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Pens dominate in win over Sens to even up series

The Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the Ottawa Senators tonight in evening up the series with a 2-1 win.  Sounds odd that a team dominates another and only wins by a goal but that was the case tonight.  The Pens controlled the puck for much of the game but just couldn’t finish their chances.  At times Pittsburgh had such great puck possession that you wondered how so many of the Sens key players could look so average for long stretches.

Tonight was a prime example of why Jason Spezza will never be labelled a superstar, yet is paid superstar money.  Spezza was on the ice for both of the Pens goals.  On the  first Pittsburgh goal he let Sidney Crosby go to the net rather than engage with him and tie him up.  What more can you say on the second goal Pens goal?  The individual skill displayed by Crosby was incredible and hopefully it will show Spezza what it takes to win the playoffs.  It was simple…….Crosby wanted it more than Spezza and even though people will say Spezza defended Crosby well…… it wasn’t nearly good enough because he didn’t stop Crosby from accomplishing what he wanted to do, set up a teammate for a glorious scoring chance.  How many times did Spezza play perimeter hockey?  Countless!!  He had a great push to the offensive zone late in the game only to the slam brakes and backpass it to Pittsburgh.  Why Spezza refuses to drive the net is beyond me?  This kind of play from the Sens ”SO CALLED SUPERSTAR” will result in a quick first round exit.  If Spezza doesn’t elevate his game BIG TIME, Ottawa doesn’t stand a chance of winning this series.  Shoot the puck Spezza, there is no excuse for finishing a playoff game with no shots on goal!!

For the first time in as long as I can remember in back to back games during the playoffs, can you say that Daniel Alfredsson has been extremely average.  He was guilty of not driving the net or shooting the puck nearly enough.  His two giveaways led to glorious Pens scoring chances.  Maybe you break up Spezza and Alfie if the same kind of play continues in Game 3.  

Head coach Cory Clouston will have the last change in Games 3 and 4, and he must use this to his advantage.  The Crosby line owned the Spezza line in Game 2.  Full credit to Pittsburgh for outplaying, outhitting and outhustling Ottawa.  It was clear that the Pens wanted this game more than Ottawa.  If not for great play from goaltender Brian Elliott, this game could have got out of hand in a hurry.  Clouston also needs to insert Shean Donovan in place of Ryan Shannon.  In a physical series like this, you need all hands on deck and Shannon was a non-factor while getting bounced around far too much.  Shannon never wanted to engage all game long.  Donovan needs to play on that fourth line and bring some energy. 

Is Mike Fisher dressing for the Sens?  Yet again, he was a non-factor.  Zero shots on goal, zero blocked shots and not even a missed shot on goal……..come on……….this is downright pathetic.  Fisher gets a free pass in this city far too much, he needs to elevate his game even more than Spezza. 

Ottawa lost every key component of the game, yet only lost 2-1 so I guess you can draw a few positives from that.  Sens were outshot 31-20, outhit 52-31 and lost the faceoff battle.  What bothers most about this game is how Ottawa lacked that killer instinct in possibly going up 2-0 in this series.  They could have made things so much easier for themselves in this series had they won tonight. 

Sens fans bring your vocal cords for Game 3 and be the 7th man!!  The key to the Sens success in Game 3 will be dictating and initiating the play.  If they can do that, it will go a very long way in grabbing a win in Game 3. 

As always you can reach me via e-mail at


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Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on

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In response to “Pens dominate in win over Sens to even up series”

  1. Femi Fasoyinu Apr 16 201011:10 pm


    Yeah Spezza got beat. However, I think he gets a horrible rap. He’s one of our most creative players. Regin doesn’t score if not for Spezza. As well, when he hit Crosby in game 1 did anyone say a good hit? When he stuck up for Heatley last year when Phaneuf jumped him did anyone say anything? He needs to be consistent, yes. As do most players. But he does show times when he engages physically and I feel he gets no credit for. Otherwise, totally agree. We got beat tonight by a hungrier team. Still got home ice tho. Go Sens Go!

    1. bebe bebe Apr 17 20101:56 pm


      Jury is out on Spezza regardless. The guy lacks consistency in a huge way. Like Kevin said, he is paid superstar money and plays like a B list star if you look at it from a movie point of view. Dress Donovan.

  2. Ozzyb Apr 17 20104:12 am


    Great points Kevin, but I think we have the Pens right where we want them. Looking into the playoffs I think we all would have been happy with a split. Hopefully the 2 games in Ottawa will give our top players a much needed boost.

    I kept my eye on Shannon the whole game, he did absolutely nothing. If I was Murray I would demand that Clouston plays Donavon. All season long this coaching staff’s overlooked him and I’m getting sick of it.

    Can’t wait for Sunday’s game. Even though we had a horrible game last night, I think we can bounce back and win these 2 games at home.

    PS… Another amazing hit by Sutton!

