The Ottawa Senators traveled a road they haven't been down much in this 2005-06 season, the losing end of a shut out hockey game. As a matter of fact, Thursday nights 3-0 loss to the newly bolstered Boston Bruins was the Sens first shut out loss of the season.
Ottawa went into Boston probably thinking an automatic two points were on tap, what with all the controversy bouncing around about the previous day's blockbuster trade off of former captain Joe Thornton. Instead, the Bruins came out of the gate flying, as if to try and prove a point, whether it be to the owners, the managers, the fans or themselves. The Bruins holders of last place in the division, played some inspired hockey partly led by recent acquisition Marco Sturn who made friends fast in beantown with a goal on his first shift. Sturn followed up his goal later on in the game with an assist, which gave Mike O'Connell the warm and fuzzies for one night anyways.
Ottawa seemed to mail this one in, as Domenik Hasek was left to face 24 shots, a total which from a Boston team, must seem like a non stop shooting spree. It was a night to end a number of streaks for the Senators. Besides the string of games of scoring in every match coming to an end, so did Dany Heatley's scoring spree ended as he was left without a point for the first time this year. Bringing to an end, his chase of Wayne Gretzky's continuous points record of 23. Jason Spezza also saw his seven game scoring streak run dry. It was one of those games that the Sens knew would one day come, but when it does it seems as though they could have done more. The Sens will attempt to return to their winning ways tonight at home as the first place as the Pacific divisions, LA Kings make an appearance at the Corel Centre.
For Boston, the win was just the thing to take some of the bitterness away for frustrated Bruins fans. For twenty four hours they have been railing against the trade of Thornton for Sturn, Stuart and Primeau. The general feeling was that Mike O'Connell had been fleeced by his counterpart in San Jose. O'Connell was feeling the heat from fans and players alike, as many questioned his motives and his hockey sense. For one game however, O'Connell could claim to be the re-incarnation of Sam Pollock.
One game does not a legend make and something tells us that the troubles in Boston were much deeper than just an underperforming Joe Thornton. But, for one evening anyways things were well in B-town. O'Connell can only hope that it was not a one time only event and that his struggling team comes together (even if it's against him) and gets on track.