UHS COACH NYE FOLLOWING THE 2013 NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

Crosby goal game 2

Have puck will score – Call S. Crosby……  that was the sign that should’ve been plastered all over the Consol Energy Centre last night because that’s what happened in Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators last night.

Crosby’s second career hat trick in the Stanley Cup Playoffs he now has become the fifth player in franchise history to top 100 career points in the postseason. Crosby’s first one came back in 2009. He finished the game with 102 points total to move into fourth place on the Penguins all-time playoff scoring list. Only Kevin Stevens, Jaromir Jagr and some guy name Mario Lemieux (Super Mario to the rest of you!)  are ahead of him.

But really it wasn’t all Crosby out there believe it or not, he did have some help. That help coming from the likes of defense men Kris Letang and Paul Martin who both had 2 helpers each, setting up plays to help Crosby’s attack. Also Chris Kunitz playing along side Crosby kicked in an assist on Crosby’s second goal which was a true beauty!

The only disturbing part of this game is that the Ottawa Senators can not continue to play catch up hockey if they think they have chance of beating the Pens. Once you are down one or two goals especially if Crosby is flying and dominating the ice as he was last night, it’s just too hard to do. As Coach MacLean stated in his interview with NHL.com  ” We’re not ready to match it, obviously, catch-up hockey is losing hockey, and we’re behind 1-0 early in both games and now you’re playing catch-up the whole way and it takes energy and leads to frustration. We have to make sure we are ready from the start.”

Probably one of the hardest things to do in the game of hockey is play the ‘catch-up‘ game as Coach MacLean says and if the Sens want to get back into this series quickly they will need to do some different things in game 3. Let’s take a look at what they may be.

The Good

- Sid Crosby….enough said!

- Daniel Alfredsson doesn’t look like he will ever slow down. His compete level is still very high, just wish some of his younger teammates would follow his lead.

- Sens only allowed the Pens one PP goal on 6 attempts while they went 1/2 on their own.

- The Pens keep blocking shots (20-8 advantage) for their goaltender making him look good while really Vokoun looked average last night.

The Bad

- First time in Senators playoff history that they pulled their starting goaltender as Anderson was pulled and replaced by rookie Robin Lehner just after Crosby popped in his third goal in the second.

- As mentioned in the The Good section Tomas Vokoun, Pens goalie didn’t play bad but didn’t play his best neither. Looking more like a back up goaltender, so maybe there might be a chance of seeing Lefleur back in between the pipes in Ottawa?

- Though the Sens are out hitting the Pens ( 41-21 ) it’s the give aways from the Pens ( 3-7) that may start to haunt them in game 3.

The Ugly

- Being outshot 33-14 through only 40 minutes can leave you a very sour taste in your mouth because that’s what Coach MacLean must be having. Total shots for the game were in favour of the Pens 42-22….guess what the Senators need to do more of… SHOOT!!

- The play of Erik Karlsson has been awful but this might not be his entire fault. Hasn’t played since Jan 2013 and isn’t back to his full potential but it is really showing especially on Crosby’s first goal where Sid just danced around the Dman at the blueline, it looked like a industrial league player trying to play against Crosby you know (Pick up your jock back at the blue line kind of thing!!)

- SHOOT-SHOOT…. oh ya already mentioned that-take note Ottawa!

Additional Coach’s Notes

There’s talk of Jason Spezza returning for game 3 which may help but I think two thoughts on this. One Spezza doesn’t shoot anymore than the others for Ottawa so that won’t help a ton but his play making ability will. The second thought is, should Spezza risk coming back after an injury like he has had? He is still young and the Sens should have enough ‘Horses’ in their lineup to win against the Pens as long as they don’t fall behind. All the Coach is saying is be careful Spezza and Ottawa on that decision.

Until next time.

See you after the game,

Coach Nye