Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sens lose an ugly one

That was a pretty ugly game to watch. The Sens ended up losing 4-2 to the Capitals, the fourth loss to Washington in the fourth and final game between the two in the regular season.

There were a lot of players who just had off-games tonight. No defenceman had a good game, and Luke Richardson and Joe Corvo had particularly bad games. Even Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov didn't seem at their best, although they managed to keep Alex Ovechkin relatively quiet (at least for a while). Wade Redden, who scored a goal for the Sens, and Andrej Meszaros weren't bad, but they were nowhere near where they need to be for the Sens to play as they can.

On forward, there were few bright spots. Jason Spezza did not look like he should have been playing; I'm concerned if he wasn't completely healthy why management would allow him to play at all considering he lucked out the first time, but might not be as lucky if there was another hard hit thrown his way. Tough to say it, but Daniel Alfredsson looked a little off his game, as well, and those two are going to have to find a way to offset the loss of Heater.

On a happy note, however, Ilya Zubov had a decent game. While he wasn't amazing, he looked a lot more comfortable than Alex Nikulin in his first NHL game, and his defensive coverage was very good. He even threw a few good hits. Patrick Eaves looked comfortable in his first game back, and hopefully his game picks up where it was when he was injured way back.

I've got to give credit to John Paddock for scratching Randy Robitaille tonight, what seems to me as an overdue move. He gave extra ice time to Dean McAmmond (that one's for you, Mike!), who responded with a tip-in goal and played a surprisingly physical game, including a solid hit against Mike Green.

Unfortunately, without Brian McGrattan in the lineup, Donald Brashear appeared to enjoy the freedom he had around the ice. Even if Grats played the 4:33 that Cody Bass played tonight, it might have limited the liberties that Brashear took with some Senators players, including Mike Fisher at one point after a whistle. Not that Bass had a bad game--he actually played well considering his ice time--but a heavyweight like McGrattan does serve a purpose.

But hey, it was only one game. One thing I take out of this game if that the Sens are nowhere near filling the void left behind with the loss of Heatley from within, and Bryan Murray might be in tough to pull a move similar to the Mike Comrie trade from last year.

Post-script: I'm listening to the post-game show on the Team 1200 right now, and I have to wonder why these hosts are even doing this. It seems obvious to me that they have no patience for fans calling in an expressing their opinions, and they flat-out don't like listening to what fans say.
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