It’s the day before Saint Patrick’s Day, AKA the absolute worst day to be a student living on campus (keep me in your thoughts as I try to study tomorrow), and in typical NHL fashion, the Sens and Leafs are doing more to celebrate the holiday I mostly associate with day drinking than they ever did for Hockey Is For Everyone Month.
They played Irish music at the arena! And as far as I know there was not a single Hayley Kiyoko song played for gay night and that is basically a crime.
Anyways, the Leafs decided to get into the St. Patty’s day spirit by wearing green jerseys for the entire game and not just the warmups, because they are the Leafs and they have to be extra even during an away game. Not that you could tell that it was an away game for the Leafs, with literal buses full of Leafs fans being present and very vocal throughout the entire night. A major stick tap to every brave Sens fan in attendance. I have no idea why on earth you would put yourself through that, but I appreciate you.
But, as the commentators pointed out at the start of the broadcast, the Sens were the real green team tonight, with a roster full of nobodies from the AHL. As an equestrian, I’m very familiar with the term “green,” and I must say it applies pretty well to the Sens. The way I feel about this team is quite similar to the way I have felt about pretty much every green horse I’ve ever worked with, which is to say, “this horse doesn’t know how to walk in a straight line but it’s adorable and I love him,” or sometimes “I finally got this horse over a jump and I don’t even care that he jumped it like it was on fire and almost fell on his face immediately afterward; this is the most proud I have ever been.”
This metaphor needs a bit of work but what I’m trying to say is that I love green horses because I don’t take equestrian sports that seriously, and I’m working on not taking hockey that seriously so that I can enjoy this dumb team and celebrate the tiny victories.
Like destroying the Leafs. There is truly nothing that could eliminate that joy.
The first period was fantastic for the Sens. The home team took the Leafs crowd right out of it from the start, taking control of the play and getting a few good scoring chances right off the first faceoff. It only took a bit over six minutes for Cody Ceci of all people to open the scoring with his sixth of the season. Newcomer Max Veronneau also got his first NHL point on the play, which was very exciting. Honestly, the best thing about this entire goal (and there were many good things) was that allowing a Cody Ceci goal should be grounds for relegation and it’s very funny that it happened against the Leafs.
Cody Ceci actually had a very good game tonight, but I still think it’s hilarious that he’s now actually one of the best players on this team. How far we’ve fallen.
Ottawa kept the momentum going after the Ceci goal. They looked extremely good for the remainder of the period. Wolanin and Duclair stood out, as did Ceci (?), and Anders Nilsson shut down any shots on net by the Leafs.
Brady Tkachuk ended the first period with an absolutely filthy move in front of the Leafs’ net that was unfortunately shut down by the opposing netminder, but which I assure you was incredibly pretty. Unfortunately, the Sens finished an excellent first frame ahead only 1-0.
The Leafs started the second period with a nice chance for William Nylander, but thankfully the Sens soon took back control and even drew the first penalty of the game. The ensuing powerplay did not result in a Sens goal, and things started to look bad right after the penalty was killed off as the Leafs took control of the game, but thankfully the next goal was scored by a Sens player! Brian Gibbons scored his fifth of the year and third with the Sens, and I have to admit that every time that guy does something I am reminded that he exists, only to forget about him immediately afterward. But good for him!
The Sens failed to convert on another powerplay, and once again the Leafs looked very good once their guy got out of the box. When Morgan Reilly scored to make it 2-1, it looked like this game might end up being more even than we had originally anticipated. Damn.
Fortunately, Paajarvi soon scored his first goal in 18 games and the Sens went back to embarrassing the Leafs, who honestly looked terrible and I know my team is bad but it’s so damn satisfying to see the Leafs fail so badly at the game of hockey and the fact that so many Leafs fans had travelled all the way to Kanata to watch this just made it that much better. Paajarvi scored again a few minutes later to make the score 4-1 (the best score).
The third period was definitely the roughest for the Sens. Toronto started out very strong, and about three minutes in, both Mark Borowiecki and Zack Smith went to the box, significantly reducing the amount of character on the Sens’ bench. But character is all we have!
Sure enough, John Tavares made the score 4-2 right at the end of the penalty. The third frame was definitely more even than the other two, but the Sens had their moments. Like right after the Tavares goal. Those were some good moments. An Ottawa powerplay yielded no results, but Anthony Duclair soon made the score 5-2, and after a few minutes of surprisingly good play by the Leafs, Lindberg tapped in a stray puck after a nice offensive play by Ceci and Smith.
A 6-2 win against the Leafs fells pretty good.
- Cody Ceci is really one of the best players on the 2018-19 Ottawa Senators, huh?
- Christian Wolanin had a great game
- So did Anthony Duclair! Man, I love that guy
- Shoutout to Anders Nilsson, who held down the fort in net