Is it too early to hit rock bottom?
Obviously not, as the Ottawa Senators skated onto the ice in Pittsburgh for game 6 of their season looking like a team who knew they were going to lose, and they went ahead and did so in an embarrassing fashion.
There's no need to pile on any more here as there will be a lot of ink spilled and hair torn out all week long while the Senators wait an eternity to play again on Friday against the Sabres.
Clearly, there is a major problem here but there isn't much GM Bryan Murray can do to solve it right now. He can try and make a big trade but not many other teams are in panic mode just yet and still feel they have a chance with their current rosters.
It wouldn't be surprising to see a quick move by Murray to send Brian Lee down to Binghamton, even if it means there's a chance he gets plucked on waivers by somebody (not likely), and bring up David Hale who should have been on the roster from day one. I would be shocked if this doesn't happen, as Cory Clouston wouldn't even put Lee on the ice for most of the game after a meltdown shift in the second period. Hale would at least provide a bit more muscle back there, something this team is dying without.
As for the forwards, maybe Zack Smith bounces someone else to reserve squad but that won't make much of a difference.
They look beaten and it's only been six games.
I will warn people not to get too carried away this week in the ongoing Alex Kovalev bashing sweepstakes. This is not a defense of his play (he's been brutal, but much better against the Penguins), but it's foolish to think that benching Kovalev is going to make all of this team's problems go away. You could sit him and it won't make a lick of difference. Endlessly ripping the guy is not going to give the Senators the natural goal scorer they lack, it won't give them the speed they lack and it won't give them the toughness on defense that they don't have.
It's not just Kovalev, a fading superstar coming off major knee surgery. This team is just not in the right mindset to win games.
For the second time this season, we'll take a pass on awarding the Senators 3 Stars tonight.
The good news? Robin Lehner has now played parts of two games and has not given up a single goal. It's a small consolation for Senators fans, but a nice story all the same.