February 4, 2012
Sunday won't be Super for Sens
By DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency
Shouldn’t be a very Super Sunday for the Senators.
Because they sucked on Saturday.
Disappointing was their performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs on a night many thought would be a flashback to the good old days, when the Battle of Ontario was fierce and fun.
They played a good deal of the game on Toronto’s side of the red line, but inside the Leafs zone, they mostly looked lost.
At the other end, the Leafs who were here last weekend for the all-star game played like they wanted to prove they deserved to be voted in ahead of the Senators who were.
Phil Kessel was the dagger in the Senators’ side. Dion Phaneuf scored a goal. Joffrey Lupul played well.
So now the Senators have lost six in a row, with just one point from 12 that were available to them on the table. The nine-point lead they had on the ninth-place team has shrunk dramatically.
They need to stop the bleeding Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues. And likely, against their old friend Brian Elliott.
He has played like a star this season and he’d like nothing better than to throw some salt in the wound of the Senators, in front of the fans who blamed him for much of last season’s disaster.
Will Elliott succeed? Or will he have another night like the last two he experienced at Scotiabank Place?
In his final game here as a Senator, Elliott blamed “bad ice” after looking particularly bad on a goal.
At the all-star game, he gave up six on 19 shots in one period of play.
Senators want to be welcoming THAT Brian Elliott back to Ottawa.
STARTS AND STOPS
For the ninth time in the last 10 games, the Senators gave up the game’s first goal. Didn’t have to be that way, though. They were presented the night’s first two power plays, before the 13-minute mark, from which they produced four shots but no goals ... In the first period, at least, it wasn’t the refs in the spotlight, but the linesmen. At least one of them, anyway. Before the game was four minutes old, Pierre Champoux took a big spill in front of the Leafs bench and put a good hit on Kyle Turris, keeping him from breaking up ice with the puck ... Expected an entrepreneur to design a new T-shirt quoting Scott Hartnell from the all-star game. You know, “Suck it, Phaneuf.”
STUFF I THINK I THUNK
Big screen showed Jason Spezza’s reaction to a save James Reimer made off him in the third minute of the second period. “F---,” Spezza said. The quiet group of Senators fans in the crowd were mumbling similar sentiments ... Leafs fans are just goofy. As they were going berserk in celebration of Tyler Bozak making it 3-0, the video board turned to Daniel Alfredsson climbing over the boards, at which point all the cheers were flipped like a switch to boos. Apparently, they hate Alfredsson more than they love their team. And we’re pretty sure 95% of them don’t know why they’re hating Alfredsson ... Reimer didn’t have to make many great saves. That was partly because he was positionally sound and partly because the Senators didn’t give themselves many great chances.
Like most teams, probably, the Senators will be getting together to watch Sunday’s Super Bowl. Leafs winger Joey Crabb, a Packers fan, will be cheering for the Pats but expects the Giants to win. “I’ll go with 31-24,” he said. Zenon Konopka also expects New York to take it. “Giants, in a high-scoring game,” he said. “Because Pats defence is just plain not that good.” ... Rookie Jared Cowen was caught flat-footed on the Bozak goal. All in all, it was a night he’d probably rather forget.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM ...
Colby Armstrong had plenty to say to Chris Neil, then the Senators bench, after a second-period scrum in the Leafs zone. But then, Armstrong always has plenty to say. What did you do during the all-star break, Colby? "Like, one day I just went to the Ritz-Carleton, a hotel in Toronto that's really, really nice. I just went there with my wife for the day. I pretty much really didn't see her because I spent like the whole day like in the sauna and the spa, like relaxing. They have a couch in there, I was just laying there in my robe. Just like pretty much thought I was just a gangster in there, you know, like chilling? I ordered food and they brought it to me. Like, it was pretty good. Then I got a massage, and I came back in, and like, I kind of did the routine again. It was unbelievable. I don't really treat myself like that too often, but that's pretty much the only thing I did that was pretty cool. I was laying there, just watching Rocky in the room, in my robe like a pimp, you know?" If Armstrong ever becomes a Senator, expect to see "Colby's Corner" in Cheapseats. He's quite the character and, of course, we like the characters.