Monday, November 13, 2006

Sens Game Report - Montreal @ Ottawa - 11.13.06

It’s official – we’re very bad. Let me ask you this, fellow Ottawa fan: what is the identity of this team? With Jacques, we were a defensive team that had great neutral zone speed on turnovers. Lindy Ruff's Sabres are fast. MacT's Oilers have heart, Hartley's Thrashers are all offence. What is our identity? Maybe we should try and define ourselves as something, besides being a graet paper team, of course.

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Montreal wins 6-3
Ottawa Goals:
- Hamel (3) tipping in a Meszaros shot
- Eaves (3, pp) on a nice individual effort when the team was down
- Vermette (7, pp) standing in front and banging in a rebound
Making Sens: the Vermette/Kelly/Eaves line was okay
Lacking Sens: Schaefer was particularly bad, and the rest weren’t far behind. The top line wasn’t strong, either. Gerber’s performance leaves us wanting Lalime back.
It was over when: Two powerplay goals scored 31 seconds apart to open the third period was the end of it.
It was definitely over when: The Mike Johnson shot from inside the blue line after we had cut the lead to one that made its way past the Swiss Miss was the backbreaker. Again.
Message in a Molson bottle: See the recap of every other game for the same sports clichés: not playing the entire 60 minutes, not helping each other out, getting lazy in all ends of the ice and all aspects of the game. This group of underachievers can’t possibly be allowed to carry on like this for much longer
Courtesy Boxscore:
Next Game: at Buffalo on Wednesday.

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

The Good
- Powerplay netted a couple.
- Volchenkov, who is third in the NHL in blocked shots, had five more tonight.

The Bad
- Martin Gerber refuses to make a timely save, which is amazingly frustrating to watch. He even had some amazing saves in this game early, but as the team was coming back from a 4-1 deficit to make it 4-3, he lets in a Lalime-esque shot from inside the blue line from perennial non-scorer, Mike Johnson. He is currently in the middle of the worst stretch of goaltending that we’ve seen since, um, I don’t know. Maybe Craig Billington’s 11-41-4 record 12 years ago. The guy is a basketcase and we’ve gotta start wondering who is going to help him out of it.

The Ugly
- This team completely folds when the going gets tough. There is absolutely no adversity. Yes, they scored a pair when they needed goals, but then the goalie folded and it was back to our losing ways. I don’t know what we work on in practice, but it lasts about 10-15 minutes in each game before we start floating and playing as individuals.
- Peter Schaefer was ridiculous tonight. I’ve never seen a player in this league skate away from so many loose pucks ever. Fisher and Neil have no chance to do anything out there because it is as if they’re shorthanded! Whether it is his comfort with the new contract or if we overvalued Schaefer’s interpretation of forechecking, he was more harm than help tonight. What the frig was he doing skating away from Perezhogin on the Bonk goal when all he had to do was stick check the guy? A laugh.

- Spezza continues to dominate in the faceoff circle. He also showed some jump in the game. I know the comparisons are already being drawn, but Scotty Bowman took a similar player (all offence, questionable team-first commitment…) and made him into one of the best two-way players. Steve Yzerman won a few Cups as a result. I think with the right tutelage, we might see the same in Spezza at some point. Its easy to forget that he has years and years ahead of him to develop into a leader of this team.
- Alfredsson worked hard but his stickhandling was noticeably poor tonight.
- In all seriousness, how much longer can we possibly keep going like this? Ken Hitchcock is supposed to be on the short list for Columbus, so perhaps we need to move quick…I’m just saying…

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