Silver Nuggets: On to the Next One

The Difference. - Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto

Sure, the Canadiens had injuries. Sure, Craig Anderson stood on his head. Sure, the Habs outplayed the Senators for stretches. In the end, it matters not. The Senators advance to round two, and we start to look forward.

Firstly, and let us get this out of the way right off the bat, the Ottawa Senators must play better in the second round than they did in the first if they have any hope of advancing.

That should be helped by a couple extra days of rest that the Senators earned themselves. Milan Michalek is obviously not right. He doesn't have the jump we are used to seeing, and he did not factor into this series positively at all. Hopefully some time off will help him. Colin Greening, one of the only players not to record a point in the series for Ottawa, hasn't been practicing with the team. Daniel Alfredsson hasn't been practicing either, and he openly admitted he needs a few days.

The extra time should help Erik Karlsson to get back to where we know he can be. While effective at times against Montreal, he obviously wasn't himself. We will need him to be great against (likely) the Penguins if we are to have a chance.

The wildcard here is Jason Spezza. Paul MacLean says he doesn't expect Spezza in round two, but Spezza has been skating, and the team has downplayed recoveries all year. Even 12 minutes a night, mainly on the power play, playing instead of Matt Kassian, gotta think Spezza could add a lot to our team.

So, who could we play? The technical answer is everyone but the Washington Capitals. The real answer is the Pittsburgh Penguins, and MAYBE the Boston Bruins. Let us assume (after they spanked the Islanders last night) that it will be the Penguins.

They are good. Like, really good. Not unbeatable, as the Islanders have shown, but good enough that you have to bring your best to compete with them. All their stars are back now, and this is a team that beat the Senators near the end of the regular season without their stars. Hopefully Anderson can continue his play and Paul MacLean can take the extra few days to look for chinks in the Pens armour.

Sens Links

  • Recaps galore. [SSS] [HEOtP] [NP] [PD] [SE] [Gazette]
  • Mark gives the series a post mortem the morning after. Wish he'd gone good/bad/ugly on it, but he does an excellent job looking at what went right and what went wrong. [SSS]
  • Sens were able to put some first round demons to bed with that win. [CBC]
  • Some quotes from the Walrus on the series. [SE]

League Links

  • Looks like the NHL will be in Sochi after all. [Twitter]
  • Hart Trophy finalists revealed. [PD]
  • Down Goes Brown on how Montreal-Ottawa and Boston-Toronto have replaced the Battle of Ontario. [Grantland]
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