Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

View from Ottawa Senators Pay Price for Prodding the Bear

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

View from Ottawa Senators Pay Price for Prodding the Bear

Article excerpt

In the great tradition of NHL playoff hockey, the Ottawa Senators have soared the heights and plumbed the depths.

Seems only a couple of days ago they were the toast of the town, relishing the requisite hero worship stemming from a stunning comeback against the Penguins in the dying moments of Game 3.

That was then.

Reality bites hard, and these Penguins are pretty good, as more than 20,000 fans at Scotiabank Place came to appreciate Wednesday night in a 7-3 public spanking. It only got out of hand late, of course -- the Senators had a lead early in the second period. But when the levee broke, the flood was something else.

Anger was evident on the bench and on the ice at an opportunity missed to tie the series against a formidable opponent. Coach Paul MacLean was so upset afterward he knew better than to say what he was thinking, so he said almost nothing.

"See you in Pittsburgh," MacLean said. "We're going to Pittsburgh and we're coming to play. Have a good night."

Coaches can't make a living out of these shutdown performances -- although John Tortorella of the New York Rangers is giving it a shot -- but MacLean has earned a mulligan for his mime performance. Besides, he was politely silent, not Torts-rude.

If MacLean's theatrics were a buzz Thursday on Twitter, they paled next to the chatter over Alfredsson's comment that the odds were stacked against the pesky Senators. Asked if the Senators could realistically come back to win three in a row against the Penguins, Alfredsson provided a realistic answer: "Probably not, I mean with their depth and power play right now it doesn't look too good for us."

Anyone who has an issue with Alfredsson speaking truthfully about a rebuilding hockey club down 3-1 against a potential Stanley Cup champion probably prefers his or her team's captain to speak the usual big game bravado and then try to back it up. A well-grounded Swede, Alfredsson is not that kind of captain, never has been, and it has helped make him adored in his adopted city of Ottawa. …

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