Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Senators 5, Penguins 2

I saw most of this one. It was the Pens season in a microcosm, especially during the second period.

Colby Armstrong makes a great play short-handed, knocking the puck loose. Ryan Malone gathers it, waits and makes a great pass back over to Colby for the short-handed goal to tie the game at 1-1. Cheers abound (at least in my house - the cats were running for cover). SEVENTEEN SECONDS later, the Pens allow a goal on the power play. It hit off of Koltsov's foot / stick and caromed over Caron's left shoulder. Bad luck for sure.

Later in the second, the Pens are on the power play. They get a second penalty called on the Senators. On the ensuing faceoff (when they have a two man advantage), they get called for hooking (a rather notorious "even-up" call if you ask me). This leaves them with a 4 on 3 advantage, with Alfredsson coming out of the box. As soon as that advantage expires (come on - everyone in the world knows what happens next - how the Pens didn't know is beyond me), the Sens have control of the puck and get it to Alfredsson, who has a breakaway. Caron stops the initial shot AND the rebound attempt. Remarkable. Alfredsson takes the puck behind the net and hits a trailer (forget who it was) who shoots the puck on the ice to the far side of Caron, scoring the goal. Unbelievable. To be able to make two great saves like that on Alfredsson and then not stop the follow-up shot... very frustrating. Of course, Gonchar didn't get anywhere near close enough to the shooter either.

Before you start thinking "at least the Pens didn't give up a shortie to those bastard Senators", let me correct you. On the power play late in the third, somehow (inexplicably) only down 4-2, with a chance to pull within one goal, Gonchar takes the puck in deep. He loses it, Crosby can't hold it and it's a race between the Sen's penalty killer and Ryan Malone (Ryan rotated back when Sarge went in deep). I like Ryan Malone. I really do. He's never going to win the World's Fastest Skater award. He might not even beat the tortise on some nights. Tonight was one of those nights. Breakaway... goal... Pens down 5-2... game over.

I did miss the funny business with the low hit on Crosby, but I saw that Surovy received a fighting major, which is yet another sign of the apocalypse. It makes me glad that Max Talbot is safely across the state, because if Surovy got a fighting major, Max probably would have been arrested for assualt and battery. Evidentally the hit was a cheap shot, but again, I didn't see it. Assuming it was, then I may have to add the Senators to my list of teams I love to hate. First Alfredsson opens his big yap and takes shots at Sidney Crosby, and then they take a cheap shot at him. A classy team would just go out and prove they're better on the ice. Maybe Alfredsson should take a page from Crosby's book, learn not to talk about other players and shut up for once. It might improve how hockey players are perceived.

Anyway, enough whining for tonight. Good effort for the most part (as usual)... bad result. Tomorrow is another day.


Will said...

The cheap shot on Crosby was bad, but not Bertuzzi like or anything. The guy just tried to torpedo Crosby. It was an obvious cheap shot, even the OLN announcers called it cheap. Surovy was trailing the play and saw the whole thing, and as soon as it happened went right after the guy. It was great to see actually. And for an added bonus he did not get the tar pounded out of him either. The real fun happened at the end of the first period. The teams were starting to file into the locker room and some talking happened between Chara and Carins. Next thing you know those two giants are thowing punches around the 2 refs trying to break it up. Eventually the refs say screw it and let them go. Chara landed some huge rights but Carins stood strong and ended up taking him down and getting in a few late shots.

I do agree with Pat that this is starting to turn into a real grudge match. I'm starting to put Ottawa up there in the Phily/Rangers level of hate. OK not quite that much but getting close. It just sucks that they are one of the best teams and we're... well, we're us! I don't know if they play anymore this year but hopefully this will be start of a beautiful rivalry!

Pat said...

I saw the hit this morning on SportsCenter... it certainly was a cheap hit. Hopefully the league will discourage players from trying to injure their brightest young talents...

Pronovost said...

The guy who tried to injure Crosby should be suspended. That was blatant.

Sid is still giving his all, but he looks spent to me. Pretty much has looked that way since the Olympic break, although I realize he's still getting points.