Ottawa 1, Winnipeg 3

The fifth game of the Senators exhibition season is in the books with a 3-1 loss to Winnipeg.  The game lacked intensity until the third period, but as always featured some interesting player performances.  Ottawa was out of sync the first two periods and were completely dominated by Winnipeg.  The third period, which featured complete line shuffling (Chris Phillips already gone due to injury) produced an about-shift in the game (there was a goaltending change in the third period as well, as Alex Auld pulled himself due to some discomfort).  I won’t repost the box score, but I’ll take a look at the best and worst players for the Sens–keeping in mind that this is the exhibition season and, as such, doesn’t mean much.  The CBC broadcast was highlighted by a new way to pronounce Rundblad‘s name.

Positive Performances
Mika Zibanejad – didn’t get to truly show his stuff until his line was juggled, but continued to demonstrate his skill and drive and scored a great goal
Mike Hoffman – had a rough start to the game, but got better as it went on and was promoted to center the top line (with Zibanejad and Alfredsson) at the end of the second period
Daniel Alfredsson – it wasn’t Alfie’s “A” game tonight, but he was still one of the best players on the ice for the Sens
Zack Smith – one of the few players to play well the entire game
Derek Grant – another player who was good throughout the game (particularly defensively)
David Rundblad – struggled in the first period, but was better when he was moved away from Phillips (midway through the first) and was dynamic in the offensive zone in the third period (A. J. Jakubec and Murray Wilson on The Team 1200 felt he struggled, but I don’t think that’s the case–my sentiments about him were echoed by Dean Brown prior to the broadcast)
Jared Cowen – strong in all zones and threw some thundering hits

Struggling
Bobby Butler – continues to be MIA in the pre-season
Mark Parrish – the AHL vet once again played less than any other forward
Corey Locke – far too many turnovers
Matt Carkner – was beat wide a number of times in the game and treated the puck like a grenade

Other
Colin Greening – was guilty of trying to do too much, which is why he was shuffled to the checking line in the third period

The Team 1200 felt Chris Neil‘s fight towards the end of the second period was a key in the momentum change, but I disagree.  I think the line juggling by the coaching staff is what really made the difference–the issues earlier wasn’t a lack of effort or intensity, but general confusion and lack of chemistry.

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