The Watch of Shame: Game 12

Is Game 12 too early for a “must win”? Well, when you’ve only won 4 games so far, and you’re a team with playoff aspirations, it might not be! I thought the Senators were a stone lock to blow out Philly last Saturday, and they responded by scoring a goal early, and then not scoring again for the rest of the game. It’s time for the Sens to just dominate some poor schmucks, and Vancouver is definitely a bunch of schmucks. Ok, let’s see what happened.

1st Period

  • Alex DeBrincat puts Ottawa up 1-0 early. Well it was Batherson it who scored, but all the hard work was done by DeBrincat by beating out an icing call, and finding Batherson with a nifty pass from behind the blue line.
  • Giroux breaks in on a 2-1, looks off Stützle and then fires the puck on net, forcing “Martin” to make a blocker save.
  • DeBrincat has two five-star, Oscar winning, critically acclaimed, scoring chances in the space of about 6 seconds, tipping the puck wide after Ottawa forces a turnover in the offensive
  • Batherson gets sprung on a long pass, and also fires it into Martin’s glove. That looks like it would have been a good opportunity to try the ol’ Jason Spezza fake clapper, shoot it short side deke, but there hasnt’ been much to second-guess in Batherson’s goalscoring lately, so I’ll let it go.
  • Ottawa gets an early PP. Neither PP unit has looked at all good lately, which is unfortunate because they started the year looking good. My guess is that teams have scouted the three plays they like to run and they need to find some new wrinkles.
  • Ryan Reynolds just got a standing ovation from the Ottawa crowd. Definitely the most heralded appearance in a Senators luxury box since Brady signed his new contract.
  • Personally, I refuse to “stan” any millionaire/billionaire owner or potential owner. The most I’ll do is not complain about them as long as they sign the cheques, stay out of the way, don’t complain in the media, and inculcate a culture conducive to tolerance and diversity in both the staff and the fans. If Ryan Reynolds helps with that, bring him on. If he doesn’t, well, I’ll have no choice but to write more blogs. YOUR MOVE, RYAN.
  • Ok, I’ve let this go for a while, but Brady Tkachuk is taking too many penalties. In fact, he’s taking more penalties per ice time than any other player on the Senators. He just took another one which he absolutely did not need to take, needlessly giving Vancouver a chance to get back in a game that’s been nothing but Ottawa dictating play so far.
  • The two best chances of the powerplay came on odd-man rushes by the Senators, so that’s a good way of killing penalties.
  • It’s announced that Chris Neil’s number is going to be retired. Ryan Reynolds stands and applauds. We live in strange times.
  • DeBrincat is playing possessed in this first period. He’s constantly first on the forecheck because he’s sliding behind the Vancouver D looking for a long outlet pass.
  • Even the 4th line generated a decent looking chance by throwing it at the pads and hoping it would bounce off Kastelic into the net. It almost worked, too. Shots are 15-5 for the Sens with 2 minutes left in the period.
  • Canucks score a tying goal with 52.5 seconds left in the 1st on a flagrantly horseshit play where Ethan Bear floats a puck in from the puck, it bounces off a confused Talbot, and Boris Horvat is unopposed to score on the rebound. Why can’t this sort of shit happen to Alex DeBrincat for a change?
  • Hamonic restores Ottawa’s lead by taking a pass from Stützle and simply blasting a slapshot past Martin. Why can’t this sort of shit happen to Alex DeBrincat for a change?
  • Sens finish a period they dominated with a 2-1 lead. The only nits you could reasonably pick is to ask why it’s only 2-1 instead of 3-1 or 4-1 or 5-1.

2nd Period

  • Sens pick up right where they left off early in the 2nd. Batherson gets two golden chances in a row, one on a tip off a pass from Pinto, and one where he could quite control a beautiful pass from DeBrincat. In a different universe, Batherson and Debrincat could have two goals each so far. And Batherson’s already scored!
  • Batherson-Brassard-DeBrincat is a new line, and it honestly looks fine. Brassard’s offensive instincts are obviously still intact, the only question is whether he consistently has the pace to get the puck
  • Sens generate another golden opportunity with Brannstrom leading a 4-on-2. Starting to feel like I’m going to have to think of new ways to say “Sens get a great look, but fail to score.” because there’s really very little else to say about this game. The shots are 23-9!
  • Kastelic’s even coming into the zone with enough speed to try a wrap-around. It doesn’t work, because of course it doesn’t, but still, this game has reached Kastelic wrap-around attempt levels of domination.
  • Sens possibly becoming guilty of turning into Arsenal and trying to walk it in. Not sure Batherson needed to go for the drop pass here. Looks to me like he’s got a pretty clear path to the net.
  • I’m 4th line agnostic. I like it when they do good things, and I don’t like it when they do bad things, and I gotta say: they’ve been buzzsaws so far tonight. Kelly makes a steal in the offensive zone and then draws a penalty in front of the Vancouver net. Great sequence for him.
  • The first PP unit being sent on this time is Pinto-Brassard-DeBrincat-Brannstrom-Giroux. Is this too much deck shuffling from DJ Smith now? Honestly they don’t look any worse than any other powerplay unit I’ve seen this season.
  • Shots are 30-10. THIRTY TO TEN! THERE’S 8 MINUTES LEFT IN THE SECOND! The Sens used to be the team getting blown out on the shot clock like this, now they’re doing this to other teams!
  • Stützle might be Ottawa’s best option on any powerplay unit right now just because he seems to be able to gain the zone with control so much easier than anyone else.
  • Ok, Martin just saved a shot from Brady Tkachuk in this position and now I know you’re fucking with me.
  • Of course the next thing that happens after this play is Mikheyev turnstiles Hamonic, goes to the net, and then scores like it’s not even hard. DOESN’T HE REALIZE THAT SCORING A GOAL IS THE HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD?
  • Austin Watson and Luke Schenn have a fight for unknown reasons. Ryan Reynolds nods his approval.
  • Tkachuk gets sprung in alone on Martin, gets the shot off, and pops Martin’s mask off in the process, immediately ending the play with the Sens in possession and the Canucks in disarray. What more is there to say at this point?
  • Zaitsev takes a holding penalty rather than get completely owned at his own blue line. Maybe that was a “good” penalty to take, but he only had to take it because he’s Zaitsev.
  • The second Canucks powerplay looks significantly more dangerous than their first, but Talbot makes three good saves to keep the game tied at 2 after 40 minutes

