Don’t let up, boys.
The Balance in the Bank:
Final Score: Ottawa wins 1-0 (Ottawa leads series 3-0)
Ottawa Goals: Alfredsson (GW)
Making Sens: Alfredsson, Volchenkov, Redden
Lacking Sens: Neil
It was over when: The Alfie goal, combined with our domination up until that point, would be enough for a team on a mission like this
It was definitely over when: Back to back penalties in the third period for Buffalo spelled the end – we weren’t going to let them tie this one up.
Message in a Molson bottle: The most dominating performance to date from the boys, this was wasn’t nearly as close as the 1-0 score. We outshot them 32-15 in a must-win game for Buffalo, and held them to 0-for-6 on the PP with one shot total. Those numbers tell the story – this was a one-sided affair that started from Emery and covered just about everybody on out. I sound like a broken record, but you have to lose before you can win and this team knows how bad it wants to win right now. Bias aside, no team has walked through their opponents in recent memory like we are right now. Finish the job, boys!
Courtesy Boxscore: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=270514014
Grab a Timmy’s double double and listen to what really happened:
You have to be lucky to be good, but more importantly you have to be good to be lucky. Some will say it was a lucky bounce that got us the goal tonight, and I’m telling you and all your friends that it was the hard work of the top line that led to that goal. I repeat, you have to be good to be lucky. We are getting the bounces and the opportunities because we are manufacturing them behind the curtain. That goal was a result of an absolutely amazing outlet play from our zone, some great passing through the neutral zone, and a result of the players knowing where to go on the rush. Brilliant goal from a brilliant line, now 1-2-3 in playoff scoring. Trade who?
Hard to point anything out right now, but Chris Neil might be in over his head right now. He hasn’t brought much to this series, though I’ll say that sometimes his job as our third line winger is just to control their third line. He just seems tentative to hit someone on the forecheck for fear of taking a dumb penalty or something. The stakes are higher right now and I just hope someone settles Neiler down and gets him back into his groove as the NHL hits leader. Remember that he won that?
What can you say about our penalty killers? We killed off six more tonight and held them to one shot. That means, mathematicians, that they had five powerplays where they didn’t have a single shot. Pairings were Kelly/Vermette, Alfredsson/McAmmond, and Fisher/Schaefer and I’ve never been so amazed at a dominance of special teams like this. Remember last year when we kept giving up shorthanded 2-on-1s? Remember how awful it felt? Now go hug a Sabres fan, cause it has gotten that bad for them now to the point that they’d rather decline a powerplay. We had more scoring chances on their PPs than they did, including a 2-on-0 where Meszaros rang one off the post.
Nothing, just make sure you come out like the balls on Wednesday. Comparisons to last year are funny, but who wants to go back to Buffalo for game five? Attack them like a Chara on a Baton Rouge rib, like a Havlat on an injured list, like a Pothier on an overpaid contract, like a Hasek on shitlist. Let’s take care of our business Wednesday.
One last note, I’m off to see Wayne Gretzky at the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament in Greenville, SC on the weekend. Anybody have suggestions on clever quips to try and make the Great One laugh? Last year, when he had a 7-iron shot coming up from off the cart path, I told him that he’d put it in from trickier angles than this. He replied, “yeah, but I was a lot better on skates.” That comment is only cool because Gretzky said it. Post a comment and let me know what I should try and say to him this time around.
Keys to the next game
- Don’t let up
- Shore up the PP (0-for-7 tonight)
- Dominate the neutral zone again