A Win Is A Win

 It may not have been our prettiest game of the season , but we got the two points . The two points are the important part . Funny that earlier in the season we played prettier games and only came out with one point (or less). 

I am glad we won even though , at this point , some have said that we are only playing for pride . I would personally rather play well in hopes that others in front of us in the standings will falter . Calling it “playing for pride” makes the rest of our season seem futile . It is not technically over until we are mathematically eliminated . And we aren’t yet .

 We played very well at times . We played poorly at times . I will go over the bad first .

 Jason Spezza had a hat trick against us (like a few too many other players this season) to give the Senators three of their four goals .  The last one he scored was very late in the game and gave the Sens false hopes that they could win . They could not manage to beat our penalty killing players of Lehtonen , Lehtinen , Ott , Robidas and Skrastins in the final minute of four on six against to tie the game and send it into overtime . I am very glad they did not tie it up and so were the crew at the AAC (those poor guys had to start getting the arena ready for a Mavs’ game that started a little later last night) .

 We had a few too many players standing in our own zone when we were playing at even strength . Occasionally , we have suffered this problem in past games and it has cost us much more . It seems strange to me that we do not defend as well even strength as we do on the powerplay or short-handed .

 Penalties . We took too many and could not seem to stop the Sens from scoring on them . We did go three for five on the penalty kill , but that is simply not good enough . The first thing we did in this game was take a penalty and allow a powerplay goal . We must improve on that .

We struggled in our own zone with the Sens’ forecheck and never really had ours going (in my opinion) strong enough .
 We lost a lot of puck battles that should have easily been won . At least one of those lost puck battles resulted in a goal against us .

 The good ;

 Offense . We have struggled to score off and on this season . Scoring in the last few games has not been a problem . As long as we continue to score often , we should do well from here on .

 Trust . All of our players seem to trust each other a little more each time they play . In our losses , we did not look like any one player trusted any other player to do their job . This time things looked much better – even when players made mistakes . Trust is essential .

 Goaltending . While I still do have faith in Marty , Lehtonen has given our players the confidence that our players have lost in Marty . One of his saves in this game really was  momentum changer .

 Confidence . We definitely have more of this in recent games . It seems like we know we can win every game – and we can , but only if we do our own respective jobs .

 We won this game because the good out-weighed the bad . I am very proud .

 MY STARS of the game ;
1 . Brad Richards – Scoring two goals in this game made him one of the top choices and his ‘ice vision’ made him an easy choice for this award .
2 . Jamie Benn and James Neal – They both played excellent despite only one of the two scoring . They really seemed “on” in this game . Their determination and net drive was the best parts of their game .
 3. Mike Ribeiro – One goal and great “ice vision” made him the right choice for this award .

 Honorable mentions ;
  Jere Lehtinen was great on the penalty kill so much so that I felt I had to write something about him .
 Kris Barch has come such a long way from simply being the brawler that we brought up from the minors . He has become a leader on and off the ice and a real contributor despite his often bloody knuckles .
 Mark Fistric played very well defensively throughout the game . His only mistake was taking the game’s first penalty that we paid for almost immediately . 
  Steve Ott played a very solid game .  

 In The (Penalty) Box ;
 At first I was going to have Matt Niskanen in here but after the first period , he cleaned up his gameplay and allowed me to put Pascal LeClaire in here . Mr. LeClaire gets this honor (or dishonor) for the enormous fit he pitched after he was chased from the game . I have rarely (recently) seen such a fit from a grown man on national television . The way he was going , I almost thought he was part of the deconstruction crew trying to take the bench area apart for the Mavs’ game that was to be played later in the day . Bad Boy Mr. LeClaire . Don’t do it again .

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~ by Adam on March 21, 2010.

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