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Rookie night: Read, Zolnierczyk, Couturier all score in 7-2 rout of Sens

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The Ottawa Senators are a very, very bad hockey team, and if you weren't of that opinion prior to tonight's hockey game at Scotiabank Place, there's no doubt you're believe it now. Consider this: For approximately 35 minutes of the contest between the Flyers and Sens tonight -- more than half the balance of the game, mind you -- the Flyers didn't show up. 

They looked like absolute crap. They were complacent in their three to four goal lead, took silly penalties, let an inferior team walk all over them. And yet, by the end of the night, the final score read 7-2, with goals from seven different players and points from 14 (!) different players.

It was an offensive barrage that really played out over just about 25 minutes of game time. The entire first period was dominated by the Flyers in just about every aspect and the final five minutes was filled with even more offensive output. Beyond that, it was rather putrid hockey. Could you imagine the scoreboard if the Flyers came to play for the entire game?

On the score sheet, it was a night highlighted by the rookies. Matt Read put up four points -- a goal and three assists -- and both Sean Couturier and Harry Zolnierczyk scored the first goals of their careers. Zolnierczyk, playing on the fourth line in place of a "sore" Andreas Nodl tonight, dazzled on his goal late in the third period. Go watch it on the YouTubes or something. 

The penalties and the 35 minute-long lapse are concerns, sure. But it's also human nature to sit back with a big lead against a weak opponent, so we're not going to get too mad about it. Besides, it's tough to argue with a 7-2 score. 

A few quick notes after the jump, plus questions with answers and the comment of the night.

-- Matt Walker may have played himself off the team tonight. Well, maybe not off the team, but almost certainly back into the press box. Walker and his $1.7 million sixth/seventh defenseman salary took two minor penalties (one a double minor for high-sticking) tonight, and he also did a solid job getting in two meaningless fights. What's the point of having him around again? Somebody jog my memory because it's just not clicking for me.

-- Danny Briere is going to be just fine, but it's officially time to notice that he's not doing much offensively. When all but one forward on your team registers a point in a game, you'd expect Briere to be on that list. You know, maybe Rinaldo or Talbot or literally anybody else would be that sole guy left off the list. But nope. Tonight it was Briere. Not concerned or anything... just, you know, pointing it out.

-- Zac Rinaldo fought Zenon Konopka. It almost looked like he was the one engaging the Senators tough guy, too. He held his own and all that, but for a guy who just the other night reiterated that he's not going to fight heavyweights, it was a little curious. I guess that Jody-Shelley-finishing-his-suspension-tonight thing is getting in his head a bit.

-- Senators had a players-only meeting after the game. The general feeling about players-only meetings is that they're the "rock bottom" for a team. That's when you know things are serious, and it's only a few games into the year now. I have a feeling tonight is not even close to rock bottom for these Senators. 

Questions with Answers

  1. Bob's first game of the year. How's he look? Bob was solid the entire game. Neither goal was his fault at all.
  2. Matt Walker is getting his first look of the year. Does he do anything to prove he's worth keeping on the team at a $1.7 million salary? Not a damned thing.
  3. The big point of emphasis over the last few days has been the number of penalties taken in recent games. Can the Flyers cut back on the trips to the box? Not really. It was a serious problem early in the second period, and even with a four-goal lead, a better team would've quickly trimmed that.
  4. Alright, the Senators are not good. Can the Flyers take advantage and quickly make work of them? It's a team they struggled with a year ago. Ha, those struggles are clearly over. 

Comment of the Night

Ottawa has the All-Star game?

Well at least the fans will get to see some good Hockey once season.

>> LegionofDoom