14 May 2007

Halfway home

I've been trying to hold it off for two weeks, but the bubbly optimism that This Could Be The Year has now wholly come over me.

The Senators took a 2-o lead in the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night in Buffalo when Joe Corvo chucked a knuckler past Ryan Miller five minutes into the second overtime. The series heads to Ottawa tonight giving the Senators a chance to put a chokehold on the series at home.

It's these situations where things seem to be in hand that are the most dangerous, of course, and I'll only start feeling truly comfortable with a win tonight. But the Senators are now a glossy 10-2 in the playoffs, and a march to the Finals seems inexorable. All the games where the team would have folded in years past--such as giving up two goals in the first five minutes, or an equalizer in the last 10 seconds--have this year been the catalyst for even more dominance.

Though it's not a surprise, the Senators are giving the tired CW pundits a cold bath. Daniel Alfredsson, long derided as a postseason softie, has been dominant and might be the early frontrunner for the Conn Smythe. And Ottawa is winning despite the lack of a Proven Dominant Goaltender, though unheralded Ray Emery has been spectacular at times, and thoroughly outplayed Martin Brodeur in the second round.