The Ottawa Senators closed out their Western Conference road trip with a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes in a match up that was as exciting as the stadium name for the local team. Despite a fight in the second period, this game lacked intensity and emotion.
It wasn’t the type of game expected for a returning player who was traded away after a signing controversy, with only a handful of resentful fans and Aucoin getting on Turris. Perhaps it would have been a more intense match up had the player he been traded for been playing in this game; unfortunately, Rundblad is playing in the AHL. And they say Ottawa got the short end of the stick on that deal.
The looming NHL All-Star break seemed to give the players permission to go on a mental break through the first two periods. The Senators woke up in time for their Captain to score in the second and Chris Neil showed some gusto on his third period goal off a good feed from Condra.
The third period, as always, was the best one for Ottawa and they almost tied up the game- until the blind deaf refs from LA decided to call goaltender interference on Foligno, wave off the goal and give him a minor. What looked like a fairly normal scramble in the crease with players falling over, the refs deemed as an intentional hit on Phoenix’s goaltender.
Remember that this is the same dream team that called the penalty shot on Phillips for closing his hand on the puck when video replays showed he did no such thing. The only saving grace was Captain Daniel Alfredsson’s poise when the refs explained why they waved off his goal. After that level of frustration in consecutive games and finding out that the game-tying goal doesn’t count, I would have gone Tortorella on the refs myself.
Of course, it’s not all bad news. Ottawa does sit in a playoff spot right now in 5th place in Eastern Conference and Craig Anderson continues to be a stellar player for the team. The Captain is showing no sign of age and as a whole, this team has gelled far better than anyone would have imagined before the season began. Thankfully, the Senators and their fans can put this game behind them and relax for a week as the All-Star break kicks in. Late January, we all need it.
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.