FIVE QUICK THOUGHTS
-That OT winner was a thing of beauty. There are a lot of incredible things about Thomas Chabot’s game but the way he can move almost laterally while still skating forward might be the most impressive. It’s those little changes of direction that always leave me in amazement.? That move he made around poor ol’ Ryan Johansen is just not an easy thing to do. But he just makes it look so damn effortless. And then to finish the play off with a release that most NHL forwards would kill for and possibly the greatest goal celebration in Sens history? Ya that was pretty great.
-Hands up if you had the Senators jumping out to a 3-0 lead against one of the league’s best teams?? The yo-yo that is the Ottawa season was on full display last night. The second and third period against Montreal were two of the worst periods this team has played all year and they answered with one of their best 20 minute segments against the Predators.? When the Sens are on, the puck is moving out of their zone quickly and to forwards moving through the neutral zone with speed like it was early on.? The Preds were able to crawl back in the game because the tempo seemed to slow down a little bit for the Senators as the night rolled along.
-Mark Stone is very, very good. Early in the year he was being overshadowed by Matt Duchene a little bit and the ridiculous start of Thomas Chabot always has people talking but Stone just continues to quietly go about his business at a point a game pace. With two more points last night against, he’s up to 37 on the year. He has points in 8 of his last 9 games and 15 points in his last 12.? After an ugly game in Montreal on Saturday night, the Senators needed to bounce back in a big way. It’s not surprising that it was their Captain in waiting that lead the way with a strong first period. In the true spirit of the holiday season, he basically gift-wrapped goals for Brady Tkachuk and Ryan Dzingel in the opening frame.
-It’s difficult to remember a more surprising fight in the history of the Ottawa Senators. Right up there with Kyle Turris vs. Danny Briere or maybe Kyle Turris vs. Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Hmm might be a theme there. Late in the second period, Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris dropped the gloves in a spirited tilt that mostly resulted in Kyle Turris eating a combination of lefts and rights from Bobby Ryan.? As shocking a fight as it was, a quick look at the replay shows why it started in the first place. Not once but twice Turris slashed the hands of Ryan. That’s a dirty play under almost any circumstances but considering that Turris would know all about the hand issue Ryan has had over the years, Turris probably had that coming. Neither player wanted to talk about the scrap after the game.
-There are things about Justin Falk’s game that are useful. The problem is, they are the same things that are useful about Mark Borowiecki and Ben Harpur.? The Senators are in a spot where they have three of the same player, basically.? And on most teams, it’s a player that would be a bottom pairing option. It will be interesting to see how much longer Falk sticks around now that Boro is back in the line up.? Nothing against Falk necessarily but he’s on a two-way contract and can easily be sent to Belleville, especially once Dylan DeMelo is healthy.