Senators rookie goaltender Ray Emery showed up last night with a mask featuring a likeness of former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson painted on it.
After last night's 5-0 knockout by the Boston Bruins -- not that it was all Emery's fault -- a picture of Chuck Wepner or Randall "Tex" Cobb, two famous tomato cans, might be more appropriate.
In front of 19,551 fans at Scotiabank Place, the sloppy Senators lost to the Bruins for the third time this season in one of the home side's worst outings.
Disgusted Senators fans, many of whom booed them or mocked Emery with jeers, were heading for the exits with nine minutes left in the third period.
"I had three weeks to prepare for one game," said Emery. "You'd like to think when you have the opportunity to prepare for three weeks, I could go out and make some big saves. The other guy outplayed me. I feel accountable to the other guys. We're fighting for first place. It's disappointing."
Emery took the brunt of the fans' discontent, but there was plenty of blame to go around. Ottawa defenceman Zdeno Chara and partner Chris Phillips were a combined minus-7.
Defenceman Anton Volchenkov was benched for a chunk of the second.
"It didn't matter how well the goalie played tonight. It would have been 0-0 at best and I didn't expect that kind of game out of Ray," said Senators coach Bryan Murray, who said it was tough for Emery to get his first start in three weeks.
"I asked him if he wanted to come out after the second period and he said, 'absolutely not.' He needed a game, no question. We need to find some more work for him and find it quickly."
The Ottawa forwards couldn't find a way to beat Bruins journeyman goaltender Tim Thomas, the 31-year-old who kicked around the minors and Europe before he was signed as a free agent in September. Playing thanks to injuries to Andrew Raycroft and Hannu Toivonen, he recorded his first NHL shutout, stopping 44 shots while running his record to 6-1-2. His save percentage is now .940.
He was backed by a goal and two assists by forward Brad Boyes and a goal and assist by Marco Sturm.
"I made peace with the fact I wasn't going to play in the NHL," said Thomas. "I was happy to end my career in Finland. This is like awakening an old dream you forgot about. I know how much luck it takes to get here. I needed two goalies to get hurt."
After a promising start to the season, Emery has now given up 17 goals on the last 62 shots he's faced (a save percentage in the .720 range) and the Senators must now be wondering just how many games 41-year-old Dominik Hasek can play this season.
"It wasn't (Emery's) fault. It seemed like were weren't even paying attention," said Senators defenceman Wade Redden. "We were lackadaisical. We were standing around and watching. We had lots of time to make a play and then we'd turn it over."
The Senators travel to New Jersey to face the Devils tomorrow night.