Thursday, November 04, 2010

Two Subjects, One Starting Goalie

It's my first post in a while and I find myself debating between two potential subjects. The first, is the question on whether Clouston realizes that there's a third period. For the second game in a row, the Sens went into the 3rd with a healthy lead after two strong periods. For the second game in a row, the Sens were outplayed in the 3rd, leaving me as uncomfortable as Zack Smith wrapped in his jersey. The kicker? Conceding two Isles' breakaways...shorthanded breakaways! Ugh.

That leads me to the second subject - Brian Elliot. Ells' back-to-back saves on those breakaways certainly gave Ottawa the edge they needed to carry out the remaining minutes of the game. If the Isles' score one of those goals, whole new ball game. Er, hockey game.

The thing I think is most interesting, is that after a roller coasting first 11 games, the Sens have managed to win two in a row and reach the .500 mark for the first time this year on Elliot's back (not to forget Spezza's 4 pts). And is it just me, or has Ells played remarkably solid since Saturday's 4-0 blanking at the hands of the B's. He seems to be well positioned, quick and cool. I first noticed this on Tuesday, and it dawned on me - I think Elliot plays better with Snoopy on the bench! I mean, after Snoopy's inevitable early season injury, Ells was good, not great, and inconsistent. Then, Leclaire returns to the bench and, huzzah, Elliot returns to his form as a true starter! Is it the pressure that Leclaire brings that fires Elliot up? I truly feel like there's something to this.

So what must Snoopy think! I feel like he's a real team first guy, and I'm sure he is, but can he not be hoping that Montreal pumps 6 past Elliot on Saturday night? I'll tell you what, if Elliot has a 3rd consecutive strong game, it will be hard for Leclaire to get back into the line up. This is a team that needs to win now, and Elliot has the job to lose.

The funny thing is that you don't really hear "goalie contraversy" this year, cause it's the same old thing. We're used to it. I just hope between the two of them, they can prove the preseason forecasts wrong and not be the worst goaltending tandem in the league.

So, is everybody happy to keep Leclaire on the bench while Ells keep winning? Let's just hope he keeps his eyes on errant pucks.