Well game one certainly got off to a bloody start didn’t it? No matter what side of the hit you fall on, it invariably sets the tone for this series. Ottawa clawed their way back from a deficit in game one and currently lead the series 1-0.
Playoff Seed: 7
Playoff Seed: 2
Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series: Ottawa leads 1-0
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST
TV: CBC, RADIO: Team 1200
Game 1 was an emotionally trying game for both teams. Both players and goalies remained largely unprotected during the play and you could feel the water beginning to boil over as the game played through. Ottawa took an early lead, but complacency cost them that. Montreal pressured, and pressured hard and fought their way back to a tie game. A questionable hit from Eric Gryba gave Montreal a 5 Minute power play, which they took advantage off, giving themselves a 2-1 lead. The third period was all Ottawa as they drove back taking a 4-2 lead and winning game 1 of the series.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Craig Anderson – OTT – 1 save shy from a post season record for Andy after last nights game. Anderson came out and played the game he needed to. It kept the team in a game that for large stretches of the second period they didn’t deserve to be in. The guys are going to have to sacrifice the body a little more, almost 50 saves is not a sustainable amount for a goalie, but Andy looked up to the challenge last night.
Carey Price – MTL – This is a bounce back night. Rather, this has to be a bounce back night. Price letting in 4 goals, of any variety is much in line with the way he ended his season. It doesn’t however mesh with how he played the rest of the season. The numbers are skewed, expect them to return to the norm.
1. Will the blood boil over? Montreal did a good job of keeping their cool after the last game, but will that continue? This series could get chippy and out of hand very quickly. However if either team wants some playoff longevity they’re going to have to look passed the angst and focus on playing.
2. Clearing House – There was a lot of goalie contact in Game 1. Despite a disallowed goal, there was a lot of interference on both ends with whistles away. If the refs are going to keep their whistles in their pockets around the goalies, players are going to need to clear house and keep their goalies safe. Hopefully that doesn’t transition into point 1.
3. Special Teams – The post season is a brand new season. If we look at it like that, we can make the following poignant observation: Ottawa’s PK is good, Ottawa’s PP is terrible. This needs to be fixed. I don’t know how, but it needs to be solved if they are going to go deep in this series.
SENSHOT PARTING SHOT
The team looked tired as the second period started last night. This is a back to back game, where the defensive core played short handed for the majority of the last game. Tired legs could get in their own way. Hopefully they get some rest and, with Patrick Wiercioch more than likely drawing into the lineup, the team now sports 3 offensive options from the blueline. Look for the blueline to either save us or kill us tomorrow.
As always, GO SENS GO!