Havlat getting his kicks

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:48 AM ET

Senators 5 Bruins 1

Martin Havlat usually gets his kicks in front of the net.

The skilled Senators winger -- who has, on more than one occasion in his career, been called a dirty player -- didn't even bother to deny he booted towering Boston Bruins defenceman Hal Gill during a skirmish between the two players below the goal line in the second period of Ottawa's 5-1 victory.

The incident led to a fight between Gill and Chris Neil, who received seven and 17 penalty minutes, respectively. Havlat got away scot free.

"Everybody saw that," Havlat told Cheapseats in reference to the dastardly deed, for which he was ripped by Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry. "I was pushed on the net, I was falling down ... I didn't want to hurt the guy, but it was just an automatic reaction.

"He pushed me on the net, he had his hands in my face ... I was trying to get up. It was a reaction. I was falling down and he kept going at me. I didn't want to hurt anybody. Hopefully, I didn't."

Gill was not injured, and the Bruins didn't put up a protest, either during or after the game.

The only person who seemed really bothered that Gill was kicked in the grapes was Grapes.

Starts and Stops:

Bryan Murray was less worried about the wait for Brandon Bochenski's first NHL goal than the rookie's linemates pretended to be. Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley -- who combined with Bochenski to form the NHL's top pre-season unit -- warned their left winger he was running out of time to get crackin'. "Spezz and Heater told me they were giving me two (more) games, and if I didn't score I was back to (No.) 56," said Bochenski, who wore the high jersey digits while potting six goals in seven exhibitions but had zero through five real games wearing No. 10. "If I would have gone back to 56 and started scoring, I would have had to have been that, like, my whole career. So it's good that it didn't turn out that way. I took care of it in the first game." ... Somewhat ominous words from Murray on Peter Schaefer, who was in the middle of having a very nice game when he injured his hand in the second period. "He was gone for X-rays, so I'm not really sure at this stage what it is. It did swell up a little bit, so it's a little bit scary for Peter, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Between Periods:

As part of Kids Opening Night, 13-year-old Ottawa singer Alex Lacasse took over national anthem duties from Lyndon Slewidge and did a fine job. Also in keeping with the spirit of the occasion, 23-year-old Senators Anton Volchenkov and Bochenski had their first goals of the season, while 21-year-old rookie Patrick Eaves picked up his first point. It was an assist on the first goal of the season by Bryan Smolinski, who's 33 .... Thankfully, the Senators only had one power-play chance during Neil's 17 minutes in the box. They failed to get a shot on goal during it. So how long before Murray has that talk with Neil about being too valuable to spend time in the box?

Things That Make You Go Hmmm:

If the Boston Globe headline today reads 'Boynton bumps Orr from lineup,' it has nothing to do with a Bruins' all-time team. No, the return from contract dispute of the former 67's captain made new Boston tough-guy Colton Orr a spectator -- and meant Corel Centre fans were deprived of a certain Orr-McGrattan bout ... The Castle in Kanata just isn't the same without Brigitte strutting through the stands ... Liked the second intermission 'Mascot Shootout' idea and stood to rake in four toonies if Ruffy would have only scored on Spartacat more than Hully and Scratch in the final. Disappointed in the challenge organizers for allowing a board to go up behind Sparty when it became apparent the Cat was a stiff. What? No, YOU get a life.

Butt Ends:

So who's going to tell it like it is now that Brett Hull is gone? "I played with him in Detroit, what can I say, he was a classy guy," said Hasek. "It was always fun to be around him. He said whatever he felt, he didn't care. He had the best wrist shot I ever played against. No doubt about it. His wrist shot was unbelievable." When reminded Hull also scored the controversial foot-in-the-crease Stanley Cup winner against him and his Buffalo Sabres in 1999, Hasek jokingly took back his glowing tribute. "Yeah, you're right. Forget about it." ... Another misleading gauge for the Senators, beating up on a Bruins team that is minus Joe Thornton and Alexei Zhamnov. The B's are going to be a mittful for anybody when they're healthy.

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


Videos

Photos