Friday, April 13, 2007

Playoff Game #2 - at Ottawa Senators

Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators

Ottawa leads 1-0

Game 2 is going to be HUGE. If the Pens can manage a win in Ottawa, then they have a legitimate shot to win the series. If they go down 2-0, even though games 3 and 4 are at home, I'm not sure they'll be able to come back.

I think it's all going to depend on the mindset of the Senators. They're saying all the right things, but what is going on in their heads? They've been notorious chokers for 10 years, and haven't been up 2-0 in a series in that entire time. They're also coming off a game in which the dominated, maybe making things a little too easy. I think they could be in for a rude awakening.

Here are the questions I asked prior to game 1. Let's see how the answers are looking so far:
5. Is Marc-Andre Fleury for real? Can he come up big for the first time in his career?

Yes - I think he can. He was quite sharp through two periods. I think with a better all-around effort by the team, Fleury can make the big save when called upon.

4. Can the Pens play their system against the Senators? Can they withstand the offensive barrages that the Sens have thrown against them this year?

This is TBD (To Be Determined). They weren't able to avoid the flurry of goals early in the first and in the third. That is what did them in on Wednesday night. Consistency is the key for Game 2.

3. Can the Pens continue to confound Ray Emery? Will they still have his number?

This is an emphatic YES. Get some regular pressure on this guy and I think he'll fold like a house of cards.

2. Will this young team be overwhelmed and intimidated once the lights come on, or will they continue to be blissfully ignorant of their surroundings?

I think they're all too aware of their surroundings and were pretty nervous. Now that they have the jitters out of the way, with a few late goals to show they can score, the train should start to roll a bit.

1. Can Sidney carry the Pens to the next level? Will he step it up when he's needed the most?

Another TBD. I believe he can, but we haven't seen it yet.

Game time is 3:00. Buckle up - it's going to be a rough one.

Let's Go Pens!

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