Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Senators soothe the jangled nerves of the fan base

They played as though they would never lose again prior to the Olympic break, and when they returned to action following Team Canada's successful claim to some gold, many fans thought they might never win a game again.

The Ottawa Senators, who have confounded fans through the year, have finally seemed to regain their footing, with two back to back shutouts proving to be the exclamation point that they have every intention of playing some playoff hockey this year.

For a bit there it seemed as though they were free falling right out of the play off race, the lowest point perhaps an embarrassing shellacking at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks on their western road trip. But in the course of the last two games they have settled things down nicely and regained some of that pre Olympic form that was bringing the crowds into Scotiabank Place.

Tuesday night with a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia, they battled hard and won most of them against the always physical and dangerous Flyers, while not quite the same brazen bunch of Broad Street of the seventies, the Flyers still perhaps play some of the most physical and intimidating hockey in the game today.

In Tuesday's match the Senators didn't back down what so ever and in fact at times appeared to be the instigators of some of the more nastier elements of NHL hockey. Perhaps the most impressive part of the Senators play however on Tuesday was the penalty kill, where they shut down the Flyers on a number of occasions including a 5 on 3 where the Flyers could have very easily climbed back into the game.

Helping the Sens cause for the night out was a controversial no goal call, which has left Flyer fans furious, though the evidence wasn't particularly clear that the puck crossed the line.

While the Sens took care of any physical challenges offered up by the Flyers, they also controlled the score board and showcased another solid night of goaltending from Brian Elliot.

His 26 save performance follows on the skate heels of Monday nights 29 save shut out of Montreal, a key victory for Ottawa against an always intense rival.

So far the line for the Sens in the last 24 hours or so is 3 goals, 55 saves and most importantly four points in the standings, moving them upwards in the Eastern Conference tables giving the local cause to think about potential playoff match ups and which team might be the best case scenario for an extended play off run for the Sens.

With the darker days of late February and early March now out of the way, Sens fans are hoping that spring and playoff hockey have a long lasting relationship.

Ottawa Citizen-- Deuces wild
Ottawa Sun-- A-Train flattens Flyers
Philadelphia Inquirer-- Goal waved off as Flyers get blanked
Philadelphia Daily News-- Bruising loss for Flyers in Ottawa
Globe and Mail-- Elliott bars the door once more

No comments: