Many people, including myself, predicted that the Penguins would win this series in six games. So why should we be surprised when that is going to be the case? For some reason, the Penguins cannot find a way to finish things up at home. This is the third consecutive time that they have failed to do so. The previous two, they went to Philly and Washington to wrap up each of those series. Saturday night will be no different in Ottawa. In a prior post, I wrote about how the Penguins in many ways are better off on the road. The items contained in that post will continue to be a factor in Game Six.
I don’t really want to look back on the reasons that the Pens lost Game Five, except to say that they will not all happen again in Game Six. The facts are that even though the series is 3-2, except for a few short stretches, and a few bad breaks, the Penguins have dominated this series. The main issues for the Penguins in Game Five were the giveaways and unnecessary penalties. These shortcomings will be corrected. Staal, Cooke, and Fedetenko were each -2. They will take this personally, especially Staal, and be a plus line in Ottawa. The Senators do deserve some credit for their play. They have blocked a ton of shots, and have played with a lot of resolve. I figured that they would. These things were enough to get them to Game Six, but that is where it ends on Saturday night. That’s the view from E-11.
Note — I repeat — Gonchar is playing too many minutes and it is showing up in his performance. In Game Five, he played 44 minutes. McKee only played 20 and he can do more. With decreased minutes, Gonchar will be better when he is on the ice. Or is Leopold ready?
Note — The Flyers did their part. The Bruins are close. Now the Penguins have to take care of business.