Senators News: May 13th

-Here’s my preview of the second round series against Pittsburgh, which will begin tomorrow (Tuesday).

Allan Muir picks the Pens in seven, echoing the points above and below (focussing primarily on Pittsburgh’s goaltending).

The Raaymaker gave me a heart attack by suggesting Chris Phillips will be the main guy shutting down Sidney Crosby:

Despite Phillips‘ coverage, Crosby‘s lit up the Sens in the regular season (6G, 19A in 24GP), and it’s only been worse in the post-season: He’s got 27P (10G, 17A) in 15 career playoff games against Ottawa–far above his career points-per-game average.

He may be right about the match-up, but I doubt Paul MacLean wants it exclusively.  A healthy Erik Karlsson is the only Sens blueliner who can keep up with his speed and I’d rather have Marc Methot on Crosby duty.

James and Varada discuss with the match-up with James suggesting the Pittsburgh-Ottawa match-up is on par with the Boston-Toronto series, which I just don’t see at all.  Varada suggests agitating the Penguins like Philadelphia did last year in order to have success, while James thinks a speed advantage is the Sens way to win.

Jason Spezza did not join the Sens as they travelled to Pittsburgh, so will miss at least game one.

-Some quotes from Daniel Alfredsson, Karlsson, and Paul MacLean about the upcoming match-up:

You can’t come down (the ice) and know that he’s [Tomas Vokoun] going to butterfly every time [like Marc-Andre Fleury]. He’s going to do different things all the time. You’ve almost got to make him think that you think that I think what he thinks all the time. Does that make sense? I don’t know.

And

Even though they have a great team, if you just work hard and the right way you’re going to give yourself a chance.

And

How do we match up against them? We’re going to have to see. They’re the No. 1 seed for a reason so we’re going to have to be ready to work. One thing I’ve learned from the Stanley Cup playoffs is that they play the games and a lot can happen. A lot of times what’s supposed to happen doesn’t happen. We just have to get ourselves prepared as best we can and give ourselves a good effort.

Jared Cowen talked about the match-up:

There’s so much to worry about over there. They have quite a bit of firepower. I think we have the perfect style of play to combat that. Obviously we showed that against Montreal against their top players so I don’t think we should have too much difference in our game plan in terms of shutting them down. The Islanders play kind of similar to how we play with the kind of lineup they have and I think if we can simulate that, but maybe have more success in the O-zone. They have three lines that could be a first line on a lot of other teams. The core of their team has been playing together for a while so they’re very familiar, they’ve been to the final a couple of times so it’s not like they’re inexperienced and talented, they’re experienced AND talented. They’ve got a lot of facets to their game and everyone here has to play their best to match that. We have experienced guys in different ways but not in the same way that they are.

Mark Parisi needs to rename his ups and downs column to “Michalek Bad”, since that’s pretty much all he’s said the last couple of weeks.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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