Friday, April 04, 2008

Signs of Senatorial life

With the locals back home gnashing their teeth and chewing their finger nails down, the Ottawa Senators offered up a sedative of sorts for their fans with a more than convincing 8-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Sens who have suffered a downward spiral for the NHL ages, had little trouble with the Leafs, save for a few injuries suffered at the hands of over exuberant Maple Leafs, hits that took Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher out of the game and possibly out of the line up for Friday nights game against Boston.

The Sens had little difficulty on the scoreboard, scoring relatively at will as the Leafs reverted back to the team that couldn’t stop beach balls nor hit barn doors if the occasion presented itself.
The Sens were ahead 2-1 after one period of play, 5-2 after two and added three more goals in the third for the win. It was a much needed win, coming as it does with Washington still on a tear and seeking out the last playoff spot. With the win, Ottawa now only requires one point against Boston on Friday to claim a playoff spot in the East. A win could put them into fifth place jumping ahead of New York and could put the Bruins on the outside looking in depending on how the Flyers, Hurricanes and Capitals finish off the final games of the season this weekend.

Ottawa was livid over the boisterous ways of the Leafs, alleging that the shots delivered to Alfie and Fisher were beyond the normal flow of a game.

For their part the leafs were just wondering why they never had that kind of effort earlier in the year. It was a point that caught the attention of Senators GM/coach Bryan Murray who seemed to believe that the Leafs were merely on a headhunting expedition, considering they weren’t particularly physical for most of the year.

The hits however, would be the highlight for Leaf fans, who for the most part had a first hand look once again at how far their team needs to improve if it ever again hopes to play any meaningful hockey in April. That however is a prospect that seems remote and as far away as ever after this most disappointing of Leaf seasons.

For Ottawa however, the playoff scene is a little bit brighter than it was a few days ago, they once again are in complete control of their situation, win and they are in. A situation which should provide more than the normal amount of motivation that shows up whenever they play the Bruins.

The win in Toronto should at least give the hometown fans the opportunity to ratchet up the noise and support on Friday night when the Bruins roll into town, for Ottawa it’s a one game opportunity to salvage what has been a bizarre end to the season.

A win puts them into the playoffs, not quite where they thought they would be when training camp ended in September, but surely in a better place than a win might send them, where the questions will be long and the answers most likely will never be good.

The Sens can avoid that early fate by taking the play to the Bruins as they did to the Leafs, taking charge will be the key to the Sens success, something that has been a bit of a problem through the first three months of 2008.

All of that can be put away on the back burner if they can take one point (but preferably two ) from the Bruins on Friday night.

Ottawa Sun-- Alfredsson, Fisher done?

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