The better team lost tonight
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Buffalo wins 3-2 (Ottawa leads series 3-1)
Ottawa Goals: McAmmond, Schaefer
Making Sens: Alfredsson, Fisher, Volchenkov, Corvo
Lacking Sens: Meszaros, Heatley, Neil, Emery
It was over when: Heatley’s high sticking penalty with about 2:30 left meant we’d only get 30 seconds to put on the full press – not enough.
It was definitely over when: Miller grabbed the puck with about 8 seconds left and instead of freezing it and giving us a faceoff, he threw it to the corner and time ran out.
Message in a Molson bottle: Far too slow of a start. A terrible turnover to start the game and then sitting back to see what Buffalo would bring, just the complete opposite style we’d played all series. We kicked around for 30 minutes before showing signs of life and taking over the game. In the end, we had badly outplayed the Sabres but two blunders in the first half (Meszy’s turnover and Emery’s brutal handling of the Drury goal) put us in too deep of a hole. Hold your head up high, that Sabres team that played today won’t beat us again because we won’t show up with such carelessness to start the next one on Saturday.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=270516014
Grab a Timmy’s double double and listen to what really happened:
The lines were flying in the second half of this game and the fact that we DIDN’T tie this one up is a mystery. Redden, Fisher, McAmmond all had glorious chances to pot one; I’ll have nightmares about Redden in the slot on the powerplay in the third and completely missing the net. But let’s get back to Ophelia – we had goals from the second and fourth lines tonight and they probably generated far more chances than our top line. This is what we need, and if you couple that the top line playing like they have, and we could have won this one. It’s a nice sign that they’re scoring.
Emery looked awful tonight. Perhaps its my emotions running hot because I’m writing this just minutes after the final horn, but I thought he fought the puck all night. I don’t know how to explain this just because all he has to do is make the saves that he is supposed to make. Had he done that, we could still be in this game because the Drury goal was just hideous. I think Emery is enough of a fighter to bounce back from this one, but I imagine he’ll beat himself up over this one for a few hours. Again, all we need him to do is wear sharp suits and stop the routine shots. The other 18 will do the rest.
We showed resolve tonight. It doesn’t show much in the end result, but to fight back from that 3-0 deficit just for the sake of winning this series was a nice showing. After the Drury goal, we somehow settled back into our style of play and controlled the rest of the game. If we play like that through 60 minutes on Saturday afternoon, we’ll hopefully have a better result. In each series, we’ve broken off of our game plan for a period or so and we did the same thing tonight. On Saturday, it is back to business.
What the frig is up with Dany Heatley? At first, I thought he was snakebitten against Miller. Now, I think he is just in a funk. I love his assists and all, but he is the weak link on that top line right now, sad to say. I know, I know, we lost one game. I’m not going into panic mode and I still think we will win this series, but the dude potted 50 goals this year – don’t you expect him to find some in a game like tonight? Wait, stop. I guarantee a Heatley goal on Saturday. There, I said it.
Keys to the next game
- Take the crowd out of the game
- Focus on our system
- Take back the special teams
Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, and TOI
34 minutes ago