We've tried to stick to topics that aren't being heavily talked about everywhere, but this one is probably unavoidable - quick thoughts on the quick whistle?
Michaela: I was as frustrated by the quick whistle as anyone else, but I think it's important to move on. The ref was in a bad position and couldn't see the puck. He did what he is supposed to do in that situation, and blew the whistle. This was a result of human error. Mistakes happen. That being said, I understand why it's a topic that needs to be discussed today, as much as it hurts.
Adnan: We got screwed, but that's hockey.
Amelia: I don't really think it's important to move on nor is "human error" or any variation overly comforting or overly convincing. Human error explains what happened in the moment, but that doesn't mean it should happen. The amount of subjectivity in implementing the rulebook on a consistent basis from refs means I don't have any sympathy for officials following the letter of the law when the result is obviously so wrong.
Ian: It's just an awful call. There's no way that play should be blown dead. It just hurts to see that happen when in the past we've seen plays against the Habs where the play takes hours to be blown dead.
Ross: It's an unfortunate part of hockey. Sometimes quick whistles help you, sometimes they burn you. It's too bad it cost Ottawa the series, but I'm sure no one's more upset about that than Chris Lee (the ref who blew the whistle). In a normal game, you'd expect to score on 43 shots. Ottawa was done in by a hot goaltender more than anything.
Richard: I don't see the difference between Pageau's goal and the Jannik Hansen goal in March. If anything I'd say the referees in the St. Louis game had more of an excuse to blow it dead as it trickled through him after he made the save attempt as opposed to Pageau's goal being basically a straight rebound. Also, there's the fact that hockey ops can step in and advise in cases where a whistle has been blown as we see there.
I really don't like to dwell on things in "what if" scenarios and I feel particularly strongly about that in sports. We don't know how this game would have turned out if that goal had counted, and we don't know what the long and short term consequences would have been. A lot of things went wrong in this series. A lot of that is on this team and a lot of it has to do with luck.
That being said, this is a tough pill to swallow. The situation appears to have been grossly mishandled given that the refs and hockey operations did have options- which I didn't initially know was the case, and we were eliminated in what was essentially a one goal hockey game. The space between error and consequence here is minimal and that gap feels non-existent given the sheer magnitude of the mistake and its consequence.
Any regrets from last night based on how the Sens played?
Michaela: Overall, I think the Sens played pretty well. I wanted to see more traffic in front of Carey Price, as he could see pretty much every shot that came his way. The goal scored by Gallagher was a lucky bounce, and probably impossible for Anderson to stop. So puck luck was not on our side. We simply couldn't beat the best goalie in the league, who also happened to have an amazing game last night.
Adnan: So many what ifs. What if the Habs goal wasn't allowed, what if our goal counted, what if we pulled the goalie on the late power play, what if we Mika could have lifted that shot. Ottawa just didn't get the breaks and lost so many heartbreakers in every game they lost.
Ian: I'd like to see some more hitting like they did earlier in the series. Again, there were too many dumps into the zone but not much chase to follow it up.
Ross: No regrets. This team put it all out there since mid-February. I never expected them to make it this far.
Richard: Not really. I'm so proud of this team in a way I haven't ever been before. I can't recall ever having been less displeased with being knocked out in the first round. The guys on this team will be better moving forward for the lessons learned this spring.
Bobby Ryan was demoted to the fourth line in the third period last night, and hasn't been very effective in weeks. Are you concerned with his future going forward?
Michaela: I think Bobby Ryan has been playing injured for a while. Although he looks like he's doing his best out there, and just not getting any luck, there has to be another reason as to why he's been struggling so much. I'm just waiting for the announcement.
Adnan: Ryan was pretty good for a good part of that run in the regular season. He seems to not be able to stay healthy and hasn't had 60 points since 2010-2011. His play doesn't seem to justify his pay but it is what it is.
Amelia: Basically what Adnan said. I'm looking forward to this frustratingly debate for another seven years though.
Ian: Bobby either just hit a slump at the least opportune time possible or must be struggling through a nagging injury. He looked a lot slower out there last night and I'm completely on board with Dave Cameron making in-game adjustments by taking him off the second line in order to give the Sens a chance to win. Not concerned about Bobby going forward, but that answer might change if he comes out slow to start next season.
Ross: I'm sure Ryan is either hurt or just is suffering from not enough conditioning over the summer due to surgery rehab. He hasn't been the same player for the past two months when compared to the first two-thirds of the season. I think Ryan's deal could hurt the Sens starting year four or five. But for next year, I'm not worried about the guy at all.
Richard: If anything I'd be worried about his health. My biggest concern would be that his play was the result of some recurring or chronic issue that's going to continue to plague him.
Bonus question: Who is your Sens MVP for the series?
Michaela: Sens MVP: Erik Karlsson. When the team was down 2-0, he responded with one of the best overall games I've ever seen him play. Even when the series went to 3-0, he never got discouraged. He spoke optimistically to the media, never counting his team out. This being his first playoff series as captain, I thought he showed the kind of leadership and maturity that you want in a captain. It made me very hopeful for his future here.
Adnan: Erik Karlsson because he was carrying this team kicking and screaming in every game. Close second to Craig Anderson who gave up four goals in four games and only got two wins. Sens probably win this in five games if he started the series. But of course no way you can start the series with him. Another what if.
Amelia: Erik Karlsson because he was terrific. I'm interested in getting an update on his health, but regardless he was dominate. Andy is sort of a 1b. Like Adnan said, if we rolled Andy from the start, we likely win. Doesn't man it was the wrong call to go with Hammond, but even average performances from Hammond in those games probably gives the Sens the win in 1&2. So many what ifs, but that's how it goes.
Ian: Karlsson of course. His ability to do a one-man breakout and also be able to control the play no matter where the puck is on the ice is just incredible.
Ross: Karlsson for everyone, eh? I pick Anderson. The guy went head-to-head with the "best goaltender in the world" (quote: all of CBC) and came out on top. His lowest save percentage of the series was the .947 he put up on Sunday. Like Adnan said, with Andy from the start, I think Ottawa wins this series. It's hardly his fault he didn't start the first two games. For my money, Craig Anderson was my MVP.
Richard: I think it has to be Andy for me. He was outstanding in each game and really catalyzed our turn around.