It's Sens time! After Game two's stunning comeback -- one which saw the Senators claw back into a 3-0 game they had no business getting back into, on goals by Donovan, Stillman and Bass, only to lose on a heart breaker, wrap-around PP goal by Ryan Malone -- the Senators showed a waivering fan base that they are competitors and are not going to mail in the 2008 season. It was the first time in a long time that I felt good about this team, and really hope the confidence built from an incredible goaltending performance and a team performing greater than the sum of its current parts carries over to Game Three.
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How good are Malkin and Crosby??? I don't even want to discuss the near-impossible mission that Ottawa must undertake to survive this matchup. That being said, is Pittsburgh going to be in trouble next round if they sweep? They are clearly involved in the worst playoff series so far and may not be prepared for one of the other series winners, whose games have been turned way up. I could be wrong, but it is a story line going forward...
There has been some underground rumbling that this playoff series may determine the fate of some of Ottawa's elite players for next season. If I were Jason Spezza I would be worried if he enjoys his Ottawa address. This is purely speculative, but in speaking with fans and friends about this year's team, the majority feel that Spezza will be the guy out the door if Murray decides a major shake up is necessary. The speculated teams for him to land appear to be L.A., St. Louis, or Columbus. I think Spezza is a great hockey player, but he unfortunately needs what Heatley needs-- a physical, fast, skilled player to play with. They both have amazing skill sets, but both don't seem to have what it takes to have an impact in a physical matchup. Columbus has been craving someone like Spezza for years to play with Nash, so i think they are a good fit. Who we would get to replace Spezza -- well, certainly not someone from Columbus; but you never know what sort of residual trade you could make once the pieces start to move.
This is all for another date, however. For tonight, it is all remaining guns ablazing, and Spezza better be packing heavy if he wants to leave a favourable impression on management going into the off-season. I have faith that Spezza is going to elevate, even if he is doing it on one leg. Now if we could only get Alfie back...
On a side note -- without being critical of Sean Avery as a person, as I have no idea how he is perceived away from the rink, he really makes me shake my head sometimes. His face-to-face with Brodeur was ridiculous. I wish I could have heard what Drury said to him! He is an embarrassment to the Rangers, and they need to shed him to avoid turning into the Knicks.
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