You know when you’re sitting down to sip at a snifter of Mrs. Butterworth’s gelatinous mash LIKE A GENTLEMAN and you’re just about to write a James Day Preview (your name is James in this story) about how the Ottawa Senators played a statement game against Montreal and what happens? Jason Spezza dies and that just dominates the news cycle for the next couple of days. Now you have to come up with something new. Think you/me THINK…I know…
TONIGHT IS A STATEMENT GAME!!!
It really is though. As much as that last game was one too: A divisional rival on a winning streak with a hot powerplay rolls into town and are stymied by a masterful performance from Craig Anderson and plenty of goals from throughout the depth chart. Yes, they will have Gonchar back in the line up tonight and that’s a plus but unlike last game there’s a new pressure to get it done without the possibility of the teams #1 centre coming back any time soon. Though Carolina is not as much of a threat as the streaking Canadiens were per se, there’s something about games against the Hurricanes. They are never a walk in the park. Jeff Skinner has 5 goals by the way. Cover his shit.
I know the Senators can’t be expected to win every game (esp the 4th game of the week on the road on probably the league’s most noticeably shitty ice) but each W they put up now is one less they have to under the pressure of the end of season playoff race. I’m really excited to see the FaceSmasherz line of Greening-Smith-Neil do their thing. Would love to see Smith get one tonight. Something tells me their’s a quiet confidence in that dressing room that they can keep this ship afloat in the absence of Spezza. A victory would do wonders to further build that confidence.
Can We Talk About How Amazing Erik Karlsson Is?
Although he had one assist on the night how much of a frigging BO$$ was Erik Karlsson all game long against Montreal? He deserved more. Is there anyone that he doesn’t make look a step slow? Numerous amazing plays each period. I don’t know if he has a third lung no one knows about or what. The guy played 29 and a half minutes and didn’t even look bagged at any point. Twitter was all atwitter (last time I use that) about how it was dumb of MacLean to play him for 9 minutes in the third period even though the game was well in hand. That’s a pretty good point but I am interested to see if that even matters with this kid. He’s on some Weapon X shit. With Spezza out, Karlsson will be doing double duty as first pairing defenseman and first line centre. I feel fine about that.
Heyyyyyyyyyyy Guillaume Latendresse Has Already Missed Time Twice and the Season Isn’t Even Ten Games Old
Since he was acquired I’ve spend a fair share of time poking fun at Tender Willy. Injury this, Fatendresse that. It was all in good fun. For all my “get ready for the Dollar Store Version of Cheechoo” posturing I was hoping deep down to be pleasantly surprised by a solid but not flashy out put from Latendresse. His performance so far hasn’t been the worst or anything, he’s been slow out of the gate but that was to be expected. What’s worrying me is that he’s already missed two games. One for injury (eeee) and tonight the flu. Now, obviously Gui-Gui cant help getting the flu but as Papa Alfie showed against Washington even the best players don’t quite look their best when they return “healthy enough to play.” I foresee Latendresse getting his game together suffering a bit of a set back so mentally preparing for more of the same from him.
Zibanejad NOT Za-bin-ejad…You Fuckin’ Idiots.
Kid’s looked dynamite out there. Bringing a game of strength, speed and getting kicked out of the faceoff circleocity. He said something interesting before his first game regarding what advice the coaching staff had given him about his game. He said they wanted to see him play less tentative to go out and make things happen. Not defer to others to dictate the play. I have to say you can really notice he’s doing that and the results speak for themselves. I guess playing with Eric Condra gives you a shoot-first mentality. For real though, Condra has been quietly awesome out there. Very excited to see Condra and Zibby playing together again they’ve gelled nicely. Speaking of dictating play, I cant imagine how hard it is to be a rookie and suddenly start the season on a line with Spezza and Michalek and not shit yourself and just try to get the puck to one of the guys how had over 30 goals before Malkin strips you of the puck. That said, if Silfverberg just played with a bit more of that intensity he showed in Binghamton, I think he’ll start rolling. He’s been bumped down to the 4th line to start the game but that’s not the worst thing in the world. Takes the pressure off him a bit and hey, Zibby was playing bottom six the last two games and he made things happen.
Every Game I’m Anderson’ Every Game I’m Anderson’
Anderson gets the start A DOI OI OI OI OI OI OI OI. Thought they’d give this one to Bishop but I’m just going to leave that there because I don’t want to jinx it. Someone stupid starts for Carolina. How hard is this team to like. They even have Alex Semin now.
ENJOY THE GAME!