The Sens may have thought they were getting a break when Bruins elected to start rookie goaltender Anton Khudobin but instead it was Khudobin that stole the show. He made a number of huge stops and was the biggest reason the Bruins picked up the two points.
The one goal that did beat him was a perfect shot by Jason Spezza on a play set up by Erik Karlsson, his 78th point of the season.
Ben Bishop also made some key stops at the Senators end in what was his first game in over a week. While he would likely take a mulligan on the Bruins second goal by Greg Zanon, Bishop looked strong in his return to the net. Alex Auld dressed as the back up as Anderson was given a full night off.
Generally, it felt like a game where both teams were kind of going through the motions. Although the official stats would lead you to believe this was a physical affair, it was anything but. It almost looked like of a couple teams playing not to get hurt.
Entirely understandable this time of year.
With the loss, the Senators first round opponent remains undecided. If the Sens can pick up a point on Saturday against the Devils, they'll book an opening round series with the defending champion Boston Bruins. If not, they'll have to wait and see what happens to the Caps and Panthers in their regular season finales.
- As I sat in my surprisingly uncomfortable press box seat, I found myself grinning from ear to ear as the 11:11 Alfie Countdown continued to pick up steam with each period. What started as a grassroots fan initiative, seems to have become a new tradition at Sens game. The Captain said he noticed the chants tonight and was touched by the gesture. Here's to more of the same in Round 1.
As you all know by now, today was my first experience with a media pass.
As I reflect on the day's events, I can honestly say I walked away with a real appreciation for the job the guys and gals in the media do. Writing about hockey for a living sounds like a pretty good gig, and it is, but I learned pretty quickly that's it's not as easy as it looks. From an unfortunate choice of seat at the morning skate, to an ill-fated step in the locker room and finally with a trip on the wrong elevator postgame, it was a humbling day for this veteran blogger.
I'd like to thank all the people that went out of their way to make me feel welcome today and also send my appreciation to the Senators organization for giving me this opportunity.
And of course thanks to the readers for allowing me to get to this point and for your support throughout today's experience. This was a huge day for me personally but more importantly, it was an acknowledgement of the community we have built here on SensChirp.
Thanks to each and every one of you that make this site part of your daily routine.
SensChirp Does the Morning Skate (Recap from earlier)
After arriving fashionably early, I entered the building to pick up my pass. Told the security guy I was with SensChirp and I was on my way. And by "on my way" I mean lost and not really sure where to go. But rather than walk around with a confused look on my face, I decided instead to walk confidently towards the rink, grab a seat and wait for practice to start.
That's where I made my first mistake. In choosing my seat, I foolishly chose the seats traditionally reserved for Bryan Murray and his staff. We'll call that rookie mistake #1. After getting the heads up from a helpful representative from the Senators, I settled in for the morning skate.
First thing I can tell you is that anticipating the line up based on the morning skate is harder than you might think. The tempo is quick so you have to really be on the ball in order to pick up on the combinations and determine who's out there and who isn't. At one point I was convinced Spezza wasn't out there only to realize I had just missed him in the line rushes. And it took me a good five minutes to realize Karlsson and Kuba were not on the ice.
As a fairly brief morning skate wrapped up, the media contingent began to make their way towards the locker room. Keep a low profile, I kept telling myself. Let the pros do their job and just stay out of the way. And that's what I did, hopping from the Spezza scrum, to Bishop's stall and then to Chris Neil's.
In the chaos of the locker room media availability, my goal was to just not bump into anyone. As I paused briefly to decide my next move, I could hear a voice yelling out, "Loooogooo, Looogooo!". Having heard a little bit about locker room etiquette before this morning, I knew what this meant. Someone had foolishly stood on the Sens logo in the centre of the room.
Only one problem. That fool was me! Rookie Mistake #2.
I quickly stepped aside and looked up to see the all too familiar glare of Chris Neil looking back at me. I've seen that look on television and always thought, man am I ever glad I don't have to encounter that in real life. A quick, "Sorry about that," was met with a friendly nod and a bit of a smile. I had narrowly avoided a confrontation with the Sens toughest player on my first day as media.
From there, the media contingent quickly made their way upstairs to the media room where Coach MacLean would answer questions. "You aren't allowed to step on the stairs either" Ian Mendes joked. I settled in for the coach's address and after the incident in the locker room, decided it might be best for me to skip the question I had planned.
All in all, an overwhelming and humbling experience. While I was only there for part of their day, I can see just how tough it is being in the media. It's fast paced and a heck of a lot harder than it looks.
Now if only I can avoid sitting in someone's seat in the press box tonight, I'll consider the experience a success. For now, I must return to the comfort of my parent's basement.