Of Moose & Men

Well, Elliott did his part to quiet the “controversy” around goaltending, and it helped lead the way to a very important 2 pts.

It would be oversimplification to point to Brian as the difference maker, particularly since Halak was probably the better fo the two tenders on the night, but he was certainly a major contributor to the outcome of that game, and that is what the Sens need from their starting goaltender heading into the post season.

I think we can all most likely agree on the fact that the Sens lack a top tier stopper, at least at the moment, and if this team is to have continued success it will come as a result of superior systems play by the skaters, not steals by the goalie.  That being said, the teams ability to stick to its system will be rooted in its confidence in its goaltender to make the expected saves, if not the big ones.  As of late, neither the goaltenders, nor the skaters, have held up to their ends of the bargain, so picking a scapegoat is a mugs game.  Here’s hoping the Sens are rounding back into form, in all positions.

Last night featured a vastly improved defensive effort combined with a stellar “systems” game.  Hard forecheck, forward support for the activated D and neutral zone transition interruption.  This is why they won.  If not for Halak, I suspect the scoreboard would have more accurately reflected the dominance of the Sens over the Habs, but good goaltending does that, and the Habs have been the beneficiaries of such performances more often than not as of late.  Much like Buffalo, if not for superior goaltending, the Habs would be on the outside looking in.

The biggest nod of the night has to go to the Karlsson/Sutton tandem on defense.  Talk about a Crash ‘n’ Burn pairing.  If Sutton doesn’t Crash you, Karlsson Burns you, and they did so shift in, shift out, entirely dominating the opposition all game long.  But the past has shown this pairing to be Crash and Burn in another way too, and until Karlsson gets dry behind the ears, I expect the roller-coaster ride to continue.  That being said, this kid has the makings to become one hell of a player, and Sutton has an open invitation from me to remain a Senator long into the future.

Tonight will see the Sens facing a rested, and wounded, Philly, another team playing for its post season survival.  With the recent loss of its adjuct #1 goaltender, and then number one goalscorer, expect to see a determined “us against the world” effort out of the Flyers.  If the Sens take them lightly, even for a second, it will cost them any chance at 2 pts.  Another win tonight will go a long way towards securing a Senators post season berth, as it will not only widen their gap over the Thrashers, but weaken the hold of two teams below them in the standings, MTL and PHI.  This race may well come down to who stumbles the most, not who plays the best, particularly if ATL keeps playing like a team possessed.

Here’s to tonight representing another step in the building of an Ottawa post season juggernaught.



7 Responses to “Of Moose & Men”

  1. Mr. Murray
    Sign Andy Sutton now.. do not hesitate.. do it right now.. give him 3 years, front loaded with 3rd year as the drop off if he will do it.. make the math work to about a $3.2 m per year cap hit.

    Bid adieu with alot of thanks and respect and same to us fans as well to Mr. Volchenkov.. I love A Train but A Train has not been the A train all year.. and has dropped a gear.. not sure. why. Again we should not boo him but cheer him when he returns next year on an opposing player. however .. Andy Sutton is a 6’6″ 245 pound version of Volchenkovs blocking ability combined with an even harder hitting capablity, and the big difference is that Andy Sutton is quicker and has more of an offensive flair when needed.

    If Volchenkov will stay at a rate to fit him in I say great.. but if he continues to turn us down.. Good bye A Train…Hello Monster of the Midway

    Just my two cents

  2. i turned all my Sens hockey cards backwards on my desk at work yesterday. it seems to have worked.

  3. I agree with Jim. If we can keep A-Train at a reasonable rate, then I say we do everything we can to keep ’em both. However, if Anton wants to test the market, then let’s face it… we can’t afford to keep him at whatever price tag he’ll fetch as a UFA.

    It’ll break my heart to watch him walk away, but this is a business, not a friendship, and it’s about time Murray makes some tough business decisions.

    If it were one or the other, I’d pick Sutton. Just for his sheer size and the intimidation factor. Plus, he blocks just as many shots as Volch, so that aspect is a wash. Personally, I’d be friggin’ terrified if I was coming down the boards and saw Andy Sutton barreling toward me.

    Sign him for 3. This way, three years down the road, we’ll have an improved Karlsson, Cowen, Wiercoch, Sutton, Philips, Lee and Carkner. Now THAT is a d-corps to be afraid of. A nice blend of PMD’s and stay-at-home-and-crush-you-along-the-boards type of guys.

    • With Sutton being a UFA, could it turn into an 0-fer? Murray has to pick one, and right now, considering Volchy’s refusal to sign, and Suttons similar play, Sutton may be leading the way…I wonder if they’re talking.
      I suspect Volchy and/or Suttons’ rights could fetch something in the order of a 3rd pick at the draft, no doubt that will be explored, but it will depend greatly on their respective play down the stretch and *hopefully* in the post season

  4. What a great game witnessed today, the fans for once were very into a game and it actually got loud, which doesn’t happen all that often. Everyone played pretty well except maybe Spezza he seemed to have an off night, nice to see Ruutu finally showing some flashes/moments of being a pest which was the reason we got him…

    Cullen seems to have a jinx on him would have been nice to have that empty net post go in.

    If you can find a way to keep Volch and Sutton I’d say go for it, if not right now you’d have to take Sutton especially since Volch will prob commands a boat load in free agency like Komisarek did (that was a terrible contract signing by the Leafs)

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