Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sens return to a familiar standard

While November was a month to forget, December seems to be shaping up as one to remember.

The Ottawa Senators who suffered one of their worst slumps in recent history during November, have found that hockey in December is a much more enjoyable process as they continue to return to the level of play that had the team jump out to a huge lead in the East at the start of the season.

Wednesday night it was clinic night in Raleigh, as the Sens dominated most of the sixty minutes with crisp passes, strong hits, scoring chances, solid goaltending and for good measure a couple of fights.

All in all a most rewarding game for coach John Paddock, who only had one concern on his mind at the end of the convincing 6-0 victory, that being the status of Ray Emery. The Sens goaltender faced but one shot before pulling himself out of the game with an undisclosed hip injury, setting the stage for Martin Gerber’s successful return to Carolina, accentuated by the shut out.

The Sens had much more jump than the Hurricanes in this one, as they beat the Hurricanes to the corners, relayed the puck at will through the neutral zone and raced from end to end to fire yet another scoring chance at the unprotected Cam Ward.

For Ward it was a night to forget, letting in two goals on the first four shots that he faced and looking shaky on a number of other Senator scoring opportunities.

At the other end of the rink, the Senators seemed to tighten up their recent sloppy play, keeping the Canes close to the boards and denying them the chance to put together any kind of consistent attack.

Next up for Ottawa is the final game of the current road trip as they stop in at Pittsburgh to go end to end with Sidney Crosby, Saturday finds them back at home ready to take on the Atlanta Thrashers.

With their game firmly back on track after a few weeks of angst, the fans at Scotiabank Place should be breathing a little easier, ready to cheer the Sens on through the holidays.

Globe and Mail--Sens back on track

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