FIVE QUICK THOUGHTS
-That’s a tough one.? It’s not that the Ottawa Senators deserved to win the game necessarily but more that it was miraculously there for the taking and they let it slip away. And against the best team in the Eastern Conference no less.? A day after one of the most embarrassing losses in franchise history, the Senators started well but then blew a two goal lead to let Tampa Bay back in the game.? If that’s not bad enough, they allowed a late game-tying goal to boot.? Granted it’s probably the fate they deserved.? The Sens spent approximately 30 straight minutes in their own end of the rink and if not for the heroics of Craig Anderson, this is likely a fairly one-sided game.? It’s nice to come away with a single point and all but the win was there for the taking.
-Not to point fingers but Mark Borowiecki has to get that puck down the ice in that situation.? Instead, you could tell he was thinking about the empty netter and it ended up costing his team the game. Chip it out. Dive on it. Pick it up with your remaining teeth and spit it into the crowd. Basically he had to do anything but the thing he did.? In Borowiecki’s defence, his teammates didn’t do much better on the play with a couple guys flying the zone before the puck was all the way down the ice.? Just a painful way to lose a hockey game.
-Either Guy Boucher doesn’t mind telling the odd fib during his post-game press conferences or he has a completely different expectation of what good defending looks like. During his comments last night, Boucher pushed back on the idea that his team was under-siege during that third period and instead suggested that they actually defended well.? The bend but don’t break approach the Senators used during the third period is certainly not good defending by traditional standards but perhaps Boucher is more referring to their ability to “hang on” despite being hemmed into their own end for most of the period. It’s nearly impossible to do in a scrum setting but it would be nice if Boucher could expand on his answer a bit because if they are playing that way intentionally then uh something needs to change.
-It’s a damn shame the Tampa Bay Lightning tied the game late because otherwise we’d all be talking about Cody Ceci’s third period heroics.? In what really was one of the most frantic, bizarre plays in recent memory, the Senators took a late lead in this one and damn near stole two points against the top team in the Eastern Conference. And strangely enough, it started with a huge hit by Matt Duchene, of all people. Not only did he blow up Nikita Kucherov, but he avoided taking an unnecessary penalty afterwards, allowing his team to rush up the ice and take the lead after a nifty play by Mark Stone to get the puck to Chris Tierney who found a wide open Ceci. Oh and while we’re talking about that play, how does Tampa Bay not end up shorthanded after that sequence?
-And not to dwell on officiating here but that slashing penalty on Mikkael Boedker is the softest penalties I’ve seen all year.? Add in the fact that it happened in the last two minutes of the game and it’s basically inexcusable. That little tap on the stick is a play that happens hundreds of times a game and to call it in that situation is just embarrassing. It ended up costing Ottawa the game too. You could see that Guy Boucher was furious about it post-game and rightfully so.? Hell, if you’re going to call that one you may as well call Ryan McDonagh for the same thing on the game-tying goal. Oh and how bout a goalie interference penalty on the OT winner?