April 16, 2008

Pens-Sens Game 4 Thoughts: The Sucker Punch

They led for only four minutes and 28 seconds of the entire series.

Their "Cash" line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, and Daniel Alfredsson which compiled 263 points during the regular-season, dropped in a mere two points in the four games.

Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman led the Senators in points with two.

Basically, when Ottawa needed their stars to step up, they were nowhere to be found, except on the side of a milk carton.

While we can harp on the downfall of the Senators, you have to give boatloads of credit to the entire Penguins team. Marc-Andre Fleury was phenomenal in shutting down the high-powered Ottawa offense. Sidney Crosby did was he did best: create offense. Maxime Talbot, Jordan Staal and Jarkko Ruutu contributed timely goals. Hal Gill, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Ryan Whitney, Sergei Gonchar, and Rob Scuderi kept things cool in the defensive zone.

It was a true team effort.

The Most Valuable Player of the series has to be Marc-Andre Fleury. He has been the reclaimed his number one starting job and is not looking back.

If you want a MVP-runner up, you have to give it to the third and fourth liners of the Penguins. Staal, Talbot, Ruutu, Gary Roberts and crew have given Pittsburgh the depth that the team needs to make a long playoff run. You cannot win in the post-season without two things: a solid goaltender and four capable lines. Ottawa was worn down by the rolling of the four lines and could not get anything going all series long.

Moving on to Round 2... Who might the Penguins face? At this point, it's way to early to tell, but here are the possibilities from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

• Washington, if the Capitals defeat Philadelphia and Montreal eliminates Boston.

• The New York Rangers-New Jersey series winner, if the Flyers beat Washington and the Canadiens defeat the Bruins.

• Boston, if the Bruins upset Montreal.

The Pens now get a week off to rest and recuperate. They'll be nice and refreshed when Round 2 gets underway and more importantly, healed.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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