3rd Period

  • Jamie McLellan ominously opens the 3rd period by talking about how Vancouver’s goaltending has kept this one in them, and Horvat rewards his prescience by scoring right in front of the net after Connor Garland sons Hamonic behind the Ottawa net. Two pretty grim plays by Hamonic have led to two goals against in the last 10 minutes.
  • Definitely extremely infuriating that Ottawa is losing this game considering the extent to which they’ve carried the play in the game to this point.
  • Imagining someone turning the game off and going to bed after Batherson somehow manages not to score from here. Ok I say, “someone” but really I’m imaging doing that myself, because, well, just look:
Why didn’t DJ Smith tell Batherson to score here? #FireDJSmith
  • Tkachuk takes ANOTHER terrible penalty. He doesn’t seem to think he should have been sent to the box simply because he’s a big, strong, growing boy, and while I’m sympathetic to this view, I think it’s time for him to stop taking so many penalties.
This dude would have never made it as a Tkachuk brother, I’ll tell you that right now.
  • Talbot once again does a good job of being Ottawa’s best penalty killer, and then lets in the first shot he sees after the penalty expires. Boeser tips a point shot past Talbot to give the Canucks a 4-2 lead with a little under 12 minutes left in the game.
  • I was impressed with the way Ottawa kept their foot on the gas against Vegas after going down 5-1, but coming back after suddenly going down 4-2 in a game they should have done and dusted by now will be a much taller task. DJ Smith has a “Here we go again!” look on the bench. No one else on the bench looks much happier either.
  • Vanier gets a shoutout on TSN thanks to the presence of Ryan Reynolds. This guy is a tourism BOON!
Apparently these apartments don’t even exist any more.
  • Giroux draws a penalty with 7:26 in the 3rd. I’ve really liked him with Stützle. I’ve liked Stützle with everyone, really.
  • Batherson somehow fails to score again, this time sliding the puck harmlessly across the goalmouth. STORY OF THE GAME. HAVE I MENTIONED THIS ENOUGH YET?
  • Stützle plays a little give and go with DeBrincat, and goes roof on the powerplay to cut the lead to 1 with 6 minutes left. Great play by a great player.
  • Aaaaaaaaaaand just when it seems like there might be hope, Chabot and Brannstrom play hot potato with the puck in their own zone and give the puck away. Talbot lets the puck slip through him and it’s another 2 goal lead with 5 minutes left. Just not great stuff from either of those guys, if we’re being honest, but especially Brannstrom.
  • Ottawa’s gifted another powerplay with Vancouver taking a delay of game penalty. With 10 seconds left in the penalty and the goalie pulled, Giroux finds the far corner with a fluttering puck. So after a long period of dormancy from the PP, Ottawa’s scored twice on the powerplay in what’s going to be a losing effort. I hope the powerplay being good transfers to the next game at least.
  • GUY WHO HAS ONLY SEEN DANIEL ALFREDSSON BE A VETERAN PRESENCE: getting a lot of daniel alfredsson vibes from claude giroux
  • Ottawa pulls Talbot to put out an extra attacker, but Vancouver scores after Ottawa can’t find a sustained period of offensive zone possession and the game ends 6-4 to Vancouver. There’s also some sort of fight at the end of the game.

The Wisdom

The Sens got sens’d harder than any other team in history has ever been sens’d. If they play this game 10 times, Ottawa wins 8 of them. I’m sure of it. I still don’t think it’s time to panic, but it’s definitely time to win a fucking game. In fact, it’s probably time to win like six games just to get back to into the playoff race. This team can do it if they keep dominating games like this, though.

Here It Is, Your Moment of Salieri


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