It wasn’t pretty but the Ottawa Senators are there. The promised land once more alongside four other Canadian sides after last years All-American playoffs.
The Boston Bruins are their opponents in the first-round, with Toronto choking at the last hurdle to leave them with the Washington Capitals. It really comes out of nowhere this section of the season, the last 20 games flyby in an instant. Ottawa would be favourites on head-to-head form but they’ve fallen flat whereas Boston resurged. All this week in the buildup to the playoffs, we will be reanalysing Ottawa’s previous meetings with Boston this season.
Head To Head Dominance
The Ottawa Senators have had a field day against Boston this season. Dismantling Claude Julien’s Bruins and also Bruce Cassidy’s. Securing the maximum point in all four meetings. Interestingly, no player on either team managed to exceed a point per game average in those four games. Mike Hoffman topping the Sens with a goal and three assists, Torey Krug with the same.
Krug is looking doubtful for the opening tie between the two and would be a huge loss for the Massachusetts side. Second in ice time behind Zdeno Chara in a plus-20 minute role.
As mentioned previously it looks as if Ottawa have the Bruins number, especially looking at their previous encounters this year. However, Boston have resurfaced since firing Claude Julien (a change that seemingly suited both parties) and Bruce Cassidy has done a fine job. Boston’s last ten is as follows 6-3-1 whereas Ottawa possess a 4-4-2, more likely a famous English football formation than your teams last ten.
It’s criminally cliché but i’m going to say it anyway. Playoff hockey is a completely different kind of animal to the regular season. Take one of your 82 games and add around 30 percent intensity to it, it’s faster, harder and the players are actually committed. Let’s be honest for a second here, if you think that every player on your team is giving 110 percent in each of those 82 you’re sadly mistaken. It has to be hard for players to turn it on every night, 82 is a lot of games.
Now, however, the players are competing for prizes, conference titles and the most coveted trophy in hockey, the Stanley Cup. But it’s too early to even think about that just yet. One series at a time ladies and gentlemen, Boston are the Sens first test and a team they are no strangers to.
I want to say that beating the Bruins 4-0 in a series sweep matters, but i’m afraid it might not. Those regular season games mean nothing now, you win those games to unlock the playoffs, now it’s time to win some more.
All this week we will be focusing on the Boston Bruins and putting our thoughts out there on how we think the Sens should approach it. The System is pivotal as defending is the key to success in playoff hockey.
As mentioned above, let’s not get carried away. One series at a time, quite frankly it is a bonus to be here considering how they’ve played at times and the injuries they’ve had. Every extra game will be a bonus, so get behind the team, be noisy not only in the stands but on the web as well.
Because your Ottawa Senators are #ALLIN