Last night’s game was a bit like the day after Thanksgiving dinner. You really want to eat the rest of that food, and you know you’re capable of doing it, but you take forever, and it really doesn’t taste as good as the night before. You’re lazy, lethargic, and in a semi food-induced coma once it’s all said and done, and you haven’t even touched your stuffing. Yeah, that was last night’s game.
Coming off a victory in Florida the night before, Ottawa marched its sorry butts into Tampa Bay missing the team’s #1 centre, #1 goalie and best shutdown defencemen. So, not to say the odds were a little against the Senators, but they might be able to find some excuses for last night’s game.
The first goal against Ottawa was an absolute fluke (a Powerplay goal no less), bouncing three ways before it found the net, but it helped to set the tone for the game. After that, the Senators just weren’t able to muster the strength to mount a comeback. There were two late goals from Kovalev and Ruutu, but they were meaningless other than to make the final score look better. Steven Stamkos was really the story of the game, and while he was credited for two goals, it was really his second goal– the top right corner shot–that wowed the half-empty arena.
One thing to take out of this game is that it looks like there might finally be some bad blood between these two expansion cousins. So there is that to look forward to for the next matchup.
The bottom line for this game was that Ottawa was a tired squad that was missing key bodies. Tampa was most likely seeking retribution for the 7-1 drubbing in Ottawa a few weeks ago, and it was just too much for the Sens. So here is what you have all been waiting for: the Classy, Non-Classy and Could-Have-Been-Classier from last night’s game.
I really wrestled with this one. I mean, it would be easy to say that Stamkos was the star of this game last night. But that would take away from my Classy list that I’ve been developing this season. This is about the Senators, and while Stamkos played well, he was not a classy guy for the Sens.
So, last night’s Classy goes to the guys who weren’t in the lineup. And more specifically, the Classy goes to Jason Spezza’s value on that team.
There just seemed to be something missing (like a faceoff win), but also the intangibles that Spezza brings to the table. I’ve always been an ardent supporter of #19, but I think games like last night show how valuable he really is, even off the scoreboard. The team just seems to have more fun when he’s on the ice. He is a legitimate superstar, and when he plays, the rest of the players know that they can just focus on their own games. Plus, he’s virtually always laughing at something, so how could you not have fun when he’s in the lineup. Last night’s game demonstrated the important role that Spezza plays on this team, and that my friends, is Classy.
Oh man, was I ever having to pick through the garbage on this one. The fact is, this was not a very Classy game for the Senators. And to be honest, I had a very different player here for two periods of hockey (he has since been bumped to the Could-Have-Been-Classier).
Last night’s Non-Classy goes to Alex Kovalev’s face after being run into that stantion. Good on him for getting up and looking for who did that to his nose, and good on Foligno for standing up for his teammate, but it was the aftermath that was the Non-Classy of the night.
Make a list…
But seriously, there was one player that stood out a bit who Could-Have-Been-Classier. And unfortunately for him, he’s on a two-way contract. So being anything but Classy doesn’t necessarily bode well for him.
Brian Lee, you need to be a bit Classier. That play down low when you let Steve Downie (that’s right, Steve Downie) out hustle, out hit, and out play you to set up that second goal is inexusable. I know you’re not a huge guy, and I know that your game is about finesse and outlet passing, but please don’t let that happen again. You definitely Could-Have-Been-Classier.
Next up, a Halloween afternoon matchup against the Atlanta Thrashers. Hopefully, with a day of rest, Ottawa might be able to get at least two bodies back into the lineup and forget about last night’s game in Tampa. This should have easily been a 4-point trip through the Southeast division teams, so I would expect nothing but a win on Saturday. However, a loss might cement the Cory Clouston as the scariest costume on Halloween.
Stay classy tired, injured and sore Ottawa Senators.
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