Sunday, October 11, 2009
Same Story, Different Night
So, like many of you, I did not get to see the Senators - Thrashers tilt last night and therefore I won't try to comment on it too specifically, other than to say that it looks like you can take my last post from the win over the Islanders and apply it here.
You can even take Anton Volchenkov's hit on John Tavares and substitute second year youngster Zach Bogosian. Other than that, things unfolded in much the way they did the game before - big plays from unheralded players on the third and fourth lines like Chris Neil (1 goal, 2 shots on goal, +1), Jarkko Ruutu (1 goal, 2 shots on goal, +1) and Shean Donovan (1 assist, +1).
You also had a couple of guys who haven't made an impact so far come through with big games. Brian Elliott made 28 saves for his first win and Alex Picard had 2 assists and was a +2.
Just from looking at the stats sheet you can tell that the Mike Fisher, Alex Kovalev and Daniel Alfredsson line had a good night and we can probably expect them to stay together for at least a few more games.
Probably the best news to come from this game was that the rink was sold out after the embarrassing fact of the home opener being significantly shy.
That's a hard concept to wrap your brain around, especially when all those supposedly "weak hockey markets" in the South mostly managed to have better attendance than the Senators did on their opening nights.
To me, that's more an end result of two years of constant negative imaging from certain segments of the media who exploited minor to medium issues into catastrophic character assassinations, poisoning the atmosphere around this team to the point that fans were openly talking about boycotting games until the "scumbags" were traded etc.
I've talked about this before ad nauseum but the Senators themselves didn't do a good job of protecting their players in the media and getting ahead of negative stories.
Now, when a home opener doesn't sell out, everyone is left scratching their heads.
It's collateral damage from two years of negative stories that the team let fester in the public's mind.
But as long as they keep winning, the fans will come back and certain radio hosts and columnists will be forced to talk about some of the positives, hopefully erasing some of the damage they've done in the past.
Anyways, happy Thanksgiving and don't drink and drive.