Alrighty...Time for some more hockey talk! I know, I know...All of my post-Christmas Blogs have basically been about the Sens, so to those of you who aren't as Sens-Crazy as I am, I apologize. But I promise, there is a wide variety of movie, music, and TV re-caps coming your way, so stay tuned!
Now about that hockey game...
Last night, the Sens were home to the Boston Bruins, a team that has curiously owned us throughout the season despite the fact that they've been below us in the standings much of the year. I had been chalking it up to the Curse of Zdeno Chara. We all know we lost Mr. Chara through Unrestriced Free Agency to the B's in the summer, and since then, he and his new team have been laughing at us every time we've met up.
But guess what? Last night, the Big Z was on the sidelines with some sort of ailment, so the Curse of Zdeno Chara was a non-factor. It seemed the perfect time for the Sens to turn the tide against one of their greatest nemesis' this season.
I missed the first period, so I missed seeing Boston jump out to a 2-0 lead, with one of those goals coming on a penalty shot. Through the second frame, Ottawa was digging hard and getting great chances, but as usual, Boston goaltender Tim Thomas seemed to have our number. He wasn't giving up anything. I was beginning to think that Thomas had crawled into the Senators' heads and that they'd never be able to beat him, when all of a sudden...
BAM!! Along came the third period, when the Sens finally exploded with five unanswered goals.
Mike Comrie kicked it off with his first in a Sens uniform, and Dany Heatley quickly followed suit, scoring his 26th of the season. With things all tied up and momentum on our side, the go-ahead goal came off the stick of Captain Daniel Alfredsson, who was in the right place after a tremendous second effort by Dany Heatley, who managed to sweep the puck to him in the front of the net even while being tackled to the ice by a Boston defender. Patrick Eaves then went 5-hole with the insurance marker on a suddenly-mortal Tim Thomas to make it 4-2, and in the final minute, Peter Schaeffer got the empty-netter to complete the third-period comeback and seal the victory in favour of Ottawa.
Somewhere, Zdeno Chara had to be hanging his head.
It was great to see the Sens storm back and take it to Boston in the third. It just showed their resiliency and the "never-say-die" attitude they've adopted in the wake of injuries to Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher, and Antoine Vermette. They've really been taking a blue-collar approach to their games, simplifying their plays and capitalizing on their opportunities. There are very few fancy dipsy-doodles without Spezza in the line-up, but there are also a lot less turn-overs and give-aways. I heard them discussing it on the Team this morning (www.team1200.com) and how the Senators have to convince Spetz to comply with this new game plan and new team mentality of less flash and more grit when he returns. Could be interesting, seeing he's the guy who is always telling reporters when asked about being a defensive liability: "That's the kind of player I am, I'm a creative player, and there are going to be turn-overs when I'm trying to make creative plays sometimes. I'm not going to change."
It might be time for him to re-think that attitude, because while he has been on the sidelines, this team has changed, and they've been successful in his absence. They have to keep doing what has consistently been working for them, and if Jason Spezza is going to mess up that recipe, then he becomes more of a hindrance than a help.
Time will tell, but for now, we still have a few more weeks as the Spezza-less Senators, and if they keep rolling like this, he'll have no choice but to conform!
GO SENS GO!!