-Here’s my playoff preview, with a more detailed look at Ottawa’s series to come. Like most of the experts I haven’t picked many upsets (going by the overall standings I’ve only picked one in the first round; my Cup prediction takes a hit as the Bruins have reported Nathan Horton will miss the entire post-season).
–Jason Spezza talks about the upcoming series:
They’re a team that tries to play similar to how we try to play, a physical up-tempo game. We’ll try to get pucks behind them, we want to be on the offence. That makes it an easier game for us. They’re a team we’ve looked at all year and tried to play similar to, because we respect them and think they play the game the right way. We feel we play the game the right way, too so that’s why we think it can be a good series.
Chris Phillips said:
The biggest thing, is not playing defence. Get the puck quickly and we’re moving it to a teammate, or a forward, if we have it and we’re skating out of the zone. Get to the puck first, be hard on them and make good plays.
-TSN’s playoff preview show was last night and it was a welcome relief after the nonsense of Sportsnet‘s preview on the weekend. Like most prognosticators the panel favoured Pittsburgh to win the Cup.
-Sens bloggers are taking their kick at the cat for predictions, with The Silver Seven dragging it out as much as possible with articles separated by position. Unfortunately, there’s not much statistical information used to back up what’s said and their opinions are all over the map, so I can’t recommend the series. Neither 6th Sens nor Senshot have posted their previews yet, while Jeremy Milks at Black Aces has only written about John Tortorella. Sens Chirp offers his opinion, but there’s no data behind it, just his gut feel. Travis Yost spent a few minutes looking at the numbers and includes something I hadn’t read before–Ottawa has a career winning record against Lundqvist (11-12-2). Normally there’s not much stock in career numbers against a team, but some of the Senators core has been around as long as the Ranger goaltender.
–Sports Illustrated and TSN‘s power rankings are out with Ottawa 14th and 10th (Pittsburgh is 1st in both). Adrian Dater writes:
A preseason poll of the league’s pundits probably would have found about five percent of them predicting that this team would make the playoffs. But here are the Senators, thanks to solid coaching by Paul MacLean, great years from Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza, and some strong goaltending from Craig Anderson. This team is big and it can skate, but it’s probably not deep enough for a deep playoff run.
–Joy Lindsay Tweets Binghamton’s lines at practice: Dziurzynski-Cannone-Petersson, Hoffman-Zibanejad-Downing, Schneider-Da Costa-Parrish, Puempel-Grant-Bartlett/Lessard; Borowiecki-Schira, Blood-Conboy, Wiercioch-Gryba.
–Jeremy Roenick is another commentator who calls the Penguins whiners (if you watch the Sportsnet intro video for the story, critics of Crosby and Malkin are called whiners by the host–classy!).
This article is written by Peter Levi, be sure to follow @eyeonthesens