So, now what?

 

The strange thing about Silfverberg’s insertion into the lineup last night is that MacLean puts such a premium on roster spots being earned through hard work. For example, last night, with the team down two goals in the third period, MacLean barely played Spezza. Where most coaches would go back to their $7MM man, MacLean knows that you can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. You don’t preach work ethic all season long only to say “just kidding” when the games matter most.

So it’s puzzling that MacLean would turn to Silfverberg after finally getting what he needed out of Bobby Butler, after a strong performance by Mark Stone, who’s been practicing with the team for days, and after a season’s worth of hard work by Colin Greening.

Silfverberg didn’t look too bad for a kid who got off a plane about 24 hours earlier. He looked lost at times, falling over Michalek in front of his own end and chasing the Rangers around, but he didn’t make any glaring mistakes. The question is why we were relying on someone in that position to start with? Hype is fun, but is that all it was?

Now the Senators have a huge decision to make and only one game left. There’s no room for error. Who plays?

Jakob Silfverberg: you could always bet that he was just getting his feet wet and will be much better next game. A couple of days of practices and some time to get rid of the jet lag could do a world of good. Though you’ve gotta ask yourself why Jakob gets that benefit of the doubt. Even the best players need more than a few minutes of ice time to get acclimatized. Can he be a difference maker? Is it fair to expect him to be?

Mark Stone: did not look out of place at all in game five, though he did receive oodles of power play time after that beauty assist and wasn’t the answer to all of the Senators’ offense questions. If not for Craig Anderson, that game might have turned out very differently, and the series would be over now. Still, Stone looked composed and confident. Perhaps more importantly, he put Spezza in a position where he felt like he could shoot the puck rather than go for a stroll in the country.

Bobby Butler: he’s been patchy all season long, though of all of the options here, Butler’s played with the most desperation. It looks like MacLean’s message has finally gotten through. Oh, and he also tends to shoot the puck every once in a while, which makes one Senators player doing that.

Colin Greening: Remember him? Played on the first line pretty much all season? Greening hasn’t been killer playing with Smith and Neil, though that line has been very good thanks to Neil’s decision to annoy the ever-loving crap out of everyone in the state of New York. Greening is just a good, solid player who knows when to crash the net. Could simplifying our strategy be the answer here?

Mika Zibanejad: “Oh ah Zibanejad / say oh ah Zibanejad” has a nice ring to it.

8 thoughts on “So, now what?

  1. Michalek – Spezza – Alfie
    Foligno – Turris – Butler
    Greening – Smith – Neil
    O’Brian – Konopka – Condra

    A few keys to this working:
    a) Alfie/Spezza work the 2007 chemistry
    b) Foligno remembers that a line consists of 3 forwards
    c) The Rangers ease up just a little bit on defence.

    Yup, it’s that simple. All I need now is a moustache. See you in round 2.

    • I like it too, but you need to have a two line threat to make it to the next round, I don’t think foligno-turris-butler could get by the ranger’s d and lunquvist. that’s why I was a fan of alfie-turris-blank and michelak-spezza-blank. Just have to fill those blanks in, but don’t think that setting up the game winner in game 5 gets you into game 6, don’t forget guys, this is a rebuild year.
      Sorry, on that note, I like the sens and you crazy fans, and the funny looking hick with the ginger beard who has become our model fan, but this whole slogan of ‘it’s a rebuild year’ is so0o0o infuriating, (especially as a true blue oilers fan, it’s like the sens listen to an ice cube album and all of a sudden they’re gangster, is that a good similie? bottom out for a couple years sens, that’s a rebuild) how about ‘it’s try to win a cup year’, did we give up on that? You know, if I was in the sens dressing room, as a player of course, and we were about to start the playoffs, and I was getting that kind of attitude from my coach, ‘oh, it’s no big deal, this is a rebuild year, this is just experience’. I would be pretty upset and be disappointed that we decide to evaluate players during an elimination game.
      Lament, Lament!

  2. I voted Alex Kovalev on the first line, because apparently anything can happen line-wise in this series.

    But in all honesty

    Michalek-Spezza-Alfie
    Foligno-Turris-Greening
    Neil-Smith-Stone
    O’Brien-Konopka-Condra

    Would be an ideal setup, but knowing this caffeine buzz that I’m riding on I’ve probably made a huge mistake. I’d love to see Stone on the “3rd Grit Line” because the guy just reminds me of an early Dany Fuckin’ Heatley. Big body that can crank one timers and shows that he has dangles and checks that shouldn’t be overlooked.

    But then again, two games ago I couldn’t keep track who was on the first line. I was confused at home, can only guess how the Rangers felt.

    Also Sens fans I thought I was witty as hell trying to start the Water Boy Gatorade chant for Dubinsky, thanks for making feel like a jerk!

    • The world simply wasn’t ready for “Water Boy Gatorade” yet. You’re like the “On The Corner” era Miles Davis of hockey game chants. You cant wait for people to catch up to you… you’re making art here.

  3. A little food for thought before our boys go to war tonight………..and make no mistake…..we will win!

    The cockiest, dirtiest, most irresponsible group of athletes in the world.

    Will do anything just to be able to tell his teammates a great story in the dressing room.

    Live the dream until they are 35 then realize they never made it.

    Ladies love us, guys want to be us, we are the soul of the universe. You lace up the skates, put on the gloves, strap on the helmet, and walk on to the ice and nothing else matters.
    It doesn’t matter that you failed a test, if your girl is being a b****, or that you got a ticket on the way there…you’re world is absolutely perfect for the next couple hours.

    Here’s to… faceoffs, goals, assists, overtime, living on the road, cold rinks, early mornings, breakaways, going top cheese, countless hours of practice, bag skates, puking, thousands of dollars, dangling d-men, end to end rushes, big hits, broken twigs, new skates, packing bombs, dropping the mits, wheelin’ broads, coaches, adding the letter y to the end of everyone’s last name, the word **** , pick up, tape to tape sauce, let downs, miracles and most of all – the game of Hockey.

    Why?

    Why do we skate back and forth night after night? Skating so hard we throw up. Skating so hard your heart beat rings in your head, while your
    lungs are grasping for air. Late nights, early mornings, Friday nights, Saturday evenings, broken bones, torn muscles and deep bruises. We skate through it all. Because we live off our adrenaline, because the game frees your spirit, because the party in the locker room is second to none, because you’re invincible once you step on the ice, because one shot can make you smile all night, sniping the twine, backy shelf where momma keeps the peanut butter, the rattling of the boards, the feel of the puck, and skates carving into the ice is a rhythm to live by, because its possible to skate fast enough to leave all your worries behind. Sweat is the cologne of our accomplishment.

    Why? Why would someone push themselves so hard the uneducated pussies always ask?

    HOUSE LEAGUE, A, AA, AAA, JR.A, OHL, US COLLEGE, PRO … It’s never been for the ******* the money, it’s not for the girls, and it’s not for the fame. ‘The Boys’ play because we ******* love it …

    Go Sens Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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