FIVE QUICK THOUGHTS
-Well that’s pretty much how I drew things up in my head. A well-executed tribute video, a lengthy and deserved ovation, a smattering of boos when he touched the puck as the game rolled along (I mean, he’s on the other team now) and a convincing Senators win. Welcome back, Erik!? The Senators controlled this game from start to finish and you could tell they had a little extra jump in their step.? Not sure if they were trying to put on a show for Karlsson, win one for the ex-Sharks on their roster or maybe they’re just starting to turn the corner a bit this year. Either way, the Senators looked like a team on a mission yesterday afternoon.
-You just had to know he was going to be motivated playing his former team. You just knew that he would take it to another level and want to prove that they were wrong to ever let him go. That’s just the type of player he is. And that’s exactly what…Mikkel Boedker did yesterday. Okay maybe a four point effort from Mikkel Boedker wasn’t the script everyone was expecting coming in but it sure was fun to watch. A lot was made about Erik Karlsson’s return but it was an after-thought that the Sens roster included three former-Sharks looking to have a big game too. Boedker, in particular, went off. One goal, three assists and the game’s first star.? Erik Karlsson, on the other hand, had one of the quietest nine shot games in NHL history.
-That was a little old school Craig Anderson we saw out there yesterday. I’m talking like playoff Craig Anderson. I think the kids used to call it beast mode. Andy was locked in yesterday and you could see it all game long. He was quick in his net, he was in control rebounds and he just had a little extra swagger back there that hasn’t been present at times this year. Maybe it was because his old uhh friend Karlsson was in town or maybe it’s because he’s just starting to find another level in his game right now but he looked damn good in this one. ANDY! ANDY! ANDY!
-If the advanced stats we use in hockey tell us that the Sharks were the better team in this game or that they outplayed Ottawa in any way, well then maybe we need some new stats. Or at least some additional context to the ones we are using. Despite the fact that the Sharks threw more pucks on net than the Senators, this was a one-sided game. Ottawa was the better team. Plain and simple. Although if you looked at only shots and shot attempts, you might be led to believe otherwise. The Sharks outshot Ottawa in all three periods and by a 38-27 margin by the end of the game. Guess that’s why we watch the games and don’t just look at boxscore the day after.
-Nice to see Ben Harpur finally get his first. And he actually looked like he knew what he was doing with it too. Although he had the trademark delayed goal celebration of a guy who usually throws pucks on net assuming they will be stopped.? Harpur is such an interesting player in that it’s so hard to project where he fits in with this team in the present and into the future. In fact, I find my opinion on him changes multiple times each game. When he’s on, he looks a powerful shutdown defenceman that skates well and makes good reads with and without the puck. And when he’s off, it’s hard to envision a long-term future in the NHL. In his defence, it’s always difficult to settle into much of a rhythm when you’re in and out of the line up all the time and that can be especially difficult for a young defenceman.? Really like what I’ve seen from him the last few games though.
-Bonus Thought- I can’t be the only one that noticed the song choice that immediately followed the tribute video. I’m sure it was a coincidence. Have a listen to those lyrics though.