Friday, November 10, 2006

11-10-06: Senators 6, Penguins 3

Sens-Pens… that’s fun to say.

  1. This was the first Penguins game I’ve ever seen, and my first impression was that their style looks as young as they are, and not always in a good way. There’s a ton of raw ability there, but in this game they seemed to lack control, organization, and cooperation. Their passing was terrible, when they even tried it, which wasn’t often (Crosby being the notable exception), and even without the passing problems they had trouble sustaining any offensive force. The Sens could just skate in and pick the puck off them left and right. And for a team that’s supposedly so energetic, they didn’t seem to manage much movement. Pittsburgh got only 17 shots on goal, versus Ottawa’s 44. As they say in the business, WTF was that?
  2. However, I do think it would be almost impossible for these guys to actually live up to all the hype. The entire hockey world is so deeply enamored of the idea of the Penguins that somewhere along the line it seems like they stopped looking at the actual team. The Anglophone commentators spent more time during the game waxing nostalgic for previous Malkin and/or Crosby plays or talking about their glorious potential future than saying anything about the game in front of them. They might as well have been hopping up and down in the stands with a big sign reading “Marry Me Sid.” I mean, these darari are good, they will almost certainly get better, but they’re not the light and the salvation.
  3. But speaking of salvation, or at least redemption, it’s good to see that the Sens finally found a way to drive away the evil spirits that have been haunting them. You just know somebody on that team bought a golden cat with emerald eyes from a mysterious antique shop one day and brought it back to the stadium, and the zamboni driver warned them that it had been stolen from the tomb of a murdered Egyptian priestess and no good would come of keeping it around, but it was so pretty they just had to keep it, and then things started going wrong, first it was only little things, broken equipment, mysterious wailing in the corridors, but then it just got worse and worse, and the whole audience was screaming “It’s the cat! The cat! Get rid of it!”, but did they listen, no, of course not. Maybe somebody finally sent the freakin’ cat back to Egypt and now they can finally get back to playing hockey instead of slowly collapsing like a flan left in the cupboard. Seriously though, Ottawa played a great game, especially given that they were playing against their own flaws as much as against the Penguins. Here’s hoping it’s the beginning of an upswing (at least until Monday, at which point the Senators can feel free to choke miserably in the 3rd as much as they like).
  4. Also, on an aesthetic level, the Penguins’ stadium is an architectural disaster.

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