Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Blind wrist shot delivers ‘providence’ to Senators

Chicken parm-loving Pageau has his eyes closed for Ottawa’s Game 2 winner

- DON BRENNAN

Jean-Gabriel Pageau could have gone on at great length about his keen sharpshoot­ing skills and the expertise he displayed on Saturday’s double-overtime winning goal.

But frankly, that’s just not his style.

“I think I closed my eyes when I shot,” the Senators’ centre said about his historic fourth of the game. “Thankfully it went in.”

Sure enough, there is photograph­ic evidence showing Pageau released a blind wrist shot to beat Henrik Lundqvist on the glove side and put the Senators in a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Rangers. What Pageau failed to mention is he also had his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth when he pulled the trigger.

The offshoot from what is now one of the great single-game outbursts in Ottawa sports history was almost instantane­ous.

By Sunday morning, the Wellington Diner had a Pageau breakfast special on its menu, featuring four eggs, four sausages, four bacon slices, four pieces of ham, two slices of toast and a single slice of French toast.

The restaurant is not including two side orders of chicken parm — which was his pre-game meal — but what more do you expect for $14.99?

In other circles, Ottawa’s No. 44 was being referred to as Jean-Gabriel Parma-geau.

On Saturday, Senators coach Guy Boucher spoke glowingly about one of his favourite players.

“It’s not just a big heart and it’s not just a lot of character, he’s a good hockey player and he’s smart,” Boucher said about Pageau. “That’s why he’s able to play the way he does. He’s had a great two-way game all year. He scored (19) goals last year and he was the first one to accept shutting down the top players in the league. And he’s done that.

“Today we needed some providence to come our way and I guess he was definitely a big man today.”

If it is the first time you’ve heard a coach use the word “providence” in a post-game news conference, you’re not alone. But it was an appropriat­e term — especially if Pageau’s eyes were closed because he was saying a prayer.

 ??  ?? Jean-Gabriel Pageau is suddenly the toast of the town — especially at Wellington Diner — after Saturday’s four-goal effort. Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photograph­y/Getty Images.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau is suddenly the toast of the town — especially at Wellington Diner — after Saturday’s four-goal effort. Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photograph­y/Getty Images.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada