After hearing a first-period radio coverage which included a hilarious (not really) comment about "soft dumps" and an existential question before Christoph Schubert opened the scoring for the Senators, I've decided to live-blog the radio coverage of the game. Some of it will be good, some will be critical. All will be about the game. This will be a stream-of-consciousness live blog, which I bet will be long to read afterwards. Hopefully it will be worth it, though.
Oh, and Dany Heatley just broke a four-game goalless drought with a second power-play goal for the Sens to make it 2-0 just 19 seconds into the second period. I don't want to get too high on this, because I don't want to screw anything up.
Too many men on the ice penalty for the Sabres, with Jason Spezza serving the infraction. Chris Kelly and Antoine Vermette are killing the penalty to start, and did pretty well by the sounds of thing. It's always good to start a kill with a scoring opportunity. Plus Filip Kuba, whose defensive play hasn't been spectacular (although he's done fine) made a great PK play.
Another short-handed shot! Anyone else love the PK duo of Dean McAmmond and Jarkko Ruutu, the mirrored twosome (numbers 37 and 73, respectively)?
JASON SPEZZA SCORES, right after leaving the box. Deke, fake the shot, go the other way. You'd think Patrick Lalime would know Spezza never shoots, but I guess he doesn't. He does now. Quick two points for Spezza, giving him 11 (4G, 7A) on the year. Vermette gets the only assist, and now has two points on the season. Cha-ching!
Holding penalty on Nick Foligno. And a stupid series of commercials. At least we don't have to deal with Jungle's ridiculous Baton Rouge commercials... what are they thinking? This is supposed to be a classy place, not the kind of trashbag that makes plays on 'luscious racks'.
Gord, I realize you're trying to be colourful. But we're trying to listen to the game here. Let us know what's happening on the ice. And Dean, we realize that Teppo Numinen isn't from Seinfeld. Thanks for the clarification, though.
Penalty killed. Buffalo is 0-for-4 on the night now.
ANOTHER penalty? Holding on Vermette. And Jason Pominville got a scoring chance, but hit the side of the net. Phew. Okay, it was killed, and it's five-on-five. Shit, Daniel Alfredsson's hurt? Okay, he's back up, and pissed. What happened, Gord, please tell me? Oh, he got a shot in the gnads. Uncomfortable, but not likely to keep him out of the lineup. Sorry if you think I'm not sensitive enough, Alfie. Ales Kotalik gave him a shot between the legs, the bastard.
Special teams update: Sens are 2-for-4 on the powerplay, Sabres are 0-for-5. So far.
Statistical note: McAmmond is tied with Anton Volchenkov right now for most hits on the Sens (two). Are you going to take that, Jason Smith, Mike Fisher, Chris Phillips, Ruutu, Chris Neil... I could go on. Bottom line, not enough hitting. I guess people are too worried about scoring.
Why do people call periods 'stanzas'? Stupid, stupid thing. Anyone who's wondering what it is, as Dean (or was it Gord?) asked, it is a unit within a larger poem.
Ruutu has just been united with McAmmond and Shean Donovan on the fourth line. I guess Craig Hartsburg read my blog and decided to heed my advice. Be warned, Sens fans. Fisher is going after Mike Weber, the little puke who kneed Alfredsson! Good for you, Fisher. If you don't score, at least start some shit. Coincidental fighting majors, and Weber gets an extra two for tripping. Sens powerplay. Sounds like Fisher really went after him, which is one good thing about having him playing with Alfredsson.
Auld gives the puck away to comeback-player-of-the-short-season-so-far Thomas Vanek, and then he gets another short-handed chance. Someone knock him down, please? Now Derek Roy and Adam Mair are making short-handed magic. Score, guys!
YES! I told Spezza to do that! 4-0 Ottawa, off a scramble right after a Sens powerplay. Good stuff, CASH Line.
Now another penalty kill, hooking on Volchenkov. Tough not having him on the PK, but good start for Vermette sending the puck down the ice. Sounds like the key to the Sens' playing well is winning battles. That's a good place to start, anyway. McAmmond does the ol' pass-back-to-the-defence penalty killing tactic to Schubert, and it works.