    1. bebe bebe Apr 17 20101:54 pm


      I love listening to Pens fans whine about the Sutton hit. Really? Every single person on the TSN and CBC panels all said clean hit, end of story and enough said. The refs didn’t penalize it and the damn league isn’t even looking into the hit. That says it all. Go jump off a bridge Pens fans if you think it was an illegal. Crosby, go whine to the reporters tomorrow when you are here in Ottawa and see how STUPID you look. What an idiot Crosby was saying he thought he led with the elbow and that it was illegal then proceeds to say he didnt see the replay. You whining cry baby, just like after Game 1, you look so foolish standing there whining to the refs. Lose the act Crosby!

      1. Dan Rakusan Apr 17 20102:32 pm


        In fairness, the elbow definitely made contact, but otherwise it was as clean a hit as you can get. The reality is that it’s a difficult thing to officiate. Sutton certainly didn’t promote the elbow, but he did end up hitting the guy with the elbow. Is that illegal? NO. Clean (and devastating) hit!

  3. Corey Krakower Apr 17 201012:45 pm


    Kevin – are you an expert??

    1. bebe bebe Apr 17 20101:52 pm


      I saw that Sutton interview last night, I am assuming you are referring to that. I thought Sutton was going to take off the reporters head too.

  4. Dan Rakusan Apr 17 20101:33 pm


    Amen on your point that Donovan should play. I met him last summer and found him to be a very dedicated player. It was a Canterbury alum game versus 67s alum. Very down-to-Earth kind of guy who will fill any role you ask of him. Shannon is a gritty player, and I can’t understand why he shies away from physicality, but until he realizes his role in an injury insertion, he is wasting a valuable roster spot.

    1. bebe bebe Apr 17 20101:51 pm


      I get that feeling too when you see him interviews. Long overdue in my mind, Clouston has gotta put Donovan in the line-up.

  5. mp mp Apr 17 20109:42 pm


    I find it so funny to see other blogs saying Ottawa played the perfect road game. All you had to do was listen to the Team 1200 and hear the guys saying how Ottawa played a horrible game. Spezza, Fisher and Cullen combined for 0 shots on goal. Incredible.

    Sens were dominated like you said Kevin. They chased the puck all night long. It seemed like Ottawa never had the puck. Going to need a superior effort in Game 3 to beat Pitt.

    1. Dan Rakusan Apr 17 20109:58 pm


      Pittsburgh should win this series, but if Ottawa can find a way to use their matchups against Crosby, they will make a series of it. In my books, I can’t figure out why Volchenkov isn’t re-signed yet.

      1. mp mp Apr 18 20101:24 pm


        Volchie is not signed yet because our bonehead GM signed Kuba to more money than Volchie and Phillips after they both took hometown discounts. Now both guys are pissed and want way more. Massive mistake by Murray to give Kuba more money than these 2 guys.

        1. Dan Rakusan Apr 18 20102:04 pm


          I’m holding out hope the Rangers can sign either Volchenkov or Zbynek michalek this summer, as our biggest need is a shut-down defenceman.

          1. Matt Shott Apr 18 20102:26 pm

            You can have zibby michalek when you pry him from my cold dead hands

          2. Dan Rakusan Apr 18 20102:47 pm

            Well, I might just do that! He’s UFA this summer, and I haven’t heard anything about contract talks so far… I’m guessing he’ll get a salary bump to about $4M per season… One of the most under-rated players in the league IMO.

  6. mp mp Apr 17 20109:49 pm


    This one is for the jackass reporter in Pittsburgh. CBC had the NHL front office on in the first intermission, the league said Sutton never left his feet, he didnt extend his below and that no penalty was the right call.

    Jay McKee just said on TSN, Leopold’s own teammate, said and I quote, “It’s a tough game, it was built on toughness, Leo had his head down and put himself in a vulnerable position, end of story.”

    Someone should tell that baby Crosby to shut his yap after the game when he hadn’t seen the reply of the hit. GO YOU KNOW WHERE CROSBY!

    1. Dan Rakusan Apr 17 20109:57 pm


      Crosby is a whiny douche, I think we all know that… As for the hit itself, if you watch ANY replay of it, it’s very clean. It’s not Sutton’s fault that the head was well down for Leopold. It is an unfortunate injury, but anyone crying for a suspension needs to get their heads out of their ass and realize that this type of thing is bound to happen at some point.

      1. mp mp Apr 18 20101:27 pm


        I agree with Crosby. As for Sutton, on HNIC again last night during the Canucks game, people from the leagues head office said Sutton’s hit didn’t come close to warranting a fine or suspension.

  7. mp mp Apr 18 20101:35 pm


    Absolutely incredible that Clouston is dressing Shannon again. If he had of played Donovan in Game 2 and got the terrible effort like Shannon gave in Game 2, no way Donovan would be left in the line-up. This is a crying shame!

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