Welp. This morning we saw how Dave Cameron will be lining them up tonight when the Sens will avoid the sweep.
Its fair to say Hoffman will have a hard time scoring while working with Neil and Smith unless its a one man effort. Being our leading scorer, I'm very concerned.
We know what we can expect from the rest of the line up as that hasn't changed through the series. The Turris and Pageau line have been great but cannot be relied on to supply all the offense. I wouldn't bet on the Smith line getting many opportunities either.
If that Zibanejad line can finally find some offense it could be the difference between a cup run and a first round sweep. If you read my last post, you know I'm not too thrilled about that risk.
I checked the stats: Bobby Ryan has a point in only three of his passed 22 games. Only one goal. In 22 games. One of those games he collected 3 assists, so he has 5 pts in his last 22 games. This started after he recorded 10 pts in 10 games – the slump started March 8th in Craig Andersons first start during the playoff run against Calgary, when the Sens went up 4-0 and won 5-4 in a shootout. Ryan had no points on the 4 goals and couldn’t score in the shootout.
Cameron still has faith, I guess, and somehow feels more comfortable playing Ryan on the second line -still- and the teams top goal scorer, rookie Mike Hoffman, on the fourth line with Smith and Neil.
Last post i said i would put together what I think the line up should be for game four, so here it is:
To be honest if it wasn't such a crucial game I'd make even bigger changes. I'll be pretty disappointed if i don't see Hoffman on the first line this year, but that's what we're looking at.
The most perplexing move by Cameron - or lack of - is keeping Ryan on the second line and keeping Hoffman on the fourth. I just don't understand Cameron expecting offense from Ryan in this game. What are the odds after 25 games he's going to all of a sudden going to be his old self tonight? And what exactly did Hoffman do to get used so sparingly? These could be questions we're asking all summer.
I'm hoping the Sens can pull off the win tonight, lord knows its been a close series, anyone can win tonight. But I've got to say I'm angry and worried. Game 3 was close, but they almost doubled us in shots. We did not control the game like we did on our path to the playoffs. Close as the score said it was, after the first period the Sens were hanging on for their lives. I cant say i was that surprised the habs tied it up, although the OT penalty on Lazar was one of the worst I've ever seen and there is no doubt in my mind it should not have been called. We could have pulled off the OT win with some luck.
But that's what it would have been. Luck. The habs clearly had more control of the game after the first period. It’s as if we spent all our energy in the first, which is probably a result of the Turris line being the only one that was generating offence. I’m hoping they can get the win with the team as is, but I’m not that confident. Heres to hoping - and hey - maybe Cameron will pull his head out of his ass and mix things up mid-game, or if there is a game 5. Thanks again for reading, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!