It was a major disappointment for Ottawa fans with how their team came out in the first period against the Canucks. It was clear that the players just didn't have their legs underneath them, something that is all too common when teams play their first game at home after a road trip. Why that happens, I have no idea, but that seems to be the most likely explanation for such a flat start.
Brian Elliott let in 3 goals on his first 9 shots and I was expecting Cory Clouston to pull out the meat hook.
But Clouston sent a message by keeping Elliott in there. Those goals were a result of shoddy defensive coverage and not solely Elliott's fault.
The young goaltender responded with some big saves in the 2nd and 3rd periods as his team woke up and made it a game. The line of Dany Heatley, Mike Fisher and Ryan Shannon were great to watch and Clouston responded by playing them heavily.
The victim of that decision was Jason Spezza who must have played a season-low 14:19. He was a nasty -3 (but so was Heatley) and had zero shots on goal. He'll need to bounce back with a big game against the Habs on Saturday afternoon.
One loss doesn't derail their far-fetched playoff dreams but they better be prepared to play against a desperate Habs squad.
I don't have the numbers in front of me, but history doesn't seem to be too kind to the Senators when they play those afternoon games.
There was something horribly awry with the Sportsnet broadcast tonight in the first period. If you were expecting the game on HD like I was, we were instead treated to a standard definition broadcast that kept cutting out for nearly 10 minutes. Then, like a miracle, we were given the HD feed only to have it ripped from us just a minute later. The rest of the game was in standard.
So they were filming it in HD but decided not to give the signal to us in the East? I can't say for sure but I bet that in Vancouver they were watching it in HD. So why not on Sportsnet East? If anyone has any info on this crapfest, let us know.
***Here's a stat that has largely gone under the radar: Daniel Alfredsson now sits 91st in all-time NHL scoring.
That's a pretty amazing feat for a guy who has had a season lost to a lockout and some lengthy injuries early on in his career.
With 899 points, e needs one more point to tie Tony Amonte for 90th on the list and will probably surpass the likes of Bobby Orr, Scott Stevens and Gary Roberts this season.
It's not Hall of Fame numbers yet, but he's working on it.
Speaking of all-time stats, Jason Spezza is closing in on Radek Bonk for 4th all-time in Senators scoring. Bonk holds the spot with 399 while Spezza is just 8 back after having just passed Marian Hossa for the 5th spot. Antoine Vermette, with 163 points, should pass Alexandre Daigle who sits 14th all-time with 172. Daigle, by the way, finished a whopping minus 137 in his career with the Senators, well ahead of Brad Shaw (-85) for last place. Wade Redden still holds down the top spot in this category with an impressive +159.
The all-time NHL leader in plus/minus is Hab great Larry Robinson with an almost sickening +730.