Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Intensity returns to Battle of Ontario

Ian Mendes had it right during the first intermission, "more fights than goals".

I guess that's how these two Eastern Conference middle-weights express their dislike for one another these days. Not by attempting to embarrass the other with flashy goals, but by attempting to bludgeon the opponent into submission.

But in the end, it was Mike Fisher and Pascal Leclaire that won this game for the Ottawa Senators. I'm not sure exactly what's up with Fisher and Alex Kovalev, but someone should pass the memo onto Fish that it's Kovalev who's supposed to be scoring goals, and Mike's the one who's supposed to be the overpaid baggage. Bah!

Penalties anyone? You got plenty of time to see the Senators powerplay and penalty-kill. Neither of which looked great. A little bit of magic from AK27 or Jason Spezza certainly would have made the last minutes of the game a little less stressful.

Speaking of those final few minutes. OHMYGAWDWHATASAVE. ...sorry that just all came out at once. Leclaire seemed to be scrambling too much and few of those last saves were what we would call 'standard', but they worked and preserved the win for Ottawa. Hard to argue with that.

What's easy to argue with? Shots in the third period 15-4 for the Leafs. Yikes.

Final note on Kovalev: He will be judged not by the success of his linemates but by how many goals he himself scores. With only one shot registered in this game, he's got to be a little more selfish, drive to the net a more, and be more desperate for goals. I would much rather celebrate his talents than comment on his mental game.
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