Ottawa Senators Finally Reach Top Eight In Eastern Conference Standings

Gerald NortonFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2010

MONTREAL- NOVEMBER 6:  Alexei Kovalev #27 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his third period goal with teammates Chris Neil #25 and Peter Regin #13 during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on November 6, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Senators defeated the Canadiens 3-2.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

It might have taken three attempts but the Sens finally score a win over division rival Canadiens, and in so doing, vault into a top eight position.

The Sens dominated the tired Habs throughout most of the match, and if not for the stellar play of Price, would have won by a much wider margin than only one goal.

But that's not to say the Sens didn't get some good goaltending from Brian Elliott, a player who has gone from making a case for being the starter, to legitimately owning the title.  You may not be able to lose a position to injury, but you can lose it to solid play, and that is the case in choosing between Elliott and Pascal.

It was also good to see another solid performance from Kovalev, a much maligned player who has looked stronger and stronger with each game.  Whether it's the fact he's in a contract year or just renewed confidence in his repaired knee, the results speak for themselves, with Kovy being an impact player for the last few games.

Add to this the strong play of Spezza and the growing chemistry among the defensive pairings, and you have a recipe for a team playing vastly improved hockey.

Hopefully, the play will only get stronger with the impending return of both Kuba and Michalek, allowing the Sens to leave their slow start well in the past.