Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sens Game Report - Ottawa @ Carolina - 11.28.06

Good road trip, exorcised some demons

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Ottawa wins 4-1
Ottawa Goals:
Eaves (4) hitting in a rebound into an open net after some work by Fisher
Schubert (2) with a blast from the point, glove side with Spezza as a screen
Fisher (5) on a pass from Alfredsson that only Alfredsson can make
Neil (8, pp) tipping in a Heatley shot after a weird turnover left us alone in front
Making Sens: Fisher, Alfredsson, Gerber
Lacking Sens: Meszaros had trouble early
It was over when: Fisher’s goal was the two goal lead that Gerber needed to settle in, unlike his previous starts.
It was definitely over when: Killing off the suspect penalty call on Vermette late in the second period meant we’d go into the third period with a two goal edge and a lot more momentum. It held up.
Message in a Molson bottle: This was the type of win that everyone on the team needed. They’ve been on the road for a week and put their embattled goalie out against his former team. Those are enough excuses for them to have called this one in, but they came together around the five minute mark of the first and dominated the next 55 minutes. Gerber was sharp in the second period and the third period was a formality.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=261128007
Next Game: Thursday hosting Florida. Who will be in nets?

Three storylines to wow your friends over a Timmy’s double double:

Gerber is no baby
I hesitated before putting him as one of the top three players tonight simply because I don’t want to jump in and blow smoke up his arse for the sake of his confidence. But the more I thought about the game itself, the more I realized that he really was solid in this game when we needed him most. Now I will admit that at no point was this game really in jeopardy of being lost to the lifeless Hurricanes, but nevertheless, Gerber made the necessary stops in the second period when the game was still a game. As a nice byproduct, this win will hopefully do a lot for his confidence. The fact of the matter is that Gerber really was a different goalie tonight, challenging shooters, using his natural instinct for saves and lateral movement, and just looking far more comfortable in there. That is, if you don’t count the way he looked on the Carolina goal…

The Spicy Swedish Meatball
Daniel Alfredsson was our best forward tonight. He has been one of our top forwards ever since we took the two games from Buffalo as he is skating hard and skating towards the puck, no matter where it is. Tonight was no different and to add some spice to his game, he was throwing his body around a bit. While I don’t agree with everything that Pierre McGuire says (he still says every morning that Ottawa is not a fast team), he did point out that your best players on paper need to be your best players on the ice. Alfie was our best on the ice.

Whoa, that’s deep
The Senators started to showcase their depth on this road trip and tonight was another fine example. The first goal was a result of some great work by our #6 defenceman, Tom Preissing before getting it to Fisher, who fed Eaves. The second goal was from our #7 defenceman, Christoph Schubert. Vermette and Schaefer look terrific playing with Alfredsson, McAmmond is certainly one of the better fourth liners in the league, and Gary Bettman is turning down other GMs that are attempting to clone Chris Neil. People said that the early season losses might teach the Senators how to play with some fire in the face of adversity and those people appear to be right. Mike Brophy said it perfectly before the game when he said that for the first time in a while, our players have learned just how hard they have to play each night to win in this league and this landscape.

Beaver Droppings
1. Spezza and Heatley did very well playing across from the quarter-point NHL MVP, Rod Brind’Amour.
2. How about Fisher and Neil leading the team with 6 and 7 shots on goal, respectively? What were we just saying about depth?
3. Three giveaways is all we offered tonight. That’s an outstanding road statistic and something to cheer about on the plane ride home.
4. Seriously, who will Coach Murray put in goal on Thursday night?
5. Quote of the night was Dean Brown pointing out that the patches of fans in attendance seemed to boo their displeasure every time Eric Staal was touched. I think Staal is a very talented player, but I just think he is a bit of a whiner and falls down far too easily for someone his size.

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