I’ve seen some one-sided affairs but last nights game might take the number one spot for a while. Ottawa have had some car-crash games this season but this was a new low.
It doesn’t feel like the Ottawa Senators could have quite feasibly been 3-0 up in this series does it? 4-0 was the prediction from many corners of the hockey world, including yours truly. The Pittsburgh Penguins did play some lovely hockey at times but it was the Ottawa Senators glaring deficiencies that handed the Pens a route to the final.
In all honesty it looked like a preseason game, Pittsburgh were toying with the Sens in the offensive zone time and time again. This was old-school bullying in the playground, the big kid would take the ball (puck) from the smaller kid and pass it around not allowing the small kid a chance to get it back. There was a real lack of effort from the Ottawa Senators from the off, a four-goal frenzy of a first period all but gifted the win after twenty excruciating minutes.
Many of you reading might be thinking surely seven goals is a thriller of a game. It wasn’t. It was embarrassing from start to finish for both the Senators and the NHL. This team got to the Eastern Conference Finals? Really? Well yes, and they did look solid for a while but like any boxing matches, if the underdog lasts a few rounds they often get bullied in the later exchanges. Fans want to see contests, not seven goal blowouts, it’s frankly pathetic. You can’t even blame the Pittsburgh Penguins, they can only play what is in front of them.
The statistics measured up as 36-21 in favour of the Pens for shots meaning the Ottawa Senators were at a .801 save percentage with their two goaltenders. Don’t get me wrong Anderson had a stinker and was rightly pulled but no one in white was interested in helping out the pipemaster. Sluggish, lethargic and lazy on the forecheck and pressure once the puck was in their own zone. A consistent comedy of errors that lasted a full sixty minutes, which should be uploaded as Netflix’s newest comedy special.
Enough ranting about the Ottawa Senators and pure gulf of class and let’s discuss the Pittsburgh Penguins. So ruthless last night that they got bored of celebrating once the fifth goal went in, maybe Kessel and Malkin even high-fived last night? Who knows. It’s hard to pinpoint last night as an awakening for this Pittsburgh team whose form has been somewhat sporadic this post-season. Some nights turning on the oven to about 180 degrees, not quite the required temperature and others forgetting to turn the damn thing on at all. Seven separate scorers last night, mainly coming down the depth chart. Showing that the while the Sens can go toe-to-toe with the top-line they haven’t the resistance to stop anything else.
Overall, a shambolic state of affairs if you are a fan of Ottawa, the NHL or just hockey. Pens fans will be delighted as they can begin to dream of a consecutive final. Game 6 should seal Ottawa’s fate.