Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ducks shut down Sens again

2007 Stanley Cup Final - Game 2
Ducks 1, Senators 0
Anaheim leads series 2-0

“They’re our checking line, but they play extremely well together, they work well of one another and cycle the puck very well. All three of them are physical and make the other team play, and it wears them down.”
— Chris Pronger
Here's a question, and perhaps the only pertinent one at this point: Is it over?

Because with the way Ottawa played tonight, it sure looks that way. Outshot badly, outplayed and with a top line that looks anything but, the Senators are going to have to quickly reinvent themselves if they want to win the next two games at home — which is exactly what has to happen for them to make this a series.

Down 3-1 and heading back to Anaheim, they don't have a hope.

As of tonight, Sammy Pahlsson deserves the Conn Smythe, and everyone north of the border who said this was Ottawa's series to lose has a generous helping of crow waiting for them back home. The Ducks have shown two games in a row now that the Western Conference's dominance in limited regular season action against the East was hardly a mirage.

I know I'll be due an earful in the comments section for this, but I think that's all she wrote for the 2007 Stanley Cup finals, and sometime next week we'll be watching Edmonton's favourite son Chris Pronger parading the mug around the rink.

Because of the 31 finals series where the home team has gone up 2-0, only once has the visitor come back to win the championship.

Those are incredibly long odds for a team that hasn't been here before, and one that will likely have to win two games in the Pacific Time Zone — two more than they played west of St. Louis all year — to claw back into this one.


At 1:40 a.m., May 31, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was some awesome back-checking by Krusty on ANA's goal. Which, as I recall, was what cost them v BUF last year. Once a floating Euro, always a floating Euro.

At 2:49 a.m., May 31, 2007, Blogger J.R. Hippe said...

Anonymous leafer, grow up.

At 8:33 a.m., May 31, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

Yeah, how dare you revel in the sens' struggles! I bet not one senator fan said anything to their leaf brethren when their team made the final. Grow up indeed!

P.S. don't forget to mention Corvo's interesting take on defence.

At 9:44 a.m., May 31, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

I am a Sens fan, and James has unfortunately nailed it -- Rita MacNeil is warming up to sing. The Senators have been thoroughly outclassed in both games, and it's pretty hard to see why Anaheim would suddenly disappear now. They are bigger, grittier, hungrier, more responsible defensively, and skate just as well as Ottawa. This is basically Rocky Balboa vs. Ivan Drago, except in real life we all know that Drago wins. The Sens may be able to rally one up for pride at home, but I fear this one is over in five.

At 10:35 a.m., May 31, 2007, Anonymous pete said...

Sammy Pahlsson deserves the Conn Smythe

I was just thinking that myself after I saw him pot the winner last night.

Only two games in and he's clearly been the best player on the ice so far. Lights out defense and some nice offensive flair.

Unless something huge happens in the next few games, he's got my vote.

If I had one, that is.

At 1:29 p.m., May 31, 2007, Blogger ninja said...

I don't think its over yet. When Murray has last change the Sens should win. Unfortunately the Sens don't have home ice, so yeah, maybe it is over.

At 2:00 p.m., May 31, 2007, Anonymous Anshu said...

It does indeed look bleak now, but there are still reasons for Sens fans like myself to have some measure of hope.

1. Emery played well enough to steal a game, something many pundits didn't think was possible.

2. Despite Anaheim playing their best hockey of the playoffs so far, and Ottawa playing their worst, these games were only 1 goal victories, not 10 goal drubbings.

3. As Gary Galley says, "You're never in trouble until you lose a game at home." That hasn't happened yet. If the Sens can rebound with better efforts in Ottawa, they can still tie the series up heading back for Game 5. After all, if they win at home they only need to win one game on the road, and they have as many as 2 more chances to do that.

The fat lady may be warming up back stage, but she's not singing yet.

At 4:26 p.m., May 31, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

This is where I get all pedantic and annoying again.

The Ducks have shown two games in a row now that the Western Conference's dominance in limited regular season action against the East was hardly a mirage.

No, they haven't. I'll repeat something I said a while back: It's two games, and you don't know anything that you didn't know already. You can make plenty of descriptive statements, such as that the Ducks looked like the better team in the first two games, or that the Senators don't really need to worry about whether they can shoulder press 35 pounds. I'd even agree with them.

You can't make any inferential statements. Two games, between a non-random selection of team from each conference, says absolutely nothing about whether the Western Conference is better or worse than the Eastern Conference.* If you thought that the Western Conference was better than the Eastern Conference, you should still think that. If you thought the Eastern Conference was better than the Western Conference, you should still think that, too. I don't know which I believe, because I haven't seen the inter-conference records, and trying to pull the data by hand is too much of a pain in the ass for me to do, given the ******* OT loss rule and the fact that wins don't equal losses in the new NHL.

*As long as I'm being pedantic, I might as well do it to myself. These two games don't provide absolutely *no* knowledge as to which conference is better. They provide so little knowledge as to not really matter, but they do suggest that the West is better than the East. They just do so very, very weakly.

At 2:16 p.m., June 01, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

Anshu, that ditty about not losing a game on home ice is not as helpful if you only have 3 home games.

Also, the sens haven't been playing poorly in a vacuum. They have looked terrible because the Ducks are dominating them.


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