Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
Soo.... yikes. In the span of about four hours last night, the mood around the Ottawa Senators, its fans changed considerably. The way the team is viewed by the national media and fans from around the league, seemed to have changed. I understand that this time of year people are very emotionally invested in the team, and while a double overtime win can help your spirits soar, the drubbing the Sens took last night is tough.
So here we are. The morning after. Yesterday we were talking about how pesky the team was, how they never say die. Experts were saying they had a good feeling about them, because they never quit. Today? We sit here bombarded with questions about Daniel Alfredsson's leadership. About Paul MacLean blowing his stack last night. About how, "it has been a good run". About the "Pesky Pens".
I think, however, that I can find some digital ink to talk about some positives from last night and going forward into game 5. So in honour of Paul MacLean's 13 second press conference, here are my top 13 positive thoughts.
- Craig Anderson: The guy was lights out in the first half of the game. It slipped away from him like it did for the rest, but his record after being pulled is something else.
- Erik Karlsson: No, he is not the Erik Karlsson of old, and yes he is still getting caught defensively on occasion. But he was in the play more last night, and had 2 assists to show for it.
- The Powerplay: Actually didn't look horrible (though it barely saw the ice). If Jason Spezza scores instead of hitting the post, this is an entirely different game.
- The Penalty Kill: Sure is getting a lot of work, and while it gave up a couple last night, it has been strong in this series against a Penguins powerplay that is almost unfair.
- Tomas Vokoun: Not sure how he is getting the job done, but he is. Fact is, he looks shaky and is giving up rebounds galore, and that means there are goals to be scored there.
- We scored first: And that means we held a lead. In fact, we held a lead twice. Which means we can. This team doesn't give up leads often, so don't expect it to happen again.
- Erik Condra, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Colin Greening: Need I say more? This line has been excellent especially in Pittsburgh where the Sens will need a spark.
- Milan Michalek's Speed: Has been lacking. Last night he flew for that goal. That speed on the PK may give the Pens something to think about.
- Kyle Turris: How awesome has he been? His 5th goal of the playoffs last night and he is doing a great job head to head with Sidney Crosby, no small feat.
- No Pressure: Would be stretching it if I said the Sens have them right where they want them, but the fact is all of the pressure is on the Pens to close this out.
- Speaking of which... Pens are 0-6 under Dan Bylsma when trying to close a series in Pittsburgh. (Trib)
- Perspective: There are 15 teams in the East. After tonight, there could be 3 left standing and our Senators are one of those teams. Impressive. (Yost)
- It is not over: Despite the obit nature of some of the articles you are seeing, we get at LEAST one more Senators game this year. Its been a fun ride, but we aren't at the end yet.
Feel a little better?
- Let us get this out of the way: Alfie's "Probably not" comment. [PD]
- Recaps of the game [SSS] [Globe] [Pensburgh]
- Aftermath [6thSens] [Milks] [Warren]
- Paulrus Presser [PD] [SE]
See you in Pittsburgh.