Ottawa wins! Hooraaah! That may have been the greatest regular season game in Sens history. Disagree? Fine. But let's agree it was our best of the year. What a game!
Great to see the boys bounce back from a loss with a solid and strong (strolid?) home effort. Thankfully, Tampa Bay isn't a very good team and we were able to take bigtime advantage before heading down the 417, but despite Tampa being bad, Ottawa was good. Very, very good.
I was pulling what's left of my hair out for the first 4 minutes (I literally lost it to Duff before we turned it around), but aside from that there were few negatives (save for the early PP, Karlsson's flat feet on Malone's goal and Ray Ferraro's commentary), so I'm not going to get into the negatives (slash, I just did). On the flip side, lots of postives, lots. And so, for your reading convenience, I'll list a bunch and focus on a few...
Snoopy! Again, it's nice to see us with a bonafide #1. While heartbreaking not to see a shutout, he played well when he had too.
The offense. From 12 to 19 goals in 60 minutes. Scoring from more than one line. And three points from Ruutu? Love it.
The PK. Continues to be impressive. Nearly dominant, actually. While Kels couldn't bury one (just sayin'), Michalek...well...keep reading...
Fight Night in Ottawa. Count em, 1-2-3. Nice to see Carks handle Downie. A little unfair? Who cares! That one was for former fan fave Speedy Dean McAmmond. The message? We're not soft.
Spez. Only one point on the scoresheet but a heck of a game. And what a pass for the Watermelon Warrior! That was his best game so far. More to come as the season continues...
Hockey Fights Cancer. It's just good. And kudos to the wives and gf's for working to support this crucial cause. (But where was Carrie Underwood?).
Foligno. While quiet most of the game, we need a large shoutout to Nick's first of the season on an obviously emotional night. Congrats 71.
The third period. While probably the most boring of the three, we played it textbook to hold a strong lead, and even scored a powerplay goal! Cognos employees celebrate!
The SENS! Best team effort possibly since 2007-08 season. They were effective in all zones, in all situations. This gives me a lot of early season confidence in Clouston and the well rounded team. I've only mentioned a few guys above, but everyone did a lot of things right to contribute to a great game.
And now, let's focus on a couple of guys.
Rookies beware, the A-Train's coming through. In the pregame, a major understatement was made when Ferraro said Volchenkov was becoming one of the game's best open ice hitters. And no, he didn't lay out anyone open ice, but he nearly made Hedman a permanent rinkboard with the hipcheck he laid out. Textbook. Another rookie understand's that #24 is lethal. And while that hit was good, A-Train was better. A lot of credit needs to be given to his overall defence. Small things. Positioning here, a poke check there. Volchenkov looked like a Norris candidate tonight.
The "Watermelon Warrior"
Does anyone disagree that Michalek's one of the funnest players to watch, ever? And I'm loving this nickname for reasons unknown! In the four previous games this season, WW had one goal. Sure. But the chances this guy gets are amazing! If he could capitalize on all the chances he gets, he'd be a 50 goal scorer easily. And tonight he looked like one. Three goals, a first-time chapeau, and several other good, quality chances. So much speed, great reads, this guy is FUN. Sure, he didn't score 5 on 5, do you care? When was the last time we had a guy with 2 shorties and a pp tally? Don't look it up, it doesn't matter. It's just awesome. Pun intended - hats off to the Watermelon Warrior! He's here to play, he's here to stay. Get your #9 jersey's NOW!
We like to write to create comments and get your points of view. Tonight, I don't expect any contraversial reactions because this was just an amazing game. So, we ask that you give us your thoughts on the game. Let's celebrate it. What are the highlights we missed? Is A-Train the real deal this year? And are YOU getting a Michalek jersey this fall?
Long season to go fans, but this was a great preview of what's possible...
Please note that there are numerous photos being used in this blog from various sources across the Internet. These are not attempts at republishing pictures without consent, but merely a chance to add a face to a name.