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I found it somewhat amusing to learn tonight that Buffalo's mantra all season has been "no excuses" -- they share the moniker with a 'banger style of demim that was popular during the '80's. No doubt Lindy Ruff got the idea for the catchy slogan after staring at the posterior of some trashy Buffalo bar skank.

That's my best attempt at a swipe. To be fair, the Sabres don't deserve to be slagged. They've been nothing short of spectacular by holding the Senators at bay. And the only question that remains is, "What now?"

Ottawa doesn't have a dying assistant coach to come in and give them the pep talk of their careers. They don't have a young phenom waiting in the wings that they can turn to for Game 4. They have under 21 hours in ememy territory to prepare for the biggest game of their lives.

Emery played well once again, and managed to keep the Sens within striking distance with a healthy combination of key saves and dumb luck. But the offensive game, particularly along the boards, left something to be desired. I'm beginning to believe that I could sneeze and take any number of Ottawa players off the puck with ease. Chara once again rarely chose to play the body, and the defence remained up high during key chances -- Buffalo has forced them into a lose-lose situation for the majority of the series. Either stay back and not be able to help out with second chances on the rebound, or come down, risk getting caught and have Buffalo charge down the ice during a turnover. The point would be moot if the Sens could keep up with the Sabres' speed.

The most interesting part of the broadcast ironically had nothing to do with the game. It involved the ongoing discussion of Hasek's health, and Dom's recent positive comments. A clip was shown of Hasek practising, which led me to shout at the screen, "Go down! Go down!" I sounded like a pornography director.

My deadline for the column is Thursday. Game 4 is Thursday night. From a work standpoint, it's my feeling that if the Senators are going to tank this thing, I'd really appreciate it if they did it tomorrow.

5 responses to "One more night"

  1. The most interesting part of the game for me was Harry Neale relating how Jay McKee's sister ran over a cow on the 416 after Game 2 and totalled her car. What the hell was a COW doing on the 416?

    I also enjoyed reading Muckler's lips in booth after the OT loss: "STUPID FUCKER!" (I think, because Pothier fell down trying to stop Dumont on the final shot. Either that, or because Muckler filled his Depends.)

    A wild game, like the ones before it, that could have gone either way, but didn't. People don't want to point the finger at Emery, but the fact is, the Senators play differently in front of him. They don't trust his play. And if you don't believe it, ask yourself why Buffalo was actually taking shots on him from the other side of the ice on the PK, and unloading hopeless low-percentage shots the moment they stepped over the blueline all night? Because the word on Emery is shoot, because he's shaky.

    And the Senators know it.

    If the Senators go down, it's because Hasek foolishly gambled his health at the Olympics, when he had absolutely nothing to prove in international play. He let down the team. I expect the knives to come out in the media if Ottawa loses, because his media mind-games the last few months have been have been textbook Hasek primma donna behaviour.

    Wardo

  2. It sure is hard to watch the Sens go down this way! So much of their talent and skills are of an individual variety and goes against what this time of year is al about. The Sabres puck pursuit work ethic is so fierce it forces mistakes constantly and that is perfectly suited to playoff hockey. The Sens are also being outcoached. Murray is at his wits end for solutions just as he was with the Red Wings in the early 90's - he's no coaching genuis and I never agreed with the choice - better coaches are now available, like Marc (Sexy!) Crawford, who's won something in his life (Stanley and B2B Memorial Cups).

    One thing I never can comprehend is why Murray tolerates Alfredsson going behind his own goal to retrieve the puck and start the rush. As a winger, this is nuts! The first pass never goes up the middle, especially this time of year. With only one wing to cover, and by removing himself as a reciever he facilitates the Buffalo coverage. On the Sens PP's I've yet to see anyone screening Miller to any effect. Thought I've not caught every minute of every game so far, I miss seeing Chara planted on the goalie's nose - has been used in that role at all?

    If ever a team could come back from 3 zip, it might just be this one - but they will require a metamorphosis to do it. The talent is there and now is the time for the hustle to match it. The goal in game four should be that if the Sabres are going to walk away victorious they will hurt from it. It looks like the Sens needed to play the dirtiest game of their lives in game two - not now. In games 3 and 4 versus the slowfooted Flyers, the Sabres didn't freewheel as much amidst the punishment delivered. Coach Murray's job is to notice such things before the autopsy of the post season is rendered!

    reality check

  3. The cow is karma! All four eastern teams, the Sens, Sabres, Devils, and Hurricane all have red, white, and black jersey. Now, so does the jersey cow! If muckler orders a bus ride home after a game 4 loss - skunks beware!

    Argus, your point on Emery is well taken - witness the Habs in front of Huet vs Theodore. Truth be told, though, both these goalies the Sens rely on are kinda flakes!

    Never mind knives, axes are in order. Everyone from players to management to media called this team to win from beginning to end - the price must now be paid. If changes are not made, history is destined to repeat itself. This team was built to beat the Leafs. Now it must be built to win a Cup.

    It made be time for big time changes in the team makeup and chemistry. A sacrifice may be in order - something more than an Ottawa Valley sacred cow! MOOOves will be made!

    reality check

  4. I wish I could buy stock in things like "Hasek will suffer and injury late in the season and then stir up a pseudo -goalie controversy while top team in the East gags again...."

    Rayzor

  5. I'm watching the game now on OLN. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the Sens.

    Michael