Monday, October 16, 2006

Sens Game Report - 10.14.2006 - Ottawa @ Montréal

A win is a win. We deserved this one in regulation, but some small child mugged Spezza before the game and dressed in his place.

Also, check back Monday night for my scathing rebuttal to the Williams fiasco currently listed below this game report. Scroll down.

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Ottawa wins 3-2 in a shootout
Ottawa Goals:
Hamel (1) the hard way banging away in front of the net
Kelly (1) on a nice feed through the crease from Eaves to respond to the Higgins goal.
Shootout: Vermette scores, McAmmond is stopped, Fisher scores to win
Making Sens: Emery, Neil, Redden, McAmmond, Kelly, Eaves, Kaigorodov
Lacking Sens: Spezza, Fisher, Schaefer
It was over when: The almighty Koivu was stopped as the second skater in the shootout for Montreal.
It was definitely over when: Fisher potted the second goal in the shootout to ice it.
Message in a Molson bottle: Defensively solid and far too reliant on the third and fourth lines for spark and scoring. The top two lines need to be buying some BBQ rib dinners for the rest of the forwards for getting them out of Montreal with a divisional win. For the second game in a row, Emery showed that he deserves the time in nets.
Courtesy Boxscore:
Next Game: Thursday night hosting Colorado

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

The Good
- We officially have a great goaltending tandem. Yay. Now before you wipe that beer off your face and tell me why Gerber sucks and Emery should be our number one, let me interrupt. I completely agree that Emery deserves the ice time right now – he is playing great hockey with a lot of confidence. Coach Murray is perfectly right in playing the guy that is winning games, without a doubt. Right now, that guy is Ray Emery. But remember this, dear friend: we didn’t sign Martin Gerber for $3.7M a year to not play. He is the #1 guy and right now he is getting time on the bench while our backup is hot. Case closed. Write that down.
- I like Dean McAmmond a lot. I’ve mentioned something about his skating and his vision just about every game so far because he just seems to be our most comfortable skater out there. It’s not like I enjoy writing his name. In fact, it’s pretty annoying having to do that capital M, then the lower case c and then back to a capital A. But so long as he keeps playing well and skating hard every single shift, he’ll get air time. From now on, we shall call him D-Mac. Original, eh?
- Fourth line was great, third line was pretty solid, too. I like Eaves, Kelly, and Kaigorodov on the fourth in one of these less physical games. I feel like all four of our lines can score goals.

The Bad
- Mike Fisher and Peter Schaefer are exciting hockey players. They work hard and throw their bodies around to make the play. But they spend so much frigging time cycling in the corners and working on the perimeter in regular 5-on-5 play, they rarely get any good scoring opportunities. I think it is great forechecking, but the whole point of it is to pry the puck loose and get high percentage shots on goal. It’s not like Vermette is going to park himself in front of the net and wait for their pass, so these three will just work the perimeter, which is something 29 opposing defenses are completely fine with.

The Ugly
- In my opinion, this was Jason Spezza’s worst game in the Bryan Murray regime. His passes were so far off target and so obvious that I’m not so sure they even would have worked in the OHL where Spezza seemed to belong tonight. Thursday it was Heatley, this time Spezza. Should we expect Alfredsson to phone it in on Thursday or are these three actually going to try and get a goal. If they haven’t figured it out yet, these three can’t expect the points to fall onto their sticks anymore. Spezza needs to forget this one, learn from the passing mistakes in our own end, and focus on making some magic this week.

- Alexei Kaigorodov is pretty fun to watch, except in the faceoff circle and in the corners. And in front of the net. All in all, though, it was a decent showing for his first actual NHL game and he managed to put an assist in there on Kelly’s goal. He may not have known about it, though, since second assists are merely a campfire legend in his native Russia.
- Talk about spreading your icetime around, the shortest amount of time one of our guys had on the ice was Neil at 10:04, and that is because he had 7 minutes in penalties! That’s a team effort right there.
- Powerplay is shut down again but I liked the way they moved the puck in the third period. At any given point, we’ll start netting them at a 50% rate just to get back into the top 5 in the league. For those keeping score, we went into the game ranked 28th and then went 0-for-5.

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