TRH RECAP 29: A Sens-ible Slumpbuster

KINGS 5, SENATORS 3

Instead of posing a question similar to, “If I told you before the start of last night’s game against the lowly Ottawa Senators that it would be the most entertaining game of the year (to date), how would you have reacted?” I figured that I would go ahead and round-up a few gifs that could illustrate logical (or illogical) responses to that question.

But it was; the game was absolutely fantastic. It featured a plethora of goals (including one from Matt Greene!), a goal of the year candidate (from “Sleepy” Ryan!), a hockey-version of someone snatching another person’s chain (see the last one about “Sleepy” Ryan!), AND a Dwight King fight!

After firing head coach Paul MacLean earlier in the week for allegedly losing the team, junior hockey god David Cameron took over. Cameron, who did wonders with the OHL’s Toronto St. Michael’s Majors in the early-2000’s, and later with the next genesis of the organization, the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (they’re now the Mississauga Steelheads, if you were dying to know) has already failed once with the organization, when he lead the AHL’s Binghamton Baby Senators to three straight seasons of absolute nothingness back before he became a junior hockey god.

For a dude that really hasn’t squashed a grape in professional hockey, the Ottawa press sure is painting a picture of him as a FIXER (a guy that goes in and fixes things).

Really, this storyline is a carefully-planned canned story that the Senators are repeatedly feeding to any and every media member that comes through the poppy city. Sports journalists generally believe everything they hear (“hey! a story!”), so now we’re forced to listen to stories about how Paul MacLean’s mustache DIDN’T have mythical powers (lies!), was one sketchy character, and because of it, David Cameron has to reteach a group of professional hockey players how to play hockey. If you had even managed to accidentally watch part of a Senators game over the last few years, you would know that their teams were defined by a cavalcade of “WHO’S THAT?” from casual-to-moderate fans across Canada (who roots for the Sens in the States?) Paul MacLean took a crappy team with a bunch of gutty little scrappers and turned them into a team that would consistently threaten to make the playoffs. Why isn’t anyone pointing a finger at the GM, who relies on a guy like Chris Neil to provide veteran leadership, and more?

The first period consisted of Cameron’s guys displaying that they are relearning how to play hockey. They forechecked, they backchecked, heck, they even tried checking people. It was like I was watching a bona fide professional hockey match…until Matt Greene opened the scoring.

I won’t make any Catt Greene references, but…oh, well, I just did. Anyway, Matt Greene scoring is like a rainy day in Los Angeles: it doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, they have no idea what to do. A few minutes later, Mr. Game Seven (no one cares that you hate the moniker, Justin) scored on a weird looking goal. He took a pass, and shot it at the net. What happens next will STUN you: Craig Anderson missed it.

Not long afterward, Sleep Ryan struck with what may be the goal of the year. He took the puck, snatched Brayden McNabb’s chain, and then pantsed Jon Quick. It was absolutely filthy.

Oops, I meant…

I paused the game at this point, and went to the thrift store to get a crappy Christmas sweater. I came back just in time to see the Kings went on a powerplay, where they showed new levels of ineptness, by letting Mark Stone’s GRITTY forecheck fool them–and Quick–for the goal. It was rather impressive, regardless of what team you were rooting for…

LITERALLY seconds later, Drew Doughty showed that he was the best defenseman on the planet by luring a Senators forward towards him, firing a laser between his skates to Anze Kopitar, who scored one of the easier looking goals of the year. It was pretty freakin’ sweet.

Jonathan Quick emphatically announced himself (at some point during the game, I don’t remember), but son-ing Alex Chiasson.

Less than two minutes later, Trevor Lewis made it 4-2 by taking a nice pass from Tyler Toffoli, who the TSN broadcast (not the local one…) must have mentioned played his junior hockey for the Ottawa 67’s somewhere around nine times, and put it over Anderson.

Jared Cowen, who Dwight King hasn’t been fond of since they battled in the WHL, and showed last night, was able to fire a wrister off a stick and in to bring the game within one, but Tanner Pearson scored an empty netter from center ice to ice the game.

John Siegel is a lunatic who writes about hockey, east coast bias, and content marketing. He rarely takes anything seriously, there's a good chance he's drinking right now. You can follow him on Twitter @JVNSiegel but you probably shouldn’t.