Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm not sure what animal eats Penguins, but the sens are that

What a game! In the post game news conferences people from both teams were admitting that the Ottawa Senators dominated in every aspect during that game. I would like to point out two things that I believe made the difference.

First, body-checking. The Senators were hitting everything in sight! It started with the captain, Daniel Alfredsson, and trickled down to the entire team - I think I even saw Heatley try to hit somebody. For some lines, I think the whole objective of their shift was to hit the Penguins at every opportunity, if they scored, it was simply a bonus. This strategy paid off in spades. The Penguins were frustrated, injured, and afraid to touch the puck.

Secondly, Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov were everything you could ask a pair of defensemen to be. They shut down Sidney Crosby and put the hurt on Malkin. CBC put together a collage of Sidney Crosby with just a few minutes left in the game, everytime he touched the puck Phillips was there to make life difficult. The extra little pushes and hits after the initial hit really drove the point home: "I'm gonna be there everytime you touch the puck".

In addition to all this, it seems that every line did their job. The fourth liners agitated, the first liners cycled the puck and went for the point, and the second and third line helped out with the scoring and the PK.

Hardly heard a peep about Ray Emery from the CBC commentators. Great! The less we hear about Emery, the better he's doing in the game! The way Rayzor carries himself both on and off the ice exudes the kind of confidence that the Senators need to go deep into the playoffs this year. The Senators played a solid defensive game, and Emery came up with a couple saves when needed - a great start.

Did I ever congratulate Heatley in his Drive for Five-ty? He did it! Way to go man, a little but of history right there. Now, if he can do it next season, Dany would solidify himself as one of the top Canadian players of this decade.

Playoff beard update: I cheated. I waited until this morning to shave. So I had same face-hair for the first game, hopefully it doesn't jinx our team for their next outing. Right now, my face is smooth yet scratchy.

This weekend's games are gonna be great. Should allow plenty of time afterward to blog and no work the next day to make me sleep - instant analysis, sweet!
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