Saturday, January 22, 2011

Taking out the trash

What day is pick-up?

Man, the Ottawa Senators suck.  

You know, it wasn't that long ago that Hab fans (especially this one) would dread games against the Senators. For a number of years, playing a game against Daniel Alfredsson and company would give the feeling that another loss was merely sixty minutes away... and that was often the case.

My, how times have changed. For the fourth time in five meetings this season, the Canadiens defeated the Senators. Actually, 'defeated' isn't the right word. Let's try "annihilated". Or "obliterated". Kicked the tar out of. A 'sand in the Vasoline' type of win. A 7-1 spanking, and it wasn't even that close. And there's always something quite satisfying about hearing Hab fans cheering, singing, and booing the opposing goaltender in their building.

Save for a post, two flubbed 2-on-1's and a broken stick with a wide-open net in the first period, this one could have just as easily ended up in double figures. Tomas Plekanec led the way with two goals, and Brian Gionta, Andrei Kostitsyn, Benoit Pouliot, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban had the others. Only a horrible defensive breakdown off of a faceoff kept them from getting Carey Price, who had another great game, his fifth shutout of the season. For Price, his 24th win ties a season high for him, in only game 48 of the Habs' season.

As for the Senators goaltending? It hasn't been their biggest problem, but get a load of these numbers: Pascal Leclaire has been their best guy between the pipes, and he leads the team with just a .908 save percentage. He's 4-7-1. Their other three goalies all have save percentages of under .900. That ain't good.

Tonight, the Habs chased starter Mike Brodeur after 4 goals on just 15 shots. Enter Brian Elliott, who fared a little better, but not much: another 3 goals on 20 shots.

The win sits the Habs second in the Northeast Division, one point behind Boston. The Canadiens are now 7-1-2 in their last ten games. Tomorrow, Saku Koivu returns to Montreal. If he scores the winner in overtime, I'd be happy with the Habs being 7-1-3.

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