The Ottawa Senators had a sloppy win over the New York Islanders last night in a 4-1 game. It was pretty much exactly like a sloppy joe sandwich; inelegant, messy, disorderly, but ultimately, satisfying. Everyone likes a win; but despite the final score, this was still a close game.
Let’s start with some context. The New York Islanders are not exactly an elite team. They’re pretty much in the basement right now, stuck with DiPietro until 2021 and one star player in the form of Tavares, who is not being given a chance to shine with his supporting cast. Prior to last night’s game, they suffered a humiliating 7-2 loss, so they were playing back to back games and racking up a losing streak coming into Ottawa. A win’s a win, but until you start knocking back some quality squads, the team still looks weak.
On with the plus side: a big +++ to Brian Elliott for putting in another solid game. He came up big for the Senators in the third period with two great saves on breakaways and saved the defense some embarrassment. Spezza came back in top form and had his first 4 point night since March 31, 2010. The first period of the game was clean, simple and unremarkable for errors. If only the same could be said for the other two periods.
On to the bad: inconsistent play across the board. The second and third had sloppy turnovers, bad drop passes and plain bad decision making on the part of many players. It’s astounding that Kovalev still thinks that he can charge through three oncoming players and maintain puck possession. The reality is that he can’t and he should stop trying. The awkward Fisher-Regin breakaway in the third had them so far apart that they looked like those two relatives at Christmas who don’t talk to each other. And Ruutu’s strange no-man’s land turnover was equally bizarre, especially since we know he’s better than that.
The team got a little high on their 3 point lead and started to get cute with the puck in the second, leading to all the errors and bad turnovers. The Sens are lucky that the Islanders weren’t able to capitalize; a more talented team would not make that mistake.
It was nice to rack up a win for the team, but there should be some serious reflection and sober second thought before anyone gets any ideas about their worth. More consistent play is needed, the team needs to put in a solid 3 periods worth and a nice simple, clean game is still the best strategy going forward.
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.