For once I don’t mean WAR in any way, shape or form. I was at the Ottawa Senators pre-season game against Philly last night but I wasn’t in the common stands, no. I was in the Founder’s Box which is way up on the penthouse level.
I want a seat like they have there for work. The pull down seat was leather and about 5-6″ thick and softer than a cloud. I’m 6’2″ and I could barely touch the floor with my feet, but still, so comfortable. Oh, I should get one for the desk at home too!
The bird’s eye view was good. We were behind the away net to the left (if you’re looking at the front of it), long side just after the corner.
Before that, we had a preview of the food that will be served to the box seat ticket holders. Wow, was it good. The Angus Sliders were my personal favorite. I regret having found them too late in the mingling because I probably would have camped them and KSed anyone that tried to get one (I’ve got to add some MMO lingo in there).
The game itself was not too bad. I felt a little out of it watching but I usually feel that way when I’m at the game. I’m a bit of a people watcher so I sometimes see something interesting and miss the puck being dropped or something. I also find that I miss the commentators (even Bob Cole and Harry Neale… but only a little..) and replays. I also miss the HD and rewind (PVR, DVR.. what ever). I know, HD vs. real life, but there is something to be said about having a pause button.
Philly looked like they weren’t really into it, at least not offensively. I think they managed about 15 shots on goal in the whole game. I would have thought with so many young players trying to earn a spot on the roster they would have played harder – unless the Philly roster is already decided? It was also their first pre-season game (so the radio said).
On Ottawa’s side Phillips, Schubert, Ruutu, Donovan, Fisher and McAmmond were missing.
I have to say I liked the look of some of the rookies. Despite what Dean Brown (I think it was?) was saying on the post game last night, #60 (Greg Maulden -sp?) played well. I thought he showed some skill though I do have to admit he looked unwilling to hit out there.
I was impressed by Jesse Winchester (#18) on the first line with Spezza and Heatley, but we’ll have to see how he does in the real season. Any Sens readers remember Bochenski’s pre-season awesomeness with Spezza and Heatley? Yeah.. let’s see how he does. That said, he showed a lot of fire on the ice. He played hard and to the hilt, throwing hits and back checking and making some decent plays. He even scored a goal from a bad angle by putting it to the front of the neat as Foligno was crashing the net and it went in off the Philly Defenseman. I have to admit, I was skeptical about putting him up on the first line but it’s looking good now.
Nick Foligno (#71) looked good as well. There was one point where I thought he was trying to be too unselfish and passed instead of shooting, but there ended up being a goal anyway. I thought his focus on the puck and willingness to throw the body was a good combination. He’s looking good on the line with Bass (#58) and Neil (#25).
I really wonder what the lines will be like when everyone is in the line up? Will that line (it was the 3rd line last night) be the 4th line? If so, it’ll be good to see that the checking line has is a scoring threat.
Defense. I thought Smith (#21) was solid again and Kuba (#17) did well enough. Bell (#9) had a little issue that cost them a goal – but I’ll give him credit for not screening Gerber, who probably should have stopped it. He might have been a little surprised. Bell didn’t let that hold him back though and he kept at it. I’m not going to talk about the A-Train (#24), he seemed a little quiet and I was waiting for him to lay someone out. Lee (#55) look alright but a little unnoticeable.I was a little surprised to see Richardson (#2) on the ice. I didn’t think he got a contract with the Sens? Maybe he’s still trying to break the line up anyway. He actually did pretty well. I didn’t see him make any mistakes but I didn’t see anything spectacular.
Honestly, I think they’re really going to miss Redden and fans that hated him will see what he brought to the team. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. You know that stretch pass Bell tried from behind the blue line? That was the kind of pass Redden would pull off multiple times per game. Notice all the bobbling of the puck on the attack line during the power play? Again, Redden was awesome there. Did you see when, I think it was, Lee slipped into the open slot from the blue line and missed the back door play? Redden usually hit the net there.
Really, people were too hard on Redden and I was disappointed to see him go.
It’s going to be tough to get a spot on the blue line (defense) for anyone looking to make it. Here’s what they have:
- Chris Phillips
- Anton Volchenkov
- Jason Smith
- Filip Kuba
- Christoph Schubert
- Brian Lee
- Alexandre Picard
- Brendan Bell
- Matt Carkner
- Luc Richardson
Likely in about that order.
There you go, some hockey talk.