Tuesday, October 6, 2009
All the credit for the Ottawa Senators' 2-1 win over the Maple Leafs tonight should go to two people: Pascal "Chuck" Leclaire and Cory Clouston. I didn't think the Sens were going to pull it off tonight. I thought the Leafs goons would get to gooning and that-goalie-that-really-looks-like-Martin-Gerber-when-he-was-a-Leaf would seem like a God-sent for Leafers in his NHL debut. I am happy to admit that I was wrong.
If that puck that made it past Leclaire had gone in, instead of ringing off both posts, we'd all be singing a different tune about Chuck, but let's celebrate the solid goaltending we did get. Leclaire was the epitome of clutch tonight. Especially in the final, say, 5 or 6 seconds of the game.
Milan Michalek appears to be gaining confidence with his linemates Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson. (Gimme a minute to hetero man-swoon for Alfie a moment here.... okay, enough).
I see too much to brag about from the other lines. In fact, in the middle of the third period, I was wondering if Alex Kovalev had been benched. Other than some fancy stick-handling from him on the penalty-kill, we haven't seen anything to warrant that $10-million two-year contract.
Finally! We see a resurgence from Philchenkov. Especially from the 'chenkov portion of that duo. Anton Volchenkov gets back to what he's known for: being physical and blocking shots like pieces of his body like they're replacable (though this blog did speculate some time ago that he's a Soviet android...). Philchenkov doesn't have to do anything except prevent the other team from scoring, and make them hurt whenever they enter the Sens zone. Hopefully, they're finding this out.
...which brings me to Clouston. He picked Alfredsson to take that penalty shot despite the captain's less-than-stellar shoot-out record, and didn't even mention Brian Elliot since Saturday's game. That's what we call very un-Leaf-like coaching. Nice work.