Let's turn a blind eye to the fact the Senators were missing their *top four* defensemen, shall we? Let's just savour the road win over the top team in the conference. A first round matchup with Ottawa doesn't sound too bad, as long as they promise to dress Novak, Norton and Malec.
It wasn't the AHLers on the blueline that killed the Sens last night. It was their PK. I've noticed a tendency this season toward penalty killers playing keep-away to kill off time rather than adhere to the KISS principle and just ice the puck. It's a good play, if you can get away with it. Playing your second game in two nights with a severely depleted defense against a Montreal team with a very good power play (it sounds weird just saying it, but it's true) is not the time for fun & games.
Vermette was in the midst of a Harlem Globetrotters routine on the PK in the 2nd period when the Habs stole the puck and scored before the Sens could get set up in their box. These guys ain't the Washington Generals. Then in the 3rd period Murray sent Heatley and Alfredsson out, ostensibly to kill another penalty. Predictably, they went sniffing for goals and predictably, they got burned. 5-2 Habs, QED. The Sens had better get over themselves and start playing hockey or they'll have a short playoff.
Speaking of the PP, four of the top five teams in the league with the man advantage are from the Northeast.
Other notes from the game:
- How about Arnason's gaffe that led to Ribeiro's goal in the 2nd? Pretty nifty little blind pass, there, Tyler. I'm sure glad we didn't get him at the deadline.
- Speaking of Ribs, he's been looking good. It's like he's playing with humility, like he no longer thinks he's the cat's ass. Being on Kovalev's line would humble any dangler.
- Komisarek has finally begun playing with confidence - he's hitting and agitating, and even pissed off the Sportsnet broadcast team.
- Downey and Norton squared off in the second period, but embarrassingly, not a punch was thrown. The pair were given misconducts. Downey fancies himself a boxer; hence the stance. Norton didn't want to get too close. He must have seen the Downey/BowlOfRice video.
- Where did Dany Heatley get that visor? It's *huge.* He looks like an astronaut.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have ordered their playoff ducats. That money would have been better spent printing off a few pink slips at Kinko's. No doubt they've already placed an order at the silk screeners' for a Stanley Cup Banner too.
Pet peeve/Grammar Nazi rant OTD: TSN's Darren DutchOven's catchphrase "roof daddy." What the hell does that even mean???