Just a question -- is the opposition's team located in Buffalo or Beachy Head? One hopes they don't hurt themselves jumping off the bandwagon en masse.
It was hardly a memorable performance from Ottawa last night -- the Preissing-Corvo pairing was completely off-kilter, appearing to function as a panicky mess for the majority of the evening. On the Afinogenov goal, Corvo charged out to the point in some sort of misguided attempt to cover Kalinin but stopped short, which left Preissing all alone on the wrong side. And of course, Corvo was a major part of the atrocious sequence in the third (along with Schubert) that saw Ottawa fail to get the puck out of the zone on five or six attempts. Jason Spezza's skating left a lot to be desired (he was barely moving his legs) and Alfie, who continues to work hard, seemed to struggle a bit with timing -- particularly during pass reception.
On the plus side (besides the obvious win) -- a wonderful performance from Mike Fisher. There were also two notables who rarely get mentioned these days: Antoine Vermette and Chris Kelly. Kelly busts his ass every shift, and his role on the PK is so integral to the defensive success that the Sens' forwards have achieved thus far. You could also mention Vermette in the same breath, but it should be pointed out that he had a beautiful sequence vs. Afinogenov mid-way through the 3rd where he continued to pressure the Russian off the puck. That's the way you need to deal with this player (especially when he's clicking, and last night was one of those nights). The Vanek-Roy-Afinogenov trio seemed to be the line obtaining the most chances -- I loved Vermette's demonstration that Afinogenov could be contained. One note on "Jack White" Briere: He was a non-factor last night, but so was Gary Roberts in the first game vs. Pittsburgh, and Ottawa saw how that changed. Maybe he's hurt, but I'll postpone judgment for the meantime. And how about "Triple Cream Brie" Saprykin registering his first playoff goal as a Senator? It's about as unexpected as having two players wearing No. 61 in a series.
The next 48 hours should be interesting. I imagine Buffalo supporters will be regrouping their smack. After all, when some Sabres fans aren't referring to Dany Heatley as "a murderer", they've been keeping busy acting as the Sens' alarm clock. How very Super Bowl of them.
(Hmmm...there's that card to play as well, isn't there?)
[Photo Credit: The Book Of Face]
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