Sunday, February 10, 2008

Who needs secondary scoring? Sens 6 Habs 1

In the 13 games that either Dany Heatley or Daniel Alfredsson--or both--were injured, I'd forgotten how much the Senators' CASH line could dominate a game. Just 22 seconds into Saturday night's game against Montreal, I was reminded. And then, just over a minute later, another reminder. And then again three minutes after that. You get the picture. By the time the fat lady sang (the national anthem in Vancouver; at least it looked like a fat lady), the Sens had absolutely massacred the Canadiens 6-1, and (more importantly, some would say) won me $5 from a friend.

Jason Spezza looked incredible, and scored his first career hat trick plus three assists to bring himself within two points of the NHL scoring lead. Alfredsson scored twice plus three assists, to tie Alexander Ovechkin for the league-lead with 73 points (additionally, Alfie's scored 14 points in his last three games; not too shabby). Heater scored once, added three assists, and now has seven points in the two games since returning from his shoulder injury. When all was said and done, the line had combined for all six goals, nine assists, they were +12, and had 12 of Ottawa's 29 shots. Simply amazing.

Alongside the heroic story of the CASH line reuniting was a pretty darn good game for Ray Emery. Don't let the 6-1 score fool you, this game could have been close. Rayzor came up big with some key saves to keep the Sens pouring on the offence, stopping 33 of the Habs' 34 by the end of the night. Say what you will about John Paddock's "win and you're in" philosophy, it seems to have brought the best out of Emery--even if it took a few games. I guess it's this kind of play that makes his off-ice shenanigans a little more palatable.

Also Lost in the Flood (Bruce Springsteen reference; great song) of goals was a decent game by Wade Redden. Maybe Bryan Murray should ask him if he'll waive his no-trade clause before every game, so Reds will get pissed, play well, and kick some young kid's ass. Especially notable about that fight was that, despite the fact that Redden smoked Sergei Kostitsyn with an uppercut, he only suffered a two-minute minor penalty. To quote Kenny Wu of Mighty Ducks 2 fame, "Two minutes? Well worth it."

There were Ottawa two points NOT scored by the big line: Anton Volchenkov and Joe Corvo each had one assist. Defensively, Volchenkov blocked five freakin' shots. Offensively, Corvo's assist was the hundredth of his career. Both had good games.
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