Monday, May 21, 2007

Senators vs. Devils: Round 2, Game 3

Senators 2, Devils 0

PRESIDENT’S 2 CENTS: The second doughnut for Razor in this postseason couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Sens take the pivotal Game 3 win. Best part though? The post-game interview with Elliotte Friedman, who did his pushy detective work as to why Martin Brodeur wasn’t Razor’s idol growing up. “No, I gotta admit, sorry,” Ray said with a headshake and smile when Elliotte pushed the question. However, Ottawa fans might want to forget Razor’s next line, about why Brodeur wasn’t a fave: “Growing up, he always beat my Leafs.” Oops … Mike Fisher was Elliotte’s next victim, as CBC’s resident “CSI: New Jersey” investigator tried to conduct a post-mortem with Fish about his slewfoot on Marty, which led to Tom Preissing’s goal. After three questions why, Fish finally admitted to it, emotionless, after seeing a replay. “I guess I did hit him, ya.” Get over it Elliotte. Already Wade Redden wants to belt you for the choking-against-the-Leafs questions … Speaking of Fish, another heck of a game, and that’s one heck of a playoff beard too … On the subject, the Devils no longer enforce that clean-shaven rule. The top three beards thus far go to Brian Gionta, Colin White, and the soul-patch sportin’ Scott Gomez. Gomez’s linemate and dangerous sniper Zach Parise is definitely following the rule against his own wishes. The fuzz will come, youngster … Back to Razor: He had to be happy stopping that first glove-side shot, unlike the last game. Going back to the Gionta goal in Game 2 and counting tonight’s whitewash, he still hasn’t let another in from that side. However, none other than Gionta hit a post on that side with 20 ticks left. To top it off, if Razor had twisted his left arm the other way after Scott Gomez’s first-period shot wobbled out of his glove – whole new ballgame. Think too many Ottawans almost jinxed it by saying “shutout” before the final horn? … After tonight’s solid performance which included a blocked shot, two takeaways, 10 won draws and an empty-netter to boot, not to mention some incredible spinorama moves on a late third-period PP, I think all Sens fans can finally let the Spezz Dispenser make a few dipsy-doodle mistakes per night. Too much good comin out of him now … What else can you say about Marty Brodeur? Although Ottawa outplayed the Devils, he’s like Rasputin. Doesn’t give in despite repeated attacks. Too many solid stops to fit in this humble little column, but the Spezza to Heatley one-timer attempt immediately after the Preissing goal might have further rattled a goalie who was tripped up on a goal. Not Marty, who kept his composure. Give this man a red-carpet entrance to the Hall of Fame … Chris Neil, after one third-period hit on Gionta, immediately changed gears and led an odd-man rush into the zone. Over and over, he keeps showing us how he’s the perfect example of tough guy adapted to the ‘new’ NHL … Maybe it’s just me, but Brian Rafalski can play better. After that brutal giveaway to McAmmond in Game 1, he still seems a half-step behind or so at times. Look for him to step it up … Phillips and A-Train: three and eight blocked shots respectively, as well as four hits each. Welcome back, guys … Game 3 winners advance 69% of the time … Maybe Mike Comrie should get hurt more – after he went into the boards and left the game for awhile, the Sens turned up the tempo and nearly scored once or twice. However, he had a good shot from the left wing immediately after returning. He almost scored just before getting hurt, but Brodeur’s veteran savvy noticed a split-second beforehand that Mike wouldn’t corral the biscuit in time, and pokechecked him … John Muckler’s expression right after Heatley’s disallowed goal was priceless … Pun Headline of the Year: “The Preissing is Right.” Well you know, Tom could have a second career now that Bob Barker will only be handing out Plinko chips until June … Puck luck often doesn’t carry over to the next game, as Game 2 OT hero Jamie Langenbrunner found out on his first-period chance on an open cage when the puck hit the heel of his stick. He was stoned point-blank in the second too … Despite two good first period Sens shifts in a row, notably one by the Comrie-Schaefer-Fisher trio, the Devils still maintained enough resiliency to draw an Andrej Meszaros hook while he was backchecking. Just another example of why they’re so annoying to play against … Wade Redden led all Ottawa skaters in the first with 8:39 pretty solid minutes, and was the third-busiest Senator at 22:16. Speaking of time, the Devils’ lack of depth may just be a factor in future OT or close games, as the fourth line of Dowd-Rasmussen-Rupp averaged around three minutes and change tonight … C’mon Ottawa, 19,636 is good, but fill that standing room … One of these games, Oleg Saprykin is going to bury one. He’s made the most of limited ice time. Nice setup to Vermette in the third … The Don Cherry Suit Rating for Game 3 edges up to seven out of 10 for the catchy black and white plaid number … Last but not least: PM Stephen Harper, who is actually a Leafs fan, took in the game with son Ben and wore a red turtleneck to blend in. And just like 2006, Paul Martin was on the defensive, except this time as an actual defenceman.

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