President's Two Cents: Florida Panthers 4, Ottawa Senators 3 (OT)

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President's Two Cents: Florida Panthers 4, Ottawa Senators 3 (OT)

SENATORS GAME RESULT: Florida 4, Ottawa 3 (OT).
Ottawa scorers: Kelly, Heatley, Spezza.
Florida scorers: Boynton, Repik, Bouwmeester, Weiss.
3 Stars: Bouwmeester (Fla), Alfredsson (Ott), Weiss (Fla).
Honourable mention: Volchenkov (Ott).
Power play: Florida 1-5, Ottawa 0-3.
Shots on goal: Florida 40, Ottawa 38.
Attendance: 17,497 (19,153 capacity).

PRESIDENT’S 2 CENTS: After three penalties that the Panthers got away with, combined with the save of the year from Craig Anderson on a Mike Fisher one-timer, it turned out to be failing a Hockey 101 lesson that did in the Sens, who should have won with multiple OT chances: the lesson of eating the puck when overtime or the end of a period is looming.

...Filip Kuba, intending to find Dany Heatley with a fancy blind drop pass, failed that lesson. Alex Auld, of course, unfortunately let in a very stoppable Stephen Weiss slapper after arguably outduelling Anderson on the other end...

...It was a game where the Panthers played catch-up immediately after every goal. On the tying third goal, Stephen Weiss was pushed in by Anton Volchenkov. Not only are the Panthers mimicking the Sens by scoring almost right after them, they copped the Sens’ get-pushed-into-the-cage-by-the-defenceman trick on the home team’s first...

...The Sens’ first, of course, saw Chris Kelly charge hard to poke in the biscuit, but only after Jesse Winchester was pushed into Anderson by Nick Boynton (one of three former 67s on the ice), rendering the keeper helpless. “It’s a good hockey goal,” announced the zebra...

...Besides the loss, lots of positives for the home squad, which, after four straight wins, finally loses the first contest in the new black unis (Official Presidential Opinion: the new third jerseys are okay, but the “SENS” script definitely drags them down. Longtime TV beat reporter Patricia Boal makes a good point that the “O” design that was all over the Internet would look too much like a zero, but the old-school touch is always safe) Notably so: the Two Cents honourable mention. Besides his two third-period penalties—including a suspendable hit from behind on Blair McLean—Anton Volchenkov had a heck of a game. In the first, he makes a stop in front, clears it, then Gregory Campbell tries a cross crease pass in front—two big defensive plays on same shift for the A-train...

...A later shift had him throw a solid check in the back end, then hop on the rush and follow up his own scoring chance with a great short-side whack. Ditto with another good whack off a second-period Jason Spezza slapper. How about a third-period three-on-two? Vermette, Fisher, and A-Train...

...Not mention a point-blank slapper in the same frame. A busy game overall, and A-Train still found time to jump the rush, maybe starting his audition for the season-long Puck-Moving D-Man Sweepstakes...

...The much-ballyhooed Jarkko Ruutu-Cody Bass-Chris Neil bruiser line needs more skill on it, particularly at centre. On one first-period shift, the physical component of the line shone through, as Bass and Neil both finished four checks each...

...However, it’s the only component of the line most of the time, as the checks were late and the puck was cleared by the Panthers twice. When Mike Fisher began to see some time on that line in the latter half of the game, you could tell the dynamic of it began to change, as some chances happened...

...Newsflash: the Panther D can move. A Chris Phillips failed check allowed Ville Peltonen to break through on a two-on-one coast-to-coast and have a good shot at the glove side on the 1-1 tying goal. The offensively-minded Bryan McCabe nearly scored on a bad rebound on the rebound on the short side later as well...

...The Panthers may be mired in mediocrity for the rest of this year, but as long as they have Jay-Bo leading the charge, watch out for their free-wheeling, puck-moving back end...

...Poor old Antoine Vermette—Campbell pushed him just enough to stop a wraparound in the second period, moments after Pepe was in the slot on an early second-period chance. Sooner or later the most snakebitten Sen will light the lamp...

