Friday, April 11, 2008

Devastating Loss For Senators

Despite playing one of the grittiest playoff games in their history, the Senators lost a heartbreaker to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2.

I don't think I've ever seen an Ottawa team play with such a lunchbox mentality and I've certainly never seen Martin Gerber play as good as he did. He was within minutes of stealing a game for the Senators but got beaten on a wraparound by Ryan Malone with just over a minute remaining.

There were moments in the game when it seemed that Gerber was never going to let another goal in and Sidney Crosby was uncharacteristically quiet while Marian Hossa continued his post-season struggles that have haunted him his entire career. At one point he actually had the puck between Gerber and the goal line and still managed to miss. Senators fans are familiar with that act.

Yet the Senators still lose.

Players like Evgeni Malkin (who is so dominant at times that it's hard to comprehend) and Petr Sykora are clearly outplaying Jason Spezza (who seemed to be playing hurt) and Dany Heatley but role players like Shean Donovan and Chris Neil are beginning to step up and outhustle the Penguins third and fourth liners. Even Randy Robitaille who I skewered in a previous post played a tenacious game on the fourth line with Cody Bass.

The Senators are in a huge hole now and their chances of coming back in this series are slim at best, but they showed their fans that they're capable of playing a grinding game and that's almost unheard of for this franchise in 11 straight years of playoffs.

If Martin Gerber can stay in this type of zone, the Penguins will have a fight on their hands in Ottawa for the next two games.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

As far as I am concerned Gerber has been great all year. Sen fans ALWAYS blame the goaltender for their lack of defence, and lack of scoring. We hated Rhodes. Lalime, Hasek, Tugnett, need I go on?? Meanwhile the team troubles go on and on. Gerber's statistics are great,and continue to be great. It's about time somebody noticed. Other teams will want him, don't you worry. As for this game otherwise, the team only woke up period 3, a little bit late I'm afraid. Why they can't hustle and play to win, if not to justify their paychecks, or pride, is beyond me. Time for a major shakeup on this team. Note that finally someone woke up to see Jacques Martin is no coach.I thought it would take 2 years, but it took 3. Time the Sens got a new management, including a coach who can take these great underplaying players to their max.

Chuck in PA said...

Wow, tough crowd.
The shoe is on the proverbial other foot from last year.
Crosby has been quiet so far but that won't last.
Malkin, Sykora and Malone have been dangerous but look for Jordan Staal to break out.
Fleury is on his game.
Then there's that Roberts guy.
And the Flyers lost.
It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh!

Malcp said...

So with the Sabres about to dump more salary, would Lindy Ruff walk and would he come to Ottawa?

the Seeker said...


"He was within minutes of stealing a game for the Senators"

That sentence only makes sense if you somehow knew the Sens would win in OT ....which was far from assured.

If anything, the Pens would have scored in the OT.