Onward and upward, and as a well-oiled machine
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Ottawa wins 3-0 (Ottawa wins series 4-1)
Ottawa Goals: Heatley (GW), Vermette, Kelly
Making Sens: Alfredsson, Emery, Vermette
Lacking Sens: NA
It was over when: Heatley scores and Fisher follows it up by absolutely railing Ouellet and Staal into the ice, setting the tone for the rest of the period.
It was definitely over when: Kelly’s goal put this one away for good, up 3-0 in the second period. We may blow a 3-goal lead in the regular season, but not here.
Message in a Molson bottle: As the guys on TSN said, we may have had a bad period or two, but we never had a bad game. Heatley’s goal was a monkey off his back and really let the team take off on their usual second period rampage, but the momentum was ours after killing off two 5-on-3s in the first period. Defence + offence + goaltending + secondary scoring + PK = win
Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=270419014
Grab a Timmy’s double double and listen to what really happened:
Ray Emery absolutely became a more consistent and reliable goaltender as the series went on. Games 4 and 5 were without a doubt his best of the series. I hope the week off now doesn’t allow him to lose focus, because he’s the first #1 goalie we’ve ever had in the playoffs. Quick, move him into Muckler’s apartment and let him hide there from the media for a week. On a side note, this was easily Redden’s best game, too. Hooray, he won’t get traded yet!
Not much to touch on here, although I guess some people say that having a week off is too long between series. The way that this can be alleviated is if Tampa Bay, or Hockey Bay as their 10,000-12,000 call themselves, win over New Jersey and we get the equally rested Rangers in Round 2. All we can hope for is the Murray keeps the whip on them and that Redden and Heatley can nurse themselves back to health.
I’m not getting into the rah-rah we’re a different team than before bit, because then it would just seem like TSN’s Brent Wallace asked that question again (“no, Brent, we’re not the same team as the one in 2000…”). I’ll say this about what we’re seeing for the first time this year. We’ve never seen Alfie as the leading scorer in a series and he led both teams with 6 points. We don’t usually see us on the right side of a 2-1 win and we did that in the pivotal game 4. And we’ve never seen a coach that can roll four lines in all three periods of all five games and Murray had the luxury of doing that. This is shown in the numbers where only Oleg Saprykin had less than 10 minutes of icetime – amazing. It is a combination of getting early leads and also having guys like McAmmond on our fourth line. I think this group of players is the most cohesive and intelligent bunch we’ve had.
Alfie was 0-for-2 in the faceoff circle. He stinks. That’s all I got in this one. Oh wait, you know what is a downer? Watching this beauty of a game on Versus Network here in the US and A. I know Crosby is a spotlight player, but at no point during these five games did the play-by-play team talk about how well Ottawa was playing. They didn’t acknowledge anything about the Roberts hit on Volchenkov in the third period that could have been a charge, and clearly didn’t know that it was a major issue in the papers this morning. They didn’t know that Redden was involved in rumours all day for his poor play, instead praising him as the smartest defenceman out there. If the executives at Versus Network or OLN or whatever it is, if they read our website, let it be known that these buffoons have to join the Pens on the links. Or go bass fishing with some of the other network stars on this ridiculous TV station. At least I can go to MTV or VH1 for some music down here, right? Wait, what was that? Just reality shows there now? I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Hockey Night in Canada team.
Keys to the next game
- Um, get rested and healthy