Hi there and how are you on this glorious day?
Before I start, I would like to apologize for the lack of a JDP for game one. As a working mother with a drinking and drug problem sometimes it can be difficult to find the time in a day and/or see the keyboard straight enough to be “always with updates”. Today is a new day and I promise promise promise I wont let going to court get in the way of being there for orange slice duty at your next soccer baseball game ever again.
And now a take that you get to hear for the 30th time thanks to the 3 day gap between games!
I thought there were a lot of positives that came out of that last game despite what the score indicates. One of the biggest positives was that even though the Sens looked pretty overwhelmed at first and gave up a goal very early that they responded by tying it up on a dirt rascal greaser by Colin Greening. Not only is this the type of goal you want to see your team be able to score against a squad as good as the Penguins but the fact that it wasn’t scored by someone known for their offensive flair was also encouraging. Dirt rascal goals.
Another thing I noticed is that despite going pointless in game one, Erik Karlsson is really starting to get back to his 19 shots per game groove back. I find it very, very hard to criticize Karlsson because most players would have just shut it down for the season so to even see him playing half like himself is something I am still wrapping my head around. The fact that MacLean plays him 27-30 minutes and that Karlsson is able to do it blows my mind. No matter how deep the Sens can go this post season the dazzling King K skating we’ve come to know and love is just not going to be there so it was great to see EK just hammering shot after shot from the blueline. They weren’t all hitting the net but hey what am I going to say? Shoot less?
I thought Conacher and Pageau were looking great and Mika had a couple of close calls. For all the talk about the Sens having stage fright these guys did not really look like rookies in my opinion and that bodes very well for the Sens.
Jared Cowen looked pretty rough out there. You know what though? I think he’s the type of player that will learn from his bad game and take it to them tonight. Sure, the optics were terrible when he fanned on that pass and then looked weak on Malkin on the subsequent goal. Good news: I have a feeling Jerry is going to put Malkin on his ass next time they meet in front of the net.
MacLean Says “Yes [you may grudgingly return to the lineup]” to the Latendresse!!!
Can we each and every last one of us agree that you do not want to get in Paul MacLean’s bad books? You could say the players do it to themselves to an extent but damn MacLean is not afraid to bench someone indefinitely. Remember The Ballad of Bobby Butler? A little depth returned to the lineup and MacLean all but shutdown Jim O’Brien and Peter Regin for the year. Paulrus obviously did not like what he saw out of Latendresse against Montreal and benched him for the next four games. BY THE WAY HE HAD A GOAL IN THAT SERIES. PMac means jolly-BUSINESS.
I dont want to seem like I’m overdoing it here…or actually this is the internet whatever…
Now that Latendresse is getting that second chance that he otherwise probably wouldn’t if Spezza was put back in the line up or if Matt Kassian didnt skate like a gingerbread man (Ed. Note: ?) this is positively a pivotal moment in his career. The guy was healthy scratched for the remainder of the series against his former club because for not showing enough fire and for getting sonned by the smaller Ryan White. This does not look good on your resume going into the off season. And he cant really fall back on his regular season play either. He was good. He impressed me, a doubter, at times but the fact is he was Andre Benoit good. Andre Benoit is an overage AHL call up defenseman. Lats is a former 25+ goal top six forward. I think he has to make some noise and pad up those stats for the sake of his career. I know he’s only 25 but nobody’s looking for a top 6 forward in decline who cant play in the playoffs. Actually, Scott Gomez is playing right now…dont stop believin….hahaha seriously do not fuck this up dude. Be superthug tough in front of that net. So yeah…uhh…unleash the Guyet!
Andre Benoit also draws into the line up in place of the banged up Eric Gryba. Not too much to say here. As much as it sucks to see the Sens go a man down I’m not about to pretend that Gryba was some irreplaceable rock on D. He’s performed well for a rookie called up from the AHL but so has Benoit. In fact I welcome Benoit’s offensive ability what with Patrick Wiercioch on the IR. Again, I cant say that Latendresse is an offensive upgrade without giving the same accolade to a defenseman who matched his point total in only 6 more games.
Swapping Kassian for Latendresse and Benoit for Gryba gives Ottawa an undeniably more offensively capable line up for tonight and considering they only managed one goal on 36 shots. It’s up to them to make the most of it and just pepper Vokun with shots and stay all UP in his kitchen OR WHO KNOWS WHAT KIND OF FOOD PREP AREA.
Craig Anderson who is still a frigging great goaltender gets the start.
Who to watch for:
I think Nikita Filatov is going to finish that 3D puzzle he’s been picking away at tonight. Should be interesting to see how that shakes out.
GO SENS GO!!!
Pre game hype up jam:
Three-day breaks between playoff games are basically the worst idea ever and I sympathize with your drinking and drug problems, James. It is truly inconsiderate of the NHL to schedule so much time between games. Don’t they realize that some people depend on these playoffs to provide relief in between soccer baseball games?
I know we really shouldn’t pile on Our Boy Erik Karlsson, but his play makes me think that getting Spezza back wouldn’t be as helpful as people seem to think. And Benoit vs. Gryba—who would you prefer? I can’t decide who is the better option right now, even though they have such different playing styles. I don’t have too much faith in either of them. :S
I know what am i supposed to do with all this time? Appreciate “music” and “art”? Make “friends”? Check in with my “parole officer”? I’m telling you …soccer baseball is the only thing keeping us from turning on each other!
Agree on Spezza… They’ve come this far without him. A back injury is something you don’t want to rush. Considering Spezza misses up to 20 games a year on average and this back issue can now be considered chronic, I would much, much rather see Spezza for 82 games next year than the possibility of him aggravating it again now and starting rehab all over again. Sure he looks great in the practice videos but if he comes back the Penguins are going to be gunning for him and you cant be less than 100% recovered considering the size of guys like Brooks Orpik (dumbest name ever?) on the back end. It doesn’t sound like hes there at 100% yet. (Konfession korner: Watching Karlsson play so soon after his injury still secretly scares the shit out of me).
Between Gryba and Benoit, I suppose they bring their own things to the tableau. Gryba the physicality and Benoit the mobility and some scoring touch. I think for this series the key is to just to get the puck out of the zone as quick as possible, expose Pittsburgh’s speed issues and take more shots than the cast of Jersey Shore would over the course of a night at….wherever people who’s careers are over at age 30 hang out. So what I’m saying is…I am happy to see Benoit draw in but hope Gryba can get healthy soon.
Thanks for reading most of this comment, YC and enjoy the James!