FIVE QUICK THOUGHTS
-They may be wearing the same uniforms but this year’s version of the Ottawa Senators is nothing like last year’s team. There’s a fight where last year’s group was timid. There’s a spark where last year’s team was mostly lifeless. And there’s a belief where last year’s team had mostly given up. And man is it fun to watch. The Senators battled back from a two goal deficit against the rival Montreal Canadiens and earned another big win on home ice. Three in a row, by the way.
-One of the interesting things about Ottawa’s strong start to the season is it hasn’t really been driven by their best players. Better than expected contributions from depth guys and offence from the back end have been a big part of the strong start but Mark Stone and Matt Duchene have actually been fairly quiet. Well until last night. Those two were clearly the best on the ice last night and a big reason why the Sens were able to battle back in this one.
-Shortly after he ripped a one timer directly through Carey Price’s soul, I actually thought there was a good chance Mark Stone’s goal celebration was going to take him directly through or over the glass and into the crowd. Nobody celebrates quite like Mark Stone to begin with but when it’s an OT winner over a rival, it has the potential to be on another level. It’s that passion that will make Mark Stone a fine Captain here in Ottawa some day.
-He only came away with the one assist but this may actually have been Colin White’s best game as a pro. So much so that by the third period, he found himself getting some shifts with Matt Duchene. White seemed to be moving quicker than he has at any point in his NHL career and he was engaged physically, which we don’t often see from White. The Senators have talked about wanting to make Colin White into a centre long term but he can also be a pretty effective winger when he’s on a line with other good players.
-When the Senators traded for Chris Tierney, they knew they were getting a pretty useful hockey player. Little did they know, they are getting an offensive dynamo. Tierney has put up at least a point in all seven of Ottawa’s games this season including an assist on Mark Stone’s first goal of the night. Tierney had a breakout year of sorts with the San Jose Sharks last year, racking up 40 points in 82 games. Apparently he’s going to put up like 90 this year.