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Great Job Ottawa!

The Ottawa Sun opens up Negative Nancy Notebook season with this gem:

There was plenty of hype around the decision by Toronto coach Ron Wilson to start goalie Jonas "The Monster" Gustavasson, but Daniel Alfredsson, on a penalty shot, and Shean Donovan scored for the Senators.

Apparently giving up two goals on 28 shots is terrible. Overhyped loser Jonas Gustavsson can't get the shutout he needs to win his debut behind a putrid performance by the Leafs. Generally if you start a sentence with "There was plenty of hype around (rookie player)" you'd end it with "but unfortunately the (rookie player) pooped his pants in the first period and later scored the Cup winning goal in game five for the other team". You know, something terrible and unforgiveable. Most people wouldn't say "there was plenty of hype around Gustavsson and aside from getting jobbed on two goals he was untouchable".

After losing a free-wheeling 5-2 decision to the New York Rangers Saturday at Madison Square Garden, the Senators tightened up defensively and didn’t give the Leafs much in the way of chances.

Senators score two against the Rangers and lose: bad game. Senators score two (one on a debatable high stick and one on the worst penalty shot I've ever seen awarded): good game. Enjoy your last year or two of Alfredsson Ottawa, though I'm sure you guys have lots of talent coming up through the system to replace Heatley and Alfredsson. I mean, you've got Alex Kovalev for two years. He can keep the puck away from Nick Foligno while skating backwards standing on it! (I'm not sure if that's a positive for Kovalev or a big negative for Foligno.)

Alfredsson, who was roundly booed by the good people of Toronto as he skated toward the net, deked Gustavsson and beat him with a backhander. It was Alfredsson’s third goal in six career penalty shot attempts.

To be fair Alfredsson is also roundly booed in his own building whenever the Leafs are in town. I'm not from Toronto and I'm not from Ottawa. In fact, I'm not from anywhere in Canada. I've been to Toronto and I've been to Ottawa. The main difference between the two cities is that in Toronto I didn't have to wade through a crowd of "homeless" people begging for change wearing Roots sweatshirts under their artfully mussed rags. I know Ottawa is boring at night but don't you guys think faking being homeless is going a little too far? Maybe some Ottawa entrepreneur should take a break from back dating stock options and consider opening up a bowling alley or a mini golf course, I dunno.

"We had the game in control for the most part. We got a little bit panicky in the last 10 minutes and Pascal made some big saves. The guys played extremely well in front of him for the first 50 minutes."

I'm not saying Toronto deserved to win last night, but I'd hold off on the accolades there Danny. Again, bad calls happen but for "having the game in control" Ottawa scored their first goal on a high sticked third rebound on blown coverage by our sixth d-man after our fifth d-man ran into our goalie who still made two saves, and their second goal on a penalty shot awarded when Schenn high sticked Michalek. In the NHL penalty shots are awarded, traditionally, for the following:

(ix)  Player on a breakaway who is fouled from behind - Table 13 in NHL Rule 25

That rule links to the possible infractions that could trigger said rule: Rule 54 - HoldingRule 55 - HookingRule 57 - Tripping, Rule 61 - Slashing, end of list. Notice how a high stick isn't on that list? It's not there because it would be pretty hard to high stick someone in the face while they were on a breakaway and you were behind them. 

To clear up a rumor I heard: Mike Komisarek did not get high sticked in the face in the third period and he wasn't shown bleeding on the bench. Komisarek is embarassed about having chronic nosebleeds and leaned in real close to an Ottawa player's stick when he felt one coming on so that it looked like he got hit.

Oh well, since this is the only time Kerry Fraser messed up a high stick call against the Leafs we can probably just let it slide. I'm not saying Toronto played well enough to win last night's game (the Monster excluded) but I'll be god damned if I'm going to listen to Senators fans say they somehow deserved that win.