Maybe I should stop listening to WGR550 in Buffalo...
They STILL are talking about the Senators in terms of last years team. Apparently the Sabres D is way better, goaltending is a no brainer, Ottawa will be shelled with their goal scoring ability, etc.. I haven't heard sports programing that is soooo lopsided. It's ok to be biased, but at least give your listeners a realistic view of the opponent. If the Sabres lose, which I hope they will & think they will, what will they talk about? ESPN's Scott Burnside and TSN's Darren Dreger have picked Ottawa to win so I like what I hear from more objective sources. They have also done well overall with regards to their picks, Dreger being 11-1 after 2 rounds.
I had a sick feeling last year and generally have had that feeling when the Sens faced major adversity. Game 1 of the 2006 Ottawa/Buffalo series didn't throw my enthusiasm off, I just had a feeling Ottawa was going down because no lead ever felt safe, even against Tampa... Heatley wasn't producing, Chara seemed hurt & the whole Hasek cr@p really bothered me. I don't have that sinking feeling this year. I really am into all my psychology material for my minor so I like to view myself as being very objective when comparing what I want with what reality will likely produce. I love the way Ottawa back checks now and how if there is a turnover there always seems to be at least 2 men back. It is such a relief because that thinking appears to be part of Ottawa's culture now. Worrying about leads being held doesn't seem to be an issue because an opponent is going to have a REALLY difficult time cracking Ottawa's defensive schemes. The losing streak @ the start of this season was the BEST thing that EVER happen to the Sens in the last 7-8 years.
Last year's Ottawa/Buffalo series was tight score wise, even though I thought Buffalo severely outplayed Ottawa in most facets of the game. Ottawa in 2006 was more of a group of individuals, especially guys like Havlat. NOW there appears to be little individualism and more cohesiveness. Buffalo DEFINATELY had and still has a strong cohesiveness, therefore they deserved to win last year. With the attention to defensive detail and the ability to be physical to Buffalo's star players that don't enjoy that facet of the game, Ottawa can and likely will win this year. Those 1 goal games should be on Ottawa's side now. I remember JP Dumont being the biggest pain in the a$$ for Ottawa in the 2006 series, yet nobody seems to mention that very much. A physical presence in Grier is gone, along with the shot blocking/physical presence of Jay McKee. I don't think Spacek or anyone else they have picked up has been as useful as those they have lost. Emery should be fine because if Ottawa plays the way it has defensively, Emery will not get shell shocked. Skating is also not an issue, Ottawa's defense is more mobile than last years as well.
Anywho, like my preaching in earlier rounds.. Ottawa just has to play the SAME way defensively, the offense will come. The defense is the key. If Buffalo gets frustrated, look how they all but panicked against the Rangers. Everything is in place I believe to get this done, so GET 'ER DONE!