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GDT - Game #73: Pens @ Sens, Mar 23, 2017, 7:30pm

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tim1_2

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The biggest game of the season, until the next one. Crysby's been on a mission lately, with Pittsburgh going 8-1-1 in their last 10 as they hunt down Washington for top spot in the Metro, which is VASTLY preferable to finishing 2nd in the Metro. I assume Matrix will start for the good guys, and I also assume it'll be Murray for the Pens.

Ottawa's 5 up on Toronto, so just getting a point tonight would be nice.

Ev

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none of these games are big at all

tim1_2

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Ev wrote:none of these games are big at all

Well, I would like my team to make the playoffs, so I consider them important.

wprager

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If you thought the Sens had a tough time Tuesday against the Bruins, wait till you see their opponent tonight. Crosby is on fire, Murray is a Calder finalist, Malkin has won the Hart and, oh yeah, they are the reigning Cup Champs and one point back of being first overall in the entire league.

And in the red-black-and-white corner: The System. Biggest claim to fame is that we don't have the best fourth line -- we actually have *two* third lines.

Seriously, though. Anderson had a great game on Tuesday to steal two points. The team in front of him was not so great. It'll take more than Anderson's heroics to get even a point out of the Penguins. We've beaten this team before. We've also been schooled by them. Which outcome happens tonight depends on who shows up to play.

Erik Karlsson has been a PPG player for 30+ games (34 pts in the last 33) and has climbed to within 4 points of Brent Burns, with one game in hand. Mike Hoffman has points in 12 of his last 16 games and has risen to second on the team behind Karlsson, and leads the team with a +14. Turris leads the team with 25 goals, one shy of his career best.

Mark Stone has missed 6 games; Sens are treading water, going 2-2-2 in those games, scoring just 12 goals. Initially it was hoped he would be ready for Tuesday. He actually resumed skating on Tuesday so he is getting closer. Doubtful he plays tonight, but we could certainly use him.

That second pairing continues to be a sore spot. I've sure you've all seen the various stats showing how Phaneuf-Ceci are the worst second pairing in the league, and would not even do very well when compared to third pairings. Personally, I think Wideman has shown enough to warrant swapping them, even if only for a few games to feel the waters. Maybe once they have clinched.

The powerplay has been cold the whole year. Especially at home. Nobody understands why. Everyone on the ice feels quite content to stand in one place and, if they ever touch the puck, they immediately look for an opportunity to pass back to Karlsson. And because everyone is just standing still they risk odd-man breaks or even breakaways going the other way (like what happened in Boston). Pierre thinks that Colin White (20 year old sophomore from Boston College -- you know, the one with zero pro experience) can step in a help the powerplay. And you know what, that's the best idea I've heard all year, because it's clear that nothing else has worked. Dorion, sign the kid, already.

As always, Go Sens Go!!!


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wprager

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Sens magic number is 12. If they win their next three and the Isles lose their next three in regulation, magic number will be 0. Not quite a clinch because they'd have a 6-ROW lead with 7 games remaining. But close enough.

By the way, the Sens have beaten the Islanders twice this season. But because of the quirky tie-breaker rules, the results of the first game (6-2 win on the Island) will not count, as the third game is in Brooklyn, so the results of the first one are tossed. So although the Sens won 6-2 and 3-0, only the 3-0 counts. Goals for/against in head-to-head don't matter so the Islanders could win 1-0 and then it goes to the next tie-breaker, which is team goal differential for the entire season.
Phew! Sens are +4 and Isles -7. Little chance that changes much.


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

wprager

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Stone sighting. Came out early with Neil and CMac to shoot on the goalies, then stayed for the main practice. Given that skating is not the key to his game, I could see him returning to the lineup only a couple days after resuming skating.


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

wprager

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Also, Condon was in the home end at practice. Recall that he played one game for Pittsburgh this year.


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

SeawaySensFan

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Condon starting.

wprager

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Neil also skating at the main practice.


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

SeawaySensFan

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Stone is also skating.

SeawaySensFan

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Look out... The Neiler is taking a twirl on the ice, too.

SeawaySensFan

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Condon was in for the 4 -1 win against the Pens previously.

SeawaySensFan

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Stone should sit this one out. The Pens are a dirty Cussing team, mostly because they get away with everything.

SeawaySensFan

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Looks like the Young Stoner will sit this one out. Probably for the best.

Ev

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Matt Murray isn't a Calder finalist lol

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