Scramble in front of Auld, but the second period comes to a close. Sens are still up 4-0! They are also outshooting the Sabres 25-15, and I don't think that's a coincidence. The best defence is a good offence, so keep it up, guys.
Interview with Tim Murray, about the B-Sens: They are hard to play against. He says 'Pressure' exactly like Bryan Murray does, sort of like 'Presh-shure'. Zack Smith has apparently been inbelievable this season in the AHL: five goals in seven games, yeah, I think he's doing pretty well.
Third period starts, only 31 seconds in, and Chris Kelly takes a hooking penalty. Volchie is out now, so it's 5-on-4 for a little more than a minute. With Kelly in the box, it's a good thing the Sens have penalty-killing depth.
And now McAmmond draws a penalty on Toni Lydman, so the Sens are off to the powerplay. The Sens are 2-for-5 right now, which is pretty good considering the Sabres had killed off 94.3% of their penalties going into the game. Penalty over, no damage done.
SHEAN DONOVAN! What an incredible start to the season for the Sens' fourth line, and Jesse Winchester seems to be fitting in well enough with them. This line could easily play 10-15 minutes on a night; I say we bump them up to 'third line' on the depth chart. Assists to Winch and D-Mac.
Troy Kaleta smokes Kuba, and the Sens start a scrum. Andrew Peters against Neil, and Neil seems to have gotten a good shot in there. Naturally, Kaleta didn't drop the gloves when Smith challenged him, but I guess he just pulled a Ruutu. Third game in a row for Neil's fighting, and that includes two wins against heavyweights George Parros and Peters, with rookie Luke Schenn in the middle. Neil's effectiveness is hinged on fighting, and it's something he didn't do enough of last year, in my opinion. Peters got a 10 and a 5, Neil got 5 and Smith for some reason got a 10. I didn't see it, but he didn't sound unsportsmanlike.
A couple great stumbles in one sentence: 'Califlorida' and 'Eugene Owner'. Great job, Gord.
Remember how instrumental the Sens' fourth line was in the 2007 playoff run? We've got an effective one again, folks. Hopefully they keep getting rolled into games, because they've been huge in the past few.
Heatley gets a tripping penalty. Sounds like Alex Picard shied away from a hit rather than taking one to make a play, which is something that someone of his size hopefully won't do often. Now Volchenkov has taken a delay-of-game penalty, so it's a 1:55 powerplay for the Sabres. And Alfredsson's stick broke, but Auld came through with a rebound-free save. That's what a goalie has to do on a 5-on-3. Kelly goes out as the Sens' forward, but loses the faceoff. He blocks a shot. Auld makes a great lateral save, and then an even better save on Roy. Good for cueball: or, how about Alex 'Luthor' Auld? Get it? Lex Luthor? Kind of blends with the science-fiction theme that's been established with Martin "Darth" Gerber.
Damn! Drew Stafford ruins Auld's shutout bid with a 5-on-3 goal. Really too bad for him, but should be fine. Sens 5 Sabres 1.
Ruutu and Kaleta actually got into a fight! A couple of guys who like starting shit but don't usually finish it (Kaleta more than Ruutu), this sounded like a weak fight thanks to Kaleta's resistance. And Ruutu gets the extra two for unsportsmanlike, which sounds pretty bogus. Neil got a ten minute misconduct for some reason, powerplay number ten for the Sabres.
Well, it seemed like the penalties would eventually catch up to the Sens, and the Sabres just scored a second power-play goal. Numminen (not from Seinfeld) had his shot deflect off Schubert's foot, and past Auld. 5-2 now, 10 seconds left...
And game over. Sens 5, Sabres 2, and the Sens are back on the winning train. Sorry this live-blog was (is?) so long, hopefully it was enjoyable.
One sour note on the night: Kuba's assist streak to start the season is over at eight games; so much for an 82-game assisting streak. At least he set an NHL record in the process.