The Pens open the playoffs on Wednesday against the New York Islanders. A few quick thoughts.
|Schedule via Puck Daddy|
The main things to worry about are: 1) The Islanders have one of the top-5 players in the league and he's only getting better, plus a talented supporting cast 2) Evgeni Nabakov has tons of playoff experience and there's a stat somewhere that shows that Crosby never scores on him; and 3) the Pens are burdened with all of the expectations while the Isles have none.
|Don't fight it. Allow Matt Moulson to scare you.|
There's a recent parallel for this series that should bring at least some comfort.
In 2007, an ascending Pens team got its first crack at the playoffs against an Ottawa team loaded with veteran talent that was on a run of playoff disappointment.
Here are some things from the ESPN archive previewing that Pens-Sens series:
The theory is this is a psychologically fragile Senators team that has a tendency to cave when the going gets tough.
The Penguins face a Senators team long on playoff disappointment but equally long on experience and motivation.
The Penguins give up a lot of chances and are especially susceptible to a strong forecheck. The Senators, second among all playoff teams in goals scored, have enough fire power to make the Pens pay dearly for mistakes.
And from the Game 1 preview: The Ottawa Senators can see a lot of what they used to be when they look at NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin Wednesday night.Everything turned out to be true. The Senators steamrolled -- and I mean steamrolled -- the Pens in a 6-3 game 1 win. The Pens settled down after to steal game 2 and make the rest of the series competitive, but there was never a doubt about who was the better team. The Sens won the series in 5 games. The Pens' best days were ahead of them. The Senators were loaded for a run at the Cup.
We'll have several preview posts leading up to Wednesday. LGP.