You all know that I’m a big fan of fun storylines in hockey, and my goodness were there a lot of storylines tonight.
It was the first meeting between baby Germans and longtime friends Tim Stützle and Moritz Seider, as well as Timmy’s first time facing off against the guy drafted right after him. Josh Norris was playing near his hometown for the first time. Mads Søgaard was making his NHL debut. Also, apparently there’s drama between Mathieu Joseph and Dylan Larkin?
AND it’s April Fool’s day? This is too much pressure for me.
You may have heard this before, but the Red Wings are bad defensively. Like, worse than the Sens. This was evident from the very beginning of the game, when Ottawa got set up in the offensive zone and kind of stayed there.
The first penalty of the game went to Alex Formenton, and his absence was felt on the first shift of the penalty kill, as the Senators got hemmed in and Søgaard had to make a few saves. However, Mathieu Joseph and Austin Watson jumped over the boards as the second unit, and harnessed their inner Formenton. Joseph used his speed to create an odd-man rush, and Watson… sniped it? 1-0 Ottawa.
Formenton soon made up for that penalty with an even strength goal, that was unfortunately called off because of goaltender interference. Formenton pushed Moritz Seider into the Detroit goaltender, then tapped in an easy goal before the goaltender could recover.
The Sens fell victim to another weird rule a few minutes later, when Tim Stützle was high-sticked and the linesman whistled it down under the assumption that he was bleeding… only to find out that he was not. Apparently, linesmen can call four minute penalties, but not two minute penalties, so play resumed at even strength. Normal league we have here.
For the rest of the period, the Senators had fun with this awful defensive team. They absolutely feasted on the Red Wings for long periods of time, outshooting them by a wide margin and doing their very best to make their rookie goaltender look good. Shoutout to Josh Norris for dangling the entire Red Wings team on one shift. He knew his friends and family were watching from the stands.
The Great Dane was tested on the very first shift of the second period, when he was forced to make a great save. Unfortunately, his next big test didn’t go quite so well, as Lucas Raymond beat him on a 2-on-1 that Erik Brännström couldn’t quite handle. 1-1.
After that, it was back to the offensive zone for Ottawa, for several shifts. Playing teams that are bad defensively is absolutely wild. Is this what it’s like for other teams to play Ottawa? I’m jealous.
A little bit after the halfway mark, Tim Stützle got into a bit of trouble when he threw a questionable hit and the Red Wings took issue with it. Hamonic enthusiastically jumped in to defend him, everyone else on the ice got involved, and at the end of the day the Sens ended up shorthanded.
Stützle with a cross-check and a brawl ensues. pic.twitter.com/zW4O1VmHxk— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) April 2, 2022
They killed off the penalty, and then got a powerplay of their own soon afterward. The Red Wings have a terrible penalty kill, and it showed in these two minutes, but despite a few nice shots from Josh Norris, the Sens couldn’t quite bury the go-ahead goal. Part of the reason for that was yet another strange call from the refs. This time it was a questionable hand pass called on Tim Stützle.
The Sens found themselves shorthanded in the last minute of the second period. It was a chaotic sequence, featuring lots of chances for Detroit, and more weird reffing, as they missed the puck going out of play and then called a penalty on Mathieu Joseph immediately afterward. Fun!
I’m really trying not to blame the refs, because blaming the refs is lame. But seriously.
The Sens started the third with two players in the box, but they didn’t give up too many chances, and soon got a bit of a makeup call, as Raymond went off for tripping Zub.
The powerplay worked! Hometown boy Josh Norris scored from his office. I don’t even need to post the video here. You know what that goal looks like. 2-1 Ottawa.
It only took a bit more than a minute for Mathieu Joseph to double the lead by tapping in his first as a Senator. 3-1 Ottawa.
More high-event hockey ensued. Detroit got a few chances to get back into the game, including a few on the powerplay, but the next goal was scored by Mathieu Joseph - his second of the game, and an absolute beauty. 4-1 Ottawa.
Unfortunately, the Wings struck back with their goaltender pulled, with Lucas Raymond getting his second of the game. There were still about six minutes left to play, so everyone familiar with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club was starting to sweat a little bit. 4-2 Ottawa.
But they pulled it off! Mathieu Joseph capped off his first NHL hat trick with an empty netter, to make the score 5-2 Ottawa.
With two points, the Sens managed not to get mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, and Søgaard got his first NHL win. How wholesome.
This was my favourite part, though. Gotta love the captain.
- Mathieu Joseph was phenomenal tonight. To give you an idea of how good he was, I made a note to myself that I should highlight his stellar performance during the first period, before he even scored a goal. The guy fits right in here.
- Josh Norris has to be happy with that performance in front of friends and family. He could have had a hat trick of his own tonight, with a few very good moments with the puck.
- The Brännström-Zub pairing had another good night.