What an awesome game to be at. The Sen knocked the Leafs off their tree, raked them up, and burned the pile (by a score of 5-1). Unfortunately the referees issued Ottawa nine penalties for burning Leafs without a permit.
Let me start off by saying the reffing was abysmal. Just atrocious. Abominable. I mean... Mike Fisher got three penalties? Bogus. It was so difficult to watch Toronto commit infraction after infraction, and then Ottawa get called for borderline penalties.
But good teams find a way to battle through adversity, and the Sens not only killed 88 per cent of penalties, but also scored a short-handed goal off an incredbiel pass from Dean McAmmond to Daniel Alfredsson. Ottawa went 1-for-4 on the powerplay when Andrej Meszaros, who had a pretty good game, scored with a shot from the point.
First Star: Martin Gerber. Best player on the ice, bar none. His main criticism has been rebound control, but The Gerber had no problems with rebounds tonight. I was impressed many times, especially on a Leafs run in the second period, when The Gerber would simply absorb shots and hold onto them. The Gerber was huge in the second period, and ended up stopping 30 of 31 shots over the game.
Second Star: Patrick Eaves. Patty had what was probably his best game of the year, scoring a goal and an assist and setting up a bunch of other plays. Very effective for just over eight minutes of ice time, which was less than any other Senator.
Third Star: Daniel Alfredsson. Played well in all situations, killed some serious penalty time, and just worked. Kudos to the Sens fans in attendance, who not only drowned out the Leafs fans' boos of Alfie but also booed Mats Sundin whenever he touched the puck.
Honourable mentions go to Chris Phillips for shutting down the Leafs' big line, Dean McAmmond for being Dean McAmmond, Luke Richardson for his reliability in constantly increasing ice time (he played 12:28 tonight), Andrej Meszaros in his best game of the year, Antoine Vermette (12/17 in faceoffs), Anton Volchenkov (another six blocked shots)... I think this would go on for too long so I'll just say most of the team played great.
Not so great tonight was Joe Corvo. He played over 14 minutes which might have been too much for him, but he committed a few mistakes (two giveaways in the game, more than any other Senator). On a couple occasions tried to deke out a Leaf going into the corner, but just plum forgot the puck and the Leafs got it. He'll bounce back next game, though.
So the Sens are 13-1, setting the record for best start through 14 games (what a vague statistic), and are the best tem in the league so far. Roy Mlakar is on The Jim Rome Show tomorrow, and I'm pretty excited to hear it. And the Sens play Washington on Thursday, this game-every-other-day is almost too much after the one-game-a-week start to the season. Almost.