Brady Tkachuk should be the captain of the Ottawa Senators.
This is me editorializing, for sure, but there’s no debate after tonight. The Sens fell behind the Montreal Canadiens early, they generated little to nothing offensively, and they lost Thomas Chabot in the first ten minutes. Yet, Brady Tkachuk was in it until the very end. He was starting scraps, spitting fire, and trying to will his team back into the game. It didn’t work, of course, but that’s the kind of leader this team needs.
All that said, Ottawa lost 3-0, getting swept by the Habs in this season’s series. Craig Anderson stopped 34 of 37, but all three goals were soft.
The game had a very appropriate start to it. Just 1:13 in, Max Domi took a pass from Paul Byron, and streaked in alone on Anderson. Andy attempted a diving pokecheck that, frankly, failed miserably, and Domi pulled the back to his backhand to open the scoring.
Things did not improve from there.
Near the halfway mark of the period, Brendan Gallagher checked Thomas Chabot in the corner, causing Chabot’s leg to slam into the boards in an awkward fashion. He struggled mightily to get back to his feet, unable to put any weight on his left leg, while Brady Tkachuk called Gallagher to answer for the hit.
Brady Tkachuk sticks up for Thomas Chabot and fights Brendan Gallagher pic.twitter.com/VPoBesWnYF— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 23, 2020
Chabot later tried to tough it out, but ultimately could not, and his night was done.
When it rains, it pours. Off the ensuing faceoff, Anderson inexplicably managed to knock a rebound right to Domi, while being way out of his net, and #13 made no mistake to put his team up by two.
After all that, the Sens went into the second down 2-0, being outshot 14-9, and missing their most skilled player. If you’re not keeping track, this leaves Ottawa with Mike Reilly, Nikita Zaitsev, Andreas Englund, Ron Hainsey, and Christian Jaros on their blueline.
The second period was highlighted by the continued rising of tensions. Brady Tkachuk found himself in the crease, as he often does, and began to mix it up with Ben Chiarot when the Habs defenceman gave him a late whack. Carey Price threw a sucker punch at Brady, and all hell broke loose.
Ben Chiarot gives Brady Tkachuk and whack. Brady hits back.— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) February 23, 2020
Then Carey Price wants a piece (naturally)... and so do the rest of the #Habs. Things are going well.
Just another day in Chucky's office pic.twitter.com/5RzRs1NAeT
The Sens came out of this with a powerplay, but couldn’t convert.
Late in the frame, though, Nick Paul made a brutal turnover to Paul Byron in front of the Ottawa net, and he had another easy goal to make it 3-0.
At the end of the period, tempers continued to flare. Scott Sabourin attempted to fight with Chiarot, but they ended up falling to the ice. Somehow from there, words were exchanged with Tkachuk, and Brady had a heated verbal exchange with Nate Thompson, and pretty much all of the Canadiens, culminating with him slamming his stick before leaving the ice.
The third period was fairly uneventful, until a fracas near the end. Tkachuk ran Nick Cousins into the boards, and tried to find a dance partner with someone on the ice. When no one obliged him, he was promptly ejected, taunting the Montreal bench on his way to the dressing room.
That’s all, folks.
- D.J. Smith said post-game that Thomas Chabot’s injury was “nothing major”, and that they don’t expect him to be out long term. The hope is that he can play Monday in Columbus, great news there.
- I seriously can’t gush about Brady Tkachuk enough tonight. This is the kind of desire and passion that Mark Stone brought, with a little more edge. Not to mention he was generating offence. This kid is a stud.
- Josh Norris made his NHL debut tonight, Colin explains it best. He played well, hard to stand out in this game:
Josh Norris' NHL debut:— Colin Cudmore (@CudmoreColin) February 23, 2020
-11:52 played at 5v5, 1:48 on the power play
-4 shots, all on goal
-xGF% of 33.4%, +0.7 relative (from NST)
-Played almost exclusively on a line with Drake Batherson
- Craig Anderson did not have a good game. Nick Paul hung him out to dry on the third, but this was not a strong effort.
- This team sorely misses Dylan DeMelo. The blueline of Nikita Zaitsev, Ron Hainsey, Mike Reilly, and Andreas Englund sans Thomas Chabot is not going to win many games.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to a 42 year-old zamboni-driving emergency backup goaltender named David Ayres.
Get to the front of the net, score goals. Worked for Montreal, not so much for Ottawa.
Up Next: The Sens are back in action Monday night, visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets, unsure of who will still be a member of the team after that day’s deadline.