We knew the Sens were going to win the moment Spartacat descended magestically from the rafters of the Canadian Tire Centre.
Home openers are always a great time, even for those watching at home, but this one felt extra special. The new ownership regime brought out all the fan favourites, with Sens legend Lyndon Slewidge making his grand return to sing the anthems, and Daniel Alfredsson being introduced as a member of the coaching staff. We even had a ceremony to honour Claude Giroux for scoring his 1000th NHL point in the last home game of last season. Seeing Alfie, Brady and Claude all together at centre ice was wonderful, but my personal favourite part of the ceremony was Tim Stützle in the tribute video reminding everyone that G couldn't have done it without him and Brady.
After such a fun pregame ceremony, the actual game was just gravy, but the Sens showed up for that as well.
The Flyers are bad, so we shouldn't read too much into this win, but it was a whole lot of fun and the Sens looked absolutely amazing. They held on to the puck really well, they held on their lead, and they found the back of the net when it mattered.
The top four deserves a special shoutout for their performance all game. As expected, there were a few ups and downs with Chychrun-Chabot, but far, far more ups than downs. They were really something in the offensive zone, and Sanderson-Zub was dominant as well, even though Zub took some bad penalties toward the end of the game. What a difference a year makes.
- I hate to start things off on a bad note, much less a callout of a player I like a lot, but it must be noted that Erik Brännström had a disastrous first shift and first period overall. Thankfully, none of his mistakes led to goals against or penalties, so no harm done, but he did make a lot of mistakes, especially early on in the game.
- Of course, the rest of the defense made up for it and then some! Jakob Chychrun opened the scoring with a massive shot from the point.
- Chychrun then wasted no time putting the Sens up 2-0 on another great shot on the powerplay.
- Although the Flyers got one back toward the end of the first period, the Sens put on an absolute clinic during the second. It was a beautiful 20 minutes of Sens possession, as they kept the Flyers from even getting shots on goal for almost the entire period.
- They spent most of the period with possession but unable to finish, and just as it started to get concerning, Jake Sanderson extended the lead on the powerplay. It’s been awesome to see the defence stepping up in such a big way with the forward corps so depleted.
- The Flyers got another one back almost immediately after the Sanderson goal, to make the score 3-2 Ottawa. It always sucks to let one of those in when you’ve been playing so well.
- Brady Tkachuk stepped up in the dying seconds of the second period to restore the 2 goal lead.
- The Captain scored the next goal, too, this one on the powerplay. He even flexed on ‘em in celebration. Philadelphia, it’s time to relegate your hockey team.
- Tarasenko still hasn't scored in a Sens uniform, but he did get a lot of good looks at the net today, and at times showed a lot of chemistry with Ridly Greig. He also got two assists. It's too early to make any judgements about whether that signing was a good idea, but I liked what I saw from him today.