Game 5 Email Hot Stove
The Silver Seven staff discuss some hot topics to come out of last night's game
Five goals on Carey Price. Another misconduct (though not a game one this time) for P.K. Subban. Brandon Prust with the spear on Anderson. Is Ottawa setting up shop in the heads of the Habs?
Amelia: I don't really think we're in their heads. Lots and lots of traffic in front of Price showed a way you can beat him, but he didn't look particularly out of sorts. As for Subban, taking a late game misconduct seems to be pretty standard in the playoffs, I think it's more an example of the refs trying to control things (I mean, Kyle Turris has one in this series too). Prust and Andy had a pretty good exchange and Prust has a long history against the Sens in the playoffs. Andy initiated with a slash and Prust kicked things into high gear with a spear, but that's his role, to play physical and get under the opponent's skin.
Michaela: The Sens found a way to get traffic in front of Price, which is how they scored the first three goals. After that, Price’s confidence was a little shaken, making the next two goals a little easier than normal for Ottawa. I mean, Condra scored on him… CONDRA!! Other than that, I don’t think Ottawa has completely gotten into their heads. The Habs were certainly frustrated at times, but that’s pretty normal when you are a win away from the second round, and down 3-0 in the game. I think the penalties, misconducts, spears etc. were just a result of that.
Adnan: I think given the 4-1 loss in 2013, the 3 straight losses in the regular season this year, and now this series being a game away from being tied, it's got to be getting a little bit in their heads. Still all they need is one win.
nkb: No one in the Habs organization would ever admit, yet it's clear that they're frustrated. The Sens are still down 3-2 in the series, so it's hardly cause to gloat, but it can't hurt to have the Habs looking over their shoulders.
Ross: Don't think Ottawa's in their heads. You saw Subban, Prust, Gallagher among others get frustrated last game, but that happens at the end of a playoff game where the score is 5-1. I don't think Ottawa's doing anything special to get into their heads. Price's 5 goals against were due to screens, tips, and a breakaway - in short, the things they need to do to beat Price. I don't think they're in his head, they just played they way they need to if they want to beat Price.
Cameron showed he was not afraid to change a winning line up by swapping Chris Neil out for Alex Chiasson. With the late game shenanigans and last change in game 6, do you think he will flip those two again for Sunday?
Amelia: I don't think he goes back to Neil. Thought Chiasson had a decent game, he was noticeably more physical (probably should have had an interference penalty for a hit in the first) and the fourth line seemed to work to a degree with Michalek-Smith-Chiasson. Nobody has the fighting rep of Neil in the Sens lineup, but Chiasson is a big body who has fought before. Think it would be a mistake to change things based on end of game shenanigans.
Michaela: Outside of fighting, I think Chiasson brings more to the line up than Neil does. He’s a decent forechecker, and works pretty well on the fourth line. I would leave him in for the next game. We’ve seen the unlikeliest of players deliver bone-crushing hits this series (see: Erik Karlsson), and we don’t need Neil to take up a roster spot only to play 5-10 minutes and deliver a few hits.
Adnan: I would be very surprised if Cameron swaps out Chiasson, but you never know.
nkb: Will Cameron switch Neil in vs should he are different questions. From where I'm sitting, I'd say there's a 50-50 chance he will. He shouldn't though; Chris Neil's days as a presence of any kind are behind him. He's simply too slow to compete in the NHL play-offs. Chiasson hasn't lived up to expectations this year, but he's a serviceable fourth-liner.
Ross: I don't think Neil will come back in. Cameron seems pretty smart. If he was happy to sit Neil for Game 2 (after The Slash) I don't see why he'd change his mind here. He knows that Neil can only play 6 minutes a night. Chiasson is a better depth option, and I don't see Cameron changing his lineup.