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20 April 2007

Unleashing the fury...a look at Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh

The Senators celebrate after a well deserved victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Take 2 from this feature.

-YES! The Senators finally won and beat PIT yesterday, I was acutally kinda proud to see Ottawa knock of them Pens, I had enough of this crap of Crosby and Malkin and Fleury and how they're all Gods...guess what? THEY'RE NOT!
But really, the Sens were the better team and the final of last night's game proves it.
-And lookie here, the Flames tie up the series, I wonder if they can finally win in Detroit tomorrow night...
-Bye-bye Wild! You cost me a chance to take a lead in the online hockey bloggers' playoff pool.

Ottawa Senators

The Hero: Daniel Alfredsson
Once again, the hero for the higher ranked team is the captain. (Drury for Buffalo)
Daniel Alfredsson has just been stupendous this series!
He's scored 3 times and added 3 assists to lead his team in production and in the dressing room.
After subpar playoff performances in the recent years, Alfredsson stepped his game up a notch (as did the Senators) and was just, I don't know, he was the HERO and that's it.
And playing alongside Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza isn't hurting him either.

The Zero: none
It's hard to say anyone was a zero for Ottawa, the entire team played great, although, Chris Phillips was just average.

The Unsung Saviour: Chris Kelly
Inconsistent play from Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza have finally pulled Kelly out of the pair's shadow.
Kelly is +5 this series, leading his team and is second on his team in scoring with 4 points and tied with the captain for 3 goals.
He has been absolutely flawless on defence and his shooting percentage is a nice 42.9%.
Not bad for a guy whO's getting less ice time than Heatley and Spezza (both are a minus)

The Sniper: Mike Comrie
Laugh about this too, but Comrie's had a terrific run so far.
Sure he has as many goals as Heatley and Spezza (whom I'm purposely ignoring), but he also has that extra spark to his game than both Spezza and Heatley have yet to show me this series.
I like Comrie, and I think he was a great acquisition by John Muckler.

The X-Factor: Jason Spezza
Alfredsson can't carry the team on his own forever, Spezza needs to step his play up to support both him and Heatley, not saying Alfredsson can't do it, but it would be nice if Spezza would show up more in these playoffs, like in the season, and help wake up Heatley while he's at it.
You could say he was the jack-of-all-trades in the regular season, he has not yet been in the playoffs, and for the Senators to go far, he needs to be that.


The Comebacker: Joe Corvo
Debate my decision if you like, but you'll lose, as Corvo's looking like a new man in the playoffs.
After a surprisingly great start to the seaon, Corvo faded away and only shades of his offensive prowess appeared from time to time.
This is the Joe Corvo we've been waiting for.
He shoots the puck a lot, he's a great skater and he's the guy you want on the powerplay, not Wade Redden.
He has 4 assists and nearly put up a couple of goals.

The Minute Men: Anton Volchenkov, Chris Phillips and Wade Redden
All of the above aberage nearly 22 minutes per game, and they are all sound and solid in their own end.
Volchenkov blocks the shots and puts on the body.
Phillips looks like a Norris candidate.
Wade Redden? Well, ahem, he could do better.

Jordan Staal, the only true bright light for the Penguins this series.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Hero: Jordan Staal
It would've been Crosby here, but he scored 3 useless goals, so he's not really a hero.
Staal had a terrific series, he scored 3 times, and all his goals MEANT something, he continued his regular ways, accomplishing a mere 0 assists, just like during the regular season.
He was phenomenal on the penalty kill, generating many chances a man short.
Hats up to this Staal!

The Zero: Ryan Malone
It's funny that Malone didn't even get a point this series and seemed invisible on the ice.
He was terrible defensively, gave the puck away a few times and his -4 rating proves it.
Zero, zero, zero, check out his playoff stats.
Boy, he's a REAL zero.

MENTION: Evgeni Malkin (despite 4 assists, he played some horrible uninspired hockey)

The Unsung Saviour: none
There was no real saviour for any of the Pens' games this series.

The Sniper: Gary Roberts
2 goals on 4 shots tells you why he's been chosen as "The Sniper."
Not even Crosby can beat that.

The X-Factor: Sidney Crosby
Wasn't it obvious?
Of course, Crosby was the Penguins only hope to beat the Sens.
Forget about Staal, Malkin and Whitney, he's the X-Factor, the leading scorer, he's the one that needed to carry them.
He's only 19, I don't know if anyone expected him to do it really.

The Comebacker: none
Try, just try to find someone for this category.

The Minute Man: Sergei Gonchar
Leading the team with nearly 27 minutes per game, Gonchar's ice-time is well deserved.
The hard-shooting defenceman may take the occasional hooking penalty, but he's dependable and serviceable on the offence, and certainly on the powerplay.
The runner-up is the young Ryan Whitney, with about 23 minutes per game.

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