The Ottawa Senators, coming off a thrilling win against the San Jose Sharks, were hoping to ride the waves of momentum tonight. It didn’t matter that they were facing one of the best teams in the NHL who had a record of 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. It didn’t matter that we were playing a fresh young goalie in Mads Søgaard. A season like this demands eternal optimism: you have to believe you can win any game.
The proceedings got off to a little bit of a scary start when Colton Ross came in with a largely reckless play, spearing Søgaard. As trainers rushed to the goalie, Sanderson made sure to let Ross know he crossed the line. Luckily Søgaard was ok, and the Sens got a power play out of it. The better part was Drake Batherson scoring within a few seconds of the man advantage to give the fans some hope..
Unfortunately, as Sens fans these days, we’ve come to our spect that hope doesn’t last long — so when the Avs came back to score the tying goal less than a minute later, we weren’t too crushed.
Still, these are the Colorado Avalanche and the fact that we weren’t completely blown away by them at this point felt like a minor accomplishment. The Sens continued to push and were surprisingly moatly level with the Avs for the most part. Søgaard showed some good signs as well so we could only hope that things would continue to go well for the team. The period ended with the tie although I would argue, the Sens deserved a better fate as they had many good chances and were outshooting the Avs 15-11.
It didn’t take long into the middle frame for the Sens to make a mark as they had been buzzing all game and it was finally paying off. Ridly Greig scored an “ugly” poke goal after a shot from Brady Tkachuk made it on the net but not quite in. The Sens are back in the lead!! Oh wait the Avs tied it a minute later, again. After a quick 2 on 1 and an uncoordinated line change alongside a bit of a soft goal on Søgaard, the Sens' hopes for control were once again dashed. Oh, and it was Jason Pole’s first NHL goal. You’re welcome.
The game may have been tied but the Sens were playing some inspired hockey. It was refreshing to see. What was rare was seeing them get rewarded as Ridly Greig notched his second of the game to make it 3-2 and this time it was a beauty.
Hold your breath for the incoming Avs goal a minute later! Just kidding, it was Jake Sanderson channeling his inner Erik Karlsson as he smoothly drove to the net to make it 4-2. It was just so beautiful to see this team look so dominating against a legitimate team.
It seemed like the Sens might come out of the second period with the swagger of a 2-goal lead as they were outshooting the Avs 24-16 with 3 minutes left. Alas some poor defensive play and a bit of a softie from the goalie let the Avs draw back within one heading to the third.
Beginning the third with a lead, feeling confident that they’ve been playing well against a team like the Colorado Avalanche must feel good. But when things go bad for this edition of the Sens, they go badly in a big way: two Avalanche goals in just over eight minutes turned the game from tense to sure.
With 7 minutes left, the team on the bench looked like they were exhausted beyond hope. I think at this point we should look into how maybe this team is cursed rather than it being bad.
As the period was winding down, it looked like the players themselves had given up with soft plays and passes; it didn’t seem like scoring 2 goals in 5 minutes would be any kind of possibility.
Jacques Martin, however, believed in this team and decided to leave an empty net with 5 minutes left. Mind you they almost scored at the very beginning and then of course the Avs came back immediately to make it 7-4. I am personally very excited to see the endless debates on whether leaving the net empty this early on was the right decision for such a fragile team or not.
With less than 4 minutes left, the Sens had not one but TWO chances with a wide-open net and those also failed; further proving my point that this team is cursed beyond repair.
The Sens got a power play with 30 seconds left, it was too little too late for anything to be done. All in all, a good two periods undone by a total collapse in the third.
- Do we have a goalie problem l, a defensive problem, or a work ethic problem? At this point I can't tell.
- I hope Shane Pinto can spark some energy into the team because they're desperate for any kind of inspiration.
- How do we feel about that call against Ross? Had he been given a harsher call, do you think it would have affected the game in any way?
- Speaking of officiating, how do you charge Joseph with embellishment when he was basically being taken down?
- All in the Sens played decent today, but the complete meltdowns and the giving-up attitude when it was still 6-4 still bother me a lot. The fact that they let a 4-3 lead quickly turn into 6-4 the other way should never have even happened. This win was achievable after 40 minutes and it could have truly been something to build on for the team.