El Noche, Grande

It’s a big night for the Senators.  They play the team ahead of them in the standings (one of many now).  They are scuffling on the ice.  A win would pretty much put them in the playoffs.  And, the call-in shows are littered with people calling for Ray Emery to get another shot (oy!).   Kiddie time is over.  It’s time for the leaders on this club to show what they’re made of.  As such, I am going to spend the next 2.5 hours picking apart the play of Alfredsson, Redden, Phillips, Fisher, Heatley, Gerber and Spezza.  Spezza was complaining about fans and media taking shots at the effort the Senators are putting forth.  Well, it’s put up or shut up time, J.  I’m singling Gerber out, not because he’s necessarily a leader on the team, but because his performance is integral.   Has anyone seen my Dany Heatley lately?  I seem to have misplaced him…can’t find him anywhere.

The Canadiens are a team that regularly plays a softer game than even the Senators, so the first indication is going to be whether or not the Sens are committed to taking the body in this one.   I’d really appreciate some well timed blows to Max Lapierre today, guys.  Could you do that for a brotha?

Here we go:  Period 1

Robitaille is back in the lineup….can’t say I’m happy about that.  Spezza with a neutral zone turnover on his first shift, not a great start there, J.  Here’s something I never thought I’d see; Alex Kovalev wearing the “C”.  I know he’s not the cancer he was last year, but I really hope Koivu takes his time getting back just so I can continue to get some good chucks when watching the Habs.   Spezza gets into a fight with Andre Markov.  Your purse, Jason!!!  Hit him with your purse.

I would say the first period has had some good and some bad.  There was not much chance for Gerber on the first goal.  Kovalev roofed a backhand from 15 feet away on a 5 on 3.  What was troubling was how badly Gerber got out position as Ryder circled around the back of the net just before the goal.  Alfredsson had 2 bad giveaways in the first period.  But the biggest problem was with the penalties; four minors for your Senators.  And that is why we’re down a goal.  It’s kind of hard to get any offensive flow going when you’re killing penalties all the damn time.  I thought Redden played pretty well in that period.  Dany Heatley continues his disappearing act.

On to period 2.

 The parade to the penalty box continues as Brian Lee takes one in the first two minutes.  Perhaps the guys missed the memo about Montreal’s potent power play.  A lazy play by Heatley leads to a goal by Dandenault….you’re kidding me.  Freakin’ Matt Dandenault.  2-0 Habs.  I figured out what the problem is….I’m drinking my beer out of my Packer koozie.  Quick, hit pause so I can grab my Senators koozie.  

Finally, a Dany Heatley sighting as he digs out a puck along the boards and feeds Spezza for a great opportunity.  No sale.  We’re getting our money’s worth out of Marty Lapointe in the 2nd period.  He’s hitting everything that moves and just had a fantastic chance just smashing a guy and then going to the net.    I’m smelling a comeback, people.  No really!  4:30 left in the 2nd period.  We just need to solve Price, which is easier said than done, but at least the effort is there.   The momentum continues to build as the Cody Bass draws a penalty.  Nothing.  The second period ends 2-0.

The action has been fast and furious in the third period.  The Senators blew a big chance with a 4 on 3 power play and then turn around and give the Habs the man advantage which they promptly cash.  3-0 Habs.  I guess we can kiss that comeback goodbye as there are now five minutes remaining.  

I’m on record somewhere (not here) saying that the Senators will make the playoffs.  I can’t believe it’s even an issue, but I just can’t believe we’re going to completely piss it down our collective leg and that every team that needs to win to bounce us, will do that.  But, we’ve now been shut out in back to back games yet again.  If the Senators are trying to build up the “us against the world” chip on their shoulders, they are:

A) doing a pretty fine job of and it and 2) a bunch of assholes. 

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