Remember back in September when Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion was asked what he was optimistic about for the upcoming season? Dorion's response was one of the most unintentionally funny ones you'll ever hear, as he took a long pause, stared into space and simply stated "we're a team." Technically, he was right, which was the point we made at the time. The Senators are literally a team in the National Hockey League.
Turns out, even that may be a stretch following a video that surfaced on Monday night that featured a few of Ottawa's players openly mocking not only the team's dreadful penalty kill, but the coaching staff as well. According to a few different reports, the video was taken the night of October 29 during the team's road trip in Phoenix, Arizona. In the video, you'll see and hear comments from Matt Duchene, Thomas Chabot, Dylan DeMelo, Alex Formenton, Chris Tierney, Colin White and Chris Wideman, who appears to be sitting in the front seat. Clearly, none of them knew they were being recorded by a future snitch of an Uber driver:
After some pretty normal conversation about practice, the Uber driver, unaware of who they are, asked what team they play for, to which Wideman responds "Ottawa." That's when things went off the rails, as Wideman sarcastically states "as you can tell, we're really pleased with our PK (penalty kill)." As of this writing, Ottawa is now 30th out of 31 teams in the league in penalty kill percentage.
Apparently, the penalty kill is part of assistant coach Marty Raymond's job description. He drew much of the ire from the players inside the the uber.
"Only coach in NHL history to have the worst power play and the worst PK within a calendar year," says Duchene.
"It's actually hard to do," responded another Senator in the back of the Uber.
They were far from done with Raymond, as Wideman, one of the team's veteran defenseman, stated that he "doesn't ever teach you anything." Duchene proceeded to go scorched earth on Raymond after that, and it somewhat summed up where the organization is at as a whole.
"Here's the other thing, we don't change anything, ever. So why even have a meeting? I haven't paid attention in three weeks, and I got my first shift last game and I knew what to do because he hasn't changed a thing."
So yeah, things are going great in Ottawa. The following night, the Sens got blasted 5-1 by the Arizona Coyotes, capping off a four-game losing streak that saw them get outscored 19-8. Since then they've beaten the Buffalo Sabres 4-2, then lost to the Sabres 9-2 and lost in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lighting, 4-3.
The group of players apologized on Monday night in a statement, but the damage had since been done, as the video circulated everywhere on social media. Put it this way, when the NHL is grabbing top headlines on ESPN.com, you know you're in trouble.