Howdy from a bus-running Ottawa.
Much needed and deserved win for the Ottawa Senators tonight. Congrats to Cory Clouston on his first win as an NHL coach. For most of the season this club has not provided fans with there monies worth. But over the last two games Sens fans can leave with the feeling of money well spent. And that second period...whoa. Could that have been the Sens best period of the year? Maybe.
Brian Elliott, where have you been all season? Could have used you early on. While Auld and Gerber had there moments this season, Elliott has 'game-stealing' ability, something Auld and Gerber didn't display or atleast not enough.
A reader posted saying that Peter Regin had a solid showing up with the Sens recently and that 'stats aren't everything'. True they aren't, but no argument can be made for Regin being much of an impact player on a Sens team too full of 3rd and 4th line players, such as Regin will be if at all in the NHL. Regin is 23 and hasn't developed nearly enough. Ryan Shannon however I like, I like. 17+ mins and 3 shots tonight in his third NHL game of the year. Those 3 shots tonight were the same total Regin had but in 6 games. I still say Shannon would be this team's 4th leading scorer if healthy and got playing time.
The Big 3 while only collecting an assist really showed jump and had 11 shots combined. I will say that usually $7 million dollar players don't play under 20 mins in a game especially an OT game, but you can't complain with 2 points.
Ryan Miller was on tonight, but full credit also to the Sens for firing 42 total shots. 13 shots from the defense is also very good to see. Steady night overall from the D, got caught on the Stafford goal in the third though. Lee and Kuba (Filip will be missed come deadline) lead the way with over 25+ mins each.
Don't look now, but maybe all Nick Folingo needed was a confidence boost. 20+ mins of smart hockey and an early PP goal to boot. Folingo has said that Hartsburg's healthy scratch of him was a reality check, so maybe Hartsburg wasn't all bad.
Chris Kelly is literally in the dog house I think given his 12 mins tonight. McAmmond didn't play much either, but he should be dealt come March 4th anyway. Chris Neil got hurt, lower body and didn't return to the game. Blessing in disguise maybe...keeps him healthy for March 4th if he isn't hurt to bad, and it opens a roster spot for IIya Zubov or Zach Smith from 'Bingo. Also look for Donovan to return next week (deadline, goodbye) and no word on Picard's return, who isn't practicing yet with the team.
Overall, excellent effort by the Sens and a great win. Ruutu in the SO is nice to see, well known by any hockey fan that Jarrko is a very good SO scorer. As I've said, look for Ottawa to get hot here and move up the standings. No playoffs nor Tavares or Hedman, but self-respect for the players. I still don't see how Clouston gets brought back however given the fact this is an expensive team and the whole 'AHL-Junior' coach thing hasn't worked.
Added note on Ray Emery as per CBC's HNIC. He has yet to return to Russia after the KHL All-Star break due to a payment issue. Emery says the exchange rate on his salary is way off and won't return until he gets proper payment from Atlant Moscow. Not the best few weeks for 'Razor. First was an apparent racist incident where a trainer tried to put a hat over Emery's head to hide his skin colour which sent Ray off (as any human being would have reacted. Check YouTube to watch), and then this. As one HNIC's Hotstove mentioned, maybe this opens the door for Emery's return? Hey if Sean Avery gets a second chance.
Colin Jeffrey - [email][email protected]