The Pittsburgh Penguins showed that even without their star players Crosby and Malkin, they are still in a class of their own as they outdid Ottawa in just about every way in last night’s game. The Senators were literally penned in when it came to their own zone, getting very few good scoring chances, as proven by their feeble shots on goals. They were outworked, outskated and generally outclassed by Pittsburgh, who played a tight, physical game with multiple points on the night for Staal, Kunitz and Kennedy. It was all Pittsburgh last night in front of a sell out crowd in Scotiabank Place and most of that crowd left before the third period was over. 5-1 with a lone goal from Ryan Shannon, who has been stepping up his game seriously in the past month. Good play also came from Jesse Winchester and Erik Condra, two players who are not stars by definition, but who do a lot of little things right. But the little things didn’t make the difference.
Ottawa didn’t come out of the gate running this time around and there was very little energy from them in this game. Craig Anderson looked nervous starting against Pittsburgh, and his jitters began to show early on, as he bobbled some pretty easy shots behind the net and took a few soft ones in the chest. As a result of his stage fright, the defense collapsed on him in front of the net, creating too much traffic in the paint and leaving wide gaps on the ice. The Pens took full advantage of their time and space and Ottawa spent a good part of the night chasing after them. It didn’t come to much.
Ottawa’s not a small team, but Pittsburgh just ran circles around them and a lot of the players got tossed around. Svatos took his fair share of ice time by falling on it and Chris Neil had to play enforcer by getting into a first period fight with Engelland. Engelland also got into a late scrap with Francis Lessard which was a lot less exciting than his scrap with Neil which resulted in fists flying. It was probably the most interesting part of the night for Ottawa fans, and may have been the only thing we won in that game.
The controversial kick in goal by Matt Cooke to mark Pittsburgh’s 4th point of the night is a sore subject. Video review showed a kicking motion, but the war room in Toronto withheld the call on the ice that it was a good goal, despite the fact that it was Matt Cooke’s foot that directed it in. He also got the credit for the goal and this will be a sore point at the post-game wrap up for the team. Clouston will have good reason to be mad, but in the end, it doesn’t make a difference. They still got smoked.
One high on the night was the fundraising for Roger’s House. A lot of money was raised and the community had good reason to be proud of this charity. It ‘s nice to know that the team gives back to the community that loves them. But will they love them again next year? Hard to say.
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.