Monday, April 16, 2007

Playoff Game #4 - vs Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins

Ottawa leads 2-1.

Everything is a matter of perspective, isn't it? Say, for instance, that the Pens had lost both games in Ottawa and won on Sunday in Pittsburgh. What would we all be saying now? I think it would be something like "a win in game 4 and the Pens are right back in the series, doing what they're supposed to do". Instead, with the win on the road and the loss at home, there seems to be an overriding feeling of disappointment.

I think the Pens can win game 4. I think they will be right back in the series if they do. I think they're done if they don't.

If the Pens are to win the game, they're going to have to do a few things, in my opinion:
  • Out hit the Senators, while staying out of the box. This is made easier by the reduced interference calls if the puck is anywhere near the player.
  • Make better passes out of their own end. I'm not sure if this is a system thing that they're confused by, but we haven't seen this much difficulty all season.
  • When they get the puck to the neutral zone, get the forecheck going. This had been absent for most of the series, and it's critical. It's even more important because it gives a chance for the third and fourth lines to chip in.
  • Get timely scoring on the power play. In their two losses, the Pens had key situations where they couldn't get the badly needed goal past Ray Emery. They have to find a way to score.
  • Hit Bryan Murray with the puck. Okay - maybe that one's not completely necessary, but it sure would be worth it.
The Pens sure could use a convincing win to head back to Ottawa with. That would give them some momentum, as well as assure them of a return trip to Pittsburgh for game 6. Here's hoping it happens.

Let's Go Pens!


Teej said...

Therrien was pissed after Game 3, it was evident in the post-game press conference. I'm expecting a much better effort from the team tonight.

Side note: I'll be there with some friends, so expect us to be bringing the energy and rocking the white towels!

Twitch said...

Excellent analysis (well, except for the "hit Murray with a puck"...I mean, it wouldn't change anything...Murray can't skate. Really. I've seen it).

Unfortunately (for you guys) it's 1-0 after the 1st. And if I were Super Mario, I'd be seriously rething Malkin's incentives...