Montreal Canadiens: Senators Completely Collapse as Habs Future Looks Brighter

Dec 19, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Ottawa Senators goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) gives up a gaol
Dec 19, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Ottawa Senators goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) gives up a gaol / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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With a 3-2 OT win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, the Canadiens finally got themselves out of the .500 bubble if ever so briefly, with an impressive 14-13-4 record given the lack of a reliable options both defensively and in goal.

Led once again by the one-two offensive punch of Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki, the Habs are still a young and developing team at their core, and as such weren’t exactly expected to be world-beaters going into this season, with the focus of GM Kent Hughes and VP Jeff Gorton being, rather expectedly, development and rebuilding above all else. In contrast, the Senators, for as much as fans and analysts alike would like you to believe otherwise, are done rebuilding, and the actual build has gotten off to a rather putrid start to say the least.

As I looked at the Eastern Conference standings on Friday morning, there was a noticeable disparity between these two teams, and well… its not the one I think most people were expecting when the season began. Going into a Tuesday night matchup against the Arizona Coyotes, the Senators sat at 11-17-0 on the season, dead last in the Atlantic Division by a wide margin, and 13 points back of the Canadiens in the standings, even with 4 games in hand.

While the Coyotes have been a major surprise this season, benefiting from a wealth of offensive depth and a legitimate starting option in former AHLer Conor Ingram, I thought Martin’s influence would at least lead to a better defensive performance from the Senators, with Martin have essentially built his career on being a defensive minded coach.

Yet, even with the presence of Martin and well... a 3-goal lead, the Senators somehow still managed to blow it, surrendering said three-goal lead to lose 4-3 in regulation. Yes, that's right, regulation, meaning Ottawa couldn’t even manage a point from this matchup. Facing the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, things were even worse, losing 6-4 with supposed starting goaltender Joonas Korpisalo now sporting a 3.86 GAA and a 6-10 record.

Now sitting 11-17-0 on the season, the Sens are in a complete and total freefall, having lost 6 games in a row with a 6-game winning streak needed to even get them back to .500. It’s yet another colossal failure from a Senators team whos’ immediate future is now heavily, heavily in question. I mean seriously, where do we go from here? This isn't an easy hole to come out of both mentality wise and performance wise, and, as stated, both the GM and the coach that orchestrated all of this to begin with, are gone.