Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The Big Breakout
With the big win tonight, the Senators made their Long Island loss on Saturday look like a minor blip in their steady resurgence.
Losing on the road is a given for every team over the course of the season. But bouncing back with wins at home (albeit against a struggling Atlanta squad) shows some fortitude and the Senators may now be slowly turning things around with 3 straight home wins and 8 points out of a possible 12 in their last 6 games.
The big line really let loose tonight but they've accounted for nearly 50 percent of the team's goals all-season, so that's not so unexpected.
What really stood out was the play of guys like Jesse Winchester, Brendan Bell, Anton Volchenkov and Mike Fisher.
And let's not forget Shean Donovan who cranked a team high 7 shots at backup Ondrej Pavelec.
But no one should get too excited. People were on the ledge after Saturday's loss and they'll be popping the champagne tonight. But the real test will be Saturday's game against the Penguins who are now just starting to hit their stride after an uneven start.
I may owe Jesse Winchester an apology. Just a few posts ago I said that it might be inevitable that Winchester and Nick Foligno find themselves in the minors if the Senators trade for some veteran help. Then Winchester gets in two scraps and plays chippy all night, looking like a real NHL'er. What can I say? I was wrong. I still think Foligno might need time in the AHL but now he'll probably get a hat-trick on Saturday. That's life in the blog writing business ........ Jarkko Ruutu was a little quiet tonight and probably for good reason. Once Dany Heatley opened the scoring early in the first, it would have been counter-productive for Ruutu to wake up the Thrashers who were playing their second game in two nights. He'll be at his best on Saturday versus his old team, the Pens......... Not that Sidney Crosby will be intimidated by the likes of Ruutu. Crosby looked like he was going to drop the gloves with the Rangers Colton Orr tonight until Brooks Orpik stepped in. ............ For what it's worth, Christoph Schubert played really well tonight on defense, but so did everybody. He still might have a future with the team if injuries strike. You never know...... You want my take on the Avery thing? I agree with Matthew Barnaby from TSN in that he should have been fined and not suspended. "Sloppy seconds"? It was totally crude and stupid but is it worth all this fuss? Some newspapers wouldn't even print the words "sloppy seconds", instead using "ex-girlfriends" in its place. Really? But at the same time, I wouldn't want Avery on my team. He's amusing when he's somebody else's problem.......... Now that the Senators have won, what are they going to talk about on Over The Edge tomorrow (today)? Who are they going to tell to work harder? Who are they going to demand to be benched?