Another big win for the Senators despite the New York Islanders looking like a team just waiting to be picked off. After all, if you can't win the easy ones, you're not going to be around to play the hard games in April.
Jason Spezza looked like he was going to have a big game against Toronto on Tuesday but the bounces just weren't going his way. Tonight against the Islanders, almost everything he touched ended up behind Dwayne Roloson in a 4-1 win.
It was a big debate to see who deserved first star between Spezza and Brian Elliott, but with 4 points, I have to go with Spezza because without him, the Senators lose this game 1-0.
But that doesn't take away anything from Elliott who was huge by stopping two quick breakaways in the third period, getting some solace for the Boston game where he also faced two breakaways in succession and stopped the first before giving up the last to Milan Lucic. He was having none of that tonight.
I've cast a lot of doubt about Elliott's real potential to be a number one goalie on this site before, but he is starting to prove me wrong little by little as the season marches on. Don't call me completely convinced just yet (he's been on these hot streaks before), but, as a friend always says to me, Elliott doesn't get enough credit in this town.
Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong. But for the Senators, Elliott is the guy right now and will get another big start against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday in a game the Senators would desperately love to win. With the Habs stumbling just a little as of late, the streaking Sens are in a good position to make good on that wish.
Black Aces Senators 3 Stars
1. Jason Spezza (I called for him to get 3 points on the Prediction Panel, but then he ruins my good name by getting 4.)
2. Brian Elliott (best game of the year so far)
3. Peter Regin (finally)
Honourable mentions: Chris Campoli, Sergei Gonchar, Alex Kovalev, Jesse Winchester, Chris Kelly and David Hale
Watching Jason Spezza inhaling the smelling salts before the game got me wondering. What does that stuff do anyways? According to Wikipedia it "irritates the mucous membranes of the nose and lungs, and thereby triggers an inhalation reflex that causes the muscles that control breathing to work faster." So, kinda gross. Here's a good article that ran on a Caps blog just last season with a classic line from Brooks Laich who asks the reporter right back "You ever use smelling salts, every time you type a bad blog?"..... Spotted a girl on TSN wearing a classic white Ron Tugnutt jersey. You don't see too many of those anymore, but Tugger was extremely popular when he played here. A vintage Sens jersey I would like to own? A Dennis Vial classic black. While my dream may never come true, at least we still have videos of Rob Ray and Vial just destroying each other virtually every time they met. Wow.
Speaking of jerseys, the best decision the Isles have made in the last twenty years is to go back to their original 80's uniforms, as you can see here and here. They've come a long way since the Captain Highliner days. Changing the sweaters back was the first step. Now it's time for them to start winning....David Hale gave Spezza a pretty good "suicide pass" in the first period but luckily Spezza didn't get runover because the unlikely duo hooked up again, this time with Hale taking a pass from Spezza for his first goal of the year ...... Does Sergei Gonchar have the biggest visor in the NHL? If not, it must be close.....It was great to see former Mississauga Senator Chris Campoli coming to the defense of former Mississauga Ice Dog Jason Spezza after number 19 was cranked from behind by Matt Martin in the third period. There was no hesitation there whatsoever on Campoli's part....Got to give a stick tap to Zack Smith who went on to scrap with Martin at the end of the game, and took a few good shots because of it.
Have a great weekend everyone.