Senators News: May 26th; Ottawa 2 Pittsburgh 6

-The Senators season ended with a thud as they lost 6-2 to Pittsburgh in a game that wasn’t close.  Craig Anderson continued to be ordinary against the Penguins (he made 27 saves) and the Sens simply had no answer to the offensive barrage (Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris scored the final goals of the playoffs for Ottawa).  The inclusion of Cory Conacher in the lineup made no discernible difference, although he played more than Mika Zibanejad who saw a meagre 8:14 of ice time.  Here’s the boxscore; Scott had the scoring chances 12/18.

Paul MacLean reflects on the loss:

It’s a hard lesson to swallow, these last two games. It’s real tough for our goaltender, our team and our coaching staff and our organization to get beat like we did in the last two games, but one thing about our group is adversity really tends to be something (we learn from). We will take good things out of this and it will make us better. (The Penguins) never stepped off the pedal one time and that’s what it takes.

I think it’s indicative that MacLean mentioned the goaltender first.  Anderson deserved the praise he got this season, but he was not good against the Penguins in either the regular or post-season.  Anderson could not accept that he didn’t perform well however:

At the end of the day, if you lose the game 3-2 or 6-2, it doesn’t matter, you still lose. Obviously, statistics show a little bit, they don’t show the whole truth. If you break down the scoring chances and break down the quality of scoring chances, that’s what tells the story. Anybody that’s watching the game and knows anything about hockey, they’ll take the statistics and throw them out the window, because that’s just kind of the way things are.

There’s a pretty big difference in losing 3-2 or 6-2 and Andy shouldn’t hang his hat on losing being okay because the other team had a lot of scoring chances.  I’m not a fan of players making excuses.

-Prior to the series I predicted the Sens would lose in five and none of the trends of the match-up explored in the regular season changed in the post-season.  Anderson continued to be average (The Raaymaker offers up excuses for Andy, but a near-Vezina winning goaltender puts up better numbers than that), the Penguins continued to get the lion’s share of the powerplays, and the Sens continued to give up the first goal and were unable to keep up offensively.  An Ottawa loss is what most saw in the tea leaves prior to the series (other than Senschirp who thought Ottawa had the edge in all categories); the Penguins are locked and loaded and Ottawa just didn’t have the horses to run with them.

-Speaking of Raaymaker (link above), he gives up his random Milan Michalek criticism in the end–with Michalek scoring in back-to-back games it becomes hard to maintain the illusion he’s playing poorly.  He’s correct in criticising Jared Cowen‘s performance, but the Gonchar criticism doesn’t make much sense.

Jared Crozier, who brought up the idea of biased officiating in the playoffs, now dismisses it out of hand (25/18 was the powerplay split by the end–the Pens averaged five powerplays a game, just like in the regular season against Ottawa).  Crozier thought that game two was the breaking point for Ottawa because the Penguins “got” to Anderson.  Given that Pittsburgh “got” to Anderson in the regular season I don’t really see his point (they also scored 4 in the first game against him too).

-Speaking of Crozier, he looks forward to next season and puts forward the following:

With Sergei Gonchar a pending UFA, there will be a hole in the top 4.  After Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot, and Jared Cowen, there is question marks.  Patrick Wiercioch should have been the 4th, but he has failed to gain the trust of Paul MacLean based on the way the Senators used him.

He has?  I wish Crozier would explain the point, because I’ve seen no indication of that at all.

-I’ll be looking at the Sens season, playoffs, and what’s coming up going forward soon, but the obvious roster changes will be the departure of Peter Regin, Mike Lundin, Guillaume Latendresse, and presumably Sergei Gonchar.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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1 Comment

  1. […] Senators News: May 26th; Ottawa 2 Pittsburgh 6 […]


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