He had only one assist in the game but is there any doubt that Jarkko Ruutu was the real star of the Senators win over the Rangers yesterday afternoon?
That shark-like grin never left his face all day as he drove players like Paul Mara and Colton Orr to outright attack him and take ill-advised penalties, the first of which directly resulted in Jason Spezza's game opening goal to put the Rangers on their backs right away.
Even the linesman got in their physical shots at Ruutu after he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for hitting Mara near the end of the first period. Right after the hit, one of the linesman freaked out and threw Ruutu to the ice and gave him a few spirited shoves once he had him pinned. Now that's called being an "agitator".
As for the new sweaters, I'm probably with the majority of "Senators" fans in that I find the word "Sens" on the front to be the weakest part of the jersey. I can understand that the organization didn't want to put an "O" on the front to avoid people calling it a "zero", as in "zero Stanley Cups", "zero character", "zero fun" or whatever the current criticism will be.
But the "Sens" script is somewhat weak and they could have went for the often used but still sharp Ranger design which spells out the whole team name on a sharp angle down the front.
I do like the stripes on the elbows - it's almost barberpole style if you look real quick - and they finally fixed their damn socks by dumping the grotesque "Tron" style angles they use for their regular outfits. This time, the stripes go all the way around and look like real NHL uniforms instead of gimmicky minor league fashion statements
It's not a disaster by any means but it's not a home run either. Black seems to look good on the Senators and unlike the other teams who switch to black for their third jersey's (dulling the league's look in the process), the Senators can lay claim to it being one of their original colours.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Wade Redden got a modest standing ovation to congratulate him on 11 great years with the team. If you were listening to call-in radio shows, reading blogs or scouring Senators message boards, you'd think fans were ready to throw batteries at the guy from the stands but it's a good reminder that the vast majority of Senators followers don't feel the need to write blogs or call the radio shows. They watch the games, go to work the next day and get on with their lives.
Something we might all need to do huh?
Ilya Zubov got sent down to Bingo and it wasn't because he played badly or because one of Chris Neil or Mike Fisher made a miraculous recovery. The Senators don't play again until next Thursday and they get to save a little cash with Zubov off the payroll.
The conspiracy theorists might say that the Senators could be interested in Wade Belak who was put on waivers by the Florida Panthers yesterday. Belak, known as a really good locker room guy, could provide that missing muscle on the fourth line and (now we're really stretching) be a familiar face for Mats Sundin when he decides to pick the Senators.
Far fetched? Definitely. But not impossible. The Senators would get one of the first dibs on Belak because of their lowly position in the standings.
You think the Big 3 have it tough being the only real scoring option on the Senators this year? Imagine being Rick Nash in Columbus or Ilya Kovalchuk in Atlanta over the past few years.
The strange thing is that neither of those players are actually leading their team in scoring. In Columbus, youngster Derrick Brassard has one more point than Nash and in Atlanta, Kovalchuk is tied for the team lead with the ancient Slava Kozlov and the 21 year old Bryan Little.
How long until both Nash and Kovalchuk get worn down by all the losing? Maybe we're already seeing the signs.
The biggest moment so far in the season has to be Milan Lucic of the Bruins beating the tar out of Mike Komisarek on November 13.
Since then, the Bruins are running the board and the Canadiens are falling apart. Georges Laraque tried to goad Lucic into a fight last night but the young Cam Neely clone wisely declined and ended up scoring a big goal later in the game. It was revealed afterwards that coach Claude Julien told Lucic not to fight anybody.
“Do you think we’re going to send him against probably the toughest guy in the league?” said Julien, who told Lucic before the game not to fight. “I know Georges Laraque was doing that because he was told to. Georges is not that type of guy. He respects the young kids, he knows what it’s all about. There was no way it was going to happen.”