Thread: Our Chances
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04-05-2004, 12:38 PM
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I really disagree with the "they don't want it" perspective. To me, this team wants to win badly, and Saturday they were simply (a) worn down after a month of road games and "Big games" last week, and (b) played outside of themselves in being overly aggressive and took some very un-senator like penalties. It reminded me of Game 1 versus the Isles last season. Iím glad we got that game out of the way, because it had been overdue over the last couple of weeks.

To Stu's points, a few considerations for the many nay sayers:

(1) regardless of the Leafs play at the end of the season, don't forget we scored a lot more goals than they did this year, and gave up a lot less. It's not like we're "overmatched" in terms of skill.

(2) We go into this series as the underdog, and the Sens have ALWAYS been a better team as the underdog. This is going to be a tough match-up for the Leafs.

(3) Like last year, I expect we will be a much better team late in a series than early. We simply wore teams down last year, and despite slow starts against the Isles and Flyers, the Sens took over both series by the mid-point. We did the same to the Devils after going down 3-1, but simply came up a little short at the end of game 7. The Leafs on the other hand, wore down against the Flyers. While both teams are better this year, our young legs might be an advantage by game 4 or 5.

(4) If weíre were going to play the Leafs, I love the fact we open on the road. There is a lot of pressure for the Leafs to take game 1, and if they don't, this becomes a much different series. If they do take it, Ottawa still has a chance to take home ice advantage away on Saturday. Basically, there is little pressure on Ottawa unless the Leafs sweep at the ACC.

(5) With the Sens becoming road warriors in March and April (which was good pressure testing for the playoffs), we've forgotten that Saturday was the first regulation loss for the team in 24 games at home. We've been awesome at the Corel Centre since Christmas.

(6) All playoff tickets were sold before we knew it was going to be the Leafs. There won't be near the number of Leaf fans at the Corel Centre for this series, as huge bus trips groups loaded up the Corel Centre this past Saturday.

To me, Iím glad we play the Leafs. Iíve been saying for a couple of years now that I didnít believe the Sens would win the Cup until we beat the Buds. Theyíre our nemesis, our ghost if you will. Theyíve haunted us, and itís time to vanquish the cloud that has been ever lurking since 2000. The Bulls didnít win the NBA title until they beat the Pistons. The Oilers didnít win until they beat the Isles. The Flames didnít win until they beat the Oilers, and the Avalanche didnít win until they beat the Wings. There is a story line here, and unlike most other Sens fans, I have a good feeling.

While Iím not going to act like a fatalist and tell you this is destiny (the fact is the Leafs are a great team and a legit Stanley Cup contender that could win it all themselves), I do believe if the Sens are going to win the Cup - which letís not forget is the goal here, as opposed to just not losing to the Leafs - playing and beating Toronto in the first round is our best chance.

If we beat the Leafs, does anyone really think weíll go into a series against Tampa, Detroit or anyone else thinking weíre the underdogs? No chance. Weíll be more dangerous and formidable than ever. The Leafs have pushed the Sens to make them better for several years, and I think they might just push them to the brink of greatness this spring.

When fear knocked at the door and courage answered, no one was thereÖso cry havoc Sens fans! And let loose the dogs of war.

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