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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Ottawa Senators

jedi17
jedi17
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Join date : 2013-02-20

Ottawa Senators Empty Ottawa Senators

Post by jedi17 Wed 12 Apr 2017, 1:05 pm

Game Day: Bruins @ Senators - Let the games begin!
April 12, 2017, 10:10 AM ET [5 Comments]
Jared Crozier
Ottawa Senators Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
After a year without postseason hockey, the Senators make their return to the playoffs tonight when they host the Boston Bruins for game 1 of round 1.

Ottawa has a couple of question marks, most notably whether Marc Methot will be able to suit up for game 1. It also appears that one of the biggest issues that a lot of fans have had with the lineup will be addressed, if yesterday's skate was any indication.

After suiting up for all 82 games in the regular season, the return of Clarke MacArthur, Bobby Ryan and Zack Smith means the Senators are as healthy up front as they have been all season and Chris Kelly looks to be on the outside looking in when they take to the ice tonight.

The Senators forward lines yesterday, and as Guy Boucher said not set in stone, were:

Hoffman - Pageau - Stone
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Stalberg - Brassard - Burrows
Pyatt - Smith - Wingels

Meanwhile, the Bruins have questions of their own, most notably how ready Charlie McAvoy is to play the Torey Krug role. The newly signed McAvoy will play his first NHL game and practiced on the first pair with Zdeno Chara and also on the Bruins' first power play unit.

If you missed my series preview yesterday, you can click the link below, but this is a series that could lend credence to the argument for advanced stats. Almost all of the underlying numbers point in Boston's favor, yet the Senators defy the odds, finished ahead of the Bruins and swept the season series despite the possession metrics.

I also can't get out of my mind the stats I found when I was preparing the preview, about just how bad Boston was against playoff-level teams over the season, and how that could be viewed two different ways depending on your perspective. The Senators dropped a lot of games against teams they should beat, while the Bruins made the playoffs pretty much based on their ability to beat up on the Panthers, Lightning, Red Wings and Sabres with regularity.

Game one will likely be a feeling out process, and the Senators have to walk a fine line between using the crowd's energy in a positive way while not going overboard, while still remaining true to the system that has given them the most success this season. They can give up shot attempts, but controlling as best they can where those attempts are coming from and effectively blocking shots (without getting hurt in the meantime).

Shutting down Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are key, and that will put a lot of focus on Jean-Gabriel Pageau. It looks like he will be elevated to play with Ottawa's two best wingers, Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman to provide a defensive presence and go head to head with Boston's top line of Bergeron, Marchand and David Backes.

The key might be how well Clarke MacArthur, Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan can mesh and play together. Ryan scored in the Senators meaningless season-ending loss to the Islanders, and hopefully that can get him on a bit of a role. If that unit can provide quality minutes, the Senators can roll four quality lines with Zack Smith being a pretty good option for your fourth line centre. I might play Ryan Dzingel instead of Tommy Wingels, but other than that Guy Boucher has some good options to work with.

They should be able to get some pressure on the forecheck and force the Bruins weakened defense into some mistakes, both in the Boston end as well as the neutral zone.

Ottawa practiced with two new-look power play units yesterday:

Hoffman-Brassard-Ryan-MacArthur-Karlsson
Burrows-Turris-Stone-Wideman-Phaneuf

Which is interesting, more balanced deployment, but they can't get much worse than they have been of late. Having everyone healthy will be a bonus, but they need to execute and at least use power plays to gain momentum (if they aren't scoring), as opposed to being the momentum killer it has tended to be in the last couple of months.

Ottawa needs to play as much of the game at even strength, because the Bruins' special teams are so much more effective.

Game one is important for the Senators, to get off to a good start in front of their own fans and maintain the home ice advantage they worked so hard during a time of adversity to get. They haven't had home ice advantage in a playoff series since they knocked off the Penguins in the first round en route to the 2007 Stanley Cup finals. They have opened their last 10 playoff series since that one on the road.

While this is the first time the modern day Senators have met the Bruins, I will leave you with this piece of history...

    Current date/time is Sun 04 Dec 2022, 12:05 am