I wanted to get up a quick gameday blog for Game 4 here tonight in Ottawa. One line-up change for Ottawa and in my eyes two games too late but better late than never. Jonathon Cheechoo draws into the line-up and Ryan Shannon will be a healthy scratch. I still believe Shean Donovan should be inserted tonight as well.
The Sens are venturing into unchartered waters tonight as they have never come back to win a series after trailing 2-1. That says alot about the make up of this team. Tonight is beyond a must win for the Sens or this series is all about but over.
Ottawa definitely has to finish their chances tonight, but they also need to shoot the puck more and drive the DARN net!! You aren’t going to win playoff games with 21 shots on goal most nights.
The Spezza and Alfie has to combine for 2 goals for this team to win. If the number one line continues to get no production outside of Peter Regin, the Sens season will be over before the weekend. Now I have been hard on Alfie this series but I have it confirmed to me by 2 extremely good sources that he is playing VERT hurt. It’s his right shoulder and it’s definitely a partial seperation. It could be worse but nobody has told me it’s completely seperated. He came back rather quickly from the shoulder injury which he ironically hurt against the Pens prior to Christmas and on Sunday night it was re-aggravated when Sidney Crosby levelled him with a clean check in the second period.
As for tonight, Cory Clouston needs to manage his bench MUCH better. He has been outcoached badly and the mental mistakes are costing Ottawa dearly. Pittsburgh hasn’t made those mental mistakes and right now that is the difference. A horrible line change last game led to a 3 on 1. The Bill Guerin goal was a lack of focus allowing him to get so far behind the Sens defense to score the backbreaker goal early in the third. Too many on the ice penalties can’t happen at this time of year. Clouston needs to start an energy line to begin the game and he can’t be caught having Carkner and Sutton on the ice for a penalty kill against Crosby which resulted in the Pens third goal
Of course, a strong by goaltender Brian Elliott will help the Sens tie up the series. Puck drop for this is 7pm EST. Should be the best of the series. Ottawa needs to throw everything at Pittsburgh like the Pens did to Ottawa in Game 2 when they fell behind 1-0 in the series.
About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
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 FoxSports.com.