The Ottawa Senators 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens last night was disappointing to say the least. Fresh off a stellar night against the Buffalo Sabres, it was thought that the momentum that was gained off that win would transfer over into the following night; no such luck.
The Senators were shut down by the Habs, who played as a solid team with great defensive moves. As with past games, the neutral zone is where Ottawa lost the game, causing bad turnovers and losing puck possession in this area several times during the course of the game. It wasn’t even that Price had a good night; in fact, he wasn’t challenged enough times to be considered a game hero. It was the Habs that kept Ottawa chasing itself in its own zone and leaving very few chances for the Senators.
Two great chances that hit the post were clearly unlucky for the Sens; there was a bullet of a shot from Kovalev that just clinked the post and that had Carey Price beat in the second. There was also a great shot put through by Campoli on the line in the same period with the same result. That should have been two goals for Ottawa that surely killed any hope of turning the game around.
No contest on the Foligno kick-in; the video replay showed a distinct kicking motion beyond any reasonable doubt. Despite not capitalizing, Foligno had another solid night with good effort, but the frustration is beginning to wear thin on him, as he fought Montreal’s P.K. Subban.
A lot of rough stuff on the night, with some particular feistiness from former teammate Alexandre Picard, who clearly had some bones to pick with his former locker roommates. But the fight of the night has to go to Jarko Ruutu against Halpern in the second; a little sucker punch to the chin followed by some good hard mid-body uppercuts. That, unfortunately, was the highlight of the night for Ottawa.
Jason Spezza was missed on the night as well. He has an excellent record against the Habs and a pretty good one against Carey Price as well. Still bothered by a groin injury, the team has stated that they will not play Spezza until he’s fully healthy. In other injury news, Pascal Leclaire has been back on the ice for some training and Filip Kuba has begun to skate on his own.
The absence of Spezza has allowed Zack Smith and Jesse Winchester to get more ice time. Winchester’s still playing with the cage mask after the injury to his chin, but he still looks good out on the ice. It’s nice to see that kind of competitive spirit in a hurt player- he clearly wants to be there every night.
All in all, a disappointing game for the Senators, who were victims of bad bounces and their own sloppy play in the neutral zone. There is a lot of good effort on the ice; Fisher is playing at a higher level this season and getting more important ice time, Regin’s starting to get his feet and Foligno keeps putting in a solid effort every night. It’s about time for all this effort to pay off; let’s hope it happens soon.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.