...OK, I'm not really that bitter.
I'm happy with my shoot-out win last night over the slumping Flyers from Philly. The Sens desperately needed the two points, especially now that both Jersey & Montreal have caught up, and the Penguins are breathing down our necks, too.
Long gone is that nice, cushy lead over the rest of the Eastern Conference. With about twenty games left to play in the season, getting on a roll and accumulating some W's is now crucial. Part of me doesn't really care if we finish first or eighth. Last year, we were in 5th place in the conference, and we ended up in the final battle for Lord Stanley's Cup. Sometimes it doesn't matter what your playoff seed is, or whether or not you get home ice advantage. It's how you're playing going into the stretch and how you play in the playoffs that matters most.
That being said, it still felt pretty good to end our 3-game losing streak in a shoot-out last night. I don't like losing very much, and I'm a little sick of the Sens talking about being "tired" and having the "February blahs". I missed the first period due to karate, so by the time I tuned in, it was already 1-0 for Ottawa on a Chris Kelly short-handed break-away goal. Then Antoine Vermette scored in the second period after Wade Redden did all the work for him. I was also impressed with the play of my new Sens, Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore. They're both starting too look like they're fitting in better.
However, I watched my two-goal lead slip away, much to my chagrin. That was OK, though, because we got to see 5 minutes of super-exciting OT. It was awesome end-to-end action with great chances and even better goaltending. (I'm not even getting into the Ray Emery/Martin Gerber "Win & You're In" controversy, quite frankly it bores me. I was happy with Ray's play last night, I hope it continues. End of story.)
So in the shoot-out, both Vermette and Jason Spezza scored, while only Kimmo Timonen captilized for the Flyers, resulting in a thrilling victory for my boys! Woo Hoo!
But...wait a minute...It would appear there was an even more thrilling victory going on in the NHL last night. Those damned Habs just won't go away. They came back from a 5-0 deficit against the New York Rangers to win their game 6-5 in a shoot-out. For all that talk of not caring where I place in the standings, it really does tick me off that I have to share first with them. When I heard they were losing big-time, I thought we were re-establishing our sole lead over the Conference. But they just won't go away.
So today the sports world is all a-buzz with the big Habs comeback last night. All I can say is: Bah Humbug!!
On a final note, thoughts & prayers are with the family, friends & teammates of Mickey Renaud today. Renaud was the 19-year-old captain of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires. He collapsed and died very suddenly & unexpectedly at his parents' home in Tecumseh, Ontario on Monday. A loss like that must be devestating to his team and everyone who knew him. From what I'm hearing, he was a great guy, and he will be sorely missed.