Game in a Sentence
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! HOCKEY! SENS WIN! FIGHT! SUSPENSIONS! HEADSHOTS! FIGHT!
- This game was an absolute freaking circus act as it was pretty evident from the pregame skate with Zenon Konopka chirping Brian Boyle during his pre-game interview that this was going to be a nasty, hard hitting tilt.
- Say what you will about Boyle giving Erik Karlsson the “Brad Marchand on Daniel Sedin” treatment, but it was a hell of a lot more tolerable than Matt Carkner in a bare-knuckle boxing match against Boyle’s face to begin the game.
- Not sure how Brandon Dubinsky got an ejection in that scrum but if the league is going to set itself up in a way that makes vigilante justice a thing, it should probably allow a guy to prevent another guy from having his teammate’s nose flattened.
- That set a rather unfortunate precedent for the rest of the game as every whistle brought about a scrum, plenty of trash talk and shots galore. I’m all for hitting but going out with the purpose of trying to injure each other is dumb. I mean, you want to make them feel it every time you have a shift (I feel like Reg Dunlop here) but this was of a very different nature.
- Exhibit A of “intent to injure” is this hit by Carl Hagelin on Daniel Alfredsson. Needless to say, Hagelin has a meeting with Shanahan and Alfredsson likely has a concussion.
- If Alfredsson does have a concussion it occurred to me: Was that his last game as a member of the Senators? If so, what a sad way to go out after a renaissance season.
- Speaking of sad juxtapositions to this past season: what’s up with Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza? Their impacts on the games have been minimal at best. I’ve seen Michalek mixing it up and being feisty but that’s about it. These guys got the Sens to this point and they need to reappear if they’re to win this series.
- The Sens got good performances from the supporting cast though. Nick Foligno may have been their best player all night long and Colin Greening was involved in every zone on the ice. Superb stuff from the supporting cast as they made this Sens win possible.
- On a more lighthearted note, this happened which caps off a “what was that” type of night in the NHL.
- The Sens played very well for the majority of the game but, much like they did in game one, the Sens had a mid-game meltdown where they just could pry the puck away from the Rangers who peppered Craig Anderson. The Rangers would have done well to capitalize there as it signals one set of many missed opportunities for them.
- For New York, Marian Gaborik had a hell of a game. Consistently tested the Ottawa defence with his speed, got plenty of shots on goal and gave his team a chance to carry the possession. Exactly the type of game you want from your top goal scorer, even if he didn’t pot one.
- Erik Karlsson had a superb game for the Sens. Plenty of shots on goal, handled the puck well, mixed it up in his own end. There were a few moments where he was visibly trying to do too much and put himself out of position but outside of those he was a chief reason why the Sens won this game.
- Chris Neil’s first ever playoff game winner was a very Chris Neil type of play as he crashed the crease hard and batted in a loose puck. He was involved all game long and that was a good reward for his efforts.
- Ryan Callahan is pretty clearly the heart and soul of the Rangers. He has a very Jonathan Toews type of effect on his team and they respond to him well.
- I wouldn’t expect Carkner or Hagelin in the lineup for game three.
- Game Three is going to be very, very interesting to watch with the scrappy Sens on home ice. It will also probably very, very violent if their beloved captain isn’t in the lineup.
My Three Stars:
1) Erik Karlsson
2) Craig Anderson
3) Brian Boyle