-With so many days between games journalists and bloggers are throwing everything at the wall trying to find angles and things to write about (including Mark Borowiecki going with the team to New York, even though there’s zero chance he’ll play). Various game seven stats are being thrown around, but how the Senators (or Rangers) performed in a similar situation 10 years ago has nothing to do with either team now. Only a few Ottawa players have been involved in a game sevens with the organisation before and that’s not indicative of how the team will perform tomorrow. Many of the Rangers were part of the team that lost game seven against Washington in 2009, but even that’s not terribly relevant. The stats that mean something are the Rangers inability to score at even strength and the inability for Ottawa’s elite players to produce. The pressure remains on the Rangers, as Ottawa has already enjoyed a successful season irrespective of what happens Thursday night–for New York, anything less than a long playoff run is a failure.
-Jason Spezza talked about Paul MacLean’s as a coach:
Just his general understanding from being a player, because he’s played the game. He knows the ups and downs that go with it and knows we can get frustrated at times and we know he can get frustrated. It sounds corny, but we’ve been all on the same page and together all year and I think that’s what’s made it successful for us.
MacLean has been nothing if not blunt in his assessment of his players and it will be interesting to see what effect (if any) it has in game seven.
-Milan Michalek was cleared by the league for what the Rangers thought was an attempt to kick Girardi. The Rangers have complained throughout the series about the officiating and I’m interested to see if it’s either going to work for or against them. Paul MacLean had a good line about the officiating:
It’s not always the referee’s fault. They’re human. They’re not going to catch everything, but you can’t continually put yourself in a position that you make them make a call and always blame them. The responsibility is on us and our players to be (more) disciplined.
-Another correction for bobbykelly: Jim O’Brien did not make his debut this year (he played six games in 2010-11). Bobby is also part of a chorus of Sens bloggers who have been very restrained about Jakob Silfverberg which initially surprised me–bloggers typically want highly touted prospects inserted in the lineup immediately. I believe David Rundblad‘s inability to make an immediate impact has dampened the enthusiasm for prospects coming out of the Swedish Elite League and I wonder if Bobby Butler and Stephane Da Costa‘s seasons have done the same for NCAA free agents. Only CHL stars like Mark Stone still receive the enthusiastic hype I remember Alexei Kaigorodov receiving back in the day. Stone is a good player, but his skating is poor and that’s likely the main reason he did not play in game six. To me, hype is something the organisation has to generate and what they say about a player is what indicates whether a prospect is NHL ready or not. We’ve been told Silfverberg is an NHL player–should he be in the playoff lineup? If Paul MacLean thinks so, then he does.
This article is written by Peter Levi, be sure to follow @eyeonthesens