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29 May 2007

Game 1: Step Away From the Ledge!

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals is in the books with the Senators coming up short 2-3 against Anaheim. Admittedly, there were moments in the game where it was clear that the Senators were simply overmatched. It reminded of game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, except this time with the Senators playing the ones being feasted upon.

It's easy to assess what the Senators did wrong. They were being out-hit and out-muscled. They thought they could match the Ducks' tight physical style with their flair and the run-and-gun offensive playmaking style that they were known for, not expecting the Ducks to shut down their extra-pass at the offensive blueline and cause a rush going the other way.

I was reluctant to say it, but it's true. This team really does rise and fall with the play of their captain Daniel Alfredsson. He didn't have a solid game last night, giving up on plays too easily, being outmatched physically and having trouble controlling the puck. That being said, he was hardly the weakest player on the Senators squad last night as most of the team, save for Ray Emery and Mike Fisher, couldn't find that extra gear.

Clearly, it didn't work and I have faith that if anybody can turn their play around, it'll be the Senators. They've responded very positively to all of the adversity they've faced so far this year and I trust they will do the same. Scrap the cute extra passes, stop trying to gain the zone by yourself. Chip the puck in, use your speed to beat your opponents and fight for it. Nobody said this was going to be a cakewalk and after 9 days off, I suppose it's expected that the intensity level was a bit of a shock to the system.

To be fair, the Ducks only had about two days less of a break than the Senators did and it sort of showed as well. The Senators came out strong in the opening minutes of the game but eventually ran out of steam after they realized that they were being dominated and couldn't find enough gas in the tank. It's there! It was just hidden a little bit.

I'll be the first to admit that there are Senators fans that can be quite fickle and are quite liberal when it comes to hitting the panic button. Let's just sit back and take a deep breath and try to have more faith in our squad. They've earned that very least from us. Don't make me create a Playoffs Edition Panic Metre. Let's hope we are never in need of one!

In the meantime, if you're looking for something to fill the days in between, or if you're a Devils and/or Sharks fan who wants to see your teams in the finals for something, I suggest you head on over to Mike Chen's blog for the Rawk the Puck '07 Final and place your vote!

4 fanatics have replied:

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Good game for the most part though, kind of dissapointed in the Sens!!!!!

Man, they should've so had more than just 20 measly shots on goal.

In my heart, I want to Ottawa to win, in my mind (please don't kill me for this) I know Anaheim will win.

Sherry said...

Your mind sucks!

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

I knew I'd get a reaction like that, glad it was from you Sherry!

The Ghost said...

Actually, I think all Ottawa fans SHOULD jump. It'll help....really;)

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