Let’s face it, tonight’s 9-2 loss the Montreal Canadiens was completely deserved. The Ottawa Senators dropped the ball on their final pre-season game of 2017, as they head into the regular season having lost their last three, with a final pre-season record of 3-3.
The first minute of the first period went exactly as planned, if not better. Alex Galchenyuk took a penalty three seconds after the puck drop, and Kyle Turris blasted a wrist shot past Carey Price with Alex Burrows having won a puck battle in front. The goal came 22 seconds in, leaving the Sens with 19:38 to score another.
Ottawa had another power play shortly afterwards, although it wasn’t as successful as the first. As soon as the first couple minutes passed, Ottawa’s offence completely dried up, with a couple droughts lasting five-plus minutes without a shot on goal.
Montreal picked up the pace, however, with goals by Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk and Andrew Shaw to give Montreal a 3-1 lead. The last two came in the final minute of the period, meaning Ottawa’s allowed five goals in the last minute of the last four periods. Mistakes were made by Ben Harpur on Gallagher goal by not being able to box him out in front, and Thomas Chabot on the Galchenyuk goal lagging behind on the backcheck. It was just one of those nights.
Max McCormick threw a dirty hit right at the buzzer to Victor Mete because.... why did he do that??? Mad Max was assessed a charging call on the play.
The second period wasn’t much better, as Ottawa struggled to even get a single shot on goal that period. Fortunately Montreal received only one goal in the span, with a Shea Weber slap shot leaving Craig Anderson zero chance. 4-1 Montreal.
The Sens went into the second intermission clearly not happy, and had pretty much given up in the third period. Brendan Gallagher scored again, and Max Pacioretty got one as well, extending the Habs’ lead to five goals. Craig Anderson was pulled with Mike Condon taking action.
Mark Stone was finally able to get one back for the Sens with a swipe in front, although it didn’t phase the Habs as they decided to score
one two three more.
The pre-season game ended. Emphasis on pre-season. Although the last few losses may instill some pessimism into the fanbase for the upcoming season, here are a few big pre-season moments from the last few years that might turn that frown upside down:
- On September 19th 2013, the Boston Bruins lost to the Detroit Red Wings 8-2. They went on to win the President’s Trophy that season.
- Two days earlier, the Anaheim Ducks had lost 6-0 to the Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks then went out and got 116 points in the regular season.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins had two bad losses in 2015, both to Detroit 6-1 and 7-2 respectively. They won the Stanley Cup that year.
- Speaking of the defending back-to-back champs, they haven’t had a winning pre-season record since 2011.
So as bad as these past few games have been, there’s still reason to believe there’s a great season ahead.
Chris Wideman: Finished the night with two assists and didn’t have as many defensive lapses as the rest of the squad.
Alex Burrows: Although he seemed to be effective on the power play standing in front of the goalie, he somehow only managed to be on the ice for only one shot attempt at 5v5 the entire game, and 11 against.
The Goalies: The poor goalies got barely any support, but there were definitely some goals that were save-able. Andy finished with a .800 SV%, while Condon finished at .700.
Erik Karlsson: He didn’t play, but that’s the point. We need the captain back. Pronto.
The regular season begins on Thursday, as the Washington Capitals come to town for the home opener.