So the options are, I believe, Pittsburgh, the winner of Boston/Toronto (likely Boston) or the Rangers.
Right now it's looking to most likely be Pittsburgh...and I don't like them with a reliable goalie like Vokoun in net. I really hope that they switch back to MAF.
Regardless I feel like if we can win an away game against any team we can put ourselves into the series. This team has been lights out at home all year (one of the best home teams in the league...a testament to how good of a coach MacLean is). BRING ON THE PENS/BRUINS/RAGS!
No thanks to Boston or Toronto, I doubt Toronto comes back down 3-1. Pittsburgh is still scary and if we dont play solid defense we cant keep up with them offensively, Rangers have Lundqvist and if theres one goalie that can be better than Anderson its Lundqvist. With that said, Id rather face the high octane offense of the Pens, If Spezza comes back our chances goes up quite a bit, its better to face the Pens now imo.
No preferred opponent. We play who we have to and give it everything we've got. This is Sens hockey. Get some.
If we have to play the Pens, bring them on. If we get the Leafs, its our chance for redemption for years ago. If we draw the Bruins, we set out to prove that we CAN beat them, and if we get the Rangers, we can make good on last season, and beat them this year.
I think the key to Ottawa moving forward is going to be heavy physicality and defensive zone awareness. We've got the hot goalie to ride, and we need to wear down the teams we play. Our team has the size and we'll benefit from the extra rest since we finished our series so early. You could tell how much our physicality wore down on the Habs in this series.
I would definitely feel more comfortable against any opponent if Spezza were back, but even without him...I think our team is built well for the playoffs. Stellar goaltending with a good defensive system, and big physical players. With the extra rest we'll be getting from finishing our series early I think we'll be geared up to get right in the face of whoever we play next and grind them down similar to Montreal. I don't think that there is another team in the East that can match up to our physicality if we play like we can -- especially from the back end.
I want Pittsburgh, We have a young team with some of the best damn veterans you can have in the game.. This will be the team we will most likely have to go through for the next decade in order to make it to the big show once again.. (A BIG learning opportunity for everyone)..
The Calder cup win for the MANY of young players we have on this team I believe have taught them what playoff hockey means... They have gotten their 16 wins in the AHL, and the NHL honestly, isn't that much bigger of a jump (it is still a jump tho, obviously...)
None of us thought 3 months ago we would even be here... Mine as well rain on some damn parades while we are...
Besides, how much would we rage if we actually pulled the impossible and beat Pittsburgh?
A Toronto series would be epic though..
Last edited by BigEyedPhish: 05-10-2013 at 01:05 AM.
Exactly. Im just glad that the Sens were able to play them in the second round instead of the first. With a goalie playing like Anderson is an upset is always [ossible, especially with the instability in goal for the Penguins.
I think that team has too much firepower for Ottawa to handle though, but you never know.
The rangers and it's not even close. So far the king looks human unlike last year and the only reason the rangers are not golfing is because Holtby and the caps D are brutal. I have a good feeling we'd be able to wear out the rangers with our depth and Andy should be able to handle Nash and any of their big guns.
Also it's too early to say the penguins have an amazing goalie in Vokoun after 1 game. He's capable of turning into a sieve like last season before he got hurt. We'd be huge underdogs and I wouldn't like our chances but you never know. It'd be similar to Montreal/Pittsburgh 3 years ago where we would need Anderson to have a Halak type performance to win. The penguins do have more firepower than they did 3 years ago but the chance to win is still there.
I think each potential series offers it's own unique positives:
- If we face the Rangers, I think we have the opportunity to finish what we started last year. I think we learned a LOT about the Rangers, and we match up against them very well. There's some worry that Karlsson being less than 100% will allow them to focus their defensive strategies on the few real consistent offensive producers left on our team at the moment, but all in all, I think the Rags are disjointed enough this season that we could win a close series against them. We hold the edge defensively, IMO, and in the playoffs, defence can win you a series easily, as long as you can generate just enough offense to win the 1-gola games.
- If we play Boston, there is a MASSIVE opportunity to excercize some of the organizational "ghosts" against the Bruins. They have had our number for like half a decade, and I think it's pretty clear that this team has had a psychological block against Black&Yellow. If there is a telling sign though, it's the win on the last day of the season. On paper, we have the ability to play a hard-fought series vs the Bruins and have a decent chance of coming out on top, but that win IMO showed that we are also in the right mindset to do so, too. No offence to Tukka Rask (who is a great goalie), but our mental block always seemed to be against Tim Thomas (and to a lesser extent, Anton Khubodin? Really?). A Thomas-less Bruins are a very formidable opponent, but at least Rask doesn't present the looming danger of us playing ourselves out of a series by letting the goalie get under our skin. A playoff series win vs Boston would be like lifting a 20-ton weight off the shoulders of a lot of Sens players & fans. It would feel pretty darned good.
- If we play the Penguins (and let's be serious for a second here: we're playing the Penguins)... well... it will give our kids a real chance to understand what being a TRUE underdog is. None of this "we're the 7-seed against the Habs" BS, a series vs the Penguins would be the definition of "no pressure, just play your best and we'll see what happens". If there's a chink in the Pens armor, it's definitely in nets, so we'd have a puncher's chance of winning a 7-game series simply by nature of getting a lot of pucks on net, being as successful as we were in the Montreal series in getting screens in front of the goalie, and winning a war of attrition via shots-on-goal. Not going to lie, though... our #1 defence and PK would be severely tested against the offensive power the Pens bring. For us to have a chance, we need Andy to bring his A+ game, and Fleury/Vokoun to run cold for a few games.
Do I think we can beat the Penguins? Sure. Am I about to bet a week's pay on the Sens? Ehh....
Might as well be pit because that's who we are playing.
Interesting side note from wiki
Anderson was the backup once again to Vokoun in 2008–09, however, he appeared in 31 games due to an injury Vokoun suffered during the season. Anderson went 15–7–5 with a 2.71 GAA, as Florida narrowly missed the playoffs. After the season, Anderson became a free agent, and on July 1, 2009, he signed a two-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Sens organization is realistic and Stache isn't kidding when he says they just want to keep growing. Last year 8th place and this year 7th. It would have been higher if healthy but the benefits to the younger guys would have been seriously lessened. Last year lose in game 7 this year they win the first series in 5. They've already accomplished what they set out to do. The rest is gravy.
Any team they meet will continue the learning experience but if I was choosing the most adversity and opportunity to challenge myself I'd want to play Pittsburgh. They have a stacked team of forwards. Their only weakness is depth in goal and a bit on D.