Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sens Game Report - Ottawa @ Atlanta - 11.8.06

So THIS is what it is like being a Cubs fan...

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Atlanta wins 5-4, with Ottawa blowing a two-goal lead for the third straight game (Monday was a three goal lead...)
Ottawa Goals:
- Spezza (6) tipping a Corvo shot
- Alfredsson (4, pp) showing that his wrist shot is still incredible
- Kelly (2) banging in a rebound on an excellent forechecking shift
- Vermette (6, sh) using his speed shorthanded to get one past Hedberg on the near side
Makins Sens: Alfredsson, Spezza, Redden, Kelly, Vermette
Lacking Sens: Heatley, Schaefer, Fisher, Meszaros, oh yeah, Gerber
It was over when: Kozlov's second goal late in the second period made it 4-3 Ottawa and as has been the case lately, it was just inevitable that we'd lose.
It was definitely over when: Kovalchuk sent the somewhat interested crowd into a frenzy with the tying goal early in the third period. Kozlolv's hat trick game winning goal was really just a formality because we were done.
Message in a Molson Bottle: We stink when we're ahead and we stink when we're behind. The sad part is that you can actually pick out the moment in the game when the team self-destructs. When Atlanta brought the score to 4-3, I actually would have felt confident making bets that we'd lose by on because this team has lost its ability to compete in the third period. This is no longer a matter of not getting the bounces or waiting for someone to break out. By the looks of what happened in the second half of this game, the Senators almost look like they're in some kind of freefall.
Courtesy Boxscore:
Next Game: Friday in Pittsburgh. We used to beat up on them last year.

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

The Good
- Alfredsson is the hardest working guy on our team. He has his vision back, skates to the puck instead of skating away from it, and his shot is still there. If this team is planning on making some personnel moves, they cannot include him. It does concern me, however, that not everyone on the team seems to feed off his play like they used to.
- Kim, my girlfriend, had a really tasty coffee in the third period at the game. Yum.

The Bad
- Where to put Martin Gerber? I mean, he was downright ugly last night. He looked a bit shaken up after taking a shot up high in the chest or neck, but it seemed any shot taken in the third period had a chance to get by. His rebound control was awful meaning an innocent wrist shot taken as a dump in ended up being a scoring chance on the second shot. It is now okay to question whether or not this is the right guy for us.

The Ugly
- I'll tell you what is ugly - this losing streak. At no point during the stretch of five games has this team appeared ready to break out of it! That's the worst part. We come out and score early and at the start of the second period, we saym "uh oh, we're not that good in the second period." Then at the start of the third period, we say, "uh oh, we're not that good in the third period lately." Well I'm no coach, but I've heard from reliable sources that you should be a decent team in the second and third periods to win games. Jus ta thought. Whether the players aren't buying into a system to control a lead or they are in the worst psychological funk known to professional sports, this team needs help. I am not saying we need to trade for Conroy or we need to hire Ken Hitchcock, I'm just saying that this team needs a shakeup because I can't imagine how this group of players with the current mentality in that dressing room is going to find at least one win in the next 72 hours in Pittsburgh and Boston.

- 30 takeaways by Atlanta. That's not goign to be good for business
- How about the portly fellow in the Thrashers leather jacket that I had to sit beside last night? This spherical-like gentleman's jacket smelled so awful that I'd rather stick my nose inside of a used hockey glove for a while to get away from it. Since the Thrashers aren't that old of a team, you just know that this jacket has probably seen and done some strange things that jackets aren't supposed to do. But hey, this is Georgia, people. Draw your own conclusions.
- Fisher/Neil/Schaefer line was irrelevant because they spend their entire shift on the boards and in the corner. They will go an entire 45 second shift and not have one scoring chance because not one of them heads to the front of the net. Even getting the puck back to the point doesn't do any good because the ensuing shot from the defenceman doesn't go through any traffic.


hockeydan said...

Serious question: What would our record be if we won 75% of the games in which we had a 2 goal lead?

You just can't get comfortable watching this team. Everytime you try to relax they implode.

Geoff Cheek said...

I absolutely agree, Dan. Early in the season, I felt uncomfortable watching this team with a lead. Last night, I actually expected them to blow the lead and lose.

I honestly don't know what solution would work for this team, but what I do know is that Jacques Martin won almost every single game when he took a lead into the third period. That's becoming a fact that we need to consider at this point, I think.

hockeydan said...

And another thing, what would our record be if we simply didn't allow a shorthanded goal in 75% of our power plays?

I don't want to be to hard on them because alot of it is probably just pinned up frustration, but this team just doesn't make sense. Are we missing Martin's killer instinct? Why does this team stink when given the advantage? Do they begin to relax when the game is in their favour? It just seems like we play our worst hockey when we should be playing our best.