Holy crap. I think I almost had a heart attack last night. And it was only Game 1!!
I know. Everyone likes exciting back-and-forth hockey. But quite personally, I'd prefer to kick ass 6-0 every game. It's a lot easier on the nerves.
I gotta say - I liked how my guys looked last night, and they eventually came away with a narrow 5-4 win over the Penguins at Mellon Arena. Marc-Andre Fleury clearly didn't have his best night between the pipes, and there were bounces that went our way (for once!). The third-liners were our big guns last night, grinding hard and capitalizing on the scoreboard. Goal-scorers were Peter Regin (who opened the scoring for Ottawa after Pittsburgh had taken a 1-0 lead while Regin was in the box), Chris Neil, Chris Kelly, Erik Karlsson, and Jarkko Ruutu.
I know. Seriously? Those were the goal-scorers? No sign of Alfie or Spezza or Fisher. And as much as I'd like to see those guys getting goals, the fact that our grinders were stepping up and scoring made me very happy!
Watching the game at my parents' place is always interesting, to say the least. Dad is this little black rain cloud of doom. When the Sens do something right, he doesn't say a word. But when they do something wrong, he pounces! Every time a lesser-light scored last night, he snorted, almost as though it was absolutely ridiculous to fathom them getting goals. He also strongly critiqued Brian Elliott, as he always does, but really - what goalie is good enough for my dad? I think just about the only one who passes his test is Martin Brodeur, and the fact is, there's only one Brodeur.
My mom is also a treat to watch hockey with. She talks to the TV. Non-stop. "Come on, guys, you have to pick it up!" "Awww, guys, you're playing sloppy!" "Let's go Ottawa, you can do better than that!" Funny at first. Annoying after awhile. Even worse when Luke starts snapping, "Shut up! They can't HEAR you!"
Then there came the Great Erik Karlsson Debate of 2010. Me & my mom, against Dad & Luke. After Karlsson dipsy-doodled in the neutral zone and gave the puck away, Mom and I ranted about how the kid has to be more careful with the puck. Dad and Luke jumped to his defence, and laughed at us for being so critical of the best offensive defenceman we've had in years. (Yes, the same two guys who criticize everyone else on the ice relentlessly.) The argument came to an abrupt end when young Karlsson scored his first playoff goal. And yes, they did torment us with the "Ha-Ha! How do you like him now?!" stuff. Whatever. As long as he keeps scoring, I guess I can overlook the odd blooper on the blueline.
End of the day? The Sens win in enemy territory and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7.
Bring on Game 2! GO SENS GO!!