Which injured (or suspected) Sens player sees the most benefit tonight from the three days between rounds?
Callum: This could go a lot of different ways. Of course, it's always great for a player with two hairline fractures in his foot to get some time off, but Erik Karlsson was already playing so well, I don't know if there were more ceilings for him to burst through. And Marc Methot will also benefit largely from some down time, seeing as we still haven't seen him wind up and take his anger out on a slap shot yet. So I think the answer is Viktor Stalberg. he was questionable a couple games against the Bruins and looked a bit off down the stretch. Against an opponent that sure loves to be physical, Stalberg's big, quick body would be best utilized if healthy. Obviously.
Trevor: I feel like this is an impossible question answer. I guarantee that there are more injuries on this team that nobody outside of the team (or even in the dressing room) knows about. However, I'll go with Mark Stone for this one. I still think he hasn't been 100% since he got hit by Jacob Trouba in February, as he hasn't looked comfortable or dominant for many stretches. I'm not sure how much three days can do for any injury, but I know Stone will appreciate a bit of time off. I hope he can get back to a higher level of play.
Ross: I'm going with Karlsson. Not that I expect him to be better (as Callum said, there are no more ceilings to burst through), but that I expect this means he can continue to play 30 minutes and put up a glorious assist every game. I can't imagine he could've kept doing that with no time off.
Adnan: While Erik Karlsson played great, the images of him struggling at the end of game five and his importance to the team makes it a no-brainer for me. No player on the team is anywhere near as important.
Colin: Agree with the majority that Karlsson needs the rest the most. He was dead tired after the double overtime, and had to follow that up by playing nearly 30 minutes the following game. The extra days should also be of benefit to Pyatt and Borowiecki, just so they can get back to playing.
nkb: This is a tough one to answer. If Karlsson is to be believed, a hairline fracture doesn't heal in a matter of days but the more time that passes without the injury being re-aggravated the better. We're not really sure what exactly is wrong with Borowiecki and Pyatt, so I'll say Stalberg will benefit the most. He's the one that's the closest to being healthy in the first place, so maybe the extra couple of days will do him good.
Will the Sens be able to shut down a Rangers team with less top-end talent than Boston, or will the full four line depth stretch #TheSystem to it's limits tonight?
Trevor: It will be a much different task compared to the Bruins, that's for sure. I think it will be tougher for Ottawa to look so good defensively, and ultimately the Rangers fantastic forward depth will lead to more shots against for the Senators. I still think Craig Anderson has the ability to bail out the team if need be, but I'm betting on there being more chances against Ottawa than in the first round. There's nowhere to hide any of the Senators defensemen.
Ross: I'm interested to see what happens. Boucher seemed to insist on playing Phaneuf/Ceci against Bergeron whenever he got the last change. Against New York though, there isn't a clear matchup game. Probably they take on Nash/Stepan/Zuccarello, but then there's a whole lot of good, young forwards left. I'm hoping if Boucher plays the hard matchup game again, we'll be seeing the third pairing play a little more shutdown hockey and it'll help out the team a bunch. But I really don't know. My gut says yes, #TheSystem prevails, but there are so many variables here.
Colin: I'm not really sure what to think of even strength. The Sens allowed the fourth most shot attempts per 60 minutes in the regular season, a trend that was completely bucked against Boston (down nearly five attempts).
One area I'm not concerned about however is the penalty kill. Although the Rangers' PP ranked 11th in the regular season and the Sens' PK was disastrous down the stretch, once again the trend was torn apart in the first round. Ottawa's penalty kill looked unstoppable at times against the league's best power play, and the Rangers only managed to get a single power play marker once on 15 attempts versus the Canadiens. New York doesn't have any x-factor like Mike Hoffman or Erik Karlsson, which should hopefully give Ottawa an extra advantage in the series.
Adnan: I think it will be much harder because Ottawa has a lot of bad defencemen and the Rangers will not be as troubled breaking out of their zone without many major injuries that the Bruins faced. So I will vote no. The Rangers will score more than 2.17 goals per game.
nkb: Boucher made an ultimately successful gamble last series: by letting the Bergeron line feast on the Phaneuf-Ceci pairing, Erik Karlsson was freed to create offense against the Bruins' underwhelming depth. The Bergeron got their shots, and their chances, but they never did break out on the score sheet. Karlsson was Karlsson and the Sens prevailed. The challenge this series, then, will be the exact opposite; I expect Karlsson will have a harder time against a more skilled and speedy forward group but Phaneuf-Ceci should be better positioned to keep their heads above water. I think Ottawa still has the advantage here, but they'll need the second pairing to approach breaking even if they want to win.
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