Saying that fans were looking forward to this game would be an understatement. This game was the most talked about, and one of the (if not the) most important games of the season. But it’s good to know that our owner, who has mentioned that the reason he is in this business is to win the Stanley Cup, but refuses to spend money to put a competitive team on the ice, was in Barbados instead of attending this very important game. I guess the Senators’ top 6 forward money is going towards Eugene Melnyk’s vacations this year.
After what I thought was a very short and poorly done tribute video for Daniel Alfredsson, the puck finally dropped. Each and every one of the Senators’ finicky fans gave Alfredsson a standing ovation, followed by a few boos the first time he got the puck. And in case you missed the game, yes, there was an Alfie chant at 11:11. The first period was extremely even, both teams having 10 shots after 20 minutes, in a 0-0 game. The Senators had two powerplays, but were unable to capitalize on either. The Senators looked really strong in the second period, getting their first good chances of the game. Then the worst possible thing happened. After putting on decent pressure for a few minutes, and looking like they were about to score, the Red Wings took the puck down the ice, into the Senators zone, and Johan Franzen, who made a miraculous recovery after that horrible hit in the last Senators/Red Wings matchup (if you Googled “mule” for some strange reason, and aren’t a hockey fan, you won’t understand my sarcasm. Also, you should stop reading this) scored the first goal of the game. In the last 8 periods that Franzen has played in Ottawa, he has 8 goals. It seems to be a recurring theme this season, the Senators play well, they get a bunch of chances, then the opposition scores on their first chance in a few minutes. Instead of releasing their inner pesky, they stop skating. And that lack of skating caused another Red Wings goal, just 3 minutes later. Drew Miller was all alone beside the Senators’ net on a rush, and Tomas Tatar hooked him up with a sweet pass that he managed to get past Robin Lehner. Then, 3 minutes later, hope returned for the Senators. Clarke MacArthur scored his 4th goal in the past 5 games, and brought the Senators within one. Before the third period started, I’m sure the Senators were feeling very pesky. Then Miller scored again, giving the Red Wings another 2 goal lead. You can’t really blame a team when they get depressed after Drew Miller scores twice. With about 3 minutes remaining, Lehner was pulled for the extra man, and it worked. Mika Zibanejad scored to make it a 3-2 game, with 1:21 remaining on the clock. Pulling Lehner worked the first time, so why not again? The Senators got the puck the Red Wings’ zone, but ended up in the neutral zone right as Lehner was booking it for the bench. Really, really bad timing on that one. And guess who would score the empty net goal? None other than Daniel Alfredsson. I think would’ve preferred it if Drew Miller had scored that goal. I’d rather tell everyone, “Yeah, Drew Miller had a hat trick against my team last night!” That’s how sad that made me feel.
SENSHOT PLAYER OF THE GAME
Erik Karlsson, for sure. He only had an assist, but those two plays where he brought the puck all the down the ice in the second period were phenomenal. Especially the 1-on-5 that he turned into a breakaway. He’s pretty good at hockey.
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
- The Senators were 0/4 on the powerplay tonight, and even gave up two breakaways while on the PP. That isn’t good.
- Jason Spezza is still having trouble figuring out when to shoot (or maybe how to shoot).
- Jared Cowen is bad.
- Bobby Ryan has really struggled in the past 2 games. He doesn’t seem to be skating or playing the same way. Hopefully a few points over the course of this next week will change that.
The Senators are taking on the struggling Florida Panthers on Tuesday night in Florida.