Scene Set.

Location: Ottawa, On. Canada.

Time: 19:30 EST on a cold wintery Wednesday night.

Scene:  The Ottawa Senators face their key rival, the Buffalo Sabres.  The crowd is nervous, knowing the home team is in deep, playing without their top centre, Jason Spezza, and sit precariously close to missing the post season.  But, they’re hopeful, knowing, if the team digs deep, they can get the win.  They look at their game sheets and notice a new name on wing…Mike Comrie.

You see, that was the scene set for OTT vs. BUF on January 3, 2007.

The Sens were recovering from a tough start and inching their way back into the play-off picture.  Then tragedy struck.  No Vermette, No Spezza, No Fisher.

I remember this game.  I remember saying before going into it “this might get ugly”.  The Sabres were on fire, the Sens were still finding their legs, and without their 3 top centres, the picture didn’t look good.

But, they won, big time.  6-3, and they never looked back, all the way to the Stanley Cup finals.

Could they do it again?  The similarities are staggering.  No Spezza, no Leclaire, no Foligno, no Neil, and a new face on forward, Campoli.  The Sabres come into the game on fire.

But, again, they won.  No, they didn’t just win, they owned the Sabres.  That may have been the best clutch game I’ve ever seen.  From top to bottom, that was a near perfect game, and if not for the stunning play of Miller, it would have been an absolute blow-out.

Elliott was solid, and made some outstanding saves.

The defense was sharp, aggressive, and dominated their checks in the defensive zone, while also providing outstanding support on the offensive blue-line.

The forwards, top to bottom absolutely dogged the puck, won almost every battle, everywhere, and repeatedly challenged Miller to make big stops.

Ruutu took some penalties, but in all honesty, I only saw one true penalty, the high stick in the final 2 minutes.  The rest were “reputation” calls.

In a word, the officiating was awful.  The most ironic being the hooking call on Kelly, after his having been robbed of a scoring opportunity, due to a hook, but without the benefit of a call.

But I digress.

That was outstanding.

The Sens tonight reminded me of an old tractor.  It may not look like much, but it’s reliable, durable, and works, works, works.

Now THAT was a team victory!



7 Responses to “Scene Set.”

  1. I know it was my man Picard but you cannot underestimate the value of a goal by one of our defenceman when it was starting to look like if Miller gets out of the first period this one is over for us.

    Big Team Win!

  2. Absolutely Nik, Pics got it to the net, and that is what a Dman must do, every time.
    Miller blew my mind tonight, he was absolutely lights out.

  3. GN:

    Pic got it in the net and should have got an assist on Fish’s goal…our local hochey experts don’t seem to understand that when your scoring forwards struggle offencively it’s a “big deal” to get one from the back end!

  4. I think some kind of exorcism is order for Kelly. I don’t think the menacing spirits that surround him would let him score an empty net goal. Maybe him and Cheech could gang up on the little b_ _ tards. Two hard working guys who can’t buy a goal between them.

  5. I’ll disagree with you about the Ruutu hit. He completely blindsided him, went for the head and the play was only, in my estimation, to injure. Very dangerous. I know he’s a pest and everything but that crossed the line. A penalty was deserved.

    In any case, loved the game last night, and hopefully the Sens can put out team efforts like that for the rest of the year.

    • Disagree, but I se your point.
      But tell me, seriosuly, what exactly was the penalty?
      It wasn’t from behind. It wasn’t elbowing. It wasn’t charging. So what was it apart from predatory, which, if notdone in an illegal manner, is not a penalty (though it should be).
      So, what rule did he break?
      Not trying to be antagonistic, just wanting to know your definition of what penalty was incurred on the play, and why.

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