As a hockey fan I have to say this was a fantastic game last night. As a Leaf fan a little disappointing.
If this game proved anything about the “New NHL” it’s that no lead is safe. On different occasions either team looked like they were in control only to have the other storm back and wrest it from them.
The Sens really looked home and cooled out at the beginning of the third period with a 4-2 lead only to have the Leafs score three in less than two minutes to take a 5-4 advantage which the Sens erased sometime later.
From there you just had a sense that OT was looming and as a Leaf fan I was hoping that the Leafs could score in the extra frame rather than go to a shootout where “Drunken Style” Hasek is legendary.
But… Hasek makes a brilliant stop near the end of the game on Tucker to send it to the shootout.
Quinn did something odd to start the third period. He reunited Lindros Domi and Wilm which was the fourth line to start the season. And guess what? They were excellent.
Probably because Domi and Wilm see limited ice time on the power play and they were fresh legs. But it certainly worked.
Czerkawski didn’t seem to play during the third period at all. And that might have something to do with the fact that he wasn’t exactly making his presence felt out there.
Havlat and Heatley played very well for Ottawa. Heatley despite being on the hated Sens is such a throwback of the typical Canadian hockey player physical, strong and with a wicked shot. Like Bob Clarke or Steve Shutt.
Alyson still is not in game shape but there are times when he has the puck he reminds me of Frank Mahovolich.
Quinn did what I would do in the shootout: Let Kyle Wellwood try and he couldn’t get it up on Hasek an we all know the rest of the story.
Ottawa fans: your team is built for the shootout. Problem is there is no shootout in the playoffs. And what's whith letting a team who isn't supposed to make the playoffs and who is missing their best player (Sundin) and their best natural scorer (O'Neil) come into your home rink and steal a point?
My advice? Don't plan the parade route yet. At the start of the season I was hoping that the Leafs and Sens would somehow not meet in the playoffs this year. What with the new improved playoff style Senators.
Now I am not worried in the slightest. The Leafs have shown over 6 periods and two overtime sessions that they can skate with the Sens. In fact they looked dangerous during the entire overtime last night.
And let's face it. Allison is only going to get better and Sundin will not be out for the whole season. Sens fans: be very very afraid. These happy times are going to be shortlived.
Philly is in town tonight in the third game in four nights of a very tough schedule for the Leafs. Tomorrow is the Marlies home opener (which will be carried on Leafs TV) . Boy has there ever been so much hockey on TV? It's just fantastic.
Speaking of Hockey on TV. What's with this "NHL Network"? I have had it on my digital box for well over a year and it has been mostly re-runs of old classic games (which was kind of fun during the lockout). Now TSN (which appears to own the channel) is pimping the thing continually with entreaties for us to sign up because the free period is ending soon.
I suppose it would be an interesting channel to have but who would want to pay for old hockey re-runs? I know what you are saying: But now that hockey is back they will have lots of real games.
Think again. The channel will only broadcast 26 live games this year. How many NHL games are there? Over 1000 I think. Maybe even 1200. And the so called "NHL Network" will bring us a lousy 26? Someone tell me why I want to spend money on this?