Well, its now or never.
There's not much to write that hasn't already been written. This series has been back and forth the whole way through. Not many goals to be had, the goaltending has been phenomenal. Henrik Lundqvist and Craig Anderson have really put on a show. Tonight, there are so many story lines, so many questions:
- Will the Rangers big guns be able to get it going at even strength? Haven't heard much from Marian Gaborik this series.
- WIll Erik Karlsson, fresh off his Norris nomination, be able to break through offensively and help the struggling Ottawa powerplay?
- Will Jason Spezza finally shoot the puck AND hit the net?! (ok, only kind of kidding here)
- Who will draw into the lineup? Will Konopka and Carkner play hurt? Will we see Silfverberg? Stone? Butler? Gilroy? Borowiecki? Will any of these players help make a difference?
- Will the grinders for the Senators continue to be the story? Konopka has had a great series, but Zack Smith, Jim O'Brien and of course, Chris Neil have all been lights out.
- Will Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh be able to continue to block the number of shots they have? Will the top line for the Senators be able to break through?
- And lastly, and most importantly, will this be the last time we ever see Daniel Alfredsson play in an Ottawa Senators uniform?
The answers to these questions will be found one way or another today. Win or lose this season has been a huge success for the Senators, and we have a great future ahead. I just hope that future includes the second round.
Links after the jump.
- Ian Mendes' twitter indicates no Zenon Konopka or Matt Carkner again today in practice. Also said Matt Gilroy left the ice before Mark Borowiecki so we might see Gilroy tonight. [Mendes Twitter]
- Rangers are hoping that they finally get some advantage from playing at home, they are going to need it. [Ira Podell]
- Big news in Ottawa Senator-land is Erik Karlsson being name one of the finalists for the Norris Trophy along with Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara. In my opinion, he deserves it, and many of the stats (including advanced ones) support it. However, writers love a good story (and they are the ones who vote), and Weber deserved it last year and lost, and has now "paid his dues". Not to mention he kills penalties guys!!! Thats all that matters! [Sens] [6th Sens]
- As talked about in the comment section yesterday, Mark Borowiecki (who I went to grade school with!) made the trip to NYC with the team, just in case. [Sens]
- Brennan talks to Craig Anderson about his MSG dominance. Interesting stuff. He says the ice is average at best, the lights are dim among other things. [Ottawa Sun]
- Sean Fitz-Gerald looks at the modern Senators game seven history. It has not been particularly rosy. Here's hoping the boys change that tonight. [National Post]
- Debated not putting this in, because it just gives these worthless humans a platform, but its (sadly) the biggest story in the NHL today. This is the story of how some Boston Bruins fans unleashed on Joel Ward on twitter after his series clinching overtime goal. Some seriously bad stuff here, so don't click this link if you will be offended. [BSO] NSFW
- Tired of being Vancouver's scapegoat, Roberto Luongo has reportedly asked Mike Gillis to find him a new home during their exit meeting and has submitted a list that includes Tampa Bay and Toronto. I'll tell you one thing, I don't want to play this guy 6 times a year. [Puck Daddy]
- On to the other goalie from last year's stanley cup final, Tim Thomas. He has made himself quite the divisive figure in the NHL this season with some of his choices and statements. There are also rumours that with Tuukka Rask in waiting in the wings, he could be on the market. However, this is a really human moment from a guy who usually rushes off the ice after losing. [Puck Daddy]
- In keeping with that series, a story about how the Capitals used a gritty style to overcome the Bruins, instead of their traditional high-flying image. [Nick Cotsonika]
Go Sens Go (PLEASE)