Saturday, April 14, 2007

Time to Put Boots to Juggular

It has been well documented this week that the Sens have enjoyed a grossly inept past when it comes to winning game two of a playoff series after winning the first. 0 - 6 is their record after winning game one of a series to be exact. Although most of the current Sens have only been around for one of those game-two losses it is a very good reason as to why we have fared so poorly in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In the past this team lacked a killer instinct to pounce on a wounded foe. They never had the intestinal fortitude to battle through the opponents last gasp. I do not need to remind you that the odds would swing wildly in the Sens favour if they did manage to go up 2 - 0 in a series (roughly 87% of those who win game 1 and 2 go on to win the series). Even more appealing is the sheer pandemonium that would ensue in Pittsburgh where although they do not say so, expectations are extremely high for this team. A win tonight would put Jocelyn Thibault in nets for game three and send baby Cosby into media scrutiny hell which is exactly where the Sens would want him.

All that said, now is the time. A time to place the boot firmly to neck and begin to press down. The pigpens are merely a bunch of boys who will fold up shop when faced with a two -zero deficit. Still, expect them to come out flying tonight for the first ten minutes. If the Sens can weather that storm Cosby and Co. will look an awful lot like we did a decade ago. Confused, Bewildered and unable to claw back.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Rd 1 Gm 1 - Pittsburgh @ Ottawa - 4.11.07

The Balance in the Bank:

Final Score: Ottawa wins 6-3 (Ottawa leads 1-0)
Ottawa Goals: Meszaros, Kelly, Preissing, Heatley, Neil, Comrie
Making Sens: Alfredsson, Phillips, Volchenkov
Lacking Sens: hard to name anyone
It was over when: Heatley comes out 9 seconds into the third to bang in a rebound off Alfie’s tip, giving us a 4-1 lead
It was definitely over when: Baby Crosby’s goal is disallowed 15 seconds later, meaning that we keep momentum and that he is a boy in a man’s game, to quote an old friend.
Message in a Molson bottle: Dominating forecheck and exploiting the weakness between the pipes, we came out flying in this game and never let up until we spent the last 12 minutes or so shorthanded. This wasn’t as close as the score suggests as we most certainly showed experience, grit, finesse, and the ability to win and win big. Saturday gives us an opportunity for our first ever 2-0 series lead. Can you believe that we’ve never led a series 2-0?
Courtesy Boxscore:

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

Optimistic Ophelia
Areas that we can watch on tape and carry into next game were the outstanding forecheck and consistent pressure. Dumping and chasing will work in this serious simply because Pittsburgh’s only strength is at forward. If we dump it in and hit the balls of their defencemen, we’ll continue to get chances on Fleury. By the way, could you imagine watching this game on Versus in the US and they actually show a highlight clip of his saves at the end of the game? I could have sworn we put an unconverted touchdown past him, but I digress. The forecheck is key in this series and we MUST come out with the exact same intensity on Saturday afternoon as we did tonight.

Pessimistic Patty
Hi, I’m Bill, the guy that works in the Ottawa penalty box, it’s been really nice hanging out with you tonight. We cranked out a cool 10 penalties today and when you consider that a key to the series was to keep the play on the 5-on-5, this math doesn’t add up. I think we’ll learn the lessons from this and get over the opening day jitters to settle down enough and stay out of the box. If not, then we’ll see more of these 9-goal affairs.

Upbeat Ursula
Emery was solid, we hit hard, and didn’t retaliate when their idiots came out in the third to try and start some shite. After 10 years in the playoffs, we can now be seen as an experienced team and it showed tonight. We need to continue on this path.

Debbie Downer
Alfie is snakebit again. He played a hell of a game in terms of effort and creating plays, but he had 8 shots on goal and a ton (tonne) of great scoring chances and either missed the net or was stopped cold. It’s only one game, but how nice would it be for everyone involved if he potted a pair in the first period on Saturday?

Keys to the next game
- Match tonight’s first period intensity and domination
- Continue to control neutral zone
- Keep your sticks on the ice and out of Penguins’ faces

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Playoff Blog Coming Soon

The dynamic duo returns for what will hopefully be a long and prosperous postseason of Senators hockey. Check back soon.