Gooood morning everybody! Things were dark, quiet and depressing out here in Lotus Land last night, but today, the sun has broken through the clouds like Chris Neil through Brooks Orpik and Ryan Whitney.
The Senators look to clutch the elusive 2-0 series lead this afternoon at Scotiabank Place before jetting off to Pittsburgh tomorrow for Game 3. Just how good relative to Wednesday's effort, largely considered to be their best ever defensive performance in either the regular or post season, do the Sens have to be to pull out a win? I'd think if their work in their own end is even 75% of what it was in game one, combined with 10% or 15% more save activity by Emery should bring them the win. With 13 different point scorers on Wednesday, a balanced attack should also bolster the Sens chances.
Penguins will likely come out fast and physical. Gary, Recchi and Sidney were observed shooting the shit during the close of Game 1, either helping the Kid balance out his RRSP portfolio or laying the blueprint for a quick first strike. Fleury will get the start again, his teammates professing more faith in him than in Marty Brodeur.
I think the Pens will score first, but given time, advantageous line matching and a buzzing hometown crowd Fleury will wither under a sustained attack. I'll go with my favourite goat Redden for the GWG as, relieved of his duties of physical play and goalmouth protection by No.'s 4 and 24, he can sneak in the back door to pop in a long rebound from Spezza and Heatley.
The lines are open for pre, during and post-game comments. Have at 'er.