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11-24-2012, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
As a Leaf fan who was privy to all those Ottawa/Toronto battles I honestly don't think you can finger a "hot goalie" as someone who robbed them. In many series against the Leafs you can easily say Ottawa could have won it (2000, 2002, 2004). Lalime played bad in Game 7 in 2004 but the Senators didn't score either, remember. In 2002 they had a 6th game at home to close out the Leafs but didn't. Actually they may have put the series to bed in Game 2 of 2002 with a singular goal in that triple overtime game but they didn't. And yes I agree with other posters here, the Sens were often considered soft and not tough enough to win. Between Hossa, Alfredsson, Yashin (when he was there) and Chara they always seemed to have underacheivers in the postseason. We all know Yashin's horrific playoff performances but remember Hossa and Chara had sort of a bad reputation for a while too, but Alfredsson had a worse one than them.

Would 2003 count as a time when Brodeur shut the door or was it more of the same? 2006? I don't think Ryan Miller necessarily "stoned" them. Game 1 was a 7-6 OT game.
At a certain point, it becomes hard to separate memory (which is notoriously unreliable anyways) and narrative of hindsight. I watched all those Leafs/Sens series too, and I think I remember Ottawa controlling the play for the most part. It always seemed to me that the '02 series was closest in terms of the play of the two teams (that year Ottawa was the 7th seed, I think, and certainly not favourites), but outside of that the Sens controlled the play. When players fail to score or a goalie gets hot, the team often gets labelled as "weak." Hard to separate the fact from the fiction. Presumably the underdog Martin-coached teams that played well in the post-season in '97 and '98 didn't get the same label. Patrick Lalime is a pretty great example of the misleading nature of hindsight: he was a pretty average regular season goalie, who actually stepped up his game in the post-season. Yet because of that one game 7 and those great Sens teams, he's somehow remembered as a good regular season goalie and a terrible playoff one.

As for the 2006 disappointment, I remember that one clearly. The Sens dominated the Sabres, but having a goalie post a 0.864 save percentage isn't going to get you very far. Shots for the series were 169-118 in favour of Ottawa.

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