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Let's start a new thread for this one. On the one hand I'm looking forward to it, on the other hand I do very much fear it and I'm very nervous. I really hope the Cooke stuff is water under the bridge as #thePaulrus said, because last time it was clearly not and it turned out bad.I really think the Sens can beat 'em, but it's gonna be a whole different beast. Every game has got to be a game 3, IMO.
I'll be very glad if we manage to return home even, after 2. Don't count on Spezza, as far as I'm concerned, he has to be good to return. 'Give it away, give it away, give it away now' to Crosby, Malkin, Iginla and/or Neal will be very costly. And those are the players he'll face. Although Andy is out of this world, we're facing a back-up goalie again, and our record against those is.... well, you know.
I'll give two predictions, one with the head and one from the heart:
Heart:Sens in 7
HeadPens in 6
A snippet from Friedmans 30 thoughts from last week:
21. Asked one Eastern Conference coach how the Islanders could beat Pittsburgh. His reply: "The Penguins are the most physical team in the Eastern Conference, hard to play against, with good speed. It's incredible how hard everyone plays. If you are not willing to stand up...it is tough on you. Pittsburgh really imposes their will on you in the first five-to-seven minutes in their own building. The Islanders do have good puck-moving defencemen. If those 'D' can get the puck before the forecheck, that's how they can play with them."
Seems like a good tactic for Ottawa too, but they also have shown to be able to be physical. The first 5 to 7 mins aren't their strong suit however.
Going into round 1 I honestly thought the Islanders would be gone in 4. And yet they deserved a game 7 last night. They've shown us that it can be done. Things the Islanders did not have - Good defense and a good goaltender. However those PIttsburgh forwards are incredible. Karlsson is still not 100%, during the Montreal series people were passing him and beating him to the puck when pre-injury that just didn't happen. Malkin is a tank on skates. But we definitely have the better goalie and Pittsburgh is prone to mid-game meltdowns from what I saw.They'll be playing run-and-gun.
The big difference between Round One and Round Two for Ottawa: Anderson will be challenged by Pittsburgh in a way that he just wasn't by Montreal. The Pens have serious firepower, and they know they're facing a Grade A goalie, so they're damn well going to hit him with everything they have.
The big difference between Round One and Round Two for Ottawa: Montreal was a small fast team trying to play a physical game. Pens are a bigger team that can skate and hit. If the Sens come out flat and allow the pens to carry the play the way the habs did most of the first series, it will be a short series.
I concur, Senior.
My heart says that the Sens can pull off a miracle but if the Pens get good goaltending, i don't give us much of a chance. the Pens are just too deep and they won't be physically intimidated like the smurfs were. They are just as big and tough as the Sens.
Please prove me wrong, guys.
Also, we should all temper our expectations on Jezza. Even if he does come back, it will be like starting a season for him. The rest of the league is already in hyper play-off gear. I'm not sure how much of an impact he can have after so much time off. he won't hurt us but still....
I was really glad to see that 'he who giveth away' (sorry Jezza, I really like you) isn't making the trip to P'burgh (hey that sounds funny). It would only be a distraction and he wouldn't be ready anyway. Spezza doesn't need the experience in the dressing room (he has plenty PO experience), but he just needs undistracted skates.
Where the Sens were able to physically dominate the Habs, the Pens are likely able to keep up or are even better. It should provide for a good series tough. I'd like to think 'we' are at least as good as the Isles, so 6 games should be possible. We don't have a Tavares, but the Isles didn't have an EK'65. As long as they don't seek retribution on Cooke, and let him under their skin... If they manage to get under his skin though, or Crosby's or Malkin's for that matter...
Of course, the habs won 2 cups with veeeerrryyy average teams purely on super-human goaltending from Patric Roy. So, the precedent is there. Andy was great against the habs, he'll need to be even better now.
Here's a series preview/team comparison on NHL.com
They do give Ottawa due credit, which is nice for a change. On paper Ottawa shouldn't have much of a chance and the more previews one reads the more your confidence will diminish. I'm already very nervous for tonight.
I feel nervous too but no matter how this turns out, you have to consider this season a success.
Sens bandwagon. Laf fans need not apply.
Having said that, at the car dealership today. Turns out the guy I'm dealing with is a lafs fan. He says that when he goes to the lafs games, he wears his lafs jersey. But wears a Sens jersey to all other games. Says he would look stupid going to a game in a lafs sweater if the lafs aren't playing. Pulling for the Sens now that lafs eliminated. So I let him live.
Its about time we broke this one out
Nice sub-header on SI.com
Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh will try to exploit the defensive shortcomings of Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.Link: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nhl/news/20130514/nhl-playoffs-second-round-storylines/#ixzz2TWu5tdiK
Yup that's the first thing that comes to mind when facing a Norris-winner. Sure he's not healthy and makes his share of mistakes, but he's not plain bad defensively. Aargh.
Hej Sens, WHY YOU NO WORK HAAAHDAAH?
“In my position it’s a little different because I’m able to simplify my game, whereas with Karl, the expectation level is so high when it comes to handling the puck and being out there on the power play”.
I like how the team (or at least his D-partner) is calling #65 Karl.
Alfie, getting ready for tonight's game.
Looking forward to Ron Maclean's Pt.2 special series: White Netting vs. Black Netting.
Don't know if it's just me but there seems to be a different atmosphere to this series. During the habs series, people were more hyped up and confident the Sens would win. And while everyone is still pulling for them, there seems to be a kind of acceptance that the pens are probably just to talented.
Senior, like JR on the Team 1200 said, the Pens are an older, matured, ripened team that is built to win now. Their window of opportunity is almost approaching the closing stage. The Sens on the other hand are one of the youngest teams, that is still getting its playoffs battle scars. Their window of opportunity has not even begun to open. That's why the general view is the Sens have no business being in this series... but we know better :)
What I'll say next is not news to anyone in this group, but I have to get it off my chest...
First 2 games in the series, CBC/TSN had tons of footage of Karlsson and his "non-Norris trophy" like plays. Fine, that was reality. He came back in G3 and was much better.
BUT did we get to see a 5min package of plays by Chris Letang getting dissected at both ends of the ice by Turris, Karlsson, Pageau, Alfie, etc.? He is a Norris nominee, but TSN/CBC choose not to rag on him.
Again, nothing new, just another example of why when the Sens stick it back in everyone's face it feels that much sweeter.
My brother and I started calling him "CBC perennial Norris trophy candidate Kris Letang" last year and it's stuck this year too. CBC just loves the penguins, I sometimes wonder what would've happened if they had been playing Toronto.
Listening to Bob Cole do the Chicago/Detroit series tonight.
If Gryba was available to play, would you take Benoit out after last game? I thought he was great. Don't think I would.