Ho-Hum, Senators 4, Devils 0
posted Mar 19, 2006 at 10:27PM
There was something almost overly methodical to this unmemorable game with the Devils. Murray basically took his available talent and spread it like leveling compound over four lines. He then rolled them over and over, and over. Except for Schubert, who missed a few shifts for being a bad boy, I don't think I have ever seen such a narrow variation in ice time between all the forwards.
For the record, the line combinations were:
Heatley - Spezza - Eaves
Alfredson - Arnason - Varada
Schaefer - Smolinksi -Neil
Vermette - Kelly - Schubert
Not my cup of tea for sure, but everyone played solidly enough, and against the offense starved Devils, that was sufficient. I know the prevailing wisdom is that the Devils don't get big crowds because they are not in a good hockey market. I have always been of the mind that they don't get big crowds because they play a boring style of hockey. Except for the playoffs, winning a boring game is still, in the end, boring.
Smolinski again, has cranked up his game a notch. No points, but he seemed to be "on the puck" a whole lot.
Emery was good for his shutout. Indeed I feel he made our defensive efforts look better than they really were. New Jersey was getting quite a few odd man rushes.
Alfredson was instrumental in killing off yet another 5 on 3. It has become so common-place as to become routine. I have no idea if there is a statistic, but surely Alfredson would lead the league in this category.
Next we have Pittsburgh. I don't anticipate problems there. But coming up is a key two game test where we go into Buffalo and then Philadelphia the next night. These games will require the Senators to bring their "A" game to the fore, and to have their fists at the ready. I look forward to two games which promise to be of play-off level intensity.