...because this is way overdue.
(Apparently that's supposed to be Daniel Alfredsson. I don't get it either.)
So, the Game 2 curse lives on. It was a disappointing outcome to be sure, but the cynics should be somewhat placated by the majority of Ottawa's overall effort. It was a brutal beginning, but the Sens keep proving that they possess the ability to regroup and press forward. It's quite the hat tip to their visible maturity and as long as it continues, it will serve as a hope-filled reminder to those who obsess over the demons of the past -- in spite of such stumbling blocks as overtime losses.
I'm really hoping that people seize this opportunity to celebrate Daniel Alfredsson and the positively brilliant post-season he's had thus far. I realize there's a long way to go, but he seemingly can't do a thing wrong these days -- it's the ultimate demonstration of leading by example. That's why I'm left in disbelief when "observers" such as Mike Bossy begin spouting on Off The Record that if the Sens can't get it done this year, No. 11 has to go. You've got to be kidding me, right? Care to back up that argument with any recent examples of leadership gone awry in the Nation's Capital?
A few more bits and pieces about last night's game...
Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov are always going to be a huge part of the Sens' defense, but this is the series where the others -- the offensive blueliners -- are integral to second-round success. In short, it's all about risk and reward. This is the time to obsess over Redden's universally famous "first-line pass" (one that both Corvo and Preissing are also capable of accomplishing, by the way). All plays and passes become stretched to invade beyond the trap, and obviously the defensemen act as the catalyst. The blueliners have also been required to join the rush in an attempt to increase traffic and keep the puck onside. Obviously you're taking chances and if you get caught pinching...well, you end up with OT goals courtesy of Jamie Langenbrunner. To be fair, Joe Corvo made an effort to chase the Devil down. Preissing, on the other hand, failed to kick it into high gear. There's got to be a bigger effort than the one made by No. 42.
I know some people get on Antoine Vermette's case, claiming that he's soft and needs to ramp up the offense (for the record, Mike Fisher needs to improve on the latter as well, but that demi-deity always seems get away scot-free). It's probably true, but let me tell you one thing: Vermette's the only Ottawa player I trust to get to the puck first every time. Speed is a much bigger issue for this team than a lot of people want to admit. I think the over-under on the number of times I yelled, "SKATE!" last night was probably 50.
One more thing -- after the game, Martin Brodeur did an interview with the CBC. Here was the conversation between The Driver and myself as it aired:
Me: "Look at that hand holding the recorder, sticking out from behind the wall."
The Driver: "I see it."
Me: "It's all I can concentrate on."
The Driver: "I bet it's (Bruce) Garrioch."
Ten seconds later, we were both cracking up. Here's why:
And just in case you need additional confirmation (dude motors out of there pretty quickly), here's a still:
One more thing (and on a completely unrelated note): Damn NBC to hell for their afternoon games. They caused TSN to switch feeds yesterday at 3 pm from the NFL Draft (a.k.a. The Brady Quinn Watch) to Game 2 between the Sharks and Red Wings. After Miami took Ted Ginn Jr. instead of Quinn with the No. 9 pick, the whole draft turned into a total train wreck. The former Notre Dame QB was sitting there with an indescribable look of shock on his face -- all dolled up, sporting a pinstripe vest and dapper tie. He looked like he was on break from dealing the Pai Gow Poker tables at Mandalay Bay. I could've watched the fallout all day. Instead, I got another 30 minutes give or take, with no conclusion (because Quinn STILL hadn't been taken by the time the feed switched). For the record, Quinn went 22nd (!) to Cleveland, and breathed an ironically happy sigh of relief at doing so. Too bad I was unable to see it occur live.
...because this is way overdue.