25 hard minutes does not a good game make.
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Buffalo wins 4-3
1. Dean McAmmond (1) on a zinger off a 2-on-1 with Hamel going glove side
2. Jason Spezza (1) tipping in a Heatley wrist shot while standing in front
3. Jason Spezza (2) banging in a rebound into the open net off an Alfie shot
Making Sens: McAmmond, Alfredsson
Lacking Sens: Fisher, Volchenkov, Phillips, Coach Murray
It was over when: Pominville scored 1:14 after Spezza pulled us to within one, and we all know what Jason Pominville goals do to our team.
It was definitely over when: Time ran out. We waited too long to start playing.
Message in a Molson bottle: Don’t look at the third period and think that we could have won this game. We skated around listlessly for the better part of the night and the lack of effort has now landed us in a tie for last place in the division. If you missed this game, go back and watch your VCR tapes from last year’s second round against Buffalo because this one was really an extension of that series. We now trail 5 games to 1.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=261007014
Next Game: Thursday hosting Calgary.
Grab a Timmy’s double double and listen to what really happened:
- You can officially call me a Dean McAmmond fan. I’m not sure if it is just because it is nice to see some new blood among our collection of underachievers, but in my opinion, he has stood out as our hardest worker and best player in each of the first three games (tied with Gerber in the opener, before you snarl back at me). He skates hard and fast and goes after the puck. The other players can learn from that because they seem to enjoy skating away from the puck.
- The Pizza Line was together in the third and produced a pair of goals. It occurred to me after the first game or perhaps sometime during the second game that secondary scoring is pretty much impossible when you don’t have primary scoring. If our role players are as good as we think they are, then we should absolutely have the Pizza Line together and sort out the rest of the lines accordingly.
- Mike Fisher does NOT have carte blanche, okay? We all love the guy because he throws his body around and his wrist shot would go right through you, but his play in the first three games has been mediocre at best. He isn’t finding openings for shots and he isn’t skating after the puck very much. Is he in danger of falling into the same trap as the rest of the vets, which is to have your performance drop as expectations rise? I dearly hope not, or else we should never use the term “breakout year” again. Fisher needs to forget about the expectations of the general public and focus on being Mike Fisher.
- I don’t point fingers, but Martin Gerber needs to keep us in the game. If we wanted to have a back breaking goal scored against us a minute after we get back in the game, we’d put Emery in. Booooooooooo, c’mon, Geoff. Just kidding, Rayzer, but it's funny cause it's true, right? The Swiss Miss needs to make the big save.
- I think Eugene Melnyk is completely within reason to ask for Phillips’ and Volchenkov’s paycheque for this week. Paint me crazy, but if I’m in a contract year like Phillips, AND I’m just handed the ‘A’ for alternate captain, I find a way to play so far above my own talent levels that I send Muckler into sleepless nights about how to re-sign me. And keep using that crazy paint brush because if I’m Anton Volchenkov and I know that my GM has been reportedly dangling me as trade bait and my salary is far above my performance, I begin this season like the Oilers finished - playing out of my skates! It baffles me how these two guys, who have each been involved in trade rumours, can open the season playing so awful. Make no mistake, their play has been nothing more than piss poor and I blame Coach Murray for continuing on with the expirement of keeping them together.
- I’ll say it again, the Pizza Line MUST stay in tact. In fact, the more I think about it and the more I drink CC and gingers tonight, I wonder why we ever left this approach. Secondary scoring, right? Mike Fisher, Peter Scaefer, Antoine Vermette, Dean McAmmond, Patrick Eaves, Chris Neil – these guys apparently all have the potential for a 20-goal season, right? So if this is true, then why do we split up three guys that will each score 100 points when playing together? Because the Bruins will put Chara on them? Great! That just makes more room for our six other 20-goal scorers. There is no team who has #3-#6 defencemen good enough to consistently stop those six secondary scorers. Can we stop their top lines? Well, I answer your question with another question – how is Joe Corvo’s foot?
- The numbers have Patrick Eaves at a minus-3. I didn’t think he was that bad but I guess his (in)ability to collapse down low made quite the difference, seeing as how he was on the ice for all three of Buffalo’s even strength goals.
- Alfredsson was a plus-2 and had two assists – give him his due credit because he was there tonight, playing like a captain. Great job, buddy.
- Dean McAmmond and Chris Neil were both around 10 minutes of ice time. I need much more McAmmond to be happy.
- This first period gave me very upsetting flashbacks to last year’s series. How we’ve managed to come out of the gates so sloppy in all three games, two of those at home, is beyond me. Lessons learned since May? Apparently nothing.