Sunday, November 14, 2010

Senators Win Under Cloud Of Tragedy

The Ottawa Senators hard fought 2-0 win over the Boston Bruins Saturday night was, unbeknownst to many outside of the organization, played under very difficult circumstances as assistant coach Luke Richardson's daughter passed away from injuries in a suicide attempt.

Obviously, this is an almost unbelievable tragedy for the Richardson family and the Senators organization. When it comes to the death of a child, there are really no words that can be said to sum up the anguish the family must be going through.

It had already been a tough year after team doctor Don Chow severely injured himself in a motorcycle accident right near the beginning of training camp, but thankfully he looks like he will fully recover. Now the team must deal with an even more serious tragedy but with the good people in management on down to the training staff, this is a group capable of pulling together and helping the Richardson family get through the next crucial few weeks.

Somehow, after being informed of the tragedy the morning of the game, the Senators managed to gut out an impressive shutout of the Bruins and goalie Brian Elliott was spectacular at times, allowing the Sens to rebound nicely after a disappointing loss to the Canucks at home on Thursday.

Filip Kuba also returned to the lineup and found himself back on a pairing with Erik Karlsson, a combo which worked well last season.

Speaking of Karlsson, the youngster had another goal last night, giving him 11 points in 17 games, just one behind team defense leader Sergei Gonchar. Obviously, Karlsson has fully recovered from whatever struggles he had at the beginning of the season. Watching Karlsson play is to watch a future superstar. Not to gush too much, but I think we are seeing the heir apparent to Daniel Alfredsson, albeit a defenseman. Karlsson is going to be the best player on this Senators team for the next 15 years.

Next up for the Senators is the Flyers on Monday night. In a strange scheduling quirk, the semi-regular Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday format is being replaced by a Monday-Wednesday-Friday run for the next two weeks (with a Saturday tacked on in the second week). The Senators don't play at home until November 22 against the Kings.

Black Aces Senators 3 Stars

1. Brian Elliott
2. Erik Karlsson
3. Sergei Gonchar

Honourable Mentions: The entire team for playing so well under the circumstances.

Black Aces Senators 3 Stars Season Scorecard

3 Points 1st Star
2 Points 2nd Star
1 Point 3rd Star

Elliott – 16
Alfredsson – 9
Kovalev – 9
Spezza – 9
Michalek – 6
Leclaire – 5
Regin – 5
Karlsson - 5
Ruutu – 4
Gonchar – 4
Fisher – 3
Foligno – 2
Campoli - 1

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