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Howdy from Ottawa,

What seemed like a solid start for our Sens with good pressure really wasnt...outshot 14-9 and played most of the first in our zone. Ottawa had a much better second, first time in a long time we see the speed and forecheck back again. Shots were 14-4 in favour for our boys. Dare I say the best period in the last 10 games? They started the 3rd just the same, but the NYR had excellent defensive zone coverage and once they broke down the Sens neutral zone trap, they tilted the ice for the remainder of the game. A 2-0 lose at home against a NYR team (give props to Lundqvist, who I have in my pool) that just played the night before means…

Gotta think changes are coming tomorrow or Monday for sure as Hartsburg made the desperate move of pulling the goalie with 2:22 left and during a 4-on-4, to make it 5-on-4 until Spezza took what is the good play in tying up his man with the net empty, effectively ending the game.

Can’t blame Neil on the roughing call late…sure he threw a punch but who’s to say Stall wasn’t going to throw one. The MSG crew was puzzled why Hartsburg put Spezza in the box to serve the above call…you can only put a player in the box on the ice when the call was made. You wouldn’t put a D-man in, so its either Spez or ‘Fish…who is the better option on the PK?

Clearly Kelly-Vermette-Winchester line is the best on this team at the moment. Vermette had a the best scoring chance of the game on a 2-on-1 with Kelly in the second, but telegraphed the pass all the way. Maybe a little trigger shy? As for the Big 3…10 shots and a –1 on the night. Heatley was invisible, but Alfie and Spezza were ok.

Brian Elliot looked strong in goal and had no chance on both goals.…huge breakaway save on Prucha… Was eerily like Auld’s play early in the year in that it didn’t matter how good he or Brian were, the goal support wasn’t there. Chris Phillips was good on D, not much on offence though…Veteran McAmmond added a few more giveaways to his seasons total…Schubert’s defense continues to improve of late, but not his offense…not by a long shot.

Brain Lee jumping into the rush is great to watch, only problem is none of the Big 3 are driving to the net when Lee throw’s one on. On defense, Lee got beat by Zherdev which lead to the 2nd goal…but that move was all-star quality.

The Jason Smith-Brendan Bell d-combo is dangerous, in a bad way. Zherdev double shifted every time he was out against the pairing. As for Bell, tonight he totally justified me saying he was not an NHL defensemen. He has Ian White-syndrome maybe? All that said why the heck was Bell on the ice late and not Lee or Picard even? Glad to see Kuba back, definitely tell when he’s on the ice for the Sens...however we knew he was back when Prucha beat him to the puck for the first goal.

Nick Folingo is not playing smart hockey at all (lost Dubinsky behind the net on the first goal), but with him you’re stuck…can’t send him down because there is nobody in ‘Bingo half as good.

Another 5-on-3 chance (only 25 secs, but) down the tube. How many times has this club had a scoreless 5-on-3 this season? Although NYR is the best PK team in the league.

Next up for Ottawa is a home game Tuesday v.s an always tough Carolina squad. I fully expect changes after tonight’s game though…it will be a different Sens team for sure.

Colin Jeffrey – [email]colin_jeffrey@hotmail.com[/email]

www.mvn.com/senatorsrow
Filed Under:   Ottawa Senators   NHL  
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