Wednesday, April 09, 2008

One Mission

You guys know me. You know how wound up I get over my Sens.

So you probably all know how I'm feeling today - absolutely on edge, butterflies in my stomach, biting my nails, just ready for it all to begin!

That's right, folks: It's playoff time again. Which means for as long as the Senators are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I'm at risk of having a heart attack.

Yep, it's that serious.

Starting tonight, we will be facing a familiar foe in Round 1 - the young & talented Pittsburgh Penguins. Last year, we handled them easily out of the gate, taking the series 4-1. Throughout this season, we've had a decent record against them, beating them 3 out of 4 contests. One would think we should be the favourites based on those facts, right?


They are the #2 seed. We ended up barely clinging on to #7.

(Ya shoulda seen that last week, going into Thursday night's game against the Leafs - I was an absolute nervous wreck - as bad as I am at playoff time, if not worse. The possibility of not even making the playoffs was so huge, it was suffocating me! Thankfully, we ended up winning that game against T.O. 8-2, and I was able to breathe a giant sigh of relief).

Last year, the Pens were a young, inexperienced squad, many of whom were playing in their first playoffs. The Sens, as a whole, were playoff vets with tons of past failures to ignite them, not only past Pittsburgh, but also New Jersey and Buffalo. Only the Ducks of Anaheim were able to push us back from the final goal of winning Lord Stanley's Cup.

Doesn't really look like we'll come nearly that close this year. The Pens are strong - they've learned from last year, and this year, they are that much more mature. They played hard down the stretch, while the Sens seemed to fall apart at the seams. Our goaltending situation never seemed to get straightened out, even after Bryan Murray gave Marty Gerber the ball and let him run with it. Our defence has been horrible. Even goal-scoring, our forté, hasn't been happening all that much recently.

Oh. I almost forgot. In that game against the Leafs, we lost both our captain, Daniel Alfredsson, and our gritty, full-of-heart assistant, Mike Fisher. Tonight, they'll join Chris Kelly on the sidelines, and depending on how long this series goes, we may never see them back in the line-up again this year.

OK. So there. I've got all my pessimistic negitivity out. Nobody thinks the Sens can win this series - absolutely no one. But I do!! If I had my choice of all the teams I could play in the first round, I probably would've picked Pittsburgh. I truly believe we can beat them!

We might be without Alfie, Fisher and Kelly, but we've still got Spezza and Heatley and Vermette - big offensive talent there. We brought in three former Cup winners in Cory Stillman, Mike Commodore, and Martin Lapointe - this is where their expertise is supposed to come in handy. And last year, the lauded shut-down defensive pairing of the Eastern Conference was made up of Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov. Guess what? They both still wear Sens uniforms.

This team is entirely capable of winning, if they can get it together the way we saw them play in the first two months of the season. This is a chance for a fresh start; a clean slate. If they can pull together and get some momentum going, I believe they can do anything.

One Mission.



priscilla said...

Whatever did happen to Mike Fisher anyway? I never heard. All Chad told me was that he was a cry baby and left the game. I hope you don't have a heart attack Jill. Lots of people are predicting the Sens in 6 or 7. If Ottawa loses who will you cheer for? Pittsburgh? My cousin won a Chevy Equinox at the game last week. (Well if they can get it in black, if not, she picked a Pontiac Torrent.) She entered the Last Minute of Play Contest on the website and they picked her and another guy. The car was parked at center and they both had to shoot a puck from the corner towards the car and whoever got closest to the tire won. It was close, they had to measure. And she won!

Jill said...

Mike Fisher claims Mark Bell (who later took Alfie out of the game) collided with him knee-on-knee - but last I heard, they were having a hard time finding video evidence to back it up. Tell Chad Mike's no cry baby - in fact, I have the feeling both he & Alfie will suck it up and be back before this series is over!!

Is your cousin Pam's daughter? Pam was telling Mom in the store a few weeks ago about some contest her daughter had entered and she had a shot at winning a truck at the Sens last game - that's so cool!! Good for her!!

pk said...

Yeah, Melissa Miller. That would be cool, to even be picked in the first place would be cool enough. I have a pet peeve with these playoffs though. They took Coronation Street off the air during playoffs. It will run on Sundays, but if I'm at church I miss it. Apparently though once June comes along it will be on for an hour every night.

Kathleen said...

hey Jill, you're about the only Sens fan feeling good about the Sens. My mother told me the Ottawa area is engulfed in a sea of negativity, she thinks its funny, she's a Habs fan since the horrid year of 1967. I read today online in the Citizen that there aren't many Sens flags around town either.
I think the Sens do have a chance against Pittsburgh, more than any other team actually. Had they played Montreal it would have been lights out because of Carey Price. I know he's been playing amazing lately but I still think that Marc-Andre Fleury is a MAJOR headcase who can easily meltdown at any time. Look at his eyes behind his mask, he looks like a mental patient. Even without their heart and soul (Alfie and Fisher) the Sens are a veteran team who are very capable of pouncing on a weak goalie. However they also have to hope Gerber doesn't have a meltdown of his own like he did against the Habs two years ago.
If Fleury shows up though, its Pens in 5 or 6.