Sunday, October 30, 2005

Philadelphia 5 Ottawa 3

Thanks to the wonderful reality of no TV carrying the game (I felt your pain, Flames fans), I can’t offer any first hand insight on the game, having had to rely on radio for my information.

Based on their descriptions, it was just one of those games. They didn’t have the same jump 24 hours earlier in Toronto, but were also without the bounces that made that game so easy for Ottawa. Finishing with 42 shots on goal, they clearly had the chances, but while everything was going in on Saturday night at the ACC, very little was once they got back home tonight.

One positive to take out of the game is that they finally got some offense out of their blueline. Zdeno Chara scored two goals (and played over 31 minutes) while Wade Redden contributed the other. They'll need more of this as the season progresses.

I do have to question the wisdom in playing Dominik Hasek in back-to-back games. Yes, he’s started the year looking very sharp, and statistically, has been among the league’s best, but he’s still 40-years-old, and that has to be remembered sometimes. I’m not sure Ray Emery would’ve fared much better, but at least it would’ve given Hasek some rest.

Discipline also appeared to be an issue for the Senators. They took 11 penalties, which is far too many against a team that can throw out Peter Forsberg, Simon Gagne, Kim Johnsson et al for a powerplay. Ottawa’s PK has been excellent this year, but not so good that they can afford to get sloppy like that. A few of the penalties sounded as if they were of the questionable variety, but it also seemed like some were just a result of laziness o the Sens part. Daniel Alfredsson took a hooking penalty with less than seven minutes left in the game after the Sens had just gone up on the powerplay. Down by two goals, and with some momentum on their side having just cut into that lead by a goal, the captain should know better. He came into the game with 0 PIMs, but by the end of the night had 6.

For Philadelphia, this win has to give them some confidence after a rough stretch. Back-to-back games or not, coming into Ottawa and winning is not an easy feat so they deserve recognition for it. A lot has been made about Robert Esche and his status as the team’s perceived achille’s heel, but based on all accounts, he had a solid game. After all, he did make 40 saves, including 20 in the third (a goalie stonewalling the Sens in the third period under a flurry of shots, where have I seen this before?). I’ve never ever been impressed with Esche and whenever I watch him play, I can’t help but think he’s inept due to the bad positioning, juicy rebounds, and affinity to give up bad goals, but if he has games like this, the Flyers will be alright.

UP NEXT:

After two pretty big games, the team actually has the day off tomorrow. They’ll practice on Tuesday before heading to Buffalo to face the Sabres, a team they handled with relative ease a few Saturday nights ago. So you know they’ll be looking for revenge. Even though the Sabres are probably out of the Sens’ league as far as talent goes, they’re still a quick, dangerous team that can roll four solid lines and be explosive, so they can’t be taken lightly.

6 Comments:

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

Yeah, what's with it not being on TV? Since I have NHL Center Ice, I did see the game. Or at least most of it. The Senators had spurts where they dominated play like the start of the second period and parts of the third (although mostly a result of all the penalties in the third). Overall Philly probably controlled the play more often than Ottawa did.

Esche played very well although a lot of Ottawa's shots weren't real difficult. He saw most of the shots but did have to make a few spectacular saved. Hasek wasn't bad but was probably outplayed by Esche tonight.

The refereeing was horrible once again. Many of the penalties were of the soft tap ("hook") on the arm that had no effect on the play kind and the penalty on Hatcher was given with 1:18 left was a clear mistake by the ref. The Ottawa player lost an edge and fell all on his own but the ref gave Hatcher a tripping penalty because he was the closest Flyer to the falling Senator.

I know you are going to take this as a criticism of your team but I have to wonder why Ottawa isn't stronger on the PP. They were 2 for 9 tonight and just 1 for 8 last night and only 7th in the league. For the top scoring team in the league, you'd expect it to be better.

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Yeah, what's with it not being on TV?

No idea.

Since I have NHL Center Ice, I did see the game.

Well, we aren't all made of money Dave.

"Or at least most of it. The Senators had spurts where they dominated play like the start of the second period and parts of the third (although mostly a result of all the penalties in the third). Overall Philly probably controlled the play more often than Ottawa did."

Yeah, that's what it sounded like. Obviously, when you register 42 shots, you had some offense, but it didn't sustain itself I guess.

I know you are going to take this as a criticism of your team but I have to wonder why Ottawa isn't stronger on the PP. They were 2 for 9 tonight and just 1 for 8 last night and only 7th in the league. For the top scoring team in the league, you'd expect it to be better.

I have no explanation. The second unit PP (which has mostly consisted of Chara and Pothier on the point and Smolinski, Bochenski, Varada up front) has been terrible, but beyond that, I really have no clue. Before tonight, they weren't utilizing the point shot as much as I would've liked.

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I was there tonight - the crowd was not happy.

The Sens took a vacation through much of the first, and then the refs decided to be anal in the second (while allowing some clear penalties to go - wierd). Two posts did not help the Sens, nor did missing the net on at least 10-15 easy shots. Esche being on his game was just the icing on the cake.

Ah well.

 
At 11:21 PM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

When Ottawa was dominating the play early in the second and tied the game up at 2-2 the Flyers took a time out and from that point on the Flyers dominated the rest of the second to take a 4-2 lead. Whatever Hitchcock said during that time out it worked as it ended Ottawa's momentum.

Alfredsson-Spezza-Heatley-Chara-Redden all played on the top PP unit tonight and for most of last night. Not sure about previous games. Tonight they were all around 8 minutes or more on the PP. Next highest was Smolinski at 2:49. Schubert and Meszaros got about a minute and a half each on the second unit while Phillips and Volchenkov got no PP time.

Varada only played 3:59 the whole game and none on PP or PK although he did have an excellent scoring chance near the end of the game stopped by an excellent save by Esche. Only McGrattan had less ice time.

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buffo and Tampa?

I can see the Sens on a 3 game losing streak for some reason.

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Well, we aren't all made of money Dave.

I got Centre Ice for the first time this year and paid only $89 as a new subscriber on Expressvu. It wasn't nearly as much as I'd thought it would be.

Plus, I can watch all of the CIS football I want on Saturdays now.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares