Disappointment is still rife in the minds of the Ottawa Senators. It’s time to put game 1 behind them and positively move on to game 2.
Of course, Wednesday night is still hard to come to terms with. Shutting a team out in shots for an entire period and still coming away with a loss is difficult to get your head around.
The positives were there though and lots of them. For two periods they controlled the game in every area. Apart from the lack of goals, the Sens genuinely looked as if they were going to run away with the game.
Guy Boucher and the players have talked about the need to put that game behind them and attack the next game with fresh intensity when they spoke to TSN. Dion Phaneuf had this to say:
"“We have to learn from our third period and that’s what playoffs are about. They’re all about move forward, what can you learn and get better at, and that’s the experience we need to gain game after game. Whether it’s today or another day we would have needed to learn that at some point or another so if it’s going to be the first game well at least now we know for the next games.”"
It’s great to see that the leaders in the room are looking to keep heads up and positivity going forward. They’re by no means out of the contest, it’s first to four games not one or two. However, with that being said, going down 0-2 would be a steep mountain to climb.
If the worst case happens and the Sens slip to 0-2, be hopeful. Cast your minds back to 2010, the Philadelphia Flyers were 0-2 against the Boston Bruins (how very convenient) and went on to win the series. In fact, they went down 3-1 and still turned it around. That is the most important thing to remember. In playoff hockey, it is never over until a team reaches four.
Guy Boucher had this to say about the Ottawa Senators third period collapse:
"“We didn’t change our game plan whatsoever, we didn’t want something different at all, but I think we didn’t manage it well mentally. We looked scared to lose instead of hungry to win.”"
A poignant quote from Boucher, looking scared to lose instead of being hungry to win. That has happened to the Sens rather a few times this year. Finding that hunger will be key to resurrecting the series.
The forwards need to demand from themselves. Mark Stone’s goal drought must come to an end Saturday, which will hopefully inspire the rest of the squad.