Now that was intense!! I'm not sure my little heart can take much more of this edge-of-your-seat, nail-biter hockey!!
I don't think I even took a normal breath until Jason Spezza put away the empty-netter to seal tonight's 2-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. I was absolutely terrified that, despite our strong play and two-billion chances, Martin Brodeur would once again steal a win for his team and set us back 2-1 in the series.
Perhaps Senators teams of the past would have let him. But not this team. Not this year.
The Sens never stopped coming, and they really took it to Brodeur and the Devils all night long. Every time he made a miraculous save, they didn't hang their heads and quit. They kept at him, pouring it on relentlessly.
Finally, in the third period, they were rewarded, when Tom Preissing's shot went in after Mike Fisher cruised through the crease, apparently bumping Brodeur and sparking an annoying post-game "controversy" on CBC.
I've tried to refrain from bad-mouthing the Hockey Night in Canada commentators this year, because everyone knows they suck, but honestly - how many times was Ray Emery interferred with in that first series against Pittsburgh, and they never even mentioned it?? Now tonight, Mike Fisher barely grazes Brodeur, knocking him a little off balance, and Preissing scores, so all of a sudden those Leaf-lovin' Losers are roaring about how Fisher should have been penalized, and the goal should have been called back. I hate Ron McLean. I hate Bob Cole. I hate Elliote Friedman!!
Frig them! Fisher did exactly what players are supposed to be doing this time of year: Getting in the opposing goalie's face and wreaking havoc in the crease. Poor little Marty, the CBC Golden Boy, wasn't prepared for the shot, so let's all cry foul. ARGH!!!! It pisses me off so much that I can't even enjoy my victory because I have to listen to them whine!
The fact of the matter is the Ottawa Senators deserved to win tonight's game, controversy or not. They clearly scored a goal in the first period, but because the ref blew the whistle (too quickly, in my opinion), it was called back. Brodeur was standing on his head most of the night, making spectacular saves and frustrating the hell out of me.
But the difference is, this year, the Sens are being patient. There was a time when no one believed the Sens could win close games. Usually the wheels would come off, panic would set in, and they'd lose the game.
Well, they won this one, and they deserved a better fate in the last one too. So now we hold a 2-1 series lead, with lots of hockey left to play, but I can't help but feel really good about how this team is rolling right now. Screw their controversies. Emery has been solid when necessary, the forecheck has been strong, the defence has been amazing (welcome back, Wade Redden!), and it's just this quiet confidence that the players seem to have that is making me feel different than other years.
More optimistic. More sure. More confident.
Game #4 should be a doozie!!
GO SENS GO!!