YEAAAAHHH BABY!! WOOOOO-HOOOOOO!! IT'S BAAAAAAAAACK!!
Hockey time again! YESSSSSSSSS!!!
So needless to say, I was pleased with the outcome of the season opener between the Sens and the Leafs last night. Sens 4, Leafs 1. Sure, there's lots of areas my team still needs to work on, but it's only game 1, and I thought they did pretty well, considering there are a lot of new faces on the squad. Here are some of my observations of the night:
As usual, the Leafs had a lengthy, pre-game ceremony to honour the numbers of past great Leaf players. (Any great players they had were way, way in the past.) I wanted to watch as little of it as possible, so I was flicking back and forth between it and a repeat of Reba. Little brother Lukey was getting frustrated with me, so I turned back once to make sure the game hadn't started. It hadn't, so I changed back to Reba, causing him to declare that he wanted to watch them honouring the number of the great Gus Wheeler. I had no idea who the guy was, so I didn't even question him on it. I later discovered "the great Gus Wheeler" was actually Bjore Salming, one of the first European players in the league and an alumni of the Leafs. No idea where he came up with the name Gus Wheeler, but we teased him quite a bit about. Sorry, buddy, but you say something retarded like that and it's bound to end up in the Blog.
Once the game got going, the Sens didn't look so crash-hot. Patrick Eaves scored the first goal for the Sens late in the first, but had it not been for the stellar play of our new goalie, Martin Gerber, it could've easily been a 3-0 score for the Make Beliefs. Luke reminded us 40,000 times that he picked Patrick Eaves in the 8th round of his hockey pool, and he was doing all the fist-pumping and cheering of a man watching his team in the Stanley Cup Finals. Yay for Patrick Eaves. Not so much for Luke.
Anyways, the glaring problem for the Sens was that Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov, who are a new defence pairing now that Chara is gone, seemed completely out of synch for much of the game. Phillips especially looked uncomfortable out there. Maybe he's just getting used to the new A on his sweater. I don't know. I just keep reminding myself that Wade Redden looked pathetic in game 1 last year, and he went on to have a career season. Hopefully it'll be the same for Phillips.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson also seemed to struggle last night. He did end up getting an empty-netter at the end of the game, but he just didn't seem to have any flow to his game at all. And fancy-pants Spezza continued with his ridiculous passes, which aggravates me. I want to like the guy. Really, I do. But his bonehead pretty plays drive me insane!
Aside from those few guys, the rest of 'em were rolling really well. I loved Gerber - I thought he was awesome. (And aside from a penalty shot goal that should never have been called a penalty shot, he likely would have had a shut-out). Other new faces that impressed were Dean McAmmond with speed to burn, and Tom Preissing looking solid on the blueline, before leaving the game with a "lower body injury". (In other words, he pulled his groin, but since Dominik Hasek, we no longer mention that part of the body in Ottawa). And of course, Wade Redden was studly as ever, and he seemed to retain most of his hockey skills over the summer, so that was enough for me. My God, he's a hot man. I love him.
Chris Neil (with a beauty) and Christoph Schubert rounded out the scoring, both of them tallying in the second period, which I thought was the Sens' strongest period. It's always a great feeling to leave T.O. with 2 points - I went to bed with a big grin on my face. Hopefully I'll be just as happy tomorrow, after the two teams tangle again tonight at the Bank.
*Sigh* I'm SOOOOO glad it's that time of year again.
I did get a few good chuckles out of watching Tie Domi sitting in as a new member of the TSN Panel of Experts. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!) Everytime James Duthie said, "Now, Tie, I wanted to ask you about...", I was really hoping he'd end that sentence with : "...your expected lovechild with Belinda Stronach". (Thanks, Sharon, for that tidbit!) But instead Tie stumbled and farted away, only make half-coherent statements, and basically making as ass of himself. Oh well. I guess some things never change.
GO SENS GO!