"Big response game here from the Senators, and Dave Cameron has to be pleased with his group."
This was a phrase uttered by Jamie McLennan tonight at the conclusion of tonight's game, and I'm still scratching my head to figure out what game he watched.
In the game I watched, the Senators were outshot in every period and were ultimately outshot 36 - 21.
In the game I watched, the Senators iced seven defensemen but still looked like they could use a couple more.
In the game I watched, Zack Smith started the game on the top line and had more time on ice and more powerplay time than Mike Hoffman and Mika Zibanejad and it wasn't just because Maple Creek, Saskatchewan won Kraft Hockeyville or something.
Actually, in the game I watched, David freakin' Dziurzynski finished with more time on ice than Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad, or Bobby Ryan! Those three combined for 9 points, while Dziurzynski finished with 9 hits (and no points).
If you see this as a "response game" for the Senators, you are either focusing solely on the result or you're forgetting that the only way that the Senators could've played worse than they did on Saturday night was if Dave Cameron gave American Pharoah as much ice time as he gave Mark Borowiecki (because let's face it, they're both workhorses and Eugene Melnyk loves them both like sons).
If you think this result validates the roster iced by Dave Cameron, consider that it took the Senators scoring on nearly every fourth shot to win, and despite the Senators scoring five goals, not one of Dave Cameron's gritty role players finished the game with so much as a point. It still took the sheer natural talent of guys like Hoffman and Karlsson to drag this team to a victory they didn't deserve.
Sens Hero: Mike Hoffman
Hoffman had two goals and an assist in his 15 minutes of icetime tonight. He finished with an even strength CF% of 59 on a team that got clobbered at even strength. Next season one very lucky team is likely going to pay him more money than most of us make over the course of our careers.
Sens Hero: Mika Zibanejad
Zibby had a goal and two assists on the night, including this highlight reel pass to Hoffman to get the Sens' first goal:
Sens Zeroes: Alex Chiasson, Patrick Wiercioch, David Dziurzynski
Wiercioch was the most penalized player on either team tonight, but all three of these players had bad games, getting hemmed in their own zone constantly and giving up numerous scoring chances to the opposition.
Norris Watch: Karlsson vs. Doughty
Aside from Dave Cameron's dumb lineup choices, the other dumb controversy tonight was the all-star defensive matchup of Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty. Karlsson finished with a goal and an assist, while Drew Doughty had no points and finished -3 (since that's a stat you have to mention in any comparison between Norris trophy hopefuls!)