Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sens Game Report - 10/4/2006 - Ottawa @ Toronto

And we're baaaaaaack

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Ottawa wins 4-1
Ottawa Goals:
1. Eaves (1) on the powerplay on a rebound from Priessing’s shot
2. Neil (1) showing some speed and showing that Toronto’s D is still slow
3. Schubert (1) on a strange wraparound shot that banked off Raycroft’s pad
4. Alfredsson (1) into the empty net to ice it
Making Sens: Gerber, Redden, Eaves, McAmmond, Neil
Lacking Sens: Phillips, Volchenkov
It was over when: Neil’s goal was so reminiscent of last year’s Toronto defensive corps that it just seemed to deflate the team and the crowd.
It was definitely over when: Toronto continued to take penalties throughout the third, preventing any kind of flow. Not that there’s anyone on that team that can score, anyway.
Message in a Molson bottle: Cobwebs. Phillips and Volchenkov looked far too similar to the way we were in May, but give Philly a mulligan since he is new to playing on the right side (there used to be a bigger guy over there). First 10 minutes we sloppy, but by the end of 60 minutes, we looked like a fast team that forechecks and backchecks consistently. Let’s do that 81 more times.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=261004021
Next Game: Thursday night hosting Toronto

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

The Good
- The new guys stole the show, in my opinion. Martin Gerber was phenomenal from the drop of the puck to the final whistle. When we were sluggish early, it was the Swiss Miss that kept it scoreless. If he plays like this 59 more times, he’s worth the investment.
- Tom Priessing, before leaving the game mid-second with some king of groin issue, looked great as a puck-moving and pinching defenceman. The Eaves goal was a direct result of Priessing coming in low. Those that missed him last year in San Jose because of their early bedtimes got a good look at what kind of player he is going to be for us.
- Dean McAmmond was phenomenal. First off, he may compete with Vermette in the speed competition. Second, he sees the ice well, doesn’t get fancy in his pantsy, and can skate around just about anyone…on Toronto. It’s a start.

The Bad
- Daniel Alfredsson was not very noticeable tonight. That’s okay. When the guy has the puck, you still understand that he’s probably the best all-around player on either side of the ice. What gave me a weird feeling is the way he threw the puck into the open net with his backhand in the final minute. Why the frig couldn’t he do that last ...forget it, I’m over it. Alfie will score 100 points, but he was lucky to get one tonight with the way he played.

The Ugly
- Hi, I’m Anton Volchenkov and I would rather skate over here, thank you. Again, we’ve moved on from last year, but the A-Train must have been at the wrong station tonight. Choo-choo, come on home, buddy. If Priessing’s groin is an issue, then Volchenkov will see a lot of ice time with Phillips and the two of them will have to overcome whatever language barriers there may be between them.
- Tie Domi. He’s just plain ugly, although it took a really big man to confess that Mats Slewfoot Sundin being awarded a penalty shot was bush league. I could keep railing Domi, but (insert your own Belinda Stronach joke here).

Overtime
- Chemistry is still a work in progress with the Fisher/Schaefer/Alfredsson line. They were good, but Alfie once made Todd White a 60 point player, so by my count that should make Fisher a 70 point guy. Me do good at math, see. The speed and flow to this line will be a sight for sore eyes after a few more games.
- I was just about to say to myself that I wasn’t crazy about Eaves being on the top PP unit and that I’d rather Alfie be up there, but then Eaves scored. Okay.
- Vermette has gotta keep skating. He keeps stopping when he hits the slot and then looks for a pass. If he’s coming in on any Toronto defenceman, he needs to get around him.
- Hi, I’m a faceoff win. Do you want to get to know each other? Please circle one: YES NO MAYBE
- I didn’t miss Havlat or Smolinski or Hasek, but I kinda missed Chara.
- Back at it tomorrow night at home. Zing.

4 comments:

White Tiger said...

Cheeker,

Let's be honest, the only reason why the Sens were sluggish at the start was a result of the ceremony that was WAY to long before the game. Not to disrespect these great hockey players, but why do the Leafs seem to put more effort into these ceremonies than the product on the ice? Went to a game last year and might have been one of the worst venues on ice. It's going to be a long winter here in the T dot. Great opening blog by the way.....

Meco.

P.S. You may be asking "Why White Tiger"? That's right, I took up golf. My goal is to break 85 before the Leafs make another play off run. Come to think of it, by then I might be competing for my CPGA card.

Word.

hockeydan said...

I agree with White Tiger that the Leafs need to get their priorities straight i.e. focus on the current team, but I thought the ceremony was great. I was extremely fortunate to get tickets, and if you were there, the ceremony was awesome. Sure the highlighted players weren't my favourite, but being a hockey purist, I loved it.

I loved the Sens kicking that a$$ even more.

Geoff Cheek said...

White Tiger, I don't know if the ceremony was the only reason they were sluggish. I mean, at least Ottawa got to sit in their dressing room; it was Toronto that had to stand still on the ice that whole time. Pierre McGuire brought it up on the radio this morning that these ceremonies, by rule, are only supposed to last 15 minutes - not last night, though.

Think of the matchup last year - the Leafs outplayed Ottawa for 55 minutes before Alfie took over. I thought both teams were a little uptight last night, but at one point the difference in talent just took over. For all the changes Toronto made over the off-season, their fans can't be happy with the similarities between what they saw last night and what they saw last year.

Al Iafrate said...

Good blog, glad to see the season has started. Gerber was the biggest difference in the game last night. I realize others contributed, although, Gerber made huge saves throughout the game. Tie Domi is a meathead. . . . . I'd rather see a twinkie in his place or a piece of beef jerkey.

PS North by Northeast rules!