|Posted by Radatz on May 19, 2017 at 10:55 PM|
This game was a complete mismatch that nearly had an impossible ending. Following a bit of an opening flurry by Ottawa, the Senators weren't just outplayed. That happens. They were outcoached, outhustled, outfought, outskated, outpassed and outshot. It was a mismatch the sort of which you might see with Toe Blake's Canadiens playing a scrimmage squad of AHLers who'd never seen each other before. The Senators resembled stationary table-top hockey players. They won almost zero 1-on-1 battles. They made a generous plethora of power plays awarded to them by the Penguins look like a 2-man disadvantage. Once, during a rare spate of pressure, their own guy skated the puck to the blue line --- and past it, putting everybody but Anderson offside. It was that bad. True, Crosby's goal to make it 2-0 was a highly-overpraised fluke even from three feet, as Stalberg contested his shot and pushed a floater off the heel of his stick that found the only opening Anderson left with Crosby aiming stick-side high. But it was inevitable. How Pittsburgh managed to score only three goals through two periods was perplexing. That Ottawa made it 3-1 on a long-shot tip late in the 2nd was amazing. That they cut it to 3-2 with 5 minutes to go was astounding. That they came within a post of sending it to OT was unfathomable. That Pittsburgh drew not one but two too many men calls was ridiculous. And it was phantasmagoric that, in the end, Ottawa somehow had as many legit scoring opportunities as Pittsburgh. But then, so was the rest of this completely incongruous conference finals matchup.
The bottom line? If Ottawa should ever decide to skate again, they may win. Pittsburgh can't outskate Boston College any better than they outskated the Senators for most of this game, and they nearly lost anyway.
Categories: NHL Blogs