Several Ottawa Senators players took an Uber ride late last month during a Western road trip and spoke openly and honesty about the team’s struggles. They also aired grievances about the coaching staff. That’s pretty standard stuff, hardly newsworthy because similar conversations happen all the time.
The difference here, though, is that a rearview mirror-mounted video camera was rolling, capturing all the unfiltered content. Video was subsequently posted to YouTube and Twitter for all to see.
The bulk of the conversation centres on the team’s defensive woes — the Senators stand near the bottom of the league in terms of penalty-killing and are dead-last in shots allowed per game.
“Marty Raymond, the only coach in NHL history to have the worst power-play and the worst PK within a calendar year,” says Sens forward Matt Duchene, in reference to Martin Raymond, an assistant coach in charge of the team’s penalty-killing this year and power-play last season.
The remark is met with laughter and only invites more jest from the players.
Defenceman Chris Wideman, sitting in the front passenger seat, chirps in: “Do you notice that when (Raymond) runs the video, if you actually do pay attention, he doesn’t ever teach you anything? He just commentates what’s happening.”
Then Duchene can be heard replying: “Here’s the other thing, too. We don’t change anything, ever. So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.”
The Senators are 6-7-1 early this season, good 12th in the Eastern Conference. The penalty killing has been as bad as advertised (29th in the NHL at 68.8 percent). It’s unclear who posted this footage to the Internet. The driver appeared to have no idea who these guys where at the outset of the video.
Pretty tough break for all involved.