photo from CP and tsn.ca
I hate shootouts
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Boston wins 3-2 in the shootout
Ottawa goals: Spezza (18) sent in alone by Heatley, Vermette (16) left alone in front after a feed from Smolinski
Making Sens(e): Emery (except for one play),
Not much Sens(e): Smolinski
It was over when: Bergeron scored past Emery as the first of Boston’s shootout lineup.
It was definitely over when: Alfie, Heatley, and Spezza all tried the exact same terrible move on wondergoalie Tim Thomas and all three were denied. Brutal that some of the best players in the world can’t find a way to beat a guy named Tim Thomas in a shootout. Tim Thomas was probably working at the Harvey’s where these three had a burger one day and now he is winning games against us. That’s precious.
Message in a Molson bottle: Another 2-goal comeback, but this one falls short in the extra session – at least there aren’t shootouts in the playoffs. Sloppy stickwork throughout the entire game and we never really found our true groove until the third period. Sloppy stickwork like the sloppy bbq sauce all over Zdeno's face.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/boxscore?gid=2006031601
Grab a Timmy’s double-double and listen to what really happened:
Mike Fisher’s ankle
If you have not yet seen the replay of what happened to Fish’s ankle, don’t go looking for it. It will make you cringe and possibly cry as our most consistent forward folds into the boards on what I would call a dirty play from Boston’s Marcu Sturm. Fisher led the chase behind the Boston net for the puck (we were short-handed) when Sturm, a step behind, jabbed his stick into Fisher’s far skate and pushing it to the side until Fish went down. The ensuing crash into the boards led to Fisher’s ankle folding sideways as he went in feet-first. He was helped off the ice on one foot and all the indications from my point of view, which is apparently not the same as a doctor, was that this was a very bad thing. It turns out that it is an ankle sprain and that x-rays show it isn’t broken. Nevertheless, we won’t be using #12 for a while, so all the more thanks to Muck Muck for bringing in Arnason – now we just need him to play on that line and get things done! Playoffs are a month away and I would think Fish will be back by then. The problem now is that we are without two of our best forwards and our top goalie and we’re trying really hard to win the division and not get into that dreaded 4 vs 5 matchup.
We can come back in the third
Don’t worry about us losing in the shootout - those aren’t in the playoffs anyway. What we should take from this game is that two games in a row now, we have been down by two goals either late in the second or into the third and we have found a way to come back into the game. This is huge. In the postseason, we aren’t always going to jump out to a nice big lead and then put up our magical four goals where we never lose. There will be times when the opposition takes a lead and hangs on to it for a while. But to know that we don’t panic, we stick to our game plan, and we exploit every one of our opponent’s mistakes is a good feeling. We will need this same mentality, poise, and even adversity come April and May. There is still a sense of urgency out there because we know the importance of getting one in the last minute of a period, for instance, or the first minute of the third. Those are momentum stealers. Even the Boston announcers, as delusional for thinking Boston has a shot at the playoffs, pointed out how much strong Ottawa played after they scored – “it’s as if they sense blood or something.” I like that and I want the other team to be intimidated by our attack.
Shoeless Joe said, “No, Ray. It was you.”
How strange that it was Emery’s fault that we were tied at the end of regulation but it was the same Emery that kept it a tie! Even Steven. Emery misplayed a puck off the boards and ended up knocking it into our own net for Boston’s second goal, giving them that 2-0 lead. But Emery also made some unbelievable stops from point blank range to keep us close going into the third. Just like we talked about last week, Emery made the big saves at the right times. Good stuff. He has found a way to just focus on his game lately and not worry about Hasek taking his first skate earlier in the day or Muck Muck bringing in Mo Mo to back him up. A sharp guy, that Rayzer Ray Emery. I would like to see, however, Morrison get in the game sooner or later, perhaps Sunday night in New Jersey after what will be a playoff game Saturday hosting Buffalo. Emery needs a rest after playing the last nine games (Saturday will make ten) and Morrison is an NHL-caliber goalie. I know because he used to live below me here in Greenville and seems like a nice guy – let’s give him a shot and give Emery some rest. Speaking of Buffalo, they are on our tail and we play them four times in the next month. Saying that there are playoff implications is an understatement. Good thing Emery is solid.
Loblaws Express Lane – 10 items or less
1. We kill penalties- that’s what we do. The double minor called on Smolinski in overtime was bush league.
2. Vermette is fast and fun to watch and has a lot of heart out there, too.
3. Schuby-Doo stepped in for Varada tonight to get some game work, although he almost spent as much time in the penalty box as he did on the ice.
4. Chara had 5:00 minutes of ice time in the five minute overtime. Wow. During Boston’s four minute 4-on-3 in OT, Alfie and Kelly went back and forth as the lone forwards and were great.
5. Boston is the only team in the NHL to beat us more than twice – and they’ve now won the last four!
6. Don’t forget to check this site daily – http://www.northeasthockey.blogspot.com/.
Saturday vs. Buffalo, 7:00pm.- gonna be like a playoff game!
Sunday at New Jersey, 7:30pm
Tuesday vs. Pittsburgh, 7:30pm