Sunday, January 11, 2009

No-trick pony: Rangers 2, Sens 0

Another loss. Another ugly loss. Maybe they didn't play that badly, but they paid for their mistakes, and the Ottawa Senators didn't take advantage of mistakes the New York Rangers make. So the resulting 2-0 loss should be no surprise.

Still, despite his first NHL loss, you've got to give Brian Elliott credit. He came into the game looking extremely confident, and made plenty of big saves--none bigger than a breakaway save he made in the third period. I'm not sure if he should want to stay in Ottawa, considering the shit he'll get here compared to the All-Star start he'd get in the AHL, but Bruce Garrioch is under the impression that the Sens are on the verge of waiving Martin Gerber, so Elliott might be up here for a while.

(In another strange development, the Senators seem to be closely linked with All-Star goaltenders everywhere: Elliot was voted to be the started in the AHL's all-star game, and Ray Emery might have been the best goaltender in the Continental Hockey League's all-star game last night. It's too bad we don't have an NHL all-star.)

I'll also give Filip Kuba credit for his play in his return to the Sens lineup. He got a bum rap in the Sun for some of his board work, but Kuba had good defensive coverage and a definite positive effect on offensive zone pressure. Too bad he can't score goals. Still, he pinched in to help out a few times, and was good at getting back into position quickly.

Rough game for Jesse Winchester. He had one shift with two terrible giveaways, and didn't look solid on the night. For Winnie to get success, he needs to get back to the simple, reliable play he was executing earlier in the season. Come to think of it, a lot of Senators could use to simplify their game significantly.

It really is a shame that Christoph Schubert doesn't want to play forward. He's about ten times more effective as a forward, as evidenced by his team-high four hits last night. And even when he takes a shot and has it blocked--as happens extremely often with Schubert--at least he's not the last line of defence before the opposition gets a breakaway. Stick with forward, Schubert, you're better at it, and Ottawa's better for it.
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