The Ottawa Senators didn’t get the result they wanted in Toronto Saturday – falling to the Maple Leafs 6-5.
However, In an exciting back and forth affair, one of the team’s bright spots, Connor Brown extended his goal streak to seven games – the longest in modern franchise history.
Brown surpassed Drake Batherson who most recently scored in six straight games between Feb 18-March 1.
The 27-year old’s exploit also broke a tie with four other former Senators that had tallied in six games consecutively including:
Jason Spezza – Jan 23-Feb 4, 2010
Dany Heatley – Feb 20-March 2, 2007
Daniel Alfredsson – Jan 7-18, 2007
Bob Kudelski – Oct 21-30, 1993
The North Toronto area native’s streak gives him a total of 13 goals on the season which equals Batherson for the current team lead. Batherson also netted his 13th in Saturday’s tilt.
13 goals in 42 appearances is quite an achievement, especially after Brown was scoreless in his first 10 games to open the campaign and once again for another eight prior to getting on the scoresheet March 25, the game of which his streak started.
One reason for Brown’s run is he’s shooting more. During his past seven games, he’s averaged 3.47 shots on goal per game, while only posting 1.98 on average in his first 35 outings.
Head coach D.J. Smith discussed this point during his morning availability, “He’s getting to the net. It’s such an easy thing to say, but I think when players go cold, they don’t go anywhere near the net or they don’t shoot enough. When you look, he’s getting four-five shots a game. Sometimes the puck just finds a way to go in. Sometimes you want the perfect shot to go in for you – just keep getting volume to the net – eventually they go in. Like anything else, his confidence is as high as it’s ever been. When he wasn’t scoring, it wasn’t. He just keeps working every day, and sometimes bounces just go your way.”
Make it seven straight games with a goal for Connor Brown (@Breeze2Greeze)!
— NHL (@NHL) April 11, 2021
The streak is also a just reward for Brown who’s considered one the Senators’ most resourceful forwards. The right wing leads the club’s penalty kill unit in time-on-ice (114:50, 2:44 per game) – ranking second to Brady Tkachuk, averaging 18:09 of total ice-time per game.
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Labelled as a “checker” throughout his NHL career, Brown was rewarded for his 16-goal, 43-point performance last season with a three-year contract, $3.6 million AAV.
Commenting on the streak, the Ontario League 2013-14 Player of the Year said, “It means a lot, to be honest. I feel like I’ve grinded pretty hard in my career. There’s been times I’ve been a checker. I’ve had a really good opportunity here under D.J. – play offensively – find my game. And I really feel like I’m finding it more and more. Last season I found it. I feel like I’m finding another step this season, finding my game offensively, just building off that. I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
The central figure in the July 1, 2019 multi-player trade with the Maple Leafs, Brown mentioned it added “a little element” to score his record-breaking goal versus the organization that selected him in the 2012 sixth round of the Entry Draft.
Most of all Brown is feels fortunate to be on such a roll, and is hopeful to extend his goal streak to eight games Monday when the Winnipeg Jets play in Ottawa.
“There’s some Hall-of-Famers on that list – Jason Spezza one of them, you know guys I’ve looked up to – Dany Heatley. So I mean, anytime you can throw your name in with guys like that it feels pretty good. It’s a confidence booster. I’m going to keep rolling with this. I feel good about my game and go from there.”