Howdy from the Nation's Capital. A brutal start followed by a period and a half of strong play, followed by a poor 3rd (didn't have a shot for 14 mins) equals to a 1-6-1 road trip for the Sens...I hope they took the first flight out of Bean town.
The 6-4 score line looks bad on both teams as it was a giveaway-fest all night for both teams...although Ottawa clearly 'won' that battle.
Daniel Alfredsson has struggled mightly of late (Big 3 = combined -10 tonight)...two giveaways that directly led to goals... I have never seen a player 'blow a tire' as often as Alfie has lately. Mike Milbury on the NESN feed suggests knee problems again for Alfie and then threw in a little jab at Murray for the deal he just gave our captin. Personally I see it as our leader trying way too hard to make plays, which is understandable concerning the teams recent slide...but two big time giveaways is one too many even for our Alfie.
Chris Kelly was 'johnny-on-the-puck' on the Sens second goal as for the second time Dennis Wideman coughed the puck up. Good on Vermette and Winchester for assists, but really it was an unforced error by the Bruins defensemen, not there doing. Vermette's late goal now has him on a 10-goal pace, here's hoping he gets hot. Also good to see Phillips get a goal. The former forward (remember that experiment?) has the skating ability to produce more offensively and maybe its time he is ignited more on the rush.
Chris Neil continues to fire this club up, fighting damn-near every game. The Thronton fight which he lost really rallied the boys mid-first period. That in part was a big reason the Sens finally had a strong overall period, though again brutal starts hurt the club tonight.
Congrats to Dany Heatley on his all-star nomination, Dean McAmmond for his 900th game and also to Matt Carkner on his second NHL game. The 6'4 native of Winchester, Ontario played all of 4 mins but could turn out to be a solid power forward something this team has never had. (Unless you're one of those people who thing Heater is a PWF)
Brendan Bell had a bad night defensively and a good night offensively...still not sold he is an NHL defensmen (couldnt crack Toronto or Phoenix).
Wheeler's goal was a perfect example of poor zone coverage as it was four Sens vs two Bruins as he cut right through the D and the Bruins even had a player behind Gerber on the rebound...weak. As for Gerber, he looks like a goalie with no confidence, but so does Auld...and can you blame them with the poor play and huge turnovers in front of them? Maybe it's time for Brian Elliot to get a game.
Folingo got thrown face-first into the end boards regards of Mark Stuart. Could have been a call there, but then again you have to have battles for the puck or it becomes ringette.
The Sens really miss Kuba, as the defense can't make a first pass for the life of them. Also we lost Brian Lee to injury very early in the game, more on that in the a.m.
Interesting stat - 34% of the Sens offence comes from the PP and the Big 3 are responsible for 50% of the 91 goals the team has scored thus far. However when both are struggling as they are now, you can understand why we are 13th in the conference.
All for now, will be back tomorrow with a mid-season report card. I suspect a few parents will be getting out the belt...
Colin Jeffrey - [email][email protected]