Game Summary: Pre-Season Game 5 - Sens beat Habs 5-2

By Luke Peristy

Preseason games are like a box of chocolates: you pick at random and hope you don't get the coconut one you never know what you're going to get in the lineup.

Tonight, the Senators iced a lineup of roster players, except for the relatively unimportant positions of first line centre and starting goaltender. Stephane Da Costa was inserted into the first line in lieu of Jason Spezza, and Andrew Hammond was in goal instead of Craig Anderson. Both Spezza and Anderson were nursing minor injuries, so it made sense to leave them out of a meaningless game. None of the injuries were alleged to be back, ankle, or frozen chicken related, so no worries there. It was also rumoured that the Senators put Da Costa on the first line to entice another team to trade for him. Intrigue abounds!

On the other bench, the Canadiens started Budaj in net in addition to bunch of AHLers, thus indicating that they were treating this one like it was an elimination game in the playoffs. 

Here are my game notes:

1st Period

18:06 – RDS commentators yell “ET LE BOOO!”, which I gather is not good for Ottawa. Turns out something called a Nygren had scored on a shot from the left circle. 1-0 Habs.

18:04 – Chris Neil fights a guy; Clarke MacArthur doesn’t jump off the bench; Bryan Murray does a silent fist-pump.

17:24 – Erik Condra does the most Erik Condra thing ever by failing to score on an open net from 2.5 feet out. Still counted as Corsi event, though, so it’ll look great to all those #FancyStat geeks who don’t actually watch the games.

15:00 – MacArthur takes a pass in the slot from Conacher and wrists it past Budaj; Ottawa Sun writers open their “MacArthur’s a Disappointment So Far” article drafts and replace “MacArthur” with “Ryan”. 1-1

10:34 – I notice the Kassian-Pageau-Neil line for the first time; I speculate Maclean put the two enforcers out with Pageau to get him more room to skate; A .jpeg image of Don Cherry gives me the "Thumbs Up" when I mention this.

6:33 – Bobby Ryan fails to score after getting the puck alone in front of the Habs net; Ottawa Sun writers sigh with relief.

4:38 – Sens go to the PP after Conacher draws an interference penalty; I quip on Twitter that I think God gave Conacher a second heart where his pancreas should be.

3:26 – Bobby Ryan dangles Player #84 (no disrespect intended, but I have no idea who that is) and snipes a powerplay goal; RDS commentators use the word “magnifique”; Ottawa Sun writers throw hands up in exasperation; Ryan does the “truffle shuffle” to celebrate. 2-1 Sens.

1:46 – During a stoppage in play, RDS shows a Bobby Ryan montage then says the name “Sidney Crosby” at some point. I have no idea what else they said about this montage because I was too busy doing double-windmill fist-pumps. 

1:08 – Hammond makes a nice save after a Phillips giveaway; Phillips promises Hammond a free post-game pitcher for bailing him out; Hammond politely declines since he finds the Big Rig Brew too "hopsy".


1st Period Impressions: Conacher-Turris-MacArthur looked all sorts of excellent and Bobby Ryan’s PP goal was a mockery of the entire idea of defense. Hammond let in a goal of dubious quality very early on but settled down nicely after that.

2nd period

19:21 – It appears that the Habs score again, but upon further review, it's obvious Eller kicked it in. The ref explains that only Ottawa is allowed to score goals like that, and the goal is disallowed.

18:10 – With the Sens on the PP and Weircioch in the locker room apparently injured, Karlsson passes to Joe Corvo on the point; the sound of the puck hitting Corvo's stick is the sound of disappointment; I begin preparing a sacrifice to the hockey gods to bargain for Weircioch's health.

17:02 – Ryan and Michalek engage in a cycle so gorgeous, I contemplate asking for its number; Da Costa is also on the ice at the time; scouts in attendance go wild.

16:15 – The Kassian-Pageau-Neil line actually generates a chance on a scramble in front of the net, but neither #28 nor #25 can punch it in; "USE YOUR STICKS NEXT TIME!", Pageau screams.

