This one escalated quickly; it really got out of hand quick!
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Washington wins 6-2
Fisher (7, pp) on a great pass through the blue paint from Schaefer
Spezza (14) left alone in front to tap a Preissing rebound into the partially open cage
Making Sens: Fisher, Schaefer
Lacking Sens: Vermette, Neil, Eaves
It was over when: Semin scored less than a minute after Spezza got us to within one, another two goal deficit that we just couldn’t overcome
It was definitely over when: Semin, Pettinger, Laich, bingo bango bongo and we’re packing mid-third
Message in a Molson bottle: I really hope that there is no mention in the post-game interviews about the officiating because this game was lost by the tired legs in Senators uniforms. Just as we outplayed the Islanders the night before, we lost every battle in the corner and had unbelievable difficulty moving the puck out of the zone. Missing Redden is bad enough, but we really get an idea of how important Alfredsson is as a forward in the transition game. Instead, we embarrassed ourselves by having no movement in all three zones of the pad. Thanks for coming out. Oh yeah, Ovechkin and Semin are outstanding. You could even say they’re the balls.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=261206023
Next Game: Saturday hosting the Rangers and then Sunday in Columbus. I’m guessing the goalies will split the games once again.
Three storylines to wow your friends over a Timmy’s double double:
They go together like lamb and tuna fish
Nobody missed Alfredsson more tonight than his new centre, Antoine Vermette. Vermie was completely out of synch tonight, trying to do far too much as an individual instead of trying to find chemistry with his new right winger, Patrick Eaves. It didn’t help that Eaves has been getting little icetime recently and has basically been a non-factor for offence over the past few weeks. I know people will argue that it takes time to develop new chemistry, but I expect these guys, as NHL regulars, to pick it up quickly. Plan B, s’il vous plait.
The Upper Body Injury
Anyone that questions why coaches use this ridiculous expression to define an injury to a player needs to look no further than Ray Emery’s wrist and forearm. The news of his injured arm has obviously made its rounds over the past few weeks and while some teams tried to test him by just bumping into his wrist, the Caps took what appears to be a more successful approach – they blasted pucks high glove side. There are some shots, like Semin’s ridiculously hard zinger, that are unstoppable, but we need to assume that Emery could have gotten his arm up there a bit quicker if he were healthy. Also, that whole thing about making the save at the right time to keep momentum wasn’t really in play for us tonight. I love Emery and he certainly had a team clicking around him, but he wasn’t at his best..
That was the poorly written alliteration of us tossing this one out and flushing it down the toilet. We really hung it up mid third when Hamel was given a hooking penalty for lifting the Capitals player’s stick and the bench went bonkers. I imagine the bench penalty went to the coach. We then took a penalty while killing the 5-on-3 and that will typically do it for you when you’re already trailing by two. What makes me upset is seeing Schaefer and Spezza on the bench giggling while Schaefer waves a white towel on his stick over the ice. What the hell, Schaefs? First off, the joke is a bit overplayed. Second off, what can you possibly be laughing at during a third period like the one we played? Third, is that really the appropriate thing to do when we were just handed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for chewing out the refs? Take a walk and think it over, Schaefer. We need to be furious over playing a game like that. As bad as the Leafs are, at least they sound and appear genuinely livid after a loss. We laugh it off and move on without taking any lessons out of it.
1. Fisher was hands-down our best player. You can see the passion in the way he skates hard on every shift. It amazes me that his teammates and sometimes even his linemates don’t feed off this.
2. Spezza got into the crazy errant passes in the third. Again, I think without Alfredsson out there to keep things in line, some players still try and take the game into their own hands and wind up turning the puck over at the blue line.
3. Volchenkov blocked six shots in the ugly first period and finished with eight.
4. McGrattan had a nice tilt with Erskine and wrapped it up with three solid blows the head. Callup Danny Bois accidentally looked up and realized he was fighting Brashear. Oops.
5. Their top players (Ovechkin and Semin) had 10 shots and 8 shots respectively. Our two top guys (Spezza and Heatley) had five and three respectively. The score is indicative of these numbers.
All in all, it was our inability to get the puck out of our end and lack of flow and speed through the neutral zone that kept us on our heels and fishing pucks out of the net.