Senators coach explains lineup choices

by Rob Poirier (@RobFeature)

Cameron takes questions from legitimate media outlets, including RBM (@Gerv_Rebrand)
If Dave Cameron is feeling the heat, he certainly isn't showing it.

With the Ottawa Senators off to a mediocre start, every decision their coach makes is being called into question... and Cameron knows it.

"I hear opinions everywhere I go," he told the media after last night's loss to the Detroit Red Wings. "But I think everyone needs to just cool it. Be patient. I have a plan."

The Senators have won just eight of eighteen games this season, with almost half of those wins coming in the shootout. They have looked like a mere shadow of the team that captured a playoff spot with some late-season heroics last year. In fact, many are wondering if the players are beginning to tune Cameron out.

"I don't think that's the case at all," Cameron said. "In fact, I think we're all pulling in the right direction. Everything is right on schedule."

Fans and media have been particularly critical of Cameron's decision to routinely scratch young, skilled players in favour of struggling veterans. The coach, however, insists there is a method to his madness.

"Hockey is a team game. It's not as simple as just playing the guys who are actually good at hockey. What you need to do is play the guys who will help the team achieve its goal. And in October and November, our team's goal is to lose. Guys like Wideman, Prince, Puempel... there's a time to play guys like that: it's with 15-20 games left in the season, when we are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and need to put together a near-impossible winning streak just to get our foot in the door."

Though this strategy may seem unwise to most, it is clear that Cameron has complete faith in his plan, which appears to have more statistical validity than one would think.

"I've done it every year that I've been head coach and it's worked 100% of the time."

Despite the unorthodox nature of Cameron's plan, his players seem to be on board.

"I think it's a great idea," screamed an unkempt Jared Cowen. "Stop telling Dave to scratch me, okay? The beginning of the season is all that I've got! Why would you want to take this away from me!?"

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