Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/16/13 at 10:05 AM ET
By Eli Epstein, TiqIQ
As far as upsets go, the Ottawa Senators’ surprising triumph over the Montreal Canadiens in round one of the playoffs was pretty memorable. The undermanned, unheralded squad took it to the Habs and proved that grit, determination and hustle are what win playoff hockey games, not flare and hesitation.
The Senators face an uphill battle in round two, though. Already one game down to the Pittsburgh Penguins, they cannot afford to dig themselves into a deeper hole against the league’s most high-powered offense.
The blame goes around for Ottawa’s game one loss to Pittsburgh. Blocking only six shots is inexcusable come playoff time where the onus is on the defense to take pressure off of an already overburdened goalie. Physicality wasn’t a problem from the Senators (they recorded over 20 hits), but they’ll need more from a penalty killing unit that gave up two powerplay goals to the Pens Tuesday night.
On average, the series is costing fans $341 per ticket if they want to see the action in person. In Ottawa, according to TiqIQ, the average cost of Ottawa Senators tickets is an affordable $291. In Pittsburgh, Penguins tickets price shoots up to $490. The rest of the series ticket breakdown is below, provided by TiqIQ.
Game 2: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh $475/$145
Game 3: Scotiabank Place, Ottawa $244/$87
Game 4: Scotiabank Place, Ottawa $250/$77
Game 5: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh $569/$165
Game 6: Scotiabank Place, Ottawa $403/$104
Game 7: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh $386/$190
Pittsburgh, as of today, looks like the odds-on favorite to win the Eastern Conference championship. They had a few scary moments in round one against the Islanders, but they eventually dismantled a team that had a much better offensive arsenal than many hockey fans gave them credit for.
Pittsburgh keeps scoring goals by the bucket load. In seven games so far this playoffs, they’ve tallied 28, but the difference against Ottawa was that the Penguins didn’t let up four goals like they did on three occasions against the Islanders. Netminder Tomas Vokoun got the job done in game one for Pittsburgh, and coach Dan Bylsma may very well stick with the hot hand in game two. Vokoun has played markedly better than starter Marc-Andre Fleury so far this playoffs. For Bylsma, it’ll be tough to sit a guy who has a 1.28 Goals Against Average through three games.
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