Sens Survive The Hurricane
Well, like when facing a real hurricane, the Sens did what needed to be done, but spent much of the storm hunkered down and holding on through the onslaught.
This was finally a game that the Sens came out with the win, when it could have gone either way. Add to this the fact that some important players had big games, and all in all it was a very good night.
Spezza, after suffering through a terrible slump, found his mojo, potting two goals, one a determined one man effort to get to the net and deke out the shocked goaltender. Honestly, how the heck did he get to the front of the net that easily? He did it by doing it…because he can, and he needs to believe in that ability or continue to be “predictable” and thus easily played against by opposing defensemen. For too long Jason has skated down the boards, button-hooked at the top of the circle, and looked for the pass. If i know it, you can be damned sure every coach and defenseman in the NHL knows it.
But, if Spezza can start shooting more, and driving the middle of the ice, he will throw off those defenders that can now focus all of their efforts on the Sens top line. Spezza has to outmanoeuvre his opponents, not try to out-skill them, from a predictable play-book.
Next on the “big night” list is Filatov. No, he didn’t have an impactful game, but he had a game in the NHL (albeit his 4th game in a row), and is expected to get more, too. This might be a big moment in Sens history…or it might be an easily forgotten footnote. We don’t know yet, and that’s what makes his being on the ice important.
Then comes Rundblad, who netted his first NHL goal, here’s to the 249 yet to come!
Last, but not least, Anderson, who kept his team in this game, after coming off of an early hook the previous game. If the Sens have any hope of being competitive it will need a solid Anderson, and that he was against the Hurricanes.
I’d like to give one other thought. Greening. This kid has so many of the tools to be a dominant player in this league, but one…mean. A player with his size, strength and speed could be a punishing presence on the forecheck, and an unstoppable force in front of the net. This is an element to his game that needs further development, and last night saw a spark of this skill-set, when he engaged physically in front of the net. He could have done without the actual fight, but if that is what will bring an edge to his game, so be it, but he isn’t needed to be a “fighter”, just a nasty piece of work, a la Lucic.
I see a Lucic in Greening…but does Colin see it?
All in all it was a good game, because it was a win, but it isn’t the sort of scenario the Sens want to find themselves in on a regular basis, being heavily outshot, and chanced. But, it’s good to believe you can still win, even if you weren’t the better team on the night…because that’s exactly what good teams can do, find a way to win.