After a disappointing start to the 2023-24 season, the Ottawa Senators have made the decision to fire coach D.J. Smith. The move comes after just 26 games into the season, marking a swift and decisive action by the organization.
The Senators’ decision to part ways with Smith comes as no surprise to many fans and analysts, as the team has struggled to find success under his leadership. With a record of just 8-15-3, the Senators currently sit near the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference. Despite high expectations for the team entering the season, it became clear that a change was necessary in order to turn the ship around.
One of the main reasons for Smith’s dismissal is the lackluster performance of the team’s defense. The Senators have struggled to keep the puck out of their own net, conceding an average of 3.46 goals per game, the fourth-worst in the league. With a defensive-minded coach like Smith at the helm, it was expected that the team would be more organized and disciplined on the back end, but that has not been the case.
Additionally, the team’s lack of consistency and inability to secure wins has been a major cause for concern. Despite having a talented roster with promising young players, such as Brady Tkachuk and Tim Stützle, the Senators have failed to string together wins and build momentum over the course of the season.
The timing of Smith’s firing is particularly notable, as it signals a sense of urgency and determination within the organization to right the ship and salvage the season. With nearly three-quarters of the season still remaining, the Senators are not yet ready to throw in the towel and are actively seeking to make changes in order to improve their performance.
In the interim, assistant coach Jack Capuano will take over as the team’s head coach, providing a fresh voice and perspective to the team. Capuano brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role, having previously served as the head coach of the New York Islanders for seven seasons.
Ultimately, the decision to fire D.J. Smith reflects the organization’s commitment to success and their willingness to make tough decisions in order to achieve it. With half of the season still remaining, the Senators have ample time to turn things around and make a push for the playoffs. The hope is that this move will serve as a catalyst for a much-needed change in the team’s performance and set them on the path to success.