FIVE QUICK THOUGHTS
-As encouraging as the this start to the season has been for the Senators, it hasn’t been without a few bumps in the road.? That bump was a mile high last night.? Despite playing well in the first period and even though they had a chance after 40 minutes, the Sens pretty much melted down in the third period.? They provided almost no resistance to the Avs top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon and basically let them run wild out there.? Either Colorado flipped the switch during the second intermission or that thin mountain air really started to get to Ottawa. A close game turned into no contest in an awful hurry.
-Safe to say this was not Craig Anderson’s best effort of the season. He actually looked great in the early going and was a big reason why the Senators were up through 20 minutes. He made a couple of highlight reel stops in the opening frame and seemed like he was in the zone early. Like everyone else, the wheels kind of fell off for Andy in the third period.? While the Avs stars had a big part in that, it’s safe to assume Anderson would want another crack at a few of the goals that got passed him last night.? The Senators won’t win many games with goaltending like they got in this one.
-There was a lot of talk about the reception Matt Duchene would receive upon his return to Colorado. He obviously left under less than ideal circumstances but for the most part, was a fan favourite throughout his time with the Avalanche. And considering the fact the Avs did okay for themselves in the trade, you would think fans would mostly give him a warm welcome. Not so much. Unless they were saying “Duuuu” then it sounded a little bit like petty booing from the hometown faithful. Didn’t bother Duchene any as he scored seconds after. Making himself right at home, really.? Duchene added another one in the second period and missed a wide open chance at the hat trick in the third. Bet he’s happy to have this one out of the way.
-One of the most encouraging takeaways from the last few games has been the sudden and dramatic emergence of Colin White.? Management recently told White he could start looking for a house in Ottawa because he would be here the rest of the year and it has seemingly given the 21 year old a much-needed jolt of confidence. He looks like a completely different player out there recently, skating with pace, engaged physically and comfortable with the puck on his stick.? Boucher also seems to be settling into the idea of using White has a top six winger which also helps.? He has been a great fit on a line with Matt Duchene. With two assists last night, White now has 6 points through 9 games.
-Scary incident in this one as Zack Smith left the game with what the team is calling a facial injury. Watching the replay, it was pretty clear that he took the skate of Matt Calvert to the fact although it didn’t really look like there was any visible cut when he left the ice. Either way, that’s about as scary as it comes in the NHL.? After the game, Boucher confirmed that the injury was serious adding that there was actually a broken bone in his face. Smith will head back to Ottawa and won’t be available for the rest of the road trip. Magnus Paajarvi also left the game after a blatant hit from behind but he returned to the game shortly after.