Just two days after a dismal effort against the Maple Leafs, the Sens bounced back to defeat Montreal 4-2 on Monday night. Awesome.
After a slightly-less-than-usual delay for pre-game ceremonies honouring Larry Robinson, Ottawa and the Habs had another very exciting game for spectators to watch. If these two teams meet in the playoffs, it will be an incredible series.
Most Senators had good games, but special mention goes to Dany Heatley. His second effort to get Jason Spezza the puck on the Sens' second goal was what good players have to do to become great players. Heater also broke his eight-game scoreless streak, and probably could have scored three or four goals if he could hit the net. Three points in the game for both of those guys, a few more games like that and Heatley will be right up at the top of the point- and goal-scoring races.
It also looked like Spetzky is back in game form now, after taking the last two games to readjust to the pace. Good to see, and I'll bet Heatley and John Paddock are both pretty relieved.
Alfredsson got dropped to what is now line 1B, along with Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher. That'll be a great line, Alfie and the Fish play well already, and once Vermette gets a feel for how they'll play, we could have a bona fide second scoring line. Unless Paddock goes back to the old formations, or throws Fisher on the top line with Spezza and Heatley.
Chris Neil had his best game of the year, scoring a goal and an assist. He's played pretty well in most of the last few games. If he keeps working that hard--and gets some time on the top line--he should have a chance of matching or breaking his career-high 33 points from 2005-06.
Finally, Patrick Eaves continued on his streak of great games and is making it harder and harder for Bryan Murray to consider trading him. Eaves seems to be the most likely roster player to be traded aside from one of the goalies, but he seems to be getting closer to the role the Sens had hoped he'd fill when he was drafted. And if that happens, there's no need to find another top-six player; we'll already have one.
And then there's Martin Gerber. Made key saves at key times, and if Ray Emery wants a shot at giving The Gerber a run for the number 1A spot, he's really going to have to kick some ass on Wednesday against Buffalo or Thursday against Pittsburgh, whichever of those he plays in. Most think that start will be against the Sabres on Wednesday, bringing with it the potential of a rematch against Andrew Peters. Given how pissed Rayzor seems to be after losing the starting job due to injury, maybe he'll boil over. I hope not, though, he's got enough to worry about with goaltending.
In other news, Alfredsson is second overall in voting for the 2007-08 All-Star Game. Which is great. Unfortunately, the write-in campaign for Martin Gerber isn't going so well, so go and vote! There is a link to the voting website in the lineup tracker on the left side of this page.