Friday, May 12, 2006

ROUND 2 GAME 4 - Ottawa @ Buffalo - 5.11.2006

Die Another Day, starring your Ottawa Senators
Photo: (AP Photo/Dean Duprey)

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Ottawa wins 2-1
Ottawa goals: Pothier (1) with a seeing-eye puck from the point that fluttered in, Redden (2, pp) walking in from the point with a pinball shot that eventually went in five-hole.
Making Sens(e): Emery, Havlat,
Not much Sens(e): Volchenkov, Heatley
It was over when: Redden opened the third with a powerplay goal, giving his teammates another chance to protect a third period lead.
It was definitely over when: Emery absolutely robbed Dumont in the dying minutes by getting his paw on a puck he had no business finding. Huge save. That’s the one we’ve been missing all series.
Message in a Molson bottle: Don’t get your hopes up, Hockey Country. We didn’t play that well tonight. Our defence had major trouble getting the puck out of the zone and our best forwards were pathetic. Alfie skated hard, but we need much more from him at this point. Heatley played like Arnason. So we’ve got another two days to continue talking about the Sens and Hasek and have to wait until next week until we get into the off-season rumours.
1st Courtesy Boxscore:
2nd Courtesy Boxscore:

Grab a Timmy’s double-double and listen to what really happened:
A random tribute to Led Zeppelin songs:

I can’t quit you baby
As frustrated and upset I was with this team, and as much as I wanted to protest their performance by watching repeats of Everybody Loves Raymond, my TV clicker naturally found its way to OLN and my rear end found its way to the couch. Shockingly, my Daniel Alfredsson jersey found its way over my back. I can rant and rave about how poorly this team is playing, but it is still our team and I’m going to watch this season through until the last minute. Ray Emery can’t quit either – he was stellar in this game, including his highlight reel save on JP Dumont in the last two minutes of the game with a glove save out of nowhere. The kid is alright and at only 23 years old will hopefully have all of his confidence in tact to backstop this team for years to come. All we ask of our goalies is to give us a chance to win the game (and occasionally stand on their head while our defencemen take the night off…). Good on you, Rayzor.

The Song Remains the Same
But was it all peachy for our beleaguered heroes? Absolutely not. Call me unreasonable, but I still thought Volchenkov, apart from one diving stop to break up a 2-on-1, was just horrendous and directly caused the Briere goal that proved to be the only glitch in Emery’s night. Heatley was invisible except for the few times you’d see him skating away from the puck on a forecheck. Chara was no genius either, and for the first time in his career in Ottawa has been exposed as just a tad immobile when someone takes him on the outside. But we did a lot of little things better this time. Alfresson showed a bit of energy, even if I cringed when he found a way to MISS the net on a shorthanded 2-on-1 break. Our defencemen were a lot smarter when they jumped onto offensive rushes and a lot better at clearing rebounds and bodies from in front of Emery. You’ll recall with displeasure that it was an idle rebound in front of Emery that sent this series spiraling out of control in the first place. Bottom line is this: we had just enough energy and skill to make this series go another game, but the way Buffalo has played so far in this series, don’t think that this same performance from some of our key players will lead to a Game 6.

Bring it on Home
At one time during the regular season, we were good at home. After losing the first two games of this series, Buffalo has certainly negated, or at least minimized that advantage. I’m sure the place will be booming on Saturday night and rightfully so because wouldn’t it be great to once be noted around the league as the building that visitors are scared to play in? Instead, we’re known as the building that doesn’t allow horns and cowbells and has easy access for those that want to leave the game five minutes early to beat the bizzaro rush hour back onto the Queensway. If for no other reason, I think people should come out in droves for this game because it is realistically the last time we’ll see this talented of a lineup in Senators uniforms for a while. As we try to not bow out like the playoff lambs we’ve become known as, John Muckler has some very difficult decisions on his hands this summer. First things first, let’s just hope these guys muster enough courage to give their fans something to hold on to this summer.

Loblaws Express Lane – 10 items or less
1. Only 15 turnovers. Only? That’s gotta keep coming down. Chara led the way with four of them, all failed attempts to clear the puck out of the zone. The dude still cranked out 30 minutes of ice time, though.
2. How about the Spezz Dispenser at 73% in the faceoff circle. I hope people realize how important it is in a series with two possession teams like this to win the faceoffs. Letting Buffalo win the draw and crank it up from their blue line isn’t our best option, in my opinion.
3. Blocked shots title goes to Buffalo, 18-11. We’re getting better, but McKee is standing in there and blocking 6 on his own. Did you know he’s a free agent this summer?
4. Outshot 16-3 in the second period – yes, that was very fun to watch, wasn’t it?
5. Hey Alfie, some underground B-movie director called, he loves your new moustache and wants you to star in the bedroom scene of his latest movie.
6. Hey Volchy, Bill Buckner called and ruled your failed puck-grab an error.
7. Don’t even bother to check this site daily –

Upcoming Game
Saturday in Ottawa

Monday in Buffalo
Wednesday in Ottawa

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