Friday, May 05, 2006

ROUND 2, GAME 1 - Buffalo @ Ottawa - 5.5.2006


What the hell…
photo from tsn.ca and CP

The Balance in the Bank:


Final Score: Buffalo wins 7-6 (OT)
Ottawa goals: Spezza (3, pp) on a pass through the crease from Heatley, Smolinski (2) on a turnaround shot through Miller’s legs, Havlat (7) backhander on a breakaway pass from Schubert, Heatley (3, pp) banging away at the side of the net, Fisher (2) opening the third on a wrist shot off the rebound, Smolinski (3) on a pass from Alfie in a flurry of activity in the crease with what should have been the game winner.
Making Sens(e): Fisher, Havlat, Spezza, Heatley, Schaefer, Smolinski
Not much Sens(e): Emery, Meszaros, Schubert, Volchenkov.
It was over when: Overtime struck and everyone and their dog knew that the first shot of the extra period would win.
It was definitely over when: Drury shot 18 seconds into overtime.
Message in a Molson bottle: An entire city at a loss for words tonight is pondering why our rookies played like rookies and how we can score six goals and not win. By far the worst NHL performance for Emery and Meszaros tonight capped off a game that we should have won no less than a dozen times. Whether it is pinching on a powerplay with a late one goal lead or simply falling on our faces when trying to break up a shorthanded two-on-one, this game was so ridiculous that while we outplayed and outclassed the Sabres, it is still up for debate whether or not we deserved this. Simply embarrassing.
1st Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/boxscore?gid=2006042914
2nd Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=260429020

Grab a Timmy’s double-double and listen to what really happened:

1st Period – How to lose a game in 10 seconds
Throughout the course of this past regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t have as many opportunities to win a hockey game than we did in tonight’s game alone. Meszaros pinches in to the halfboards on a powerplay with a one goal lead in the last two minutes and naturally loses the puck, leading to a shortie the other way to tie it up. Someone keep an eye on Coach Murray. Alfredsson has the puck in the Sabres zone with his back to an empty net and decides to play keep away and fires the puck back to Phillips instead of trying to create a scoring chance and ice it. Phillips also opts to not shoot for the open cage. Do we have doctors on standby to talk Coach Murray off the ‘S’ in Scotiabank Place? Instead of putting his glove on top of the puck to freeze it with ten seconds remaining, Ray Emery chooses instead of push it out through the legs of his forward, Smolinski, to give Buffalo yet another opportunity to score and tie it up in the dying seconds. Call the Fire Department and set up one of those trapeze nettings below the building just to be safe. Emery continues with the mindset that making saves are not good for team morale and lets in the first puck he sees in overtime. Okay – now its ME that needs the counseling! For a team that won 52 games in the regular season, we looked like a bunch of idiots out there that had no clue how to protect a lead. Were the defencemen trying to bail their teammates out by making sure they ALL had a chance to blow the game? Experts would say that the Senators should win every game when they score six goals – I guess they aren’t experts anymore. Is anyone else pacing the room right now wondering whether you should drink, take a 72-hour walk, throw a chair, or rip apart the Yellow Pages? Comment below – how did you respond to this debauchery?

2nd Period – Where to go from here
I debated since the end of this game until now whether or not I should try and make note of positives tonight so that we could look forward to Monday’s game. While I don’t want to give any of us a reason to be happy, there are a couple of things that must be said so that we don’t completely snap when someone runs into Alfie and his son, Hugo at the Dora show on Saturday night. With great reluctance, I point out the following: 1) we scored six goals that were all somewhat manufactured. Buffalo’s defence wasn’t very good tonight, but all of our goals are tallies that we can realistically expect to score again in future games, something that shouldn’t be said for them; 2) Alfie and Smolinski found some goals. These two haven’t really fed off each other to date but they had a couple of solid forechecks and scoring chances tonight. This is crucial at giving us three scoring lines; 3) Phillips and Chara were good; 4) Spezza, Heatley, and Havlat are still on fire. They did not get rusty over the break and continues on their torrid pace; 5) Ryan Miller was just as terrible as our goalie and it will now just depend on how the forwards and defencemen react in the next game – I’ll bet that after Murray’s postgame speech, our rookies will be playing quite a bit smarter on Monday.

3rd Period – N/A
Based on tonight’s precedent, I don’t want to do a third period. Chances are I’d start well and make everyone laugh but would probably blow it at the end with careless words and my weakest finish yet. I’d rather skip the whole process.

Loblaws Express Lane – 10 items or less
1. 19 giveaways from the home team. Humiliating.
2. Derek Roy just had a five-point night. Every one of us should take a long look in the mirror and shake our heads at this fact. I’m going to handle it by starting and finishing a bottle of Canadian Club and walking to the closest Waffle House to drown my sorrows into a plate of hash browns and the caring ears of Loretta-Anne and Biff the cook, who between the two of them will come close to a full set of teeth. Make that a double order of hashbrowns, please, Loretta-Anne, my dear.
3. Wade Redden’s line – 0 goals, 3 assists, minus-4. How do you manage to do that, Redds? Oh I get it, you can pass the puck across the length of the ice but you can’t lift a Sabres stick that is right beside you that is about to score a goal past your absentee goalie. Glad we got that one straightened out.
4. Hi, I’m Andrej Meszaros, can you hand me that towel and that bar of soap so I can wash Coach Murray’s spit off my face? Then hand me that book called ‘Protecting a Lead for Dummies’ so that I can have it read before I’m allowed back on the ice.
5. Hey Rayzor, Andre “Red Light” Racicot called and he said you can borrow his nickname for tonight but he suggests that you should try and give it back before Game 2 because it just isn’t a good career marketing move. Red Light Ray, that’s got a ring to it.
6. Hey Ray, Grant Fuhr called and he said he used to let in four goals a game to win the Cup, not seven. He went on to add that he also knew how to make a key save at a key time and sent you a PowerPoint to your hotmail account to read more about it. Apparently its got some colourful graphs about what happens to your team with the more goals you let in – rocket science, I know.
7. Ray Emery’s save percentage tonight - .695. At the time of print (11:30ish Friday night), I guarantee that either the Sun or Citizen tomorrow mentions the name, Dominik Hasek. I know I just did.
8. Sarcasm can be the loser’s closest friend. Tonight, we’re very close.
9. Let’s shake this nonsense and win the next four. It’s official – I’m restarting my playoff beard. Also, I want to point out that while Emery was very bad, his defencemen were absolutely terrible and a lot of Sabres goals were banged into an open net because of a total lack of backside protection. Defensive positioning tonight was a f@#$%^ing joke.
10. Don’t forget to check this site daily – http://www.northeasthockey.blogspot.com/.

Upcoming Games
Monday in Ottawa
Wednesday in Buffalo
Thursday in Buffalo
Saturday in Ottawa
Monday in Buffalo
Wednesday in Ottawa

1 comment:

Pronger said...

It is with great sorrow that I have decided that I will not watch any more Sens games. My heart can't take it. Keep up the good reports and ill follow those.