Sens Have A Shot…SO TAKE IT!
Now that the series has returned home, the pressure mounts, and the chinks in the armour become more obvious.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue has been the play of the top six guys, the go to guys. Simply put, they’re neither shooting, nor controlling the puck. In short, they’re playing poorly, for play-off hockey.
Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t been bad, but they haven’t been good either, and in the post season, when your top guys are simply average, you lose. The absence of Mich and Kovy certainly plays a role in this, but some of the blame has to fall on the coaching as well. The scorers have to feel free to create offence, and not be confined to playing a safe game. That being said, the number of scoring chances abandoned, in favour of a passing play, has got to be stopped, now. One need look no further than the bulk of the scoring in this series to see that a shot on net is a scoring chance, and a passing play is a turn-over. Both teams are playing tight defensive hockey, and scoring will be a result of getting pucks on the net, at every opportunity, no matter its quality, and hoping for an easy goal, or a juicy rebound.
The fact remains that the Sens have played well in this series, and could easily have been the victors in game 2, a game that was extremely evenly matched. But in order to improve their chances this team absolutely must get pucks on net, stop the passing plays, increase the cycle if nothing is available, and the lane to the net is blocked. Stop passing across the box, it’s not happening.
Hopefully, with last change, the Sens can get their offensive lines out there in a better position to play offense, not defense, and let the checking lines focus on shutting down the Crosby’s and Malkins. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a pretty even split between the top two lines in 5-5 TOI, making the power play a very important opportunity for offence.
Keep it simple in the offensive zone, cycle, and any shot on net, with traffic, is a good shot.