(AP Photo/Alan Diaz), espn.com
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Florida wins 6-2
Ottawa goals: Schaefer (17) reaping the benefits of Fisher’s hard work, Vermette (15) on a pass in front from Schubert.
Making Sens(e): depth lines, Eugene Melnyk’s horses
Not much Sens(e): Chara, Phillips, Pizza Line
It was over when: Horton scored 11 seconds after Schaefer had tied it up for us early into the second period, stopping any momentum
It was definitely over when: Everyone else on Florida scored.
Message in a Molson bottle: Very lazy game, lots of mistakes, turnovers, lost battles and faceoffs – one to erase from the mind before going to Atlanta to take these guys down.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=260308026
Grab a Timmy’s double-double and listen to what really happened:
Horses can’t skate
And apparently after spending a day on Mr. Melnyk’s ranch with his four-legged friends, neither can our players. We lost most battles in the corner, most faceoffs, and most races. The case in point is late in the third period when Chara sadly lost a foot race to speed skater Rostislav Olesz before the latter drew Emery out of the net and popped in their third insurance goal, like that was necessary. Chara’s lackluster effort on that goal summed up the night for the Sens as he lazily stuck out his stick to attempt a poke check instead of diving down and breaking up the play properly. Our top players were our bottom feeders tonight and they know it, too. However, it is just a bump on the road and back we go to Atlanta for another crack at it, hopefully skating a little stronger. Hey – after today’s 3pm deadline, maybe Marc Savard will dress for US tomorrow night! But probably not.
You know your team is in for a long night when your top pairing of Chara and Phillips round out the night at a minus-7. I’m not claiming to be an expert on the sport or anything, but I would think that would make winning a lot tougher. I also think when your defencemen allow 38 shots to get through to your backup goalie, no matter how well he has been playing, is also not an effective way to win hockey games. Florida has that ‘nothing to lose’ mentality right now (as will the Thrashers tomorrow night) and we had the ‘I just love horses so much’ attitude, which isn’t as intimidating or effective in a hockey game. Chara was seen biting too hard in the neutral zone and getting burned, and it again led to odd-man rushes against Emery, and that usually leads to goals. Emery doesn’t cover the crease like Hasek does, so those chances against us usually result in playing from behind. Let’s regroup, eat a rack of ribs, and try again. “Sorry, coach, I can’t play tonight. It’s da horses – they’re so lovely.”
Shake it off, fellas
Pizza Line finished at minus-8 and no points with Jason Spezza going 33% in the faceoff circle. The effectiveness of this line relies a lot on puck control. I’ve heard that it is much more difficult to control the puck when you don’t even have it – that’s just a rumour at this point, though. There is no doubt that this line had begun to click again, so let’s see their performance in Atlanta Friday and give them the benefit of the doubt. South Beach does some strange things to people, as our Winthrop baseball team once spent a day in the ocean there before losing to the University of Miami Hurricanes in a nail-biter, 18-1 back in 1999. Perhaps the Ocala ranch did the same thing to the team. Time to use this as a reminder that we are human and the way to win games is to outwork the opponent. As the Pezz Dispenser so eloquently said, when we outwork the other teams, we will win. That is cocky and true. If we play harder then the other team, our sheer skill will take over and we’ll win 9 times out of 10, unless Martin Gerber is in net, of course. Onward and upward, boys!
Loblaws Express Lane – 10 items or less
STAY TUNED LATER TODAY ON THE WEBSITE – MATT WILLIAMS WILL BE WRITING HIS ANNUAL TRADE DEADLINE ANALYSIS AND REGULAR SEASON PREDICTIONS. THIS IS THE EVENT OF THE YEAR.
Trade deadline today at 3pm. Watch for Toronto trading prospects for the elderly again in an incomprehensible push for the post-season.
Mike Fisher still played well in the game – he always does.
Schubert and Vermette have developed chemistry. How often do players on the fourth line have chemistry? I love it.
Don’t forget to check this site daily – http://www.northeasthockey.blogspot.com/.
Friday at Atlanta, 7:00pm, watch for the streaker during the second period with http://www.northeasthockey.blogspot.com/ pained strategically on his chest and back.
Sunday at Washington, 3:00pm
Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30pm
Thursday at Boston, 7:00pm
next Saturday vs. Buffalo, 7:00pm