In Sidney Crosby’s first playoff series, the Pittsburgh Penguins squeaked into the playoffs before being dismantled by a dangerous Ottawa Senators team. While the parallels aren’t flawless, one couldn’t help but get a similar “fish out of water” feeling now that the Sens are the inexperienced eighth seed against an established No. 1 – in this case the New York Rangers. John Tortorella’s bunch handled Ottawa about as easily as one could expect in the playoffs, taking Game 1 by what some will call a misleadingly close score of 4-2.
Feel free to run with your own notions in the comments, but here are a few points to consider:
Marian Gaborik had a beauty of a goal to put up the Rangers 2-0 at the time. Where does the Gaborik-Brad Richards-Carl Hagelin (Hagelin optional) line rank in your eyes? Top five in playoff trios? Better or worse?
The Rangers are obviously happy to have a healthy Ryan Callahan in the postseason. Where does he rank among the be league’s best leaders?
New York more or less cruised tonight, but it’s still just one game. Can Ottawa make a series of this?
Speaking of which, what kind of adjustments would you make if your were Senators head coach Paul MacLean? Would you have any doubts about Craig Anderson’s chances of overcoming some significant talent deficits?
Should John Tortorella be concerned about overconfidence creeping in on a club that succeeded in large part by out-working opponents?
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger