Before the shootout, the commentators, like everyone watching, were armchair-coaching and trying to guess who the shooters would be (which is about the only fun part of the shootout). Brown, the play-by-play man, said, "Well, Columbus has only two 20-goal scorers, so you just know Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev will be in the shootout." (They were and they both scored to win the game for the Blue Jackets.)
It was all in the tone, which suggested, "There's no way the Senators possibly lose to this plug team, since they have more top-end forwards." (The Senators have four players with 20 goals this season, although that includes Cory Stillman's stats with Carolina.)
Maybe Brown honestly didn't mean to dismiss the visitors who had gone toe-to-toe with the Sens for 65 minutes to reach the shootout. However, "the only two 20-goal scorers" crack was at best misleading. At worst, it was the SIAC-itica (Sens Army Inferiority Complex) flaring up again.
Nearly half the teams in the NHL -- 13 out of 30 -- have "only" two guys who have each hit the 20-goal mark. Rest assured, though, those are all total plug teams. For instance, take the Montreal Canadiens. They're a whole entire point behind the Senators for first overall in the whole league. The Minnesota Wild lead their division, although apparently not by enough to avoid the crappiness classification. Another bunch of sorry excuses on skates with only two guys who've hit the 20-goal plateau this season? The Anaheim Ducks, who won the Stanley Cup last season. It's a little fuzzy since it was over rather quickly, but does anyone remember who the Ducks beat in the championship series?
The New Jersey Devils have managed to stay a point behind Ottawa with just one 20-goal scorer. The Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks both didn't get their first until last night, but they're both holding playoff berths at this writing.
Nash and Zherdev each beat Ray Emery stickside to end the game before three of Ottawa's four big scorers even got a chance. Anyway, that underscored the point that Brown didn't acknowledge. Who has the most big scorers can mean squat in the
Sens fans deserve someone to point that out, not slag the opposition to build false considence. They might have played up that the Jackets might go stickside, since as Sun Media's Chris Stevenson pointed out, that where's both regulation goals on Emery also went in.
Anyway, please don't shoot the messenger. You could take this up at Brown's blog, if you're so inclined. (He doesn't have comments enabled and averages about five posts a month, bear in mind. Getting a response before the weekend might be a tall order.)
That's all for now. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.