They’ve done it. They’ve finally done it.
Just past the halfway mark of the season, in their last game before the All-Star weekend, the Sens have finally done what I thought was impossible. They have made me run out of words to describe how bad they are.
It’s going to be a long season.
It’s already been a long season.
My well of creative ways to lovingly mock my favourite hockey team has finally run dry. The English language simply does not include enough words to properly express the futility of the 2017-18 Ottawa Senators season, and I am left with no other choice but to recycle old words and phrases that I have already used far too often.
The Sens got us excited for the All-Star game by showing us what a No-Star game looks like, or rather what a “some-star but with one team playing their bad players so much that the stars can’t really play their best game and you kind of forget that they’re there because you’re so busy staring at Cody Ceci and Tom Pyatt” game looks like.
Spoiler alert: it’s not pretty.
You know what is pretty, though? The jerseys the Sens were wearing in this game. There’s a silver lining for you. They may be bad, but at least their outfits are fashionable.
The game got off to a pretty rough start for the Sens, thanks in large part to that Bergeron/Pasternak line, which Boucher totally sent his best players to shut down. It felt like Ottawa would never get the puck, as the Bruins rudely refused to give it up the way the Sens like to do. On the rare occasions when the Sens did momentarily gain possession, they flubbed passes or lovingly gifted it to their opponents, as if to say, here, take this strange object that has just landed on my stick. You clearly know what to do with it, and I clearly don’t.
It was a fitting tribute to former Senator Jared Cowen, who celebrated his birthday today.
During a stoppage in play, the Sens honoured lifetime Senator Chris Neil, and by “honoured” I mean “put him on the jumbotron and made the fans do all the honouring for them.” I was never the biggest Neil fan, but even I must admit that that was a pretty lame ceremony. The guy was well-liked here. Give him more than that.
The Bruins completely took over the game, to the point where, at the halfway mark of the period, they were actually on pace for 60 shots.
I don’t even have a joke for that. It’s just ridiculous on its own.
The Sens soon ended up on the powerplay. The commentators took this opportunity to remind us that the Sens have scored the third fewest powerplay goals in the league, prompting the question “exactly how bad are Edmonton and Buffalo?”
Joke’s on us, though, because almost as soon as the powerplay expired, Thomas Chabot banked a shot off a Bruins player, giving his team the most undeserved lead I’ve seen in a long time.
David Pasternak responded with a beautiful deke that almost tied the game, but Condon kept the Sens ahead.
The Sens got another powerplay, but did not convert, and ended the period up 1-0, with shots 20-7 in favour of the team that’s going to make the playoffs this year.
The second period did not start out particularly well, as Ottawa got called offside several times in a row. The long change is hard, okay? The Sens picked themselves up a bit and started to play a much better hockey game, if not a good one. Then they got called offside again.
You could say they truly embraced Chris Neil appreciation night.
Several minutes into the frame, the Sens were actually outshooting their opponent, if not by a wide margin, and things started to look up a bit.
And then Erik Karlsson went to the penalty box.
And Cody Ceci and Dion Phaneuf stepped onto the ice.
A sequence of events that should strike fear into the heart of every member of the Ottawa Senators.
In a truly shocking turn of events that nobody could have possibly foreseen, the Sens’ second defense pairing failed to defend, and was promptly scored on.
The Bruins almost took the lead immediately afterward, but didn’t. Yay? Pasternak had an incredible shift right at the end and came very close to scoring for the Bruins, but didn’t. Yay?
Honestly, I’m not sure what we’re supposed to be cheering for at this point.
The Sens actually ended the period on a good note, with some sustained pressure in the offensive zone. I guess that’s what happens when you put Karlsson, Chabot, Duchene and Hoffman on the ice at the same time.
With the game tied at the start of the third period, the Bruins nearly gave the Sens an absolutely brutal empty net goal when Rask strayed a little too far out of his net. But Duchene missed, so it remained 1-1.
Mark Boroweicki drew a tripping penalty shortly afterward, and the Sens went to the powerplay, only to give up a shorthanded goal almost immediately. The go-ahead goal happened as a result of a string of bad plays, as Karlsson missed a pass that rang around the boards and Hoffman was unable to catch the Bruins player that picked it up.
Only a few seconds later, in one of the few highlights of the game, Ryan Dzingel evened the score again with his fourteenth (!) goal of the season. Dzingel has been one of the few bright spots this season, and one of the few players I have genuinely enjoyed watching.
The Sens soon returned to their favourite area of the ice: their own zone. After spending a few minutes doing… pretty much nothing… then surrendered the 3-2 goal. In truth, I can’t really blame that goal on anyone but Condon, which is kind of sad because the poor guy did a pretty good job facing a whopping 44 shots on goal this game.
Ottawa made things interesting toward the end, with a late penalty and a nice push in the final minutes, but failed to force overtime. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this result. I’m apathetic. Objectively, I know we’re better off losing, so I guess this is a good result? I don’t know.
- Ryan Dzingel had a goal, and looked good throughout the game
- I very much like the idea of playing Thomas Chabot with Erik Karlsson, and would like to see more of that, please.
- Condon may have been at fault for the winning goal, but he’s also the reason it was only a one-goal game.
- Shoutout to the fans who put up with this snoozefest.