The Ottawa Senators have opened up their 20th year with a 0-2 record after games against the Detroit Red wings and Toronto Maple Leafs but not without the lack of third period attempts at comebacks. Now they return to the comforts of Scotiabank Place and and their own fans.
The critics will look at the Senators’ record so far and probably wouldn’t even bat an eyelash considering how most of them felt about the team doing any good this year. But to really breakdown their losses means taking into the account the fight they showed when they were down.
The Senators went into the third period of both games with a win far out of reach. They could have easily rolled over and given up but they all dug deep and gutted it out like the professionals that they are. Everyone knows you can’t win a game in a period but they very nearly did it in dramatic fashion.
They gave the Leafs a big scare on Saturday night with goals coming fast and furious in the last six minutes of the game, including Stephane Da Costa’s first career goal, three assists for Erik Karlsson and a new record for two of the fastest goals scored in franchise history (Alfredsson and Spezza in eight seconds.)
If winning one period at a time means eventually winning the game as a whole, then so be it. While it may not result in two points every night, it will provide some pretty entertaining finishes and help keep the excitement on some sort of a high.
According to Steve Lloyd from the Team 1200, Paul MacLean indicated that Peter Regin will make his season debut in tomorrow night’s home opener with the possibility of David Rundblad sliding in as well. Regin is coming off his injury from pre-season and Rundblad has been on press box duties watching from above.
This injection of youth in line-up can’t be any worse than what we’ve seen so far with Sergei Gonchar simply looking nothing less than soft and disinterested. He hasn’t been nearly as agressive or poised as needed and anything else would be a welcome change.
Of course, one of the bigger storylines for tomorrow night’s opener is the return of Ottawa’s most hated man in Dany Heatley. When he was traded to the Minnesota Wild in early July, it was with some kind of twist of fate that the first game of the year at Scotiabank Place would be against them. Along with honouring the last 20 years of the franchise, it was immediately dubbed as Heatley Hate Fest 2.0.
No doubt will there be a collection of boos for whenever No. 15 steps out onto the ice or touches the puck. Whether it will come in as much magnitude as his first return when you could literally feel the volume of the boos is still yet to be seen but it’s certainly not something to put past the Sens Army faithful.
Overall, it should be a very exciting night for the Senators organization as members of the original 1992-1993 team will be on-hand for the opening ceremony and many pre-game activities going on long before puck drop. The earlier you can be at the rink the better, it seems.