A look at the Senators record..... 
On the local radio station, The Team 1200, the pessimists amongst the pundits and fans have been saying that the current improvement in the Senators record has been due to a recent spat of games against the lesser teams of the NHL. That the recent victories included those against Washington, Chicago, and Florida and therefore, they say, the team has still not demonstrated the consistent high level of play need to propel the team further than they achieved last year.

I took a look at the records of the teams that the Senators have played against during their first two months when they were one game over 0.500 at 9-8-2-3 (at Nov 30) and since then when they have gone 11-2-3-0 (0.846).

During the months of October and November the Senators played 22 games. These teams now have a collective record of 368-348-123-47 for a winning percentage of 0.514. The last 16 games have been against teams with a combined record of 243-245-109-38 for a winning percentage of 0.498. This difference is not significant enough to explain the better results that the Senators have been achieved.

What could the turnaround be attributed to then if the schedule is not the reason?

Many factors could contribute to the slow start:
- a hangover from the spring playoff run that the town was still celebrating when the season started
- building chemistry and new linemates with Spezza, Vermette, and Schastlivy in the lineup and Fisher, Havlat, and Arvedsson out
- questions over Martin's future with his contract for next season up in the air
- 8 defencemen on one-way contracts
- 6 centers on the team
- a little too much attention to the press clippings talking about offensive potential

I personally liked the chemistry reason the most - the removal of three more experienced players including two very defensively responsible forwards in Fisher and Arvedsson must have affected the team play. 22 games to adjust might be excessive but early struggles can reduce confidence and also might have also brought up questions regarding Martin's security and could have exaggerated locker room cliques.

As usual, time will tell whether or not the Senators have 'turned the corner' in this season - the upcoming games against Tampa Bay tonight and Toronto on Thursday will be interesting to watch.

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