Just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing. How’s everything been? <Polite pause> hey that’s awesome…and your home renovations they’re going well I presu– <pause longer than I was expecting…still pausing> Well, that’s the thing with grout right? You have to– <pause>… HEY, listen so…shut up a second the New York Rangers are in town and I want to talk about it!
So for their 6th game this week the Senators face off against their 2012 playoff opponent for the first time this season. Perhaps more accurately the Rangers face off against SOME of the Sens they faced in the first round as most of the line up the team is currently icing were not born before last year’s playoffs.
Just how inexperienced is this team at the NHL level? Take into consideration that if you count Mark Borowiecki 6 games this year and currently in the AHL and Jim O’Brien who played only 28 last year and is currently scratched, Ottawa has 10 rookies on their roster. Add them all up and they make for 179 NHL games between all 10. DAMN son that is a GREEN hockey club. To take it further, remove J.O.B. and Boroweicki and examine just the rookies who lined up against the Islanders on Tuesday and the combined total of NHL games drops to 122 or a 15.25 average of games played. To make that 122 games betwixt 8 players who will suit up for Ottawa tonight even weirder consider that Sergei Gonchar has played 125 playoff games. The fact that Ottawa is not getting blown out every game is truly impressive to me. I mean, kind of an interesting time to be a Sens fan. If a relatively healthy team beats them how do you not react like, “uh..yeah.”
How are our boys in red, black, white and some gold sparkle managing to compete? Definitely goaltending. Great to see both Bishop and Anderson keep Ottawa’s sesame seed buns from getting toasted in the past couple of wins. I think I heard “Tavares walks in all alone with the puck” about 20 times last game. Though the Islanders are not the strongest team and New Jersey are boringly very good this year the Senators benefited from strong back to back performances from both net minders in those two wins. It’s easy to give credit to Bishop and Andy because neither of those wins were very convincing. The Sens have really struggled on the power play and not gotten a goal from Kyle Turris or Zack Smith this month. It was encouraging to see scoring come from unlikely players (especially because most of the team is made up of unlikely players) and improved games from recent scratches Mika Zibanejad and Colin Greening and you just s know just scoring in general…even if it was against Rick DiPietro.
Tonight will be Ottawa another big test of the Post-Karlsson era. Though standings wise, the Rangers currently sit in 9th place they still possess a potent offence even without Rick Nash. On top of the always annoying duo Richards and Gaborik, Carl Hagelin has a very impressive 8 points in his last 5 games. Ottawa has their work cut out for them in terms of keeping up offensively facing handsome devil Henrik Lundqvist in net who has put up nearly Craig Anderson-like numbers in his last 5 starts (1.58GAA / .940SV%) – yes I just frigging said that. I love Craig Anderson and when I grow up I’m going to marry him…him or a carrot…whoever says yes first.
A third straight win would be huge in getting whats been a rough month back on track and will further be handy to have in the team’s back pocket in the tough months ahead.
What else? Mmmmm John Tortarella seems like an enormous jerk off so….