Tuesday, December 23, 2008
No Christmas Luck
Despite the valiant comeback, this game changed on a very strange coaching move by Craig Hartsburg early in the second period that I still don't truly understand.
Ottawa went on the power play when Randy Jones tripped up Jarkko Ruutu. Of course, the first power-play unit went out until Ottawa found themselves up two men when Braydon Coburn took another penalty only 19 seconds later.
8 seconds into the double advantage, Jason Spezza perfectly set up Dany Heatley for the goal to tie the game at 2 - 2. At that point, the first power-play unit had been on the ice a total of 27 seconds (with two whistle breaks). With the Flyers still a man down for nearly two minutes, Hartsburg decides to pull the top unit and put on the second group which consists of players like Nick Foligno and Christoph Schubert.
You'd think Hartsburg would try to go for another goal using his best players but instead, Schubert coughs up the puck at the blueline and then proceeds to trip Jeff Carter on the breakaway and nullify the power-play.
And then Carter scores with Schubert in the box. With that kick in the gut still hurting, the Senators give up another goal just two minutes later to go down 4-2.
There's a lot of blame to go around, including to Alex Auld who has continued his streak of spotty play, but Hartsburg had a chance to keep his best players on the ice and if they had scored, it would have been a different game. It's not Hartsburg's fault that Schubert made a boneheaded play but he's responsible for who's on the ice.
With only 27 seconds under their belt, that first power-play unit had a lot of wind left. Now it's all just a bunch of hot air.
That flowing curly hair peeking out from under a white Flyers helmet had me thinking that Michael Handzus had somehow sneaked back onto the Philly roster when I wasn't looking but it was only Scott Hartnell.
The Kentucky Waterfall style didn't look good on Handzus (who has since cut it) and it still doesn't look good on a guy Hartnell.
Anyways, Black Aces will take a little sabbatical until after the Vancouver game on Sunday night.
So Happy Holidays to everyone and we'll see you soon, perhaps just a little fatter.