Family obligations prevented me from watching the first two periods of this game and I have to say that I’m somewhat grateful for that; I was starting to feel optimistic about the new year, 2011, full of hope that this year would be better than the last and seeing no reason to think otherwise, as multiple well wishers surrounded me, both in person and virtually through text messages. My feelings of optimism wouldn’t be punctured until later that night while watching a listless Ottawa Senators team get taken down by the usually listless Toronto Maple Leafs in a 5-1 loss.
You know you’re a bad team when you make the Toronto Maple Leafs look like the Pittsburgh Penguins. The third period was unusually quiet, no doubt because Leafs Nation had a collective sore throat from excessive cheering, and fair enough; it’s been awhile since they’ve had that much to cheer about, when you consider that 5 goals is generally their total over a period of 3 games. But you have to hand it to them, as much as you hate to do so- they won.
The Senators have been playing with injuries, but this is no good excuse for anyone’s performance on the night. Highly undisciplined play led to several penalties and the rough stuff at the end of the night served no purpose. Ottawa should be looking ahead to the new year with lots of resolutions.
It’s unnecessary to go through the various things that need to be done to turn things around for the Senators. It’s always the same thing. They need to work harder, they need to play aggressively from the very beginning, stop taking dumb penalties and play a tighter man on man defense to prevent those bad turnovers. They’re getting beat in their own zone too often and more shots have to come from everyone. The defense is trying harder to score than the forwards, which clearly shows that there’s a problem on this team. Finally, Cory should resolve to do something about Kovalev. Scratching the more efficient Jarko Ruutu for the deadweight diva is not going to make things any better; reunite the Ruutu-Kelly-Neil line and give your team a chance at winning.
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.