This one was actually a close game, and early start was again the difference
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Ottawa wins 4-2; officially eight of the last nine
Heatley (17) on a quick pass from Spezza with both in the slot
Spezza (13, pp), Zinggggg, howitzer from the sideboards when everyone was expecting the feed to his boyfriend.
Corvo (4, pp) darts in on the far side for a nice tic-tac-toe with Spezza to Alfredsson
Heatley (18) Zingggg, working to get the puck off the side boards to himself and wiring it past the Dunham pad.
Making Sens: Heatley, Schaefer, Corvo,
Lacking Sens: Preissing and Schubert were so-so, although Schubert broke up a two-on-one like a 12-year vet.
It was over when: Apart from the shot clock, this one was close. Heatley’s second goal was that sigh of relief that we could chalk it up as a win.
It was definitely over when: Killed off penalties five and six in the last eight minutes, the last one featuring the defencemen picking the puck and firing it straight out at least half a dozen times.
Message in a Molson bottle: I still can’t take the Islanders seriously, and we are actually ahead of them in the standings (one more win), but they’re division leaders. This win also puts us ahead of Toronto in the standings, not like anyone in Ottawa notices that, right? Tonight, it was Heatley and Spezza playing excellent hockey as they crossed the blueline and created a ton of turnovers. Transition game was so quick that even the Islanders broadcasters noticed how well Ottawa was at making one pass to get the puck to the neutral zone. Did you hear that? We’re envied in Long Island! Success!
Courtesy Boxscore: http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=261205012
Next Game: Wednesday at Washington. Remember that time we blew a three-goal lead there? I do, and you can bet the players do, too.
Three storylines to wow your friends over a Timmy’s double double:
The gerbil and his cage
Weak reference for Gerber and gerbil, I know, but I’ve got a long time to find a better one. Anyway, Gerber played tonight much like he did in Raleigh last week – making the saves that he needs to make. But you can really notice a difference in his positioning as he is much further out of his crease to challenge shooters and he seems quicker and moving post to post. His massive black pad was flicking all over the place, too. Nice game, another step forward. Mark my word, he’ll get his games this season.
Heavy \’hev-e\ adj 1: having great weight 2: hard to bear
Now you know what to say when someone asks you to define Dany Heatley’s slapshot. It seems even harder and heavier this season than last, and he knows where to place it. His second of the night was the perfect example as the puck was just too strong and went through Dunham’s pad and just forced its way into the net. It’s official – we need Spezza and Heatley to live in loving matrimony for years to come because Spezza’s passes and Heatley’s slappers will only get better. They backcheck now, too. Hooray for Coach Murray. Fire that blog guy that brought up Hitchcock’s name a few weeks ago.
D for damn you, opposing forwards
John Muckler said that he had put together a more mobile defensive corps that would be quick and potent. They score goals, jump in on plays, move the puck, and basically do what our GM told us they would. What we might not have expected is just how good they can in their own zone. Meszaros was lights out tonight and is incredibly quick throughout the zone, Phillips is playing like he does in April (which is good), Volchenkov has been getting enough airtime about how well he is blocking shots and hitting everything, and Corvo is settling in as the #2 guy here. Maybe we don’t miss the big guy after all. Although I’m sure Baton Rouge is still furious/inconsolable.
1. Alfredsson left the game in the middle of the third and looked very shaken up about something. I couldn’t pin point what it was, but I’m sure we’ll know which play it was in the morning. I’d like to say that he was just kept out of the game for precautionary reasons, but as I said earlier, he looked bad getting to the bench and then to the room.
2. McGrattan’s three minutes of icetime were a bit weird – three shots on goal and no hits. He looked like he was skating pretty hard out there. The fighter isn’t extinct yet dodo.
3. Schaefer looked great, skated very hard and passed through checks in the corners. He looked like he wants to create goals tonight.
4. Vermette went 16-5 in the faceoff circle against Sillinger, the #2 faceoff guy in the league behind Perreault. Spezza wasn’t too shabby at 14-4.
5. Another pair of powerplay goals and killed off six of theirs. Special teams is somewhat important, everyone.