Much Better, Senators 6, Rangers 1
posted Apr 18, 2006 at 09:56PM
Well a much more enjoyable viewing experience than our last outing. Heater gets his 50th, we wrap up first place and will draw Tampa Bay for the first round, which I would think will make most fans very happy.
The big feature of the this final game was putting Fisher at center between Havlat and Schaefer. It changed the whole dynamic of the line and indeed one could argue the entire team. And no wonder you had three really good really fast players all on the same line. The Rangers were pylons. They did not score any goals but they were dominate out there, the strongest line on our team.
I cared nothing for the other lines, but if I understand it right, these were temporary game specific combinations.. I certainly hopes so. The Big Line along with the Schaefer - Fisher-Havlat line will provide a 1-2 punch that alone should get us through the first round in relative ease.
Mach 9 also made his presence known on the power-play which rose like the perverbial Phoenix from the ashes. And little wonder. Our first power-play unit consisted of Alfredson, Spezza and Havlat with Heatley and Redden on the points. Concentrated offensive force. They were near unstoppable and moved the puck around at will.
Havlat looked like his old self. He did not score, but was a threat the entire evening. Just a little time to get his shot bore-sited, and the goals will come in bunches.
Emery's performance will calm down some of the jitters. He looked solid out there tonight.
We will meet Tampa in the first round. I am happy the way that turned out. I am tired of having half our arena filled with opposing team fans.
I certainly don't foresee any problems here. I am quite sure Murray will put the Big Line back together and keep the Fisher line together and Tampa does not have the goaltending to pull off any miracles.
We couldn't help but smile at a little Freudian slip as the announcer identified Havlat, who was doing a rush, as Vermette. Twenty seconds later Vermette was doing a rush. They looked almost identical. Vermette in a way is Havlat, the Havlat of four years ago ... but none the less the similarity in skating style is definitely there.
I certainly hope Vermette does not spend the entire playoffs in purgatory with Neil and Varada. What a waste that would be.