Howdy from the nation's capital. Elliott deserved a better fate tonight, though the Sens showed signs of life in a third period for once this season.
Elliott and Bruins goalie Tim Thomas put on a goaltending clinic in the shootout, finally ending on a sweet move by Boston third-liner PJ Axelsson. It is still tough to figure out why Dany Heatley cannot score in the SO (now 3 for 19 career).
Nick Folingo deserves props for his best game of the season. He played smart hockey and was rewarded with a beautiful goal and an assist. Ryan Shannon would be 4th in scoring on this team had he played from game 1. You saw tonight how talented he is, the only question is whether or not his smaller frame can withstand a full season of NHL physicality. But Shannon clearly is the best looking forward out of 'Bingo this season.
Brendan Bell is getting another shot at cracking an NHL roster with Clouston feeding him 17+ tonight. Bell makes the first pass, added an assist and even was the Sens third shooter in the SO. That being said he hasn't had a plus game since Nov. 29th. and doesn't do well when faced with pressure. I still believe he has 'Ian White' syndrome and might be better suited as a forward.
Clouston fed Alfie big minutes tonight and our captin responded with a goal, assist and 7 shots. Spezza looked good and was rewarded with a PP goal while Heater added an assist in an ok effort by the former 50-goal man.
Phillips looks like a new man, which is key for the Senators. They needed a way better season from Chris. Volchenkov was solid as was Lee. Kuba had some turnover issues tonight, but none of them were costly.
Ruutu looks like the odd man out thus far with a new coach in town. His mins. have been cut in half. WInchester has also seen a decline in mins. and quite frankly would be better served down in 'Bingo for the remainder of the season so more AHLers can get a big league evaluation. Jesse's 3 goals just don't cut it at the pro level.
Mike Fisher skated well and was physical, but when isn't he. The problem is he can't score worth a damn therefore is a third line centre, though played 20 mins. Also have to point out that Chris Neil is playing a bit more (showing him off for potential trade partners?) while Schubert is playing less (um, thought we were supposed to be showing him off too?).
So there ya go, I was wrong on the score but the Sens did have a better effort tonight. As I said off the top Elliott deserved the win, but the Sens as a team should be happy with the single point.
Colin Jeffrey - [email][email protected]