Last night, we paid up the $10.95 Pay-Per View fee to catch the Sens taking on the Detroit Red Wings in Motown, and it was definitely a worthy investment. The Sens won 3-2, and to say that Ray Emery was solid in nets would be an understatement. The Rayzer was positively stellar, stopping 43 of 45 shots, and he basically kept the Senators in a game they really had no right to be in.
They were extremely fortunate to escape period 1 with a 0-0 tie. Emery had to stand on his head, and all the Sens could muster were a couple of measly shots on net, compared to the 18 that the Red Wings fired on them. Things were looking pretty bleak after that first frame, with Emery being the only bright spot for the Sens.
However, the Sens opened the second period with a little more jump, and they took advantage of their opportunities. First, Jason Spezza scored on a break-away, and then Chris Neil re-directed a blast from Christoph Schubert past the Dominator - who, by this point, wasn't looking so Dominating. While Emery had kept the Sens in the game, good ol' Dom appeared to be letting his team down. Moments later, Spezza capitalized again, as the Red Wings defence basically let him walk to the net untouched, and he made no mistake.
Now, one would think we'd be free and clear with a three-goal cushion at the mid-point of the game, but Detroit didn't just roll over and die. 25 seconds after Spezza's second goal, they came storming back and took advantage of the Sens scrambling around in their own end. Before the end of the period, they added another goal, to bring them within one. This all set up a very entertaining third period. Once again, the Red Wings were coming hard at the Sens, but Emery was the star of the show, shutting them down, making stop after stop (and one was definitely highlight-reel worthy as he stuck his arm out on a Pavol Datsyuk shot that otherwise would have been a sure goal).
At the end of the night, the Sens skated away with the victory over their old buddy Hasek and his Detroit Red Wings, and the victory had to taste sweet for Ray Emery, who was certainly deserving of his "First Star" status. (The final shot count was 45-22 for Detroit, and the scoring chances were tallied at 18-8 for Detroit). The Sens were able to snap their three-game losing streak, they stayed out of the penalty box when it mattered, and the win provided hope that this team can survive without Daniel Alfredsson and Wade Redden - at least, for a little while.
I was so pumped after the game that I couldn't sleep, so I watched Friday Night Lights - and it was, once again, an awesome episode. With the Cheer America Championships approaching, Lyla was having trouble focusing on her cheerleading, with many of her teammates turning against her in the wake of the rumours of her cheating on Jason with his best friend, Tim Riggins. One girl even put some nasty stuff on the Internet about her, causing Lyla to crumble and quit the cheer squad.
Tim tried to make things better for her by joining her for lunch in the cafeteria, but it only drew the shocked stares of their classmates, and Lyla begged him to leave her alone. This led to Tim going to see Jason, who had just returned home from the rehab centre, and he explained to him how Lyla was going through hell, and that she loved him more than anything and that she'd made a mistake that deserved his forgiveness. Even though Tim loves her too, he sacrificed his own feelings for her, and pleaded with Jason to take her back. Then Tim went to Lyla and encouraged her to re-join the cheer squad, which she did just in time for the championship, and lo and behold, there was Jason in the stands watching. Tim stepped in and did what was right for his best friend and the girl he loves, even though it means he'll continue to suffer. I just love Riggins!!
And the other boy that I love, Matt Sarracen, was battling with the coach and Mrs. Taylor for the right to continue dating Julie. I'm not quite sure why the coach and his wife are so against Matt. He's so sweet and good-natured. He's definitely not your typical cocky high school jock. However, the coach did catch some of the guys joking about Matt and Julie in the locker room, which did not go over well, even though Matt wasn't the one doing the trash-talking. My favourite moment of the night, though, had to be when the coach crashed Julie & Matt's TV date, and of course, Matt jumped up to leave, not wanting to upset Coach Taylor. When he went to say bye to Julie, he stumbled and mumbled for a minute, then he reached out and shook her hand. It was so cute, and I had to laugh. It's a good thing Julie & Matt are determined to stick together, because they are an adorable couple.
So as you guys might be able to figure out, I'm more interested in the non-football part of this show - the relationship side of it all. Football really is only a small part of the storyline; most of the show is about what's happening off the field. I was disappointed that there were no scenes for next week, which likely means that FNL has gone on a Christmas hiatus, and that really sucks, because I can't wait to see what happens with Jason & Lyla, and Tim, and Matt & Julie, and Smash. I know I've said it many times before, but this really is the best new show on TV!
Have a good day, everyone!