Saying that last night’s three-two favoring score flattered the Senators is like saying that Ryan Smyth’s nose, (one that’s been broken about 18 dozen times) flatters the rest of his face. For the first 45 minutes of the game, Ottawa was outhit, outshot, outchanced and outskated or outmuscled to every loose puck.
So how did Ottawa win?
Pascal Leclaire bailed them out and they capitalized on their opportunities. It hasn’t been too often when we could look back at a game this season and say that the Senators got the bounces but last night was one of those games. From Kovalev’s broken stick goal to an early third period LA shot that rang off the crossbar to Jason Williams completely fanning on a shot late in the third to the disallowed goal, Ottawa was fortunate to escape with two points against one of the better teams in the Western Conference. Hell, the team even managed to overcome a Kopitar goal that was a direct result of an egregious Spezza turnover.
The fact that Ottawa got all of the bounces last night is a testament to yesterday’s piece that criticized Cory Clouston for taking Erik Karlsson out of the lineup. You just knew with Hale that they were going to win, right? It was the perfect reverse jinx. (You can thank me later.)
Hopefully yesterday’s win won’t cloud Clouston’s mind when it comes time to pencil in Wednesday’s lineup against the Dallas Stars.
Cory, you proved your point. By scratching Karlsson from the lineup, he stayed out of the penalty box. Now put him back in the lineup already before we have to sit through another game in which the Ottawa blueliners will struggle to move the puck. (Chris Phillips, you’re on notice.)
Full marks to Leclaire for breaking the seal last night and winning his first regular season game since April 6th,
2009 2010. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come…
Kovalev’s 1000th Point
Congratulations and thank you for honoring the tradition of having something monumental happen each and every time the Kings and Senators square off. I’m mystified that Don Brennan didn’t use the fact that Kovalev scored his 1000th at the 10:00 mark to justify that Kovalev can do anything on the ice when he wants to.
A Crowd Full of Winners
I don’t mean to paint everyone who attended last night’s game with the same brush but here it goes… last night’s crowd was full of winners. First there was the hunchbacked, elderly man who purposely butted ahead of my girlfriend and I while we were standing in the Tim Horton’s concession line before the game. Then there was the father and son combination who sat in front me during the game that at one point, turned around, noticed that we had the game day program and took it without asking. Then there were the card carrying members of Mensa who sat to my left and spent the duration of the first period rough-housing or dropping eff-bombs with each successive Leclaire. Stay classy Ottawa. Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the guy with the thick French accent who sat behind me and yelled out things like, “Neil? Neil? Kneel down!”, “Shoooooooooooooooooooot!”, “Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel him” or in response to the announcement that Ruutu was playing in his 600th game, “Ru, ruuu, ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu let the dogs out!” And while I’m at it, thanks to this guy’s friends who egged him on and laughed at everything that he said.
Scouts In Columbus
Via Twitter, the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reported that the Senators had another two scouts in attendance for last night’s
Blackhawks Blue Jackets vs Predators game. This would be the third publicized report in less than three weeks that the Senators have been scouting the Blue Jackets. (Note: I wrote Blackhawks in the original posting but had a brainfart as I wrote the piece. The Hawks, like the Senators, simply had a scout in attendance.)