Senators cruise 5-2 past Blue Jackets
Chychrun has a goal and an assist in home debut
Without much worry at all, the Ottawa Senators extended their winning streak to five games, beating the Blue Jackets 5-2 on a night in which they also outshot them 39-21. Tim Stützle and Travis Hamonic (!!) each scored two goals, while Jakob Chychrun put up a goal and an assist — his first two points with the Sens — in his home debut.
The game opened with Derick Brassard being honoured for hitting the 1000-game mark, and it was a nice move by the Sens to make it against the team that drafted him. The Rolex and the wine box we’d seen on Thursday made a reappearance, along with a silver puck, a silver stick, and the promise of jewellery and a painting. It was also Pride Night, and even Kyle Bukauskas on the broadcast made note of the fact that the Sens haven’t done much for this in the past. I admit, it’s nice to see the Sens doing more than nothing or a half-hearted effort for things like Pride of Black History Month.
The first period was pretty much all Sens, with Ottawa winning the shots battle 15-3 and the shot attempts battle 28-6. All of Ottawa’s sustained pressure gave rise to the opening goal, a blast from Travis Hamonic:
Hammer time! 🔨🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/VA2qm81XyO— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 5, 2023
The problem was, it took just 18 seconds for the Sens to mess up coverage and allow Jack Roslovic to walk in and tie it up. They actually nearly gave Patrik Laine two breakaways, but both times the pass was a little bit off. That spotty defensive coverage a handful of times was the only criticism, because other than that they dominated, and eventually it led to Tim Stützle reclaiming the Sens’ lead, and getting Jakob Chychrun his first point as a Senator in the process:
Timmy made sure Jakob Chychrun got his first #Sens point on this one! 🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/CUeo1jh4TT— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 5, 2023
The second period saw the Sens pick up where they’d left off. They didn’t score on the powerplay that carried over from the first period, but they did score on a delayed penalty off the stick of, as I’m sure you guessed, Travis Hamonic:
Hammer Time²! 🔨🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/wPiOWXyHxS— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 5, 2023
I do rag on Hamonic, but it’s clear to me his hockey instincts are strong, even if his body can’t quite keep up like five years ago. On the delayed penalty, he knew to head to the slot and then the front of the net, and he was rewarded for it. Not to be outdone, newcomer Chychrun decided to score a beauty of his own, and check out the Sens admin emoji game:
🐥🏃♂️☝️🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/SiuEupO9If— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 5, 2023
Just a fantastic shot, and that did it for Elvis Merzlikins’ night, giving Michael Hutchinson the crease. Hutchinson had played seven AHL games this season, and only one since December 16th, and had not played in the NHL since October 23rd, 2021. However, it was the Jackets who got the only other goal of the period, from Patrik Laine on the powerplay. Stützle twice had the chance to put the puck down deep, and both times he elected to hold onto it until it was taken away. The second time, Marchenko passed the puck to Laine, who had a chance to have a scotch and a smoke and still get the perfect shot away before defensive coverage could get to him. Hamonic was hurt blocking a shot and headed down the tunnel, but of course returned to the game not longer after — let’s remember that a puck to the throat didn’t put him out of a game. At the end of the period, the Sens were still up 4-2, and still outshot them 13-8 in the second, but they showed a little bit of breaking after dominating the first 30 min of the game.
The third again opened with Sens pressure, and again coming close, this time with Claude Giroux hitting the crossbar. There was also a great moment when Mathieu Olivier and Hamonic got into a shoving match, and Olivier dropped his stick and offered to fight, only for Hamonic to tell him he was dead tired, so Olivier picked up his stick and played continued. After that, Chychrun drilled the crossbar again. It was amazing to see the Sens have such bad luck and still be up 4-2. They gave the Jackets another chance to get back into it with a powerplay, but it was Stützle scoring his second of the game shorthanded that happened next. Mathieu Joseph looked like he straight-up tripped Nick Blankenburg at the blue-line, but since it went uncalled, it gave Stü all the time in the world to come in, shoulder check, and then tuck it in five-hole:
No looking back now, Tim! 🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/mmLVBGIBkk— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 5, 2023
It also gave Ian Mendes the opportunity for the tweet of the night:
Tim Stützle with the shoulder check like he's merging onto the 417 from Palladium.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) March 5, 2023
The crowd started chanting, “We want playoffs,” proving that this is the most lively the arena’s been in several years. From there, Columbus looked out of it, and the game ended without much of anything. It was a dominant win, 5-2, extending the longest win-streak of the season to six games.
- Jakob Chychrun can shoot. He has a cannon. He’s also very good defensively, using his stick and his body to break plays up. Jake Sanderson is obviously still a rookie, Thomas Chabot is great offensively, but I think it could be reasonable to say Chychrun is this team’s best all-around defenceman right now.
- Shout-out to John Chychrun, Jakob’s grandfather, for standing up to cheer for his son’s first point, but still making sure to keep eating his snack while cheering. Priorities are important.
- Do we now say that Zub is the most stay-at-home of the defencemen on this team? Ottawa could really hold the puck in on the cycle tonight, and I think at least part of that is that every defenceman is willing to pinch to keep the play alive. Ottawa could have used more urgency in the offensive zone (and they probably would if they were losing and/or were against a tougher opponent), but keeping the puck cycling forever was still great to watch.
- Mark Kastelic stood out to me tonight as a guy crashing the net, looking for tap-ins. He didn’t get on the scoresheet, but he came within inches at least twice. It’s nice to see that kind of awareness from a guy not in the top six. Rather than just try to box out his man so Chabot or Chychrun gets a clear shot, he goes looking to be an option down low.
- Amazing that Stü can have a disappointing PK shift, and follow it up with a shortie. Once again, our German stüperstar shows he can have off-shifts, but he doesn’t have off-games
- We want playoffs./