Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Playoff Game #1 - vs Ottawa Senators

Playoff Game 1
Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins

Why does it matter?
This is the Pens chance to show that the inconsistency that plagued them this season was nothing to worry about. The Sens were on the other extreme - they were either consistently good for a stretch or consistently terrible. Let's hope the latter holds for this series.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Trying to get everyone healthy to start the playoffs. It looks like everyone will go, with Kunitz being the question mark.
  • Senators - They will be without Kuba and Kovalev. The loss of Kuba hurts, as he was their ice time leader during the regular season.
Questions to be answered
  • Which Fleury will show up? Can he regain his playoff form from the last two seasons?
  • Can the Pens stop Alfie and Spezza?
  • What happens if they drop one of the games in Pittsburgh? How will they react to adversity?
Keys to the game
  • Get to Elliot early. Don't let him get comfortable back there.
  • Don't get wrapped up in any nonsense. I know you see less of that in the playoffs, but if Ruutu or Neil get you thinking about them instead of winning the game, you're losing the battle.
  • Focus on the details. Finish the checks all game long. Make sure on line changes before jumping on. Make the extra effort on the back-check. These are the things that can win the series.

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