Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sens Game Report - Colorado @ Ottawa - 10.19.2006

It’s official – we’re lazier than Tyler Arnason

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Colorado wins 2-1
Ottawa Goals:
- Heatley (1), yay, scores his first on a wrist shot on a pass from his boyfriend
Making Sens: DMac, Corvo
Lacking Sens: Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson, Fisher, Schaefer, Phillips, Redden
It was over when: Colorado scored shorthanded and reminded Ottawa fans that a powerplay for us typically means a goal for them.
It was definitely over when: Spezza and Phillips took back-to-back penalties in the third, negating a powerplay and keeping us shorthanded until just a little over two minutes were left.
Message in a Molson bottle: I don’t make guarantees anymore. We skate like a five-year old on the Rideau Canal and expect to win battles for pucks when in reality the puck is already in the next zone by the time we coast over. We didn’t deserve to be in this game as Colorado outplayed us for 60 minutes, mostly by skating harder than us. It amazes me that a team as talented as Ottawa can continue to phone in the game from their homes.
Courtesy Boxscore:
Next Game: Saturday hosting New Jersey. Can we change that to a road game?..

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

The Good

- Dean McAmmond was our best forward once again and actually was our second best defenceman, too. This guy is the best third liner in the league, bar none. He is the fastest guy on the team (I don’t guarantee it, but I’m curious how he’ll stack up against Vermette at the skills competition when we pretend to be fast for a few hours), and works all three zones better than anyone on the ice. He actually blew by a defenceman to get a great scoring chance, skated around and picked up a rebound and setup another scoring opportunity, and then was the second guy backchecking on the ensuing Colorado rush. Maybe he should tell his secrets to Spezza. And Heatley. And Alfredsson, Fisher, Schaefer, Vermette, Neil, Kaigorodov, Hamel, Kelly, and Eaves. And Schubert for good measure. And then to Spezza once more.
- Joe Corvo is going to get 45 points with this team and be awesome. I’m thrilled that he’ll be here for four years. His shot is awesome, he’s fast, skates hard, is smart with the puck, and is all covered in tatts. Great stuff. He isn't as big as I thought, but his speed and shot will make him an oustanding player for us; a dynamic type of defenceman that we've never had before. Maybe he'll like BBQ ribs!

The Bad

- The Fisher/Schaefer/Vermette line looks like hell. Fisher has been a total non-factor in six games this year in his “breakout season”, Vermette moves great in the neutral zone but completely pulls up in the offensive zone, and Schaefer just skates around in the corners and keeps looking for Havlat streaking in front of the net or something. This line produces ZERO scoring chances because their forecheck never gets out of the corner. As I said last game, I know that it is solid forechecking and it keeps the puck in the opponent’s zone, but the objective is to also open up scoring chances. That part hasn’t happened and as a result, this line has become frustrating to watch. My thinking is that Neil is a far more suitable player here because he can keep up with Fisher and Schaefer and has the tenacity to get in slots and high traffic areas. Meanwhile, Vermette is better suited with McAmmond because they'll skate fast and look for flashes of greatness, relative to a third liners skill. Just a thought...
- Whoever said Wade Redden would be a good captain should watch a tape of tonight’s game. When your team is down, you need to become more aggressive and pinch and try and get back in the game. If you’re Wade Redden, you tone down your intensity and make sure your cruise control is still working. As was the case last season when Alfie was healing his ribs (not BBQ), Redden wasn’t a vocal leader or an exemplary leader. He’ll wear the ‘A’ for the rest of his career, wherever that will be. I hope it is in Ottawa, but rest assured that he won’t be a captain. I love the guy, but what you see is what you get from Redds, so I hope you like what you see.

The Ugly
- Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley haven’t skated hard in six games. As a result, they get booed in their own building. Of course, they are 0-4 in their own building, so what do you expect? I don’t question the talent of these two, but I certainly question their work ethic and their attention to detail and responsibility. Maybe the gravy train has pulled into the station after its final run and now these guys need to manufacture goals instead of just lollygagging their way through to 100 points. Regardless of what the answer is, these two haven’t found it. They'll get their 90-100 points, but it will involve a lot more effort.
- Chris Phillips is playing like shite and to be completely honest, I’d rather have Schubert out there right now and have Philly as our #7 defenceman. Maybe his defensive coverage means that we only ever notice him in his own end so we miss everything he does everywhere else, but I seem to notice him botching plays in all areas of the ice. The time to adapt to the “new NHL” was the first 40-50 games of last season. If, as a professional hockey player, Phillips can’t find his game after over 100 games under the new rules, then I don’t know how he can ask for a raise next summer. Is Brian Lee almost ready?

- The shot count (36-27) tells a story that we lost battles in our own end all night.
- Gerber played quite well, but sees his record drop to 1-3. Watch out for Don Brennan's inevitable article this weekend calling for Muckler's head for signing Gerber.
- Scary statistic of the week: Ottawa’s powerplay has produced one goal and allowed three. To say that we want to decline a powerplay isn’t that much of a joke anymore.
- Chalk up Colorado’s second goal, the shortie, to Dany Heatley for coasting back into the zone and watching Richardson wire it over Gerber’s glove. All Heatley had to do was put his stick out and he could have broken it up. Instead, he watched the winning goal from two feet away. Awesome.


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