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Pressure's on the Leafs...

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04-09-2004, 09:08 AM
  #1
o-dog
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Pressure's on the Leafs...

...and they are not the best team in this series. Looks to me like a recipe for a first round loss for Toronto.

Now I'm not going to sit here and say the series is over after 1 measly victory but, just about every fan and every scribe wrote off the Sens before this series started. Toronto media has been grooming their readers/viewers for a joyous trip to at least the Stanley Cup finals. What poise this team has...what experience they bring to the table...this is the best Leaf unit since the last Cup...they're playing their "little brothers" who couldn't beat them if their lives depended on it. All of this hype has created massive expectations. Quinn and his group have even tried to put the ball back in Ottawa's court by stating that they are playing the Stanley Cup favourites and the Leafs should be looked upon as the underdog. No one's listening to them even though what they say is very true.

Fact of the matter is that the Leafs are not that good when compared to the Senators. The only advantage they have is Belfour over Lalime. That's a huge advantage to have in the playoffs, but they had that last year against the Flyers as well. The Senators are superior to the Leafs up front and behind the blueline. Even with an improved defence, TO cannot put out 6 guys as capable as Ottawa's unit. McCabe and Leetch both played 30 mins last night whereas Chara played a relatively easy 23. In a long playoff series, who's going to have the gas left at a crucial time? And even if Tucker and Nolan were in the lineup, Ottawa stiil has a better group of forwards...not that I agreed with it but, they benched Spezza. How many teams have the option to sit their top scoring forward?

If that "psychological advantage" has disappeared and is not a factor any more, the Leafs are done. They are older, not as fast and no tougher than their opponent. Good news for Sen fans...

NB. For any Leaf fans reading this, please do not interpret this as me saying that the series is over because the Sens have one game, or that I'm a "bandwagoner" now that the Sens have managed to win a game against the Leafs. Neither of which is true...

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04-09-2004, 09:10 AM
  #2
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Playoff series' are like roller coaster rides. Prepare for some highs and lows.

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04-09-2004, 09:10 AM
  #3
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I bet you said the same thing after Ottawa won game 1 a couple years ago by the score of 5-0, but yet again, the Leafs came back and won the series.

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04-09-2004, 09:12 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiedog
...and they are not the best team in this series. Looks to me like a recipe for a first round loss for Toronto.

Now I'm not going to sit here and say the series is over after 1 measly victory but, just about every fan and every scribe wrote off the Sens before this series started. Toronto media has been grooming their readers/viewers for a joyous trip to at least the Stanley Cup finals. What poise this team has...what experience they bring to the table...this is the best Leaf unit since the last Cup...they're playing their "little brothers" who couldn't beat them if their lives depended on it. All of this hype has created massive expectations. Quinn and his group have even tried to put the ball back in Ottawa's court by stating that they are playing the Stanley Cup favourites and the Leafs should be looked upon as the underdog. No one's listening to them even though what they say is very true.

Fact of the matter is that the Leafs are not that good when compared to the Senators. The only advantage they have is Belfour over Lalime. That's a huge advantage to have in the playoffs, but they had that last year against the Flyers as well. The Senators are superior to the Leafs up front and behind the blueline. Even with an improved defence, TO cannot put out 6 guys as capable as Ottawa's unit. McCabe and Leetch both played 30 mins last night whereas Chara played a relatively easy 23. In a long playoff series, who's going to have the gas left at a crucial time? And even if Tucker and Nolan were in the lineup, Ottawa stiil has a better group of forwards...not that I agreed with it but, they benched Spezza. How many teams have the option to sit their top scoring forward?

If that "psychological advantage" has disappeared and is not a factor any more, the Leafs are done. They are older, not as fast and no tougher than their opponent. Good news for Sen fans...

NB. For any Leaf fans reading this, please do not interpret this as me saying that the series is over because the Sens have one game, or that I'm a "bandwagoner" now that the Sens have managed to win a game against the Leafs. Neither of which is true...
Lot of hockey to play still. Leafs also had a very, very good night in the faceoff. We have to work harder there.

