The Burn Unit

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

Stop the insanity. Enough with the lame names already. And please, please ignore the winning selection of a contest gone bad conducted by this town's boring broadsheet.

The Cash Line is a very poor, dull and unimaginative nickname for the Senators top forward unit, consisting of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dan Heatley. Just as were the other two finalists -- The Dash Line and The Dazzle Line.

The Pizza Line, adopted by the Team's Morons, isn't bad as Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley will contribute largely to the population's quest for free slices this season.

But we can do better.

Until now, Cheapseats has refrained from taking part in this particular name game. The wait is over.

Ladies and gentlemen and kids of all ages, from this day onward the Senators' most prolific wing-centre-wing combination shall be referred to as .... (drum roll please, Anton Volchenkov) ...

The Burn Unit.

It took a while for it to catch last night, as well as the help of back-to-back Eric Cairns penalties, but the Burn Unit's members once again scorched the opposition.

Igniting the comeback from a one-goal deficit, however, was the line of Mike Fisher-Bryan Smolinski-Chris Neil, which we unofficially dubbed The Donut Line because of the hole in its middle.

Smolinski broke Roberto Luongo's shutout 2:25 into the third period, tapping a shot over the goal line from six inches after a remarkable pass from Neil.

"We're the Boston Cream Line now," Neil proudly shouted across the workout room following the game. "Our centre has been filled."

Indeed, it was a busy night for the Neiler, providing the feed of the night and the line of the night, defending his line. Now, moving forward ...

Starts and Stops:

Jacques Martin was honoured during a stop in play 40 seconds into the game, when he was shown behind the Florida bench along with the caption "Thanks for nine great seasons, Jacques." The message had to be brought to his attention, as it was one of the rare times Martin wasn't looking at the scoreboard. "It's nice to be welcomed to Ottawa," the former Senators coach said after the game. "It's a great city." That's it, that's all .... Didn't catch all of Martin's post-game comments, as we wound up at the back of a huge media scrum (never have so many waited so long for so little) for him to emerge from the visiting coaches' room. Did hear him say, however, that the game was "part of the learning process" and the downfall was the play of his "specialty teams" and Ottawa "is a good hockey club." .... Far as we can tell, Dominik Hasek is the only person in the building who doesn't take off his hat (helmet/mask) for the national anthems. But then we're not scouring the stands for other such offenders, either ... Stop the presses! Peter Schaefer took a shot on net! It was in the second period, off a 2-on-1 with Chris Phillips, after the latter had just emerged from the penalty box. Schaefer's slap shot was kicked out by Luongo, with Phillips just missing the rebound that would have found him with an open net ... As the night went on, Luongo's left pad would also turn aside great scoring chances off the stick of Martin Havlat and Heatley, who, by the way, extended his team record-setting consecutive games scoring streak to 17 games with an assist on Alfredsson's second goal of the game.

Between Periods:

Interesting how Jacques is followed to Florida by the player who gave him the most trouble here --Joel Kwiatkowski. He never could pronounce that name ... For all his downfalls, Martin and his system did make stars out of former backups Damian Rhodes, Ron Tugnutt and Patrick Lalime. He should help Luongo to the Hall if the goalie stays in Florida long enough ... One of the Senators' best 5-on-5 shifts came from the fourth line of Vaclav Varada, Chris Kelly and Brian McGrattan, midway through the second period ... I know he makes too much money to play on the fourth line, but trading Varada would be a mistake. You don't get rid of the very ingredient your organization lacked for so many years. Varada's grit will be valuable to the Senators, especially in the playoffs.

Punch Lines:

Eric Cairns hopped over the boards and skated right to McGrattan, inviting him to fight when the Senators enforcer was busy playing hockey on his third shift in the first half of the opening period. What a goon coach, that Jacques ... McGrattan gets the decision in this one, staggering the giant Cairns with a right, then, a couple of moments later, knocking him awkwardly to the ice ... That Panther on the front of Luongo's jersey was pelted by Senators shots most of the night ... The logo on his mask was also nailed by a Brian Pothier second-period slapper ... It was pointed out to McGrattan that he is a throwback to the days when NHL fighters preferred to slug it out rather than grab, wrestle and generally try to push each other off balance. His response? "I don't like holding on. I like going in there and throwing. I find it tiring, wrestling around. I like to go in throwing ... and throw more than the other guy." ...

SOME THINGS WORTH NOTING...

CHOO-CHOO (chuga-chuga, chuga-chuga ...): Anton "A-Train" Volchenkov checked in with a thunderous hit on Martin Gelinas inside the Florida blue line in the first. Honourable mention for hit of the night was a combined, third period effort by Chris Neil and Chris Phillips on Panthers captain Olli Jokinen.

BY THE NUMBERS: Zdeno Chara and Sean Hill were the game's top hitters, registering six apiece ... Colin Campbell's son Gregory led the Panthers with six shots on goal ... Dany Heatley had seven shots for Ottawa ... Chara played 27:22, making him the most-used employee on either side ... Antoine Vermette had a solid outing, with 13:19 of ice time, two shots on goal, three hits and a 7-3 record in the faceoff circles to go with his goal.


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