Today, the Blog is celebrating the fact that the Sens FINALLY won a game!!
For the past couple of weeks, it's become harder and harder to believe that this is the same team that jumped out to an amazing 16-3 start to the season. They started out by losing to the Leafs, and it all went down-hill from there. Some real stinkers, and a few OT losses added in, and it had become a 7-game slump.
As long as I've been a Sens fan, I've never suffered with them through a 7-game slump. The last time they did that was under former head coach Dave "Sparky" Allison, and that was before my time. Over a decade ago. Back in the days of the "Laughing-Stock-of-the-League Senators".
There's no way a team that is this talented should ever go through such a miserable stretch of losses. However, thanks to their explosive start to the 2007-2008 season, nobody was overly concerned, as they had a nice cushy lead over the rest of their division and conference, and it was just a known fact that the ship would be righted sooner rather than later.
For me, the lowest point of the slump was watching Wade Redden's blatant, inexcusable give-away on Tuesday night that gave Tampa Bay their first goal in what ended up being a 4-3 shootout win for the Lightning. I cheer Wade on incessantly, and I defend him when everyone else is putting him down, but at that moment, I couldn't help but cringe. It seemed to put the exclamation point on the loud "ARGHHHH!" that Sens fans were letting out all over the place over the past few weeks.
Redden did redeem himself somewhat after scoring the tying goal in the dying seconds of that game, after Alfie had scored twice to help his team fight back, but alas, it just ended up being another loss in this dismal losing streak.
But last night, they were in Florida, facing former coach Jacques Martin's Panthers, and it would appear that was just what the doctor ordered. Randy Robitaille and Mike Fisher scored two quick ones in the first, and you could almost hear the gigantic sigh of relief of the entire Sens Army.
Not that it was a cakewalk after that. Martin pulled his goalie Thomas Vokoun and replaced him with a no-namer, Craig Armstrong or something like that. Then the Panthers bounced back with two goals, and I was back to biting my nails. "Oh dear God...We can't lose to Florida. We can't lose 8 straight games. We can't test out any more levels of 'rock bottom'..."
The boys must've heard me. Nicky-Fo re-directed an Andrej Meszaros point shot for his third of the season, and Jason Spezza capitalized on the power play to restore the Sens' 2-goal lead. Then Ray Emery stopped a penalty shot by some guy I'd never heard of. Again, I was breathing easier. Then Florida scored again. But Robitaille answered with his second of the game, and with a 5-3 lead heading into the dying minutes, I was already celebrating the end of the slump.
Olli Jokinen made it interesting yet again by scoring with about 14 seconds left in the game. Thankfully, it was too late for the Panthers by then, and the Sens finally busted out of the slump with a 5-4 win. It wasn't exactly pretty, but it was what the Sens needed to relieve the pressure. Scoring was spread out, with Robitaille and Fisher ending long personal goal-less droughts, and I'd also like to mention that Wade Redden played a really good game (at least, I thought he did). It looks like Ray Emery is getting his chance to hang on to the #1 position after playing back-up to Marty Gerber through most of the past two months. It's unfortunate that Gerber played so poorly during this slump, because I really thought he had surpassed that dreadful year he had last year and had regained his form. It doesn't seem fair that he's basically back to exactly where he was last year at this point.
So anyways...YES!! I'm very happy to be out of the slump, and I hope they start a new kind of streak tomorrow night against the Dallas Stars. Something they did a lot of in October and the start of November. A little somethin'-somethin' called a winning streak.
GO SENS GO!!