There were so many different storylines going into last night's game between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres that the scribes had to be licking their chops over this one.
There was the new face of Mike Comrie in the Sens' line-up, as he arrived in time from Washington to be pencilled in to the roster. There was Ray Emery, the recently-appointed #1 Star of the Week by the NHL, who has stood on his head to keep his team in games lately. There was the fact that the Sens have soldiered on quite admirably, going 4-0-1 in the absence of stars Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher, and Antoine Vermette. There were the Buffalo Sabres lining up as the opponent, arguably the hottest team in the league up to the half-way mark, but strangely a team the Sens have dominated in the previous meetings.
So much to talk about, so many headlines, so many sub-plots.
But by the end of the night, one man had grabbed the spotlight all for himself.
It was, indeed, The Dany Heatley Show at Scotiabank Place last night, folks.
After a dodgy first period which saw the Sabres outshoot Ottawa by a wide margin, the Sens, led by Heatley, exploded in the second for four goals, three of them coming off Heater's stick. It gave Heatley three hat tricks on the season, and silenced those who were murmuring that he couldn't score without Spezza dishing him the puck.
Tom Preissing with a blast on the powerplay, Peter Schaeffer on a nifty break-away, and Wade Redden, God love him in all his splendid glory, also capitalized for the Sens, with the final score being 6-3. The scoreboard would indicate a much closer game than it actually was, as the Sens seemed to lay back with their 5-goal cushion late in the third, allowing Buffalo to score twice in the dying minutes. It just goes to show how lethal these Sabres are, and how they can come back from a deficit, no matter how large.
However, on this night, it was truly all Ottawa. Mike Comrie fit in nicely, playing with an edge and collecting two assists. He was making things happen out there, and I look forward to seeing what he brings to this team in the future. Ray Emery was also in top form, shutting the Sabres out in the first period when they were on the attack and giving his team a chance to compete. Special teams were also a huge factor in the game, with the Sens going 3 for 4 on the powerplay, and Heatley also opened the scoring with a shorthanded marker to get things rolling.
I watched the game on TSN, and I would officially like to nominate Glen Healey for the Biggest Dick in the Broadcasters Booth Award. The guy is a real doorknob. I was so sick of listening to him by the end of the game that I wanted to bash my head into a wall. He's soooo cocky and arrogant and anti-Ottawa that it makes me want to puke. I don't know how many times he pointed out that the Sens have two forwards without a point, Hennesy and Payer. He said it like fifteen times. I just wanted to reach into my TV and grab him by the throat and scream: "DICK!! They have only played two games!!" I mean, does he not realize they have been called up to fill the void for the absent Spezza, Fisher & Vermette? For a guy who played in this league, he sure doesn't know much about hockey.
In any case, that was really the only thing I could find to complain about all night long. Otherwise, it was a delightful evening for Sens fans everywhere. My only true concern at this point is that the boys have been on a bit of a roll lately, and I've got tickets for Saturday's game vs. the New Jersey Devils. Good thing, right?? Wrong. Knowing my luck, they're probably due for an ass-kicking, and you can bet that I'll be in attendance to see it!
But I'll keep my fingers crossed for The Dany Heatley Show: Part II.
Have a good day, gang!!