Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A Cold Night

I'm not sure this image will accurately represent my outing this evening, but I'm going to miss another game in the Ottawa-Pittsburgh series as I work four games as an umpire. With the temperature hovering around the single digits in the Celsius range, it's going to be a long and chilly night for me. That being said, there's a pivotal Game Three happening in the nation's capital tonight as one of Ottawa or Pittsburgh will be two wins away from a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. Both teams are looking for statement games, so we'll see what happens when I finally get off the diamond around 11:30pm CT. Yikes.

For Pittsburgh, they need another big game from Marc-Andre Fleury and they need their stars to find some time and space to make things happen. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel need more than one goal between them in this series, so they'll to find a way to break that suffocating forecheck and neutral zone clog-up that Guy Boucher has drawn up against them. Avoiding injuries and getting a few key guys back - Rust, Hornqvist, Hagelin, and Daley - would also do wonders for the squad.

Ottawa, in their efforts, need to keep pressuring the Penguins into mistakes, and they need to capitalize on their chances if Fleury is going to play out of his mind. As we saw in the Washington series, Pittsburgh can collapse quickly if the Senators can score a few quick goals and put the Penguins in a hole, so there will be some pressure for the Senators to get out in front early in Game Three. Some magic from Turris, Ryan, Hoffman, and MacArthur wouldn't hurt either.

I'll check in later this week and we'll see where we are. Until then, it will be a chilly night watching four games of slo-pitch on a clear, cold, and starry night.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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