Well, we all know the story – the haughty but injury-plagued, 7-game winning streak Pittsburgh Penguins rolled into Ottawa on the 23rd and got puck-pummeled by a hungry Ottawa Senators team by a score of 5-0.
Everything went wrong for the Pens and for the first time this season, everything (and I truly mean EVERYthing) went right for the RABHA.
The power play clicked, Karlsson had a picturesque top-shelf-D-zone-undressing goal, Zack Smith scored a goal (because ‘ZSmith’ does what he wants), Anderson looked the sharpest he’s looked all year, and the D men shut down the dangerous Penguins.
Even Eric Gryba (yes – the same man I often curse by raising my fist and letting my voice rise on the last letter of his name) played probably his best game of the season, and looked like an enforcer on the ice. He was hitting people, draped all over Crosby, driving pucks up the ice and out of the zone, and playing with vigor.
But again…the lingering question for this strange Sens team remains the same; can they build on a big win?
Here are a few quick thoughts about the Sens as they play Boston tonight:
1. GOALIE GOLD: Playing Boston tonight, Coach Paulrus has decided to ‘release the Lehner’. I’m not sure I agree with this move, given Anderson’s first 27-save shutout since the first game game of the season, but maybe he’s trying to get both goalies playing hot? Lehner has played decently against the Brew Crew.
2. FIRE AT WILL: The Sens sent pucks from all areas of the ice at Fleury during the Pens game, scoring 5 times on 29 shots, and they need to repeat that tonight. Shots = goals.
3. DEFENSE DEFINED: Gryba? Cowen? Wiercioch? Corvo? Who is going to be the roving mainstay for this team? Sooner or later, the Sens will run out of games where they can decide who is a healthy scratch and who laces up the skates.
The 15-17-6 streak-needing Sens play the Bruins in Boston tonight at 7 PM EST.