Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sens Game Report - Ottawa @ Montreal - 10.31.06

Here's a scary Halloween thought - we stink.

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Montreal wins 4-2
Ottawa Goals:
- Spezza (5) on a seeing-eye puck that almost gave us a chance to think we could we win
- Preissing (2) with 9 seconds left....yaaaaaaay
Making Sens: Alfredsson (I'll defend this one in a moment)
Lacking Sens: Defencemen 1 thorugh 5, Coach Murray
It was over when: Kovalev's goal at the end of the second put us out of our misery
It was definitely over when: Markov threw one at the empty net when we started to press to ice it
Message in a Molson Bottle: This just in - we kinda suck. Our powerplay is absolutely atrocious to the extent that when I said two weeks ago that we should actually just tell the refs we'd rather keep it five-on-five, it has become something we really need to think about. Our defencemen phoned this one in and all they were really missing was having Redden out there to go minus-3 or something. We didn't even deserve the opportunities we did have with the terrible skating we showed tonight.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=261031010
Next Game: Saturday at home against Carolina.

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

The Good
- This may be a stretch to find something positive out of this game, but I really liked the effort level of Alfredsson tonight. He was trying to lead by example, but unfortunately the rest of the team must have been full from their $2.99 poutine from the Peel Pub down the street or something, because this one was ugly. The worst part about Alfie's night is that he is the only forward that showed up and he finished a minus-4. I'm usually a strong proponent of what that statistic means, but this one isn't justified. The few opportunities we did have to score goals and to move the puck well were created by the captain. I hope he has a temper and throws some chairs, because he's gotta be just steaming inside right now at his stats and his team's record.

The Bad
- Hi, I'm the puck. Whoa, wait, you just skated over me. Peace out. Where in the dickens were we skating tonight? We'd either pull up way short of the puck or skate far past it. Now I'm somewhat partial to the Senators and usually like to argue that we can match the Sabres in terms of speed and skating, but they sure didn't back my argument tonight.
- More on the powerplay later, but the work we did on the 5-0n-3 in the second period when we were only down 1-0 was a joke. We pass the puck around the perimeter and set up the hulking Daniel Alfredsson in front of the net and maanged one shot from the point with no traffic. I think we need to score on 100% of our two man advantages. On the bright side, at least we didn't give up a shortie n that powerplay! Hooray.

The Ugly
- For the sake of time and space, I'll only focus on two. First, our defencemen were halfway to humiliating tonight. Preissing was left standing naked by Higgins, Meszaros coughed it up a handful of times, Phillips and Volchenkov looked as stupid as they did in game one, Corvo was a bit overanxious, Schubert, our number seven defencemen, was just the cat's meow tonight, the only guy that had a half decent game.
- I'm going to point a finger here for a second, at Coach Murray. Why is our powerplay so bad? Why is our defensive coverage so bad? Why do we have trouble moving the puck through the neutral zone with the lineup we have? As much as we can single out different players that screw up regularly, one has to start to wonder what the hell we're doing in practice when we show zero improvement in so many key areas each game. I love our coach and think he can fire these guys up pretty good and proper, but he said it best himself when he said there hasn't really been an improvement in this team from the time he took over last year until now. Why is that? At some point, fair or not, this becomes the responsibility of the coach. Our powerplay is garbage and has been for some time - why hasn't that been fixed so we're at least giving the appearance of having scoring chances?

- Not much else to say. This is one where you have to let it sting for a few days to learn the lessons, and then get ready for the Cup Champions.

1 comment:

pynch said...

Kudos on calling out coach Murray. Aside from our three blowout games, we've been playing way below our potential. We're past the point of blaming our poor powerplay on a short preseason and we have to find a way to win close games. I shouldn't be thinking that when the score is 2-1 in the third that our boys have already lost cause they can't win close games. But I do.