Do the Ottawa Senators Need a Coaching Change

Cody BelangerCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2008

The Ottawa Senators were off to a torrid pace at the start of the season, showing no signs of the "Stanley Cup Hangover" that grips some teams after a lengthy cup run. 

However, since December the Ottawa Senators win record is approaching .500.

General Manager Bryan Murray recently traded away Patrick Eaves and Joseph (Joe) Corvo in return for Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman in the hopes of jump starting the team back to a record that better reflects their talent.

Sadly, the Ottawa Senators have gone 2-3-2 in their last seven games since the trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.

In that span, the Senators have looked sluggish, undisciplined, and lethargic. 

These are all signs of a lack of motivation, starting from the dressing room.

Head Coach John Paddock seems to have lost the ability to motivate and control the discipline of his players.

Paddock quickly lost favor with a large amount of the Senators fan base with his "you win, you're in" goalie strategy, where if a goalie won a game, he would start the next game.

Neither Ray Emery or Martin Gerber could build momentum when they were constantly being rotated on game nights.

Paddock also has a habit of mixing the line combinations from the initial puck drop to the final whistle. If players don't show superb chemistry right away, you'll often see them playing with different linsemen throughout the game.

Player trades haven't worked in shaking up a spiralling Ottawa Senators team, and neither has questionable coaching decisions. 

A change behind the bench may be Ottawa's only choice at this point of the season.

The team responded well to Murray last season, and some of the great GM's in the NHL have been in this position before. 

Last year, Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils fired Claude Julien and took over behind the bench, before being eliminated by the Senators in the Semi-Finals of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

However, any Senators fan will tell you that this team has far too much talent to fade out of the Eastern Conference without a fight.