Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rd 1 Gm 4 - Ottawa @ Pittsburgh - 4.17.07

Winning a one-goal game in the postseason? Preposterous!

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Ottawa wins 2-1
Ottawa Goals: Spezza, Volchenkov (GW)
Making Sens: Emery, Volchenkov, Comrie
Lacking Sens: Redden, Heatley
It was over when: Volchenkov takes a backhanded saucer pass from Comrie and blasts home a 30-footer with 10 minutes to play
It was definitely over when: Scrambles in front of our net result in us just icing the thing and then counting on Vermette to win the ensuing draw throughout the final minute.
Message in a Molson bottle: If we gave one away last Saturday to the Penguins, Ray Emery stole this one back. He was lights out throughout the game, especially in the second period when we killed off 8 minutes in penalties. Great goaltending, shutdown defence, and timely scoring – something we had never really seen in April and May before. Feels good.
Courtesy Boxscore:

Grab a Timmy’s double double and listen to what really happened:

Optimistic Ophelia
There is light in the nets. People had been saying that through three games, Emery was good, but not great. People were waiting for him to make that timely save that shifted momentum in our favour. Tonight, he made a lot of those saves as Crosby and his sleepover buddies spent a lot of time driving to the net, and Gary Roberts spend a lot of time at the net. Great job by Emery, he got us this win. Write it down, Ottawa, we have a goalie.

Pessimistic Patty
What the balls is wrong with Wade Redden? That is the question going around the water coolers this morning, as Redden was just laughable in this one, whether it be getting burned on the outside because he was flatfooted, or getting taken down in front or right behind his own net because he can’t play physical. Whatever is wrong with him, and lets hope for the sake of discussion that he has some lingering injury to his groin that is making him play like this, that Murray either hacks away his icetime or just canes him old school rules to get him to snap out of this. Then again, how much can we expect from him now when this is how he’s played all year?

Upbeat Ursula
Guys like Comrie and Vermette and Volchenkov are perfect examples of doing the little things right. Comrie is a menace on the forecheck, even in his small stature, as he hits anything and cycles the puck like a champ. Vermette is key in winning faceoffs, an area where we’ve trumped the Penguins this series and was key in the dying minutes of this one. Volchenkov is an absolute machine, what else can you say? To have him rewarded for his efforts with the game winner last night was very fitting.

Debbie Downer
I know it is tough to pick up a negative in a hard-working win, but I thought some of the guys looked a bit tired in this one. Let’s be honest, Pittsburgh kinda took it to us for the better part of the game. I thought we were by far the better team in the third period and really controlled the pace, but they outhit us pretty bad and it just looked at times that some of the stars of the early games were a bit slower in their takeoffs. All the more reason to handle our business on Thursday and get some rest.

Keys to the next game
- Use the crowd and the motivation of not wanting to travel until the second round
- Stay out of the box – 8 minutes of PK in the second period could have been a recipe for disaster.
- Clear the paint – too often was Roberts parked in front of Emery with only a weak shove from #6 (I’m not naming names here…)


hockeydan said...

Great win. I'll take it anyway I can get it.

I was surprised not to see our first goal in the Debbie Downer section. Was I the only one who thought Spezza's goal shouldn't have counted? I thought we hit it.

As I said, I'll take it anyway I can get it, but if I were a Penguin, I'd be furious.

Geoff Cheek said...

Hockeydan, it looks from the replay that Neil took a swipe at it but missed completely, thanks god. I guess it is just instinct to try and hit a puck that's in the air near the net, but if he got even an ounce of his stick on that puck and the goal was negated, I wonder how this one would have turned out...

Anyone else hear the post-game press conference when Crosby said, "we didn't get the two points tonight"? This guy is losing his mind, methinks.

Poutine said...

Well said. Sens will take it tonight. Baby Cosby will shed his final tear of the post season.