Three of the last four games have been losses, the once omnipotent defence is suddenly porous and the explosive game of the forwards is firing blanks. In short, it's a hell of a time to head into a slump.
The Ottawa Senators continued to spin their wheels, as they surrendered a second period lead and ended up on the short side of a 2-1 decision to the Atlanta Thrashers. The usually reliable Senator power play once again went stealth as the Sens could not capitalize on the three advantages they were given during the game.
Penalties once again caused the Senators problems as they gave up both goals while shorthanded.
The game marked the return of marina Hossa to the team that once was his and the folks in Ottawa gave him a rather good hand as he took to the Scotiabank Place ice, a marked difference to the reception given to Dany Heatley when the Sens played in Atlanta in early January.
Kari Lehtonen proved to be the answer for the Thrashers as he stood his ground in the first period and stopped all thirteen of the shots directed his way, by the time the night was over he had stopped another twenty shots on the way to the Thrasher's win.
The Sens play Philadelphia on Saturday night to bring the pre Olympic break schedule to an end, having been frustrated in their last three games it could prove to be a pivotal game for them. A win will send them off to their appointed Olympic duties with a sense of achievement, a loss and they'll have two weeks to brood over what they need to do to get back on track.
Regardless of what the playes may do on their time off, the Sens management have a bit of work ahead of them. Trying to piece together the missing parts of the machine that was running so smooth only one month ago.