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04-09-2004, 09:30 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddah
I bet you said the same thing after Ottawa won game 1 a couple years ago by the score of 5-0, but yet again, the Leafs came back and won the series.
Maybe I did, who knows...I can't remember. But I felt this way before this series started.

I'll make it even clearer for those who can't read long posts: It's still going to be a tough series for whoever wins it and IMO, I will still think that Ottawa has a better team than Toronto even if they lose. Hell, even if the Leafs take the next 4 I'll still think that...

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04-09-2004, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddah
I bet you said the same thing after Ottawa won game 1 a couple years ago by the score of 5-0, but yet again, the Leafs came back and won the series.
You can't compare that to now, totally different teams. 2 years makes a massive difference for a guy like Chara, Havlat, Hossa, Fisher, etc. Not to mention all the changes. Those series mean nothing, so why bring them up? If these were the exact same teams, go for it. But they're too different to compare.

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04-09-2004, 11:20 AM
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Leafs will smack you

You were victorious in game one so what. the leafs will lay the smack down on you. :mad:

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04-09-2004, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiedog
...and they are not the best team in this series. Looks to me like a recipe for a first round loss for Toronto.
I believe the points system would disagree with you their.And no the pressure is still on the Sens because again they haven't beat the leafs in a playoff series.Can they finish what they started?

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04-09-2004, 02:24 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander the Great
I believe the points system would disagree with you their.And no the pressure is still on the Sens because again they haven't beat the leafs in a playoff series.Can they finish what they started?
This isn't contrary to what you are saying "Alexander", this is complimentary to it.

Way premature for talk about pressure. Game Seven is pressure. Winning one game does and proves nothing. Didn't we get shut out the first game against the Isle last year? We all saw how that series turned out.

The Leafs WILL make adjustments and as any Sens player will tell you, they will come out stronger, faster and harder than they did on Thursday night. The Sens will have to play close to a perfect game Saturday night to have a chance to win.

Belfour has a knack for coming back strong from a dissapointing outing. I wouldn't expect anything less from him.

Saturday will be very, very tough.

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04-09-2004, 03:17 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander the Great
I believe the points system would disagree with you their.And no the pressure is still on the Sens because again they haven't beat the leafs in a playoff series.Can they finish what they started?
1 point makes no difference. All I'm saying is that the Leafs have all the pressure on them and losing game 1 makes it that much more magnified. Sure, Ottawa still has to overcome the stigma of losing ot the Leafs all the time, but TO is trying desperately to erase a 37 year old drought. Which of these scenarios create more pressure? Don't forget the media circus the Leafs have to deal with...

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04-09-2004, 04:11 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiedog
1 point makes no difference. All I'm saying is that the Leafs have all the pressure on them and losing game 1 makes it that much more magnified. Sure, Ottawa still has to overcome the stigma of losing ot the Leafs all the time, but TO is trying desperately to erase a 37 year old drought. Which of these scenarios create more pressure? Don't forget the media circus the Leafs have to deal with...

I dont think the pressure was on them last night and perhaps that was the problem. After the 6-0 victory perhaps they were overconfident. If not then the Sens certainly had to come out with a great performance last night, and they did. The pressure was on the Sens last night and they came out and met the challenge. That being said, the pressure is certainly on the Leafs now, and it'll be the Leafs who come out with a win in Game 2

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04-09-2004, 04:45 PM
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im not going to use excuses for the leafs lost. The leafs played a terrible game and didnt deserve to win. but if their wasnt the 5 on 3, and the sens hadnt of scored the 2 goals it would have been a much closer game. Seeing that the leafs had a terrible game and still almost won the game tells me that the Leafs arent the ones with all the pressure here. Whats going to happen when the Leafs have one of their top games and Eddie plays better?