14:35 – Jared Tinordi runs into Erik Karlsson after His Norrisness makes a cut in the offensive zone; both players go down after the knee on knee collision; the crowd gasps; Karlsson gets up, apparently uninjured. Thank goodness for those protective socks Karlsson wears, now.

13:03 – Neil and Claesson fight White and Moen; everybody except Neil gets game misconducts; refs make it clear they won't have this game turn into a circus; Matt Kassian removes novelty clown nose on the bench.

12:45 – Weircioch makes a triumphant (read: entirely unheralded) return to the ice; I cease sacrificial preparations.

9:07 – Michalek-Da Costa-Ryan have an excellent shift. A minute later, Conacher-Turris-MacArthur do the same; Don Cherry.jpeg notices the dreamy look in my eyes and mocks me for being in love.

6:09 – Ryan provides Michalek with a beautiful feed from behind the net, then gets hit and goes off the ice favouring his shoulder; I quickly remove my hockey injury sacrifice from the bin.

5:05 – Paulrus sends out Neil-Pageau-Kassian; Neil tries to get in a fight while Pageau tries to score; neither are successful.

2:13 – Michalek scores after getting a couple whacks in front of the net; Da Costa celebrates like someone who is worth AT LEAST a 4th rounder, explains Bryan Murray; Bobby Ryan rushes back onto the ice, determined not to miss this moment. 3-1 Sens.

1:48 – Eller tries to score with his stick, having taken note of Pageau's advice from in the period, but he is denied by Hammond.


2nd Period Impressions: Shots were 15-6 in Ottawa’s favour. I’d talk about the Habs if they were doing anything other than causing injury scares and punching people in the face, but you gotta work with what you get. 

3rd Period

16:03 – Conacher scores a PP goal on a tip off a Wiercioch point shot; this all starts to become eerily familiar. 4-1 Sens

14:37 – Gallagher rings one off the post, but fails to score because it's clear by this point that the universe wants this game to end 6-1.

12:35 – Wayne Scanlan announces on Twitter that Bobby Ryan won’t be coming back to the game. He does say "#precaution" in his tweet, though; I begin burning incense to the hockey gods, also as a precaution.

11:46 – Erik Karlsson breaks someone's ankles with a deke at the point, and sends a shot on goal; Mika Zibanejad scores on the rebound, and we’re one goal away from the result that everyone knows is inevitable. 5-1 Sens.

9:37 – Gallagher hits the post again; I wonder aloud why he’s still trying.

7:39 – Habs get a couple whacks at the puck in front of Hammond, but it stays out like a 17-year-old breaking curfew.

5:14 – Raphael Diaz scores on a shot from the point before carving "NO FATE" into the visitor's bench. 5-2 Sens.

4:12 – Neil and Kassian finally get to punch people in the face; I begin to sing “Garbage Time” to the tune of “Closing Time”.

1:47 – On a couch somewhere in California, Jakob Silfverberg can't believe how many people are still left on the bench.


Final Score: 5-2 Sens.

Closing Thoughts

Story of the game: a hockey team made up of mostly NHLers beat another hockey team made up of mostly AHLers. This is unsurprising. However, the lines of Michalek-Da Costa-Ryan and Conacher-Turris-MacArthur looked outstanding, and I refuse to not be buoyed by that fact. Greening-Zibanejad-Condra did not strike me as particularly excellent, nor did Kassian-Pageau-Neil, but they didn't spend a lot of time trapped in their own zone, either. 

However, the Sens' best player tonight by far was Erik Karlsson, as per usual. His Norrisness was firing on all cylinders and was generally awesome all night, making great passes and skating around people like only he can. Going down the rest of the D-pairings, the Phillips-Corvo pairing was a bit of a worry and got away with a few things, while Weircioch and Claesson were generally solid. 

On the Habs' side, there's very little to compliment. For what it's worth, Brendan Gallagher was by far the best Canadien on the ice, in the sense that he was the only one who looked like he gave a crap. Make no mistake, however, the next time the Sens see the Canadiens, they will look very different.

What's that? They're playing again tomorrow night?

Ok, maybe they'll only look a little different.
Powered by Blogger.