The Ottawa Senators stunned the New Jersey Devils with a late 2-1 win, with Erik Condra showing that he’s a great prospect by netting two goals. The soft-spoken player from Binghampton has described himself as not being a star, but one of those players who does a lot of the little things well. And what he does do well, is take advantages of opportunities on the ice, taking the opposition by surprise.
His first goal of the night off a great individual effort from Ryan Shannon on the board, taking 3 of the Devils with him and leaving the way clear for Condra to come in and charge. And charge he did, taking one shot, falling and quickly picking up his own rebound, surprising everyone, even himself. His second goal of the night was equally surprising, with Spezza waltzing through the zone with the Devils gingerly pacing around him, leaving the net wide open for another charge, almost out of nowhere, from Condra fresh off the bench.
One goal against the great Martin Brodeur is a feat for a rookie. Two goals in the same night is extraordinary. While the Devils have been on an amazing run, infused with Jacques Lemaire and his coaching, as well as an active Kovalchuk, who has had his ‘on’ switch turned on since February, Ottawa held its own better than could be expected. Brodeur has been playing to form lately, but the two great charges from Condra were outstanding. Kovalchuk was quiet on the night and even Volchenkov didn’t lower the boom on his former team as expected. In fact, the numerous penalties on the night were all the result of sloppy play with very little animosity on either side. The worst injury was sustained by Foligno with a puck to the head- which was accidental.
Jason Spezza has risen to the challenge of being a leader on this team and Clouston is calling on him a lot. He’s doing a lot on the ice, including penalty kills and making less risky plays. Overall, it appears that he’s more serious about his game and it looks like it’s rubbing off on the new guys. Bobby Butler and Colin Greening seem to gel well with Spezza- Butler, a goalscorer who has good potential to rack them up in the future and Greening, whose smart play often balances the more risky tendencies of his other linemates. Their line has a nice big presence and developing chemistry- time will tell if this is the real deal.
Craig Anderson wasn’t as busy on the night, but he did his job well, stealing some good chances off the Devils at key points in the game. While the first period was a snoozer, it was nice to see another win. The best that Ottawa fans come hope for right now is to see a few entertaining games from the up and coming future stars of the team- and maybe spoil the party for a few others in the process.
As long as they don’t help the Leafs make the playoffs. (shudder)
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.