I'm not such a fool to guarantee that we'll wrap this up this afternoon. The Sabres have the ability to play better though I don't expect it. I do expect Miller though to continue his great play.
The game will most likely turn on special teams again and those nasty turnovers. I'm confident the Sens will improve from Game 4 in both areas.
Not sure if this will turn into the game thread - I'm expecting to read the Godfather's keys to victory still - but if it does...
I hope someone woke up Emery. It's 9:30 AM here on the west coast and I'm just rolling out of bed and making the blog rounds. Damn Americans and their 2:00 hockey games. I think the only key to this afternoon's game is to play the first minute and the last minute with absolute authority. Everything else, the deep puck pressure, the shot blocking, the face offs and the penalty killing will be as reliable as it has been throughout the post season. Emery will rebound (mentally as in sharpness, not physically as in pucks bouncing off his pads). Admittedly, it will be difficult for some of the guys to resist taking their favourite momentum killing penalty for at least the next round: Heatley, watch your toothpick; Schubert, Neil and Corvo with the trips and assorted obstruction.
On a festivities note: This is what happens when you try to "plan" a playoff celebration. Bureaucracy gets involved and before you know it the life is snuffed right out of it.
Just let it happen, Sens fans. I know you people can party, despite the geographic obstructions in your way. It's like riding a bike, before you know it you're up and partying without any need to take cues from the official cheerleading squad.
Finally, an inspirational quote for the "Sabres in 7" bandwagon, which has experienced explosive growth in ridership since Wednesday night:
The [-] still don't have any margin for error. But if they get a win tonight, pressure on the [-] to close out the series at home Monday will be massive.
"Look, there's pressure on both sides," said [-]. "But we know what type of team we are and I think [-] knows what type of team we are. I'm sure they're expecting that we're going to come out even harder (tonight) than we did in (Game 4). That's when we play our best hockey, when we dictate the play."
When he looks around the [-] dressing room, [-] sees a group he believes can find a way out of this mess.
"I know a lot has been said about the fact that only two teams in (NHL) history have come back from being down 3-0," said [-]. "It has been done before and I feel like this team could be one that could do it again.
"No, it's not going to be easy. We're going to have to battle hard. I'm sure a little doubt slipped into the [-] with the way we played. I'm quite certain that we got their attention and I know we're going to be excited about playing at home. We just have to keep pushing."
Yep. It was John Muckler, talking up the Senators chances in Game 5 of the 2006 Eastern Semi-final. We all know what happened next.