LINE OF THE NIGHT: “He looks like Tim Thomas when Tim Thomas looks like Tim Thomas,” said Dean Brown, as he and colour man Garry Galley commented on the lack of “comfortability” (a new made-up Galley word) displayed by Anderson in the Florida net, off a Mike Fisher poke that seemingly knocked him back. Thomas, of course, is the confident but anti-fundamentals Bruins goalie...

FUNNY STUFF: Somewhat ironic that beer giant Molson Canadian is sponsoring the “Keys to the Game,” which used to be sponsored by—you guessed it—GM. You know the current economic climate is tough when the money-bleeding car company gives up dibs on that segment to a product that shouldn’t be near car keys. Oh well, we all know that Molson does campaign against impaired driving. Know what? Why don’t the Molson folks start sponsoring the “Last minute of play” promotion, instead of GM’s Pontiac and Chevrolet? Would be an ideal trade. GM gets the keys, and Molson could liken the last minute to last call at the bar…

...Maybe it was the camera angle, but bruiser D-man Jason Smith looked exactly like U.S. sports talk radio king Jim Rome from the side...

...He, of course, is taking part in the team’s hideous (but successful) moustache-growing contest, but going full-goatee. What would really be funny would be to hear Smith impersonating Rome and sounding off on some of the entries, including that of Antoine Vermette, who Jason Spezza says looks like Pepe Le Pew. Best part though? Sidney Crosby still wouldn’t qualify for the sweepstakes…

...A Sportsnet camera caught former Sens coach and current Panthers GM Jacques Martin in a rather awkward, extended piece of footage of him on the phone in the Bank’s arena-level corridor. Was meant to be a harmless cameo, but it just ended up looking like any “deal” he was making on the phone wasn’t really a hockey one…

...Another really funny promo, depending on how dirty your mind is and what kind of poker is played, is the “Game in a Flash,” brought to you by Party Poker…

...Funny to see Brett McLean literally walking away with the net on the Florida non-goal, as the puck started to cross the line...

…State Farm has an advertisement on the end which the visiting team attacks twice. Wouldn’t it be better if the ad was switched to the other end so the Senators, a terrible third-period team the past two years, could be inspired into some insurance goals?...

OTHER STUFF:
The captain had a heck of a dipsy-doodle show in the second, as he cycled around the corner more than Lance Armstrong. Not only that, but he nearly converted a Spezza offering, then hammered his man into the boards to keep the rush going. The Sens managed to change up their defencemen on the play, against some clearly tired Panthers...

...Don’t forget the captain’s three posts hit in this one as well, the second and third (yes, the same shot!) off a Slick Spezz Dispenser Saucer…Most Predictable Block of the Year: Stephen Weiss, already kneeling down, to turn away what turned out to be a 10-foot Nick Foligno slapper…Those in-game interviews are neat for the fans, but they need to stop. What helps a player lose focus more than a reporter (kudos to Ian Mendes though, he’s solid) sticking a microphone in his sweaty face?…

...Jason Spezza, scoring on that zero angle for the second game in a row, has found his new office…The third period saw a subtle but smart play by the veteran Jason Smith on a mid-third penalty kill: knowing he was unlikely to make a safe clear with two Panthers in the way, he chipped the puck expertly back to himself, took a huge stride, then made the safe dump. Little plays like these win games...

…Interesting Stat Line of the Night: Kudos to A-Train’s eight hits, but Mike Fisher edges him with nine shots (two more didn’t reach the keeper), five hits, two blocked shots, and six faceoffs won. He was busy…Last but not least: It’s the anniversary of the legendary Beatle John Lennon’s death, already 28 years ago. Should the Sens win Stanley this summer, think of the Sens Mile and imagine all the people…

ARCHIVE: http://sens2cents.blogspot.com
SENS ARMY CENTRAL: http://forums.ottawasenators.com

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