At the end of an incomplete performance by his team, Bryan Murray had an incomplete answer for the only question that matters anymore.
"If we play like we did for two periods (last night), it's not very good," the Senators coach said when asked about the prospects of becoming just the second team in Stanley Cup final history to come back and win it all after trailing the series 3-1.
"If we play like we did in the first period and go in there and play with ..."
At that point, Murray started to speak of better positioning and not giving up bad goals, but he steered clear of the cruel and sudden truth.
That is, no matter how the Senators play Wednesday in Anaheim and possibly beyond, their goose is pretty much cooked now.
Fancy suits and fast cars and now, a timely and uncanny ability to pretend? Does Ray Emery have some Hollywood in him, or what? At least it looked from here like he was guilty of a little embellishing in the final two minutes of the first period last night when bumped by Ducks F Ryan Getzlaf. The goalie interference penalty proved costly, as it was with Getzlaf in the box that Daniel Alfredsson scored the all-important first goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final. Of course, Getzlaf is a hard charging 6-foot-3 and 211 lbs. He doesn't have to get too much of a guy to put him on his behind. Pity the poor defensive backs who were left to try to tackle him when he was a running back as a 15-year-old in Regina. "I was okay," Getzlaf said yesterday morning of his football playing days as a youth, and then, when asked if he remembered any four-touchdown, 200-yard rushing games, he laughed and added: "There was a few of those." His brother, Chris, was selected in the fifth round of last month's CFL draft by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He's a slotback. He and Ryan played together, the latter as more of a past time. "I love the game," said Ryan. "Obviously, there was a little more of a future in it for me to come this way." Meanwhile, Emery's continued to prove that he has a pretty good future ahead of him, too. He made a spectacular glove save off Todd Marchant on an odd-man rush with the Senators down by a goal with under four minutes to go in the second period, and then another (less spectacular, still strong) glove save off Teemu Selanne on another odd-man rush 40 seconds later. And then with about three seconds to go before the second intermission, Alfredsson was about to fire the puck down the ice when he stopped, altered his aim, and appeared to intentionally slap the puck at Scott Niedermayer. That created the melee you'd expect it would. And then, as most eyes were focused on a helmetless Alfredsson and Niedermayer, and as J.S. Giguere skated to the dressing room, he crossed paths with Emery, who appeared to have some words for his opposite number. Once a fighter, Emery could have a future in the ring if he hadn't decided to go the way Getzlaf did.
STARTS AND STOPS
Originally thought it was wrong that the anthems' microphone was wrestled (by the NHL, not the Senators) from Lyndon Slewidge's big paw and handed to Alanis Morissette. Thought that, if anything, they should have had Alanis do The Star Spangled Banner and left O Canada to old Lyndon. Then, after listening to her sing and watching her giggle as she held up the mike for fans to take over part of the Canadian song, thought it wasn't such a bad idea after all ... But seriously, didn't you expect Alanis to have one hand in her pocket and the other giving a high-five? ... And another thing, was she wearing No. 10 in tribute to Andreas Dackell, or was that just the Senators' way of confirming the obvious -- that Alanis is a 10? .... Oleg "Freakin'" Saprykin drew a roar when he ended the warmup by firing a puck the length of the ice into the Ducks' net. He drew another when he then skated to the Ottawa net, turned it around and put it up against the boards so Anaheim's last man out, Corey Perry, could not even the score.
Never, ever had a better two-hour lead-up to a hockey game than we did last night: Dinner with Bob Cole (of Hockey Night in Canada fame); backstage at the Trooper concert (thanks to Globe and Mail rocker/journalism star Roy MacGregor); got to meet the band's lead singer, Ra (no relation to Pierre) McGuire; while there, chatted (and had a Corona) with the great Jim Cuddy (of Blue Rodeo fame) and Barney Bentall (of Barney Bentall and The Legendary Hearts fame); and to top it all off, ran into friends we hadn't seen in ages, Odette and Andrea (of Ottawa Rough Rider cheerleaders fame) ... Also met Bentall's beautiful daughter Jess. She's engaged to Anaheim winger Rob Niedermayer. They'll be married in July, and if the Ducks win the Cup, Stanley's getting an invite. Says Barney: "Go Ducks." ... Says long-time Toronto Maple Leafs fan Cuddy: "I'm just glad that it was hard for Ottawa to get here. I think that it should be hard to win the Stanley Cup. Really hard. So the fact that they lost those other years, and things didn't happen, and the fact that they dismantled Buffalo, I can gain a begrudging respect for the team because of that. It's very difficult for Leafs fans to like Ottawa, the rivalry is so intact. Just like if the Leafs were in the Cup, it would be very difficult for Ottawa to cheer for them. (The Ducks and Senators) are two very good teams and I think you have to realize that as hard as you play, there's a certain phenomena element to the game that a puck can go off a person's skate, it can be put in by an own player, anything can happen. We know as fans anything can happen."
By the time the Ducks recorded their sixth shot on net, they'd also hit two posts. With 4:20 to go in the second, Dustin Penner nailed a third ... When Jason Spezza borrowed Patrick Eaves jersey for a shift in Game 3, he must have left something in it. Eaves displayed some Spezza magic with the pass he made setting up Dany Heatley's goal in the second ... More good karma: Sitting in section 202 was Bea Kelly. She was born April 13, 1927 -- the day the Senators won their last Cup ... After the morning skate, a female reporter from out of town asked Giguere if the Ducks would have extra motivation without Chris Pronger in the lineup. "If you need motivation at this point, you're in the wrong business," he said. As she walked away, the reporter turned and said to another reporter: "I have no idea who he is." At this point, she's in the wrong business, too ... Everyone was a little testy waiting for this one. Stuntman Stu and Pierre McGuire snipping at each other on the radio in the morning. Garry Galley and J.R. snipping at each other on the radio in the afternoon. You've got to love the Stanley Cup final, baby!