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Eastern Conference Final Game 7 Hotstove

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Going right, going wrong, and making it through the day

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

It's never just one thing that you're doing right or wrong that leads to a win or loss - but what one most important thing that the Sens have been doing this round that they need to keep doing for a win game 7? What is the most important thing that they have been doing that they need to stop?

Colin: I think the most important aspect will be keeping to their style of play, as Boucher emphasized in his post-game interview. When they tried to open up the ice and let the offence roll, that's when Pittsburgh started to take over with their offensive firepower. If they can keep to their tight defensive system that's worked for them all year, I think this team has a good chance of winning.

Peter: The most important thing is Craig Anderson standing on his head and stealing another game. Honestly, I'm not sure anything else can bridge the massive skill gap between the Senators and the Penguins; it's clear, based on the shots in the series, that #TheSystem isn't quite enough to do it. It's unfair, but the team's fate will rest once again on the shoulders of Craig Anderson.

(After that, an effective forecheck and strong transition game should be enough to contain the Penguins and drive the Senators' offence.)

Ross: I was going to say what Peter said: the biggest key is Craig Anderson stopping 97.8% of the shots again. After that, it's probably Karlsson playing 27:41, including 3:38 of the last 4:11. After that... trying to dictate the pace of the game, kind of like they did more effectively in the first game + two periods of the series.

Oh, and they need to stop getting badly outshot. I'm hoping trying to take control of the pace will help with that.

Callum: I know Boucher preaches being smart, patient and systematically sound, but damnit, a little more urgency and jump wouldn't hurt. I don't know if allowing the Penguins to set the pace is the right move, especially in Game 7.

Beata: I agree with the others here. Anderson's probably the biggest factor, and playing #TheSystem instead of trying to match the Penguins in offensive firepower (hint: they can't do that) helped too. I also think they do best when they have a really aggressive forecheck and look like they're actually trying to score when they're in the offensive zone. They did that pretty well in the third period of game 6 but I'd like to see a lot more of it.

Adnan: They haven't scored in the last two games in Pittsburgh, so scoring would be a good start. Otherwise, Craig Anderson probably needs to outplay Murray for Ottawa to win.

Ary: I 100% concur with everyone on Anderson.

The other thing they could do? Realize that more offensive zone time means less defensive zone time, so don't be scared to go with the 2-player forecheck early.

How are your nerves?

Colin: Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale......

Ary: I'm a mix of "EXTREMELY NERVOUS" and "anything after the first round win has been a bonus in terms of my expectations for this team so let's just enjoy the ride"

Ross: My nerves are shot. But I did dream last night that the Sens won twice so that helped.

Peter: I'm pretty good right now, although I can't really think about anything else--I'm very distracted. Thursday will be a tough day at work.

Callum: Can your vomit barf? Asking for a friend.

Beata: I actually felt physically sick all day on Tuesday, I was so nervous. I'm also pretty sure I spent the last five minutes of game 6 alternating between screaming and whimpering, but that's playoff hockey.

Adnan: Being on holiday, I stayed up until 5:00 am to watch game six so I am just really hoping for no overtime in game seven. But really, Ottawa is a game away from the final and this is just bonus territory for me.