The above definition just seems so appropriate. The Senators played like they had a disease. There was something eating away at the team that prevented them from playing their best. In rounds 1 through 3 the team played like a well-oiled machine; they were living up to their potential. In the fourth round the Senators caught something, and it dragged them down.
A medical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present.
What was the disease? It could have been a number of things. My diagnosis: they stopped feeling the pressure.
"Wha? I thought the Senators were chokers who cracked under pressure!"
First of all: shut the hell up. Now, let's look at the evidence. No one expected the Senators to beat the Buffalo Sabres. We were supposed to be gone after round 3. You could see the happiness in the eyes of Joe Corvo after he scored the game-winner in overtime of game 2 against Buffalo. That wasn't elation - it was relief.
After Alfredsson scored the series-winning goal against the Sabres. Ottawa celebrated, but at the same time, we raised expectations while simultaneously letting the pressure off the team. I am one of those people. I'm so happy because of what the team accomplished this year - but how do you expect a person (or a city) to react?
The team should have used the momentum that the city's joy provided. Instead, they took 8 days off (not by choice, but you know what I mean), they basked in their own greatness for a little too long and decided that round 4 was a bonus.
Remember that the Senators faced a very good opponent in the Anaheim Ducks, but they faced excellent competition before in these playoffs, and should have been able to overcome, as they had in previous rounds.
Perhaps this is something that can be remedied in the upcoming year. The Sens got more experience and more self-confidence during this offseason. The CBC lost one chart from their 'belittle the Senators' graphics folder - now every one of this year's Senators has been to the finals. Before this year (as we're often reminded), only Saprykin and Gerber had been to the Big Dance.
Now I'm off to buy a Eastern Conference Champions t-shirt at 30% off!
Go 07-08 Sens!
Go 07-08 Sens!