Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ottawa 4 New Jersey 0

Five positives to take out of last night's win in the swamp:

1) They were able to maintain their high level of play for a second straight night.
While it's true Ottawa is one of the better back-to-back teams in the league, I was still interested to see how they'd fare here. After beating up the Sabres in a massive game, they showed a lot by going into New Jersey, which isn't easy, and being nearly as dominant. It was a good test because this week will see an even more difficult back-to-back situation. Friday night they'll have to go into Buffalo, and though I think they will do well, you know the Sabres will be itching for revenge after their piss poor performance from the other night. 24 hours later, the Senators will travel to Philly and face a team that has given them some trouble this season. It won't be easy, and I imagine we'll find out just how much of an edge the Sens have over the other Eastern Conference heavyweights.

2) The powerplay showed up. Saturday's win over the Sabres would have been by a much wider margin had the PP performed well (they went 1 for 10). I was glad to see the boys rebound and get it together for this game, scoring three goals. New Jersey handed the Sens the game with their undisciplined play and Ottawa buried them.

3) Ray Emery's durability. Even as well as he's played since the break, there were some who questioned whether or not Emery could handle the workload of being a number one goalie. I even thought it wise to sit him for this game because 10 straight games for a back-up is a lot of action, however Murray continued to ride him, and it looks like the right move.

4) Vaclav Varada had a good game. At this point, getting that much from the veteran is all we can ask for. Perhaps the healthy scratch from Thursday night hit home.

5) Patrick Eaves is made of steel. Or is stupid. These are the only explanations I can think of. Even though he's only 5'10" and 190 pounds (and that listing seems exaggerated), Eaves plays like he's Chara-sized, going hard to the net with regularity and being nearly impossible to move once parked there. On this night, he not only took a ridiculous amount of abuse from the Devils d-men but also had to withstand Martin Brodeur's hacking. I guess, being that he's so young, Eaves doesn't know a guy of his build isn't supposed to do these things. He scored his 14th goal and has developed into a pretty good scorer. The future looks very bright for this kid.


At 2:56 AM, Anonymous SensGuy said...

Arnason played a lot better tonight. He looked much more comfortable out there.

Varada did play somewhat decent. I was hoping Vermette would still play on that wing, but Varada did fine.

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first impression of Eaves was in the pre-season rookie tournament, where he got absolutely rocked in his first shift versus the Leaf rookie and then spent the rest of the game playing in a daze. At the time, I was very unimpressed, but he has come a long way this season. I agree though, he either has to grow 6 more inches or put on 40 pounds if he's going to keep taking the big hits he sets himself up for.


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