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The Flames’ Nerves Have Been Shattered By The Superior Mental Strength Of The Ottawa Senators

David Rittich of the Calgary Flames allows a goal
Matt Zambonin/Getty

The Senators have been on a tear lately. Even with the mighty Detroit Red Wings having won three of their last five, Ottawa has managed to keep pace with them to stay tied for the worst record in the NHL. And in the midst of their own hot streak—six wins out of nine—the team in Canada’s capital no longer holds the poorest goal differential in hockey.

Yes, the Senators are an absolutely terrifying monster, and it’s obvious that the task of trying to slay them has withered the Calgary Flames. The Albertans got beat so badly at the beginning of their three-game series with the Sens that goaltender David Rittich was filmed headbutting a locker room door as he left the ice in disgrace. They may have bounced back for a 6-3 victory on Saturday, but as the Flames took the ice for the rubber match Monday night, even the most casual observer could discern that something inside them had been broken.

The Flames could not even go through the most basic of hockey motions before they faced off with the Senators in Ottawa. So decimated were their psyches by the task ahead, so worried were they about the vengeance that deadly weapons like Drake Batherson would bring down upon them, that they ended up with several self-inflicted wounds before the puck even dropped.

And before you say something silly like “It’s no big deal, they were probably just hungover!”, you would do well to remember that this is Ottawa we’re talking about, not some party hot spot like Winnipeg.

The game itself was no prettier. The Sens dismantled their foes to the tune of a 5-1 win, slowly wearing them down until they simply couldn’t protect themselves from the offensive onslaught. Ottawa’s first and third goals, in particular, were damning examples of the kind of sloppy mistakes a foe makes when their mind palaces have been breached by the second- or maybe third-hottest team in the country, depending on what you want to make of that one bad Jets game last night.

Next stop, sixth place!

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