5 Goals, 2 Points and Patrick Kaleta is a Gutless Puke

Don’t Bury the Lead:  Kaleta runs around like an idiot all night and then when it comes time to answer the bell, he backs down to Chris Neil.  And then on the SAME SHIFT, runs up the back of Jarkko Ruutu, who promptly put him on his ass, which is to say, on his head.  Kaleta fully acknowledges that he turtles more than he fights and that he won’t fight when it serves the other teams purposes.  Well, you’re down 5-1 when Neil talked to you on the face off.  That might serve your team’s purpose, don’t you think, you pile of excrement!

The Puck Drops Here:  The game tonight is on the NHL Network which surprises me a bit.  I know there isn’t a wide audience on the NHL Network but they’re going up against the Versus telecast.  That ain’t friendly, and it’s an odd move for the NHL to steal share from a partner like that!  I’m happy about it because I get to hear Billy Clement “hands of cement” do the analysis which is what he’s best suited to doing. 

Spezza Me Impressed:  7 minutes into the game, I said to myself, “if they play this way for 60 and lose, I can live with that.”  However, I don’t think they’ll lose if they keep this up.  I’ve been waiting for this start since I turned on the TV back in the first week of October.  Spezza looks like he gives a shit, which is a nice touch.  I guess that’s not completely fair; Spezza has had decent effort this year and he’s been playing progressively smarter.  You don’t see nearly as much of him trying to skate through 3 guys anymore.  There’s still the odd blind pass, but it’s typically from behind the net and nothing you don’t see 5 times a night in any NHL game.  (addendum: in the third period Jason had a terrible giveaway on the blue line.  The Senators were up 5-0 at the time, but you still hate to see it creep back in and Giggles sure looked good for the majority of the night.  His postgame interview was a hoot; he couldn’t stop giggling)

It’s That Time of the Month:  We’re going to see blood in this one.   Neil just put a shoulder into Peters but they’re at the end of a shift and then Afinogenov takes a hard slapper after the whistle (and gets a penalty for it, which I haven’t seen in awhile…maybe not ever, now that I think about it) and an ass pounding from Jason Smith.  For the Senator’s players, I suspect this rivalry is bigger than the Sens/Leafs now.  I’m quite sure the Sabres feel that way after the Neil/Drury incident and the ensuing anarchy.   I’m sure Sens fans will never get there.   But there’s ugly on the ice when these teams meet.

Get the Puck Out:  Bill Clement mentioned that the Sens have had trouble getting the puck out of the zone this year (newsflash); saying they panic with the puck in their zone and then showed a replay of them working it up the wall and chipping it out from tonight’s game.  I submit to you: it’s not about getting the puck out of the zone.  It’s about getting it out with control.  The game is all about puck control.  With the defensemen having their nuts cut off by the referees, the best defense is a good offense and that means having the puck.  Here’s an example of what’s been plaguing the Senators.  Chris Neil gets the puck in the corner of our zone with plenty of time to turn and take a look for a teammate, but instead continues to face the wall and waits for a hit before moving the puck along the wall and hopes one of our guys to get it.  That’s the crap in our zone that drives me crazy.

I Never Say That and I Don’t Like People Who Do:  I’m not an I told you so kinda guy and it’s only one game….but I FUCKIN’ TOLD YOU SO.  Vermette looked good on a line with Spezza and Heatley and he had a sweet feed to Spezz for a breakaway goal.  We’ll see if it lasts.

Ride ’em, Cowboy (or something):  This was a good win against a hot team.  The Sabres managed to score only on a 5 on 2 1/2 (Fish was without a stick) and a late 5 on 4.  I would say the defense was good, but it was more a function of the Senators creating pressure that kept the puck out of their end for much of the night.  But still, there wasn’t as much running around in our end, which was a positive I’ve been looking to see for awhile now.  The Senators now head to Melnyk’s ranch tomorrow before getting ready for their game against the Panthers on Thursday.  Might have been a touch uncomfy walking into Gene’s place riding a 5 game loser streak.  This feels better!

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