Thank God the Canadian military does a better job protecting this country than the Senators did Brian Elliott Saturday at Scotiabank Place.
Otherwise, we may all be in a heap of trouble.
Ottawa outshot Boston 29-25 in this "measuring stick" game that also threatened the home team's near-perfect record (5-0-1) on Canadian Forces Appreciation nights the previous six years.
Yet Elliott had by far the tougher stops to make than Tim Thomas.
While the Bruins defence gave Thomas a clear view of most offerings, Elliott's tests were like those we flunked in algebra. Very tough.
No doubt because he was shocked, Elliott didn't react quickly enough when two veterans (see below) coughed up the puck for David Krejci to give the Bruins an early lead.
The second Boston goal showed the Senators don't read the papers enough or else they would have known Tyler Seguin is a fast skater and capable of getting in behind them to tap in a nice Mark Recchi feed.
And the third Bruins tally was a Milan Lucic breakaway which came moments after Elliott stopped Nathan Horton on a 2-on-0 with Jordan Caron, who made it 4-0 with a breakaway of his own in the third.
Coach Cory Clouston explained the breakdowns were a result of the Senators pushing too hard to make something happen offensively. Or trying to get out of a hole they dug for themselves with breakdowns.
The Senators are now 5-1-1 on Canadian Forces Appreciation nights and need to figure out a way to give their goalie the help Thomas gets after being beaten badly with the measuring stick by the B's.
Starts and stops
The song says something about Saturday nights being all right for fighting. For the Senators, it's a time to roll over and play dead. They are now 0-for-4 on Saturdays while being outscored 16-4 ... 'Twas just a poor decision Chris Phillips made to pass the puck to Mike Fisher, who was about five feet directly in front of him, on the turnover that immediately became the first goal of the game. Phillips is one of the Senators struggling in the early season ... Phillips nearly made amends for the gaffe only seconds later, when he made a nice pass through the slot to Alex Kovalev. The body language from Kovalev made it clear he knew it was a chance he should have converted.
Makes you go hmmm...
Call it a penalty or call it a goal, but waving off what would have been Daniel Alfredsson's seventh of the season because Fisher prevented Thomas from getting across, then having as the only repercussion a faceoff outside the zone, is just too much like sitting on a fence. Clouston's feelings on the matter were made crystal clear to a TV audience when the camera caught his X-rated two-word expression ... Sure seems like the refs are trying to make up for that missed call that allowed Colton Orr to wipe out a goalie while scoring the winner last week. But while an Alfredsson goal would have given Ottawa some momentum there, Thomas doesn't believe it would have made much of a difference at the end of the day. "I think we would have won anyways," he said.
Nick Foligno is looking forward to Halloween. "It's my favourite holiday," he said Saturday morning, despite the fact it's not really a holiday. "I love the little kids, and trying to figure out what they are." King-sized chocolate bars will be given to the trick-or-treaters ringing the bell at the Foligno front door. "When we were kids, you didn't want to get chintzed out, getting the little ones." Attaboy, Nick. Go big or go home ... Senators director of player personnel Pierre Dorion has already logged thousands of miles pro scouting this season, and he says the best player he has seen so far, by far, is Colorado winger Chris Stewart -- although he also points out that he has yet to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dorion's celebrity sightings have been two: Former baseball player-turned-broadcaster Nomar Garciaparra, who he stood behind in a Starbucks line at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and U.S. political expert John Carville, who was a passenger on a flight from Calgary to Toronto. Dorion admitted the Senators' early season woes would have physically affected him had they continued. "I realized that if we would have kept losing, I would be bald like Carville." He must have pulled a few clumps out Saturday night.
Another bench minor for too many men on the ice in the second period gives the Senators three on the season and puts them on pace to finish with 22, which is nine more than they had last season, when they led the league in that embarrassing department ... Maybe the Senators are waiting for Kovalev to get his 1,000th point before making a proper presentation to Alfredsson. Yeah, that's gotta be it ...
Anyone interested in purchasing one of the cool camo jerseys the Senators wore for warmup need to visit meigray.com, where they will be up for bidding next week. Proceeds will go to the Military Families Fund.