Friday, November 7, 2008

Uh-Oh Corvo: 'Canes 2, Sens 1

You've made a cuckold out of me for the last time, Joe Corvo. It was bad enough when you scored a hat trick against the Senators last year, but Friday night's performance--in which Corvo had an assist and scored the game-winning goal--was the last straw. As if demanding a trade wasn't bad enough, you had to go and break my heart.

Despite a strong first period, the Sens didn't capitalize on enough of their chances--including three powerplays in the first alone. Although Mike Fisher gave the Sens a 1-0 lead late in the second, the Sens just couldn't withstand the pressure that Carolina put on them in the second and third periods. Ottawa was outshot 21-11 in the final two frames, and really wasn't playing as well as they had been in the past few games.

Fisher's line with Jesse Winchester and Daniel Alfredsson was the only one to get sustained pressure on the Hurricanes. Winchester looked a lot more confident after getting his first goal out of the way, was skating very fast, and finished with three shots on net. Alfie had three shots, too, and Fisher had two of them along with five hits on the night. Unfortunately the streak of wins-in-games-that-Fisher-had-a-point ends at two.

The one roster change from the last few games was in nets, as Martin Gerber drew in to give Alex Auld the night off. Gerber made some solid saves, and this loss certainly can't be pegged on him--the team just didn't play well enough in front of Darth Gerber. I'm not sure if it's because the team was tired after playing last night (Carolina did, too, so it's not much of an excuse) or whether they are subconsciously afraid when Gerber's in nets, but they're going to have to get over it because he will play at least a few more games this year.

I'm going to partially peg this loss on not properly utilizing the fourth line. Thursday night's win had a very minor ice time disparity, and the lowest was Shean Donovan with over nine minutes. In Friday's loss, however, Donovan had only 3:34 of ice time, and his linemates had little more than that. It probably had a lot to do with all the special teams play, but they could have used a few more shifts--and if they had, the other lines (notably the Jason Spezza-Dany Heatley-Antoine Vermette line) might have had a bit more steam in the third period. Rolling the lines to keep the tempo up against an injury-riddled team like Carolina could really have exposed some weaknesses--especially since both teams had played the night before. Or maybe I'm just talking out of my ass.

And it's a Senators-free weekend, since the next game isn't until Tuesday in Montreal. Which means I don't know what the hell I'm going to do to pass the time.
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