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04-09-2004, 04:47 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiedog
1 point makes no difference. All I'm saying is that the Leafs have all the pressure on them and losing game 1 makes it that much more magnified. Sure, Ottawa still has to overcome the stigma of losing ot the Leafs all the time, but TO is trying desperately to erase a 37 year old drought. Which of these scenarios create more pressure? Don't forget the media circus the Leafs have to deal with...
none of the current leafs really care about how Toronto hasnt won in 37 years. This is 2003, thats all they are worried about. Quinn's not going to tell the players "we havent won in 67 years, we better play harder boys"

when was the last time the sens won the cup? any pressure for the sens now?

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04-09-2004, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComrieFanatic
none of the current leafs really care about how Toronto hasnt won in 37 years. This is 2003, thats all they are worried about. Quinn's not going to tell the players "we havent won in 67 years, we better play harder boys"

when was the last time the sens won the cup? any pressure for the sens now?
Too funny. At numerous times Leaf players have stated its on their mind and they'd like to win it for the city. The pressure is on them whether you'd like to admit it or not.

The Sens are an expansion team that has just started to be a top contender in the past couple of years. I believe they entered in 1992 was it? 12 years isn't even close to 37, especially considering all the income Toronto gets compared to Ottawa.

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04-09-2004, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComrieFanatic
"we havent won in 67 years, we better play harder boys"
Well, they better play harder if they haven't won the cup for 67 years

Leaf fans should just get over the officiating and move on to the next game. there's no use of whining about it when the the outcome was already decided.

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04-09-2004, 05:59 PM
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No matter the rhetoric, the pressure IS on the Leafs. This is always true for the team that's down. Whether they let it get to them or not is another matter altogether.

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04-09-2004, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComrieFanatic
im not going to use excuses for the leafs lost. The leafs played a terrible game and didnt deserve to win. but if their wasnt the 5 on 3, and the sens hadnt of scored the 2 goals it would have been a much closer game. Seeing that the leafs had a terrible game and still almost won the game tells me that the Leafs arent the ones with all the pressure here. Whats going to happen when the Leafs have one of their top games and Eddie plays better?

What game were you watching? "The Leafs still almost won the game." It wasn't even close. Ottawa outshot them 30-17, won 4-2 and kept Sundin, Mogilny and Francis from getting a single shot on net between the three of them.

I love the posts like this one that says "take away the two goals and it's a much closer game". No kidding. Or the "I'm not making excuses...but.."

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04-09-2004, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HF2002
What game were you watching? "The Leafs still almost won the game." It wasn't even close. Ottawa outshot them 30-17, won 4-2 and kept Sundin, Mogilny and Francis from getting a single shot on net between the three of them.

I love the posts like this one that says "take away the two goals and it's a much closer game". No kidding. Or the "I'm not making excuses...but.."
but but but... if ottawa hadn't outscored toronto they wouldn't have won

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04-09-2004, 11:35 PM
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The pressure is on the Leafs right now, no doubt 'bout it.

This is why I believe that home ice advantage is over-rated in the playoffs. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the home team to win both games at home to "retain" home ice advantage.

Game 2 will be huge. Toronto should come out strong, but if Ottawa matches their intensity, and can get the first goal, panic may start to set in for Toronto. The last thing they want to do is lose both games at home.

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04-10-2004, 09:31 AM
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Excellent points discostu. What do you think would be the best way for a team to have the advantage of higher standing? Obviously it is starting on the road, but how do you break the series down?

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04-10-2004, 09:46 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discostu
The pressure is on the Leafs right now, no doubt 'bout it.

This is why I believe that home ice advantage is over-rated in the playoffs. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the home team to win both games at home to "retain" home ice advantage.

Game 2 will be huge. Toronto should come out strong, but if Ottawa matches their intensity, and can get the first goal, panic may start to set in for Toronto. The last thing they want to do is lose both games at home.
And home ice advantage means nothing to Ottawa in this series...even if they finished ahead of the Leafs, the games in Ottawa have the potential to be just as advantageous for Toronto with the fan support.

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