The Senators don’t play again until next Friday, so naturally, we expected them to be all energetic tonight. It seems they didn’t feel the need to bother with this game at all. After winning 4 out 5 games and looking extremely promising, the Sens have now dropped two in a row.
Things started off in a somewhat positive manner when Fischer pushed Duchene into Andy and put the Sens on their first power play. Unfortunately, the Coyotes are the top PK team in the league, and the Sens are 1 for 10 in their last 6 games. One can only imagine how productive that power play was. The most lethal chance came off a giveaway by Tkachuk on the blue-line that sent Archibald on a breakaway, but luckily no goal. A quick review was deemed no goal after it was decided that puck crossed the line after the whistle had gone.
The Senators seemed to be waking up a little bit. Matt Duchene was playing like he was vouching for a long-term high dollar contract.
The play was slow and flat for the remaining of the period with the Sens showing a lot of sloppiness, particularly Brady Tkachuk. His second giveaway of the period was right in front of the net and an easy opportunity for Vinnie Hinostroza to make it 1-0 Coyotes. Hinostroza, what a name!
The period ended with the Sens looking even flatter and barely holding on. Shots were even at 10 per piece, so at least that was a good sign.
The second period started with a blast from the past. Bobby Ryan reminds us of his playoff form once again as he perfectly shoots a pass from Dzingel straight into the net. Tie game! It is worth mentioning that tonight is Ryan’s 400th game with the Ottawa Senators. Imagine his game count with human hands?
The good spirits didn’t last after Borowiecki misses a perfect chance in front of the net; the play quickly turns the other way. After a lengthy review, the call on the ice stood, and it was deemed a good goal. I have to say it took me 3 different angles to realize why it was called a good call, but it was...by a very very thin hair.
That goal seemed to suck whatever life remained on the team. Stepan makes it 3-1 compliments of Cody Ceci just standing in front of him like a pylon. How much more can we handle from our blossoming star defenseman?
It just seemed like every pass was intercepted, every shot blocked and every chance missed. No lucky breaks for the Sens tonight.
Did you all know Brady Tkachuk is the son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk? TSN thought we all needed a reminder, spending 60% of the second period commentary talking about that particular topic. Apparently, Brady was such a rascal in St. Louis!
The second period ended with the Sens down by two goals and out-shot 11-9. Not to worry, Mark Stone will save us in the third.
After exchanging a few chances in the third, a familiar face came to the rescue. No, not Stone. Ryan “trade bait” Dzingel made it 3-2 after a well-placed face-off win by Duchene.
The Sens did seem energized after that goal but without a strong push. The exception was Duchene who looked like one of the few players trying extremely hard to get something going. Maybe too hard. Again, the Sens were failing at maintaining possession or completing any passes.
With a little over 4 minutes left in the period, it seemed my hockey prayers would be answered. Mark Stone in front of a seemingly open net with the puck! It’s going to happen; he’s going to tie the game!! Nope, his shot is intercepted, and it goes off target. So sad.
The last couple of minutes saw a completely exhausted group who could not connect on anything meaningful. With the extra attacker on and less than 2 minutes left, the Sens managed no shots on net. They didn’t allow an empty net goal and the game ended 3-2 Coyotes.
It wasn’t a terrible game by the Sens, but it certainly looked like a disoriented and lazy effort. Even the refs were lazy towards the end as they missed a blatant tripping call by Stepan. Stone and Tkachuk were not good tonight, and neither were most of the bottom 6 players. The Sens will not go on a 9-day break with the hopes that February brings us all new fortunes on and off the ice.
Good luck to Thomas Chabot in San Jose as he showcases his talents in the All-Star Game.
- Bobby Ryan: he continues to play hard and get rewarded with his strong effort. If there was ever a time that trading him was a possibility, it is right now.
- Matt Duchene: right off the bat, he seemed to be the most energetic guy on the team. His push continued all game and even though most of his effort and fancy plays were gone to waste; he was fun to watch.
- Ryan Dzingel; he continues his torrid scoring pace, getting his 20th goal tonight and increasing his trade value. Must we trade him?
The Sens will face the Penguins in Pittsburgh next Friday (February 1st)