Not long after the Ottawa series, Marc-Andre Fleury posted up another blog that opens us up once again to the World of MAF. Seeing as how he's a goofy guy, I always imagine he's regularly daydreaming and thinking of flame-engulfed clowns doing back flips on unicycles while blasting circus music, but having now read countless blog entries (thanks as always to our residential translator Becky) I gotta say; the guy is quite the eloquent writer.
Take the jump to read MAF's latest.
Originally produced in French on Radio Canada.
A grueling series
Hello to all,
"There are no easy ones."
This old cliché perfectly sums up our victory against the Senators, in 6 games, in round one of the playoffs.
We were expecting a tough battle, but it was even more so. Despite the absence of Alex Kovalev, Milan Michalek, and Filip Kuba, the Senators offered up a lot of resistance.
The Senators never gave up; they hit us, they tired us out, they forced us to surpass ourselves in order to win.
To me, the sixth game sums up the series very well. We were losing 3-0 in the second period, but, by some magic, we managed a spectacular comeback to finally win it in overtime.
When Pascal Dupuis scored the game-winning goal, I felt a ton of pressure fall from my shoulders. We didn’t want to go back to Pittsburgh to play a seventh game.
It’s never easy for the favored team to win a seventh game. Pressure becomes an important factor.
Fisher, a real train
Before the start of the series, I was enormously wary of Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, and I talked less about the depth players on the Senators.
True to form, Alfredsson had a very good series. He got at least a point per game (2 goals, 6 assists in 8 games), even though he wasn’t at 100%.
But among the Senators forwards, Mike Fisher is the one who gave me the biggest headache. Fisher rushes like a train toward the opposing net, and he gave his teammates a lot of energy with his many body checks.
Chris Neil, Chris Kelly, Peter Regin, and Matt Cullen also made their presence felt.
On the blue line, young Erik Karlsson looked nothing like a rookie defenseman. He was an important ingredient on the power play, as well as spending lots of minutes on the ice.
Crosby continues to forge ahead
For our team, Sidney Crosby played like Sidney Crosby. He was dominant from the beginning to the end of the series. In just six games, he put up 14 points! That’s really not too bad a statistic to have!
Sid ended the year on a good note by reaching the 50-goal plateau, and he has simply continued on in the same way.
As for Evgeni Malkin, he has scored big goals at crucial moments. In order to win, you always need your best players, and our two phenomenons once again lived up to expectations.
As for me, I am happy to have rebounded after a very difficult first game. As the series went on, I felt more and more comfortable. I hope now to have a better start to the second round.
I was also happy to go up against Pascal Leclaire, a rival that I respect enormously. Pascal ousted Brian Elliott during the series and he played a magnificent game (56 saves) on the way to a third-overtime win in game five in Pittsburgh.
I will speak to you again after the second round of the playoffs,