Sunday, May 13, 2007

Senators vs. Penguins: Round 1, Game 3

PRESIDENT’S 2 CENTS: Another strong game from the captain, as Alfie popped two sweet goals as well as popping both Gary Roberts and cheap-shot artist Colby Armstrong on their backs. Armstrong, of course, took out Patty Eaves with a questionable hit, and it was good to see Chris Neil and Alfie not let him forget it. Speaking of Armstrong, he bears a striking resemblance to Leafs pest Darcy Tucker in playing style and looks, albeit with an uglier nose and an inability to grow peach fuzz, let alone hair … other physical Sens included Mike Comrie and Jason Spezza, the latter with his little melee near the Pens bench in which he handled both Roberts and Ouellette at once … good CBC camera work all night, catching Michel Therrien and Crosby dropping f-bombs, as well as a flattering shot of Gary Roberts spitting in slow, oozing motion … good to see Dean McAmmond get one in the first period, as he was one of the hardest-working Senators up till that point and throughout … speaking of hard work, Schaefer’s nifty dekes, followed up by Mike Fisher’s screen, led directly to the Comrie goal … Pens PA announcer John Barbaro, perhaps despite his best efforts, still sounds too cheerful when announcing a Sens goal or a Pens penalty … Evgeni Malkin showed signs of teenage inexperience, with an undisciplined open-ice hook and that ambush of Phillips in the last minute, both of which led to penalties … fellow youngster Crosby showed incredible, veteran poise as he perfectly stepped into open ice to convert the give-and-go on the Penguins’ second goal … it was the Penguins’ first home playoff game since 2001. Even the crowd was obviously short on playoff experience, with some booing O Canada and then getting overly excited by throwing objects onto the ice after the Pens struck first … toss-up as to what was uglier: the guy in the front row with the long, bleach blonde mullet, or Mario Lemieux sporting a tieless blue shirt and the beginnings of a playoff beard … Dany Heatley either missed most of his shots or had most of them blocked. That certainly can’t continue … Overall the Sens played an excellent road game, checking hard, playing good defence and keeping the Mellon Arena crowd out of it until the late Crosby goal ... last but not least, can’t help but compare the Pens’ decision to sell tickets only to fans living in Pennsylvania to what the Sens did a few playoffs ago when they didn’t sell any to fans in the 416.

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