Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Senators vs Ducks: Round 4, Game 5

Ducks 6, Senators 2

PRESIDENT’S 2 CENTS: The handshake between the two captains in the postgame line put to rest any animosity that might have hung over from Game 4, when Alfie fired a puck at Scott Niedermayer, this year’s Conn Smythe winner. In a way, it also solidified once and for all Alfie’s playoff effort this year as a classy and tirelessly hardworking leader. His two goals tonight really punctuated not only his numbers (14 goals, 22 points) but his sheer will. That shorthander with Ryan Getzlaf all over his back was particularly incredible. He could not be stopped, even by the huge Getzlaf. Unfortunately the team was … Alas, it is over, and Ottawa bows out in five. Painfully obvious, moreso now than ever, Anaheim was no doubt the better team. A different type of beast than the inexperienced Penguins, the slower Devils, and the smaller Sabres, the Ducks forced the Sens onto their heels and took away space. There’s nothing much else to say other than to give credit where credit is due. The hottest team in the NHL since December would not be stopped or figured out by anyone. Anyone except the Ducks, which used a perfect combination of size, strength and sheer overwhelming will. Not to take away anything away from them, but they sure got some bounces as well … On the subject of bounces, none was worse than Chris Phillips’ misplaced clearout which sounded the Sens’ death knell as it dragged in off Ray Emery’s skates. The comparisons to Steve Smith’s hiccup in 1984 vs. Calgary are uncanny. Of course, Smith’s Oilers would lose that series but would also go on to win five Cups. With the Sens keeping their nucleus for next year, who’s to say they can’t win at least one? … As for Phillips, that bad break certainly was not indicative of his season and playoff run. Signing this guy for four more years before the playoffs started was a smart move by GM John Muckler, who also signed Anton Volchenkov at the same time.

… Watching the Ducks run up the score and raise Stanley at the end of the game was like a punch in the stomach to all Sens fans. The consolation is that many of them are hard-working Canadian kids (or players with Canadian connections) like Saskatchewan farmhand Travis Moen, world junior champ Corey Perry, or the giant Ryan Getzlaf. The big forward, perhaps so lost in the euphoria of winning the title, forgot he was on national (G-rated) TV had the funniest postgame reaction. “We played our (er, male hardware, in pairs) off tonight,” he remarked … It was also nice to see Scott Niedermayer not only win the Conn Smythe, but help brother Rob raise his first Cup. A sigh of relief no doubt came over their mother, who this time could smile happily and cheer for both, unlike in 2003 when Scott’s Devils defeated Rob’s Ducks … Happily shedding the label of third-longest-serving player to never win a cup was former Jets star Teemu Selanne … J.S. Giguere, who many picked to win the MVP again, took home his first Cup despite health issues with his newborn son in the first round … Ottawa and Almonte natives, Sean O’Donnell and Kent Huskins respectively, represented the area …

More to come on Thursday!

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