Chalk that one up to slow legs
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Anaheim wins 3-2 (Anaheim leads series 1-0)
Ottawa Goals: Fisher, Redden
Making Sens: Emery, Volchenkov, Fisher
Lacking Sens: Meszaros, Kelly,
It was over when: The Moen goal was in that “next goal wins” time frame and gave them more than enough momentum.
It was definitely over when: Our powerplay, which had been great earlier in the game, fades away like the game clock.
Message in a Molson bottle: Holy Toledo, if that loss wasn’t a result of our lazy legs from nine days off, we are in trouble. Badly outplayed and physically dominated, this was our worst of the playoffs, and it wasn’t more evident than with our captain. Alfie gets a free pass because he is the one that got us here, but starting with him, this group needs to find their legs and their bollocks fast. The same edge that let us annihilate the Sabres is what Anaheim used to throttle us tonight – winning battles in the corners and wanting it more. Regroup and go for the split on Wednesday.
Courtesy Boxscore: http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=270528025
Grab a Timmy’s double double and listen to what really happened:
We have immediately established our major edge in the special teams. Penalty kill, while not as offensive as it was last series (that’s okay), was solid and the powerplay put up a pair. What irks me is not scoring on a 5-on-3 – absolutely no excuse for that as we need to score on 100% of those freaking things. Regardless, we sent a message that if they take penalties, we’ll make them count.
Good Lord, were we physically outplayed tonight or what?! To a man, they hit the balls out of us in all areas of the rink and you need to look no further than Meszaros’ fly swat on Rob Niedermeyer on the Moen game winner to see how we reacted. If we showed our advantage in special teams, they trumped that in spades in their physical style of play. We need to start throwing bodies around and quickly or they’ll continue to exploit us. We got this far by being the more physical team against our opponents, but we were shown up tonight. Of particular concern is our handling of their forecheck. They’re going to hit the shite out of Redden and Meszaros and create scoring chances and we better find a response. For those keeping score at home, Redden was a minus-3 and Meszaros was a minus-2, all the result of being outhit and not getting pucks out.
Our best player tonight? Ray Emery. He was beat twice on point blank shots from the slot and once on a nifty move by Getzlaf, who I personally thought was about a km offside on that one, but who am I? By the way, is CBC showing Getzlaf on the bench all the time like Versus is? Why in the shite do I care about Ryan Getzlaf? Get him off my frigging television before he starts getting Sydney Crosby treatment from the television crew down here. Anyway, I thought Emery fought the puck early but settled in to make some key saves in the second and third and showed outstanding composure as they crashed the net on him all game, much to the apparent acceptance of our defencemen. Hey Meszaros, why don’t you make them a frigging sandwich while you have invited him in our crease? Might as well be hospitable, since you obviously have no problem with him being there. Jackass.
We haven’t been down in a series. We haven’t had pressure of a must-win game yet. We haven’t been outplayed in a game. We haven’t had our captain shooting blanks. These are all reasons to get down between now and Wednesday night. But at the same time, we didn’t dominate 15 games up until this point by backing down. Chalk this one up to the layoff and get behind your team before Game Two. No sports clichés, just don’t suck next game.
Keys to next game
Find our physical response
Establish a better forecheck
Establish any kind of backcheck