Senators-Islanders: One More Win Puts The Glass Half-Full For The Senators

Sara Van CriekingenContributor IMarch 21, 2009

OTTAWA - MARCH 5:  Head coach Cory Clouston of the Ottawa Senators speaks to reporters following the game against the Edmonton Oilers on March 5, 2009 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

The start of the March 21 game against the New York Islanders was timid at best for the Ottawa Senators, with little action and even less goal scoring on both sides of no man's land.

However, a sudden turn of events occurred in the second period when Jarko Ruutu setup Chris Neil at center for a doorstep goal—Neil's third of the season, made in his 500th NHL game.

But that wasn't all from the Senators, as they came flying through the gates and scored three more consecutive goals, one by Mike Fisher—to end his goal drought, no less. Philip Kuba added another, and to finish off the period, Dany Heatley put one through the five-hole squeeze.  

The third period was a game of stick-to-stick, where the rebound was gold and the giveaway was sought after. Eventually the Islanders took a stab or two at Senator's goaltender Brian Elliot, where a mere two goals were gained. The end result was a 5-2 victory for the Senators with a final goal by Nick Foligno.

So what started the roaring fire under the Senators' bench?

Could it be the new tactics that coach Corey Clouston has implemented since the replacement of Craig Hartsburg? He certainly has influenced the team, and according to some players, he has "made [them] feel more comfortable, like [they] won't get punished after a mistake."

But it seems that it is all coming too late. Can they really climb from 11th to sixth by the end of the season?

It seems unlikely, but they aren't sitting rock-bottom like their early season disintegration would have predicted.

A last place finish may have acquired them a first-round draft pick, but seeing the glass half-full, sitting pretty at the half way mark hasn't seemed to phase the Senators yet.

It could be an ego thing, or maybe the Senators have something to prove.