Well, after a thrilling advertisement for the game of hockey that was Game One, we've come to this: a real crossroads, with Anaheim's old-fashioned physical play (honed by a lot of WHL talent like Getzlaf, Kunitz, the Niedermayers et al) going up against Ottawa's mostly-European speed and finesse (which is no slap against Selanne for the Ducks or Neil for the Sens). It's a pretty good type of matchup, your basic unstoppable-force-vs-immovable-object thing, but the bigger question is, does Anaheim have what it takes to control its emotions and physicality?
Notice to Internet Explorer Users
You've all seen the reports about Anaheim's penalty minutes, the need for Scott Niedermayer (dead!) to stay out of the box, etc. But losing this physical edge (which at least they're not going all-out to do, like dressing Parros or something like that) opens up the ice for Alfredsson and Heatley to do their things, and forces Giguere (who already was standing on his head) to do more.
Also, tonight we say good-bye to Versus, who in my mind has really improved their playoffs coverage this year. They've done a good studio show (the only thing missing that I would have liked was Barry Melrose, but he's busy at ESPN making tea for Stephen A. Smith), with the exception of Joe Beniniati their commentary teams have been solid (Straeder is the best of their bunch; Doc Emerick is no slouch, but I didn't grow up with him like the East Coast people who sing his praises) and the camerawork has been good. I've heard a lot of horror stories from the bloggers up North about the CBC coverage; their once-sterling camerawork and replays have somehow gone missing, Bob Cole is sounding like the aging man he is, and a few of their pundits (read: Harry Neale) are kicking themselves about having to say good things about Ottawa.
Can NBC do equally well with their coverage? I don't know: Olczyk is a bad colorman, while Pierre McGuire is a great interviewer. There's no horse-racing anymore, but the French Open has just started (plus in St Louis the Cardinals, regardless of how bad they are right now, have a TV contract with KSDK, the NBC station, who pre-empt everything just to put the Cards up). Personally I can't wait to see what Don Cherry is saying AND wearing.
Prediction for Game 2: 4-2, Senators. The penalties will keep on coming for Anaheim and this time the Sens can actually take advantage of the power play.
There is an issue with the form blow that will make it appear that nothing happens when you click the post message button below. To see your message, after you click the post message button, refresh this page. Sorry for the troubles, we hope to have it fixed soon.