As duly noted, this is nothing we haven't witnessed before in the playoffs. Sens blasting away high and wide and whiffing on rebounds, making an average goaltending performance look far better than it was. When the puck makes a rare foray into the home end, clutch players capitalize on opportunities the way that clutch players tend to do. Heck, if it were an elimination game, the Alfie broken stick would've been right up there with the P**inville goal in the hapless captain's playoff lowlight reel.
Luckily, the scene shifts quickly to the igloo, home of Jean-Claude Van Damme's masterwork Sudden Death. The local media, having been booted from the Sens charter plane, are piling onto the 401 for an epic road trip (better call shotgun - can you imagine being stuck in the back with Garrioch for nine hours?). Perhaps management feared fouling the air with the odor of Team1200 post game shows in the event another sure victory slips away (put in Gerber? are you people sick?).
So, what players are still on notice going in Game 3?:
1. Danny Heatley - needed to be dominant and [cliche]Take His Game To A New Level[/cliche]. The results so far: 1 goal, 2 shots, -1 and a general cloak of invisibility. Your focus has changed having to match up with the Crosby line, but Heater, man, time to grab another gear. The shot percentage is always nice, now why can't you apply that to relieving some of Alfie's ridiculous 13 shot burden?
2. Mike Fisher - Yikes, another 9 shots without a goal (almost tied it up, though). No wonder you're one of the remaining poster boys for wouldacouldashoulda's of playoffs past.
3. Ray Emery - In contrast to MAF, the 3.53 / 0.851 looks nastier than it is. Those weren't all stoppable, but you gotta steal one for us here, Ray.
The Sens are doing a lot of things right. They are still capable of holding the league's top scorer to a goal a game, and of keeping the (likely) top rookie rattled and uncomfortable. They are facing no difficulties walking into the Pittsburgh zone and setting up, rather, it's the power and accuracy of the shots that's killing them. I really don't know how you solve this (shoot less? God Forbid). Again, we could have out these observations and pasted them (with a few names and places swapped out) into a report on any of the last four or five series they've played in. [shrug] It's an Ottawa thing that's going to have to be overcome, I guess. Fear them if it ever happens.
Unless PPP top posts me, consider lines open for predictions, comments, venting, razzing and psychological counseling.
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