has dominated Unit 4 at the age of 20.
The defense has slightly more miles on the clock, although midfielder Thomas Chabot is only 24 years old and the last arrival, Victor Mitte, is 22.
We are no longer surprised when we hear coach DJ Smith admit that he has to deal with an excess of enthusiasm and confidence (“over-exaggeration”) more than a lack of motivation.
“Men feel comfortable” – Smith told reporters in Ottawa on Friday – his team had a training session on Saturday morning while facing the Canadians in the evening.
The coach added that what could happen to young people is that they forget certain details. On the other hand, we know Habs is a desperate team that needs points in the ranking. It will be like a playoff game. If men weren’t in the right state of mind from the start, they wouldn’t be successful. We will be ready.
DJ Smith, Senior Trainer in the Senate
He added that such a case is “useful to us.” This pressure “will allow us to see how they do in this kind of situation.”
Smith has also said kind words about new defender Victor Mette, whose playing without a pinch was “his biggest surprise”. According to him, the presence of the former Canadians explains in particular why defense has been the “strength” of senators recently.
In fact, in 20 matches, Outtown allowed 2.6 goals per match, for an average of 11 goalse The NHL rank. They have nothing to do with an average of 4.03 from their first 30 meetings, which is their worst performance in the circuit so far.
According to DJ Smith, the Mete, who is only 22, could belong to this category of players who “see the light and play the best hockey game with their second or third team”.
He recalls: “A career can change a lot from 20 to 25 years. Mette gains confidence, while in Montreal he has little left. He’s playing well for us now.”