Saturday, January 13, 2007

1-13-07: Senators 8, Canadiens 3

The numbers pretty much say it all, don’t they? I mean, does that really require any description or explanation? Imagine, if you didn’t see this game, what an 8-3 loss would look like. Imagine the kind of defense that would lead 6 goals-against in the 1st period. Imagine what might happen to the Habs when Huet has a really, really bad day. Now you’ve more or less seen this game. Please, if you’re a Habs fan, don’t watch the highlights, you don’t need that kind of pain.

In a way, I feel a certain affinity with the Senators, because they are in some ways very much like the Canadiens- another very inconsistent team who seem to only have two ways to play, fantastic or abysmal, and who often alternate between the two within the same game. The difference is that the Sens' ‘fantastic’ is truly glorious hockey, whereas the Habs' ‘fantastic’ game is still a work-in-progress with a lot of unrealized potential. Not that it mattered in this game, because the Habs didn’t bring their fantastic game, but you know, for future reference.

1. Evidently the Habs have decided to cap the number of hits per game, and since Komisarek hits so much, there aren’t enough left for the rest of the team. Is there any other reason for not backchecking at all? Is this some sort of hockey strategy with which I am unfamiliar? Is there a good reason to give Alfredsson all the freakin’ space he needs to repeatedly punish you? And, oh yeah, I bet there are some people in Ottawa now who might be just a little bit glad that they didn’t decapitate him back in November.

2. Now that the Sens are finally free of that Spezza guy, they really seem to be finding their game. Nothin’ but dead weight, he was.

3. Notes: Souray breaks even, scoring one goal for each side. Komisarek lays a characteristically hard but uncharacteristically nasty thwack on Vermette in the 2nd which worries me on many levels. Aebischer, unfortunately, might be the goalie-of-record for this loss, which is unfair because he played quite well. The Habs’ 1st line was quite possibly the worst I’ve seen them in any game to date, while ironically the 2nd did, if not exactly well, not particularly badly. Also, just to point out again: The Canadiens outshot the Sens, and took fewer penalties, and lost. This is one of the customs of our people.

4. Most distressing fact about this loss: Ottawa got 3 power-play goals, meaning Montreal’s famous PK failed them. Uh-oh…

Platitudes to make me feel better: It’s the same 2 points in the standings as a 2-3 loss. At least it wasn’t 2-10 against Toronto. The Sharks and the Thrashers have both lost 0-8 to much worse teams this season. The Canadiens won the last 35 minutes of the game. Maybe if I repeat these often enough the nausea will go away…


Max said...

hmm, looks very philosophical... why did i not find your blog earlier? anyway, i put a link to it on my own page. HIGHLY interesting. will read all sooner or later.

max (the art of ice hockey)

Julian said...

You've got a pretty interesting blog as well Max, I went and bookmarked it, I'll start reading it regularily.

Nick said...

Senator and Hab fans have between them an unstated affinity, most likely forged over white-hot hatred of the Maple Leafs. Every Sens fan seems to like the Habs too, and vice versa. So there isn't much of a Montreal-Ottawa rivalry yet. Here's the question: if the Eastern Conference standings stay the way they are, might these two teams meet in their first-ever playoff series? Is it too early to consider the potential tide of intra-division hatred that could wash over us all?

The Sens/Habs truce is the only thing keeping the Northeast from collapsing into a singularity of loathing. Every team is hated by at least two other teams. We have the Habs, hated by Boston and Toronto, the Sabres hated by Ottawa and probably Toronto as well, the Bruins hated by the Habs and Sens (since they stole Chara away), the Sens hated by Toronto and Buffalo, and the Leafs, hated by everybody. It is a delicate equilibrium of hatred, kept inside its perfectly elliptical orbit by the lack of playoff meetings. I shudder to think what could happen this year.