Saturday, October 13, 2007

Game 6: Sens 3, Hurricanes 6 -- The Highs, The Lows, The Creamy Middle

There was a day, 12 years ago or so, when you would read in the paper "Game Night -- Senators vs. Whalers" and have an involuntary shudder race up your spine. Ottawa against Hartford was the NHL equivalent to Chinese water torture. Take two of the League's worst teams at the height of the clutch and grab era, throw in a dash of Trap and you were guaranteed be subjected to the worst kind of hockey (mistake filled, slow, plodding, sorry..."defensive") since the Harold Ballard's glory years in Toronto. As a fan, you felt obliged to watch these games knowing full well that you'd never get those precious hours back. But you sure as hell didn't enjoy it. Then the Whalers up and moved, changed their name and got good enough to win a Cup. Two years later, they come into our house and show this particular fan that they may well be the biggest problem our Big Ugly Trophy dreams may face this season. Bastards!

The Highs:
  • Heater scores his fifth goal in six games. Sure, it was a bit of a gift, but at this pace, we should be naming schools after him by Christmas. And if a bloated, clueless gasbag can win a Nobel Prize...just sayin'.
  • The game itself. While it's still early, this was easily the most entertaining game I've watched this year. Fast, open, end-to-end, this of course drives head coaches nuts, but if I'm Gary Bettman (and thank God I'm not), I'm getting very aroused at the possibility of these two teams meeting in the playoffs.
  • The Captain, leading by example. The only one of the good guys on the ice who looked like he had any legs, his third period blow-by through the Carolina D was an almost exact carbon copy of his breakaway in Game 5 of the Finals, where he tried to will an exhausted team to a win by putting them on his back. While both were unsuccessful, in Alfie we trust.
The Lows:
  • In Martin Gerber we do NOT trust. I mentioned after the Devils game that he was letting himself get out of position after the initial stop, an observation for which I was gently taken to task in the comments by TJ of Sens HQ. Well, Carolina's second goal came as a direct result of exactly that, local colour man Gord Miller's hysterical protestations of goalie interference notwithstanding (seriously Gord. Go away. Your homerism and ability to rehash the same fucking replay through five minutes of ensuing on-ice action is infuriating on levels I had no idea existed). hear that Elliott kid might be pretty good eh?

  • NHL schedule makers. Tonight's game against the Rangers will be the Sens' seventh game in eleven days. While I'm sure this can't be a concerted plot by the League to wear our boys out in order to ensure an all-American Final (never too early to haul out the conspiracy theories), the front loaded schedule can only mean that we can look forward to looooong stretches in February and March where we Sens fans will be forced to actually interact with our families because there are no games. Things could be worse, I guess. We could always be forced to play overseas. Wait, what??
Creamy Middle: Oddly enough, this loss could be good for the team. They had run their record to 5-0 despite not having played very well in four of those. Getting spanked by an opponent with comparable skill should probably, hopefully, keep the boys from getting too complacent. And remember kids, last year at this time we were 2-4-1 and the sky was falling. And that season didn't turn out too badly.

Up Next: The rematch against the Rangers. Again, no t.v. tonight, so I can only drink more beer than humanely possible, watch Sid The Kid sodomize the Leafs and look forward to a rather important match next Thursday involving Les Habitants, and apparently, pantsless mascots. (More, much more, on this later).

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