I'll admit, these last couple of weeks, I was a bit uninspired when it came to the Blog.
My favourite subject, the Ottawa Senators, were floundering yet again. I couldn't bring myself to report on their misfortunes any longer. With each loss came a more intense fear and panic that maybe this would be my first year as a Sens fan on the outside looking in when it came playoff time.
The thought was almost unbearable.
And for a little while last night, I was starting to think it was me. Really, truly all me. I was ready to anoint myself the Senators Jinx.
I know I do that a couple of times every year, when they start to slump. It always seems that their failures coincide with my presence. For instance, Monday night's game against the Habs. I sat down to watch and Wade Redden got hurt. Then the Habs jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Not long after, Montreal's lead grew to 7-1. Completely pissed off, I stomped down to the basement in a huff to watch a Family Guy re-run. (Surely, Peter & Stewie would cheer me up). Within moments, I heard my mom whooping upstairs. Then again. And again. Finally, I flicked back to the game, but the comeback was too-little, too-late. And somehow, I ended up blaming myself, because I tuned in just in time for a Sens 5-on-3 powerplay, which they squandered. Had they scored, perhaps that would have set the stage for the greatest comeback in franchise history.
That brings us to last night's game. I missed the first period and most of the second, but when I settled in to watch with 7 minutes left in the second frame, it was 1-0 Ottawa thanks to a Christoph Schubert goal. Woo-Hoo!
Oh - but wait...The Curse of Jillian hit just seconds after my arrival on the couch. Five minutes into the third period, the score was 3-1 Buffalo. Ouch!!
I was about ready to do my stomp off to the basement again when Dean McAmmond scored off a short-handed rush with Antoine Vermette. Then our blessed captain tied it up at 3. Images of the 7-5 horror show from the night before began to fade, and I started to think that maybe, just maybe, this comeback would actually work.
Anton Volchenkov broke the dead-lock with his first goal of the year, and then Alfie added another to give them some breathing room in the final minutes of the game. Antoine Vermette hit the empty net at the buzzer to seal the victory - 6-3 Sens!!
It was a much-needed win as the season is winding up and the standings are as tight as can be. It seems next-to-impossible to catch Montreal now, as they're up 5 points on us, but with a 7-point lead over the 9th-place Washington Capitals, missing the playoffs is also unlikely.
That being said, it's hardly time to start breathing easy. With only a handful of games left in the regular season, the Sens need to start pulling things together and play strong for the next week or so. Things have been far from smooth since Christmas time, and despite last night's big comeback, there hasn't been a whole lot to cheer about when it comes to this team lately.
I'm hoping Steve Warne from the Team 1200's TGOR morning show is right - he thinks the Sens have enough talent that come playoff time, they'll be able to flip the switch and return to the Beasts of the East that they were last year at this point. They'll start tearing it up, and hopefully return to the Stanley Cup Finals again for the second straight year.
I've never given up before on my boys, so I'm not going to start now. If anyone can do it, I truly believe they can.
I've got my fingers crossed!!