This one was just ugly
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Ottawa wins 6-0
Heatley (15, pp) on a perfect bounce off the boards behind the net, hammers a bouncing puck past Auld
Heatley (16) with a howitzer with Preissing jumping in on the play
Fisher (6, sh) roofing a pass from Schaefer on that old-fashioned short-handed two on one break
Kelly (4) on a pass from Spezza after the latter’s first attempt stuffed Auld’s pads with both guys parked in the paint
Meszaros (4) tipping in a Phillips shot on some hard forechecking from the fourth line
Vermette (9) scores on backup Belfour looking at half of an open net and finishing
Making Sens: Emery, Preissing, Alfredsson
Lacking Sens: Schaefer
It was over when: Heatley’s second showed that his hat trick on the weekend is almost about to repeat itself and the focus of the Panthers shifted entirely on stopping #15.
It was definitely over when: By shutting down Heatley for the rest of the night, although he still found some chances, the Panthers lost all focus and just looked silly through 20 minutes. The last two periods were for show and for pizza.
Message in a Molson bottle: Perhaps one of the best all-around games when you consider their forechecking, their neutral zone play, and the backchecking. We officially have goaltending and competent defencemen and it has allowed our forwards to focus more on scoring goals. In scoring a few early goals, it allows the entire group to settle into a comfortable style of play that has all five guys moving together through the zones and helping on both ends. This win was another thing of beauty
Courtesy Boxscore: http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=261128007
Next Game: Saturday hosting Tampa Bay, trying to clean up the one sore spot in our past two weeks.
Three storylines to wow your friends over a Timmy’s double double:
Defencemen 6 through 1
Wade Redden left late in the first period with an upper body injury (he looked to be grimacing after taking a hit behind our net) and who steps up to play their best game this season? Tom Preissing, that’s who. The $600,000 man, as we can now call him, was excellent in all three zones, especially in the Florida zone. He seems to know exactly when to join the play and exactly when he cannot join the play, both evidenced tonight. A key element of winning teams is different guys stepping up their game when needed. With Redden out, Preissing was solid.
Here’s a new topic: goalies
Don’t let the six goals and the free slice of pizza lead you to forget the performance that Ray Emery put forth tonight. He made the fundamental saves and he made the extraordinary saves. When your forwards are in a flow like the Senators were tonight, the last thing they want is to have their goalie let in a few goals and change the momentum. Emery ensured that it was all Ottawa tonight. Now if we can get assurances that Martin Gerber is game ready, then we’ll be in a pretty nice situation. The way I see these two right now, though, is that Gerber is like a PC and Emery is a Mac (are those commercials on in Canada like they are here?). Gerber has some glitches but you know he’ll be reliable at the end of the day. Emery, on the other hand, is more popular right now and is wowing you with what he can accomplish. I’d try and expand this analogy but it would become clear that I don’t know much about computers…
Where’s da beef?
I still love the cameo of Boris the Blade in Eurotrip as the Slovak that is just getting North American entertainment – “hey, Miami Wice, Best new show!” So where’s the beef? As in, what isn’t clicking right now with the Senators? Well, I still think Peter Schaefer is a weak link on the line with Alfredsson and Vermette. Alfie has been our best forward lately and Vermette is clicking very well with him. It is Peter Schaefer, though, that leaves me wondering just what the heck is going on out there. He kicks the puck around in his skates deep in his own end as if he’s forechecking instead of just passing off to a defenceman or just clearing the puck out. And to me, he just seems to float a bit. Remember when he formed the perfect second line with Neil and Fisher? Can you even imagine him playing with those two sparkplugs anymore? What else is less than perfect? I can’t really think of anything that stands out right now. Sounds like a good time to go on a winning streak and get back into respectable places in the standings.
1. Can someone tell Chris Kelly that he made the team? The kid still skates around with that look on his face that makes you wonder if any of this has sunk in to him yet.
2. For those that missed the game on TV, a Weiss hit on Phillips shattered the glass in our own end that sent two children to the hospital, hopefully for precautionary reasons only.
3. Alfredsson was aggressive again tonight and nearly got into fisticuffs with Weiss on a couple of occasions. Maybe he is still upset about the alleged story that he was pegged in the head with a danish while having breakfast at the Brookstreet after the loss to the Sabres last playoffs. Whatever the case is and whether or not that campfire story is true, Alfie is playing with his heart on his sleeve. It seems to have started around the time that he was supposedly being traded to LA. Right.
4. Only three players (all defencemen) logged over 20 minutes tonight, telling you that we had the opportunity to roll out the fourth line a lot.
5. Volchenkov blocked another five shots tonight. And smiles when he does it. In fact, all of the guys are smiling a lot which is nice to see they appreciate one another’s effort and enjoy winning. It makes me laugh when people say Ottawa lacks “heart” in the playoffs. Does anyone think these guys don’t love to win? Find some other answer on why they haven’t been a successful playoff team, but cross off lack of grit and cross off lack of heart.