"Being flat" is a mystifying phenomenon in sports. It's generally evident from the outset of a game and, more often than not, carries through to the final buzzer. Some days a team just doesn't have it.
Saturday's 1-0 loss to Winnipeg was one of those days for the Ottawa Senators.
Sens defender Erik Karlsson made that clear after the game. After a week of stellar performance after stellar performance from the reigning Norris Trophy holder, even Karlsson appeared to be mortal on Saturday. He came within a half inch of tying the game when he hit a post late in the third period, but beyond that it was a forgettable game for 65.
While many will wonder if perhaps the ice surface wasn't good enough or if it's a matter of too many games in not enough time, there's no clear explanation according to Karlsson.
"I don't know what it was," said Karlsson. "We can't blame the ice, Winnipeg made some great plays and unfortunately we didn't today. It's just the way it is sometimes and we just have to look ahead and it's a new game on Tuesday."
"It's just one of those days where we had to compete a little bit harder than we did and unfortunately we did a little bit too late."
Karlsson added that there were plenty of opportunities for the team to take the lead or tie the game today, it just wasn't a pretty performance. He's right. 10 different Sens players recorded giveaways in the game and the team as a whole had trouble sustaining pressure.
The key for the team going forward is simply putting this game behind them and focusing on the Buffalo Sabres.
"Obviously the schedule is tough, but it's tough for everyone. We can't complain," said Karlsson. "This is a game we have to move on from and leave behind. There's a new game on Tuesday and that's good news for us so just look ahead."