WELL………it’s been an emotional road trip for each and every last one of us. We’ve grown as people, made friends with a few anthropomorphic creatures and may have even learned a lesson or two along the way.
One thing I, myself, learned is that a long western road swing…not ehhhh…my favorite way to start the ol’ season off. I mean, time difference was one thing but seeing the team face some tough opponents in a situation where they’d likely struggle at the best of times was rough. What made it especially tough was with so many teams coming out of the gate strong (among them Calllllllllllllllgaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyy?) and nothing more than a so-so and pretty meaningless preseason to draw on, this is all we knew of the 2013 Senators. Let’s break it down:
– A dog fight 1-0 win against the Sabres
– A heart breaking blown 2 points against Toronto (which I think crushed a few people’s spirits)
– A squeaker OT loss against LA
– Dark Matter (x 2)
– Gutsy comeback win against the Yotes.
A veritable potpourri of flavours. After all of that, I will TAKE a clean slate of .500 to build off of. So now it’s over and in the rear view. Let’s get to tonight’s game:
*Looks at New Jersey’s record, takes off shirt and flexes chest muscles in bathroom mirror…but then remembers Ottawa’s record isn’t very great either, eyes start welling up a bit…but still flexing*
My first inclination as a fan is to think, “Ruh roh, the first game back after being on the road is almost always a rough one”. Here’s the leveling out though: New Jersey is also coming off/still on a long road trip rich with ass kickery. More ass kickery than Ottawa experienced even!
As has been well documented leading up to the game, with the Powerhouse Sabres recent defeat of the Islanders, the Devils are now the NHL’s lone team without a W on the season. That’s getting pretty bad considering its more than halfway through the month.
This means that either New Jersey, having spent a couple of days on the East Coast now, will come out fierce in a desperate attempt to right the Good Ship New Jersey Garbage Barge or the Senators will try to pull an Anaheim Ducks and gas pedal the Devils. As usual, it will depend largely on ……………………………
Your Honor the court will now hear the case of Baldy Vs. Blimpy
Livin’ legend, future first ballot hall of famer and Delicio Rising Crust Brand Pizza enthusiast Martin Brodeur will start in goal tonight for New Jersey. For maybe the first time in his career this may bode well for the Senators as Marty has positively struggled in his 3 starts so far this season. His ten goals against make for an uncharacteristic and Dan Clouthieresque 3.19 GAA. What has to be most concerning though is his …uhh…also Dan Clouthieresque save percentage of .878. These numbers are admittedly a little bit on the “early season wacky stats” side. No one wants to see Marty get in his street hockey wizard zone to make up for a bad start but still the door does look open to Light Up a Legend tonight.
That is if Craig Anderson can please, please, please, let me get what I want. Which is not giving up the first goal of the goddamn game. No less important would be not giving up goals in bunches like he’s been doing as well. Anderson, who is sporting a 3.10 GAA himself, hasn’t necessarily been awful so far. Both he and Lehner have been hung out to dry by putrid defensive zone play and constant penalty kills. He’s made some huge, huge stops that have kept Ottawa in games but those early goals and multiple goal periods have been an undeniable weak point for him. Give up one or two early and there’s no doubt that:
1. New Jersey will trap up like nobody’s biznas to protect their lead.
1a. I will get very wasted trying to watch that.
Now go out there and HAVE FUN……but seriously, don’t let in the first fucking goal.
Captain Contery on Back.
For a guy with a bad back Spezza didn’t have a problem puttin’ the whole friggin game on it in Phoenix am-I-right-peop-lllle? OHHHHHHHHHH! *takes cartoonishly large pull on e-cigarette*
His game wasn’t perfect but how mad can you get at a guy who was responsible for 100% of the team’s regulation time offence in a much needed win? Fantastic to see the guy score a Karlssonian Rocket from above the circle but also a couple of dirty ones. Much like Bobby Ryan did previously, Spezza looked noticeably looser after potting a couple. There’s an awful lot of pressure on Spezza this season and no doubt a natural hat trick lets Spezza head into his first home game as captain as easy breezy as a certain blogger after he spends lunch time in a supply closet with Silent Sam Vodka (OFFICIAL odorless vodka of WTYKY). On the other side of this, Erik Karlsson has looked a little stiff out there. Personally, I think we’re going to have be patient with Karlsson’s game for a few months still. Taking into account even the most basic estimations on recovery time and despite his ability to play, EK will still be healing until early into the new year. That said, he looks like he’s making the most of it. He played 30 minutes against Phoenix and leads Sens defensemen in shots. My guess is he is trying to adapt his game to be a little more of a mental one until his speed returns. As a result he can look like he’s over thinking things here and there. I don’t buy this bologna that now he’s not sneaking up on teams because they are watching video of his tendencies now. Like they weren’t doing that when he had nearly 50 points by December of 2011. Karlsson will be on the creep for a little while still but a point or two should loosen up those hands a bit. I think the rest of a day off of his foot should be a bit beneficial too.
I haven’t seen lines this Wade Redden joke since Wade Redden joke’s Wade Redden Joooke AAAAAm-I-RIGHT-PEOP-LE OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Thrilled to see MacLean will keep together the lines of Michalek – Spezza – Conacher and MacArthur – Turris – Ryan tonight. Maybe it isn’t what we all had envisioned at the beginning of the year but it’s still early very early. Still lots of season ahead. I love the coach’s tendency to play the hot hand over what he’s “supposed” to be doing. I’m about as mad at seeing Ryan on the second line as I am that Turris has been Ottawa’s best forward. Whatever works is fine with me. Speaking of Turris, how about that Turris. Kid’s a diamond. A diamond encrusted diamond.
In Game Challenges:
1. Try to identify Ottawa’s new goal song for your chance to be the only person other than the Sens DJ and the band who wrote it to know what song it is!
2. If Bobby Ryan scores use the hashtag #OttawaRoars to be the only person other than the Sens Official twitter account to use it!
3. Spot a member of the WTYKY staff and use the code “Hey what’s up?” for your chance win a personalized “Hey, <Your name here> I’m trying to pass urine here and I can’t go if someone’s talking to me and looking me dead in the eyes.”
GOOD LUCK AND ENJOY THE GAME!