That was a sorry game to watch.
The Ottawa Senators... well... there was actually some effort in the game, despite the appearances of their 6-0 loss to the Boston Bruins. The team hit two posts, and the grinders gave us somewhat entertaining moments, at least. But the plague of scoring ineptitude has now made its way through the entirety of the roster, and whether it's players "gripping too tightly" due to a lack of confidence or just that they're, to say it plainly, just not good, the Senators looked like the second-worst offensive team in the league tonight. And that's, well, offensive to my sensibilities.
So what made the difference tonight? Well, most of it was just being beaten by a better team; through the lineup, matchups would favour the Bruins at just about any position. But confidence did play a role in it, too. It seemed like nothing could go wrong for the Bruins, while everything went wrong for the Senators--two posts hit and a Sergei Gonchar own-goal come to mind. But even with all the luck in the world, the Senators wouldn't have won this game.
Sens Hero: Nobody
Not a soul. Sure, some guys gave some good effort, but I just can't bear to give anyone a hero's nod in a game like this. It would trivialize all those Sens Heroes of days past.
Sens Killer: Patrice Bergeron
Man, this guy was on tonight. He was the best player in the game, by a mile: Three goals, almost a fourth, four shots on goal, and 12-for-18 in the faceoff circle. And he only played 12:41 TOI tonight, which makes it all the more impressive. Anyone who watched even one of his shifts saw him do something right.
Sens Killer: Tim Thomas
Although he faced 31 shots, few of them were terribly challenging. And the Senators' best scoring chances both hit iron. But Thomas still shut out the Senators and gave shooters nary a sniff. In his career, Thomas has shut out the Senators six times, constituting almost 19 per cent of his career shutouts.
Remember when decisions were being made for the 2010 Winter Olympic Canadian men's hockey team, and people were discussing Mike Fisher and Patrice Bergeron as two of the front-runners for the 13th forward spot? Tonight, we saw why Bergeron won that competition. Fisher played more time on the ice, but finished lower in all the statistics that count. With Jason Spezza out of the lineup, Fisher has been asked to step up; he's failed miserably at doing so.
silver pewter steel granite lining
The game was hard to watch. But making it a little more bearable was the play of gritty players like Jesse Winchester, Zack Smith, Jim O'Brien, and Matt Carkner. A hugely entertaining fight between Carkner and Shawn Thornton was the highlight of the night for the Sens fans, and seeing Winchester drop them with Nathan Horton wasn't too bad, either. The scorers aren't doing anything, but at least the grinders are giving it their all.
Oooh, shots from the perimeter! I love those!
Good one, smartass. They don't exist. This never happened.