March 19, 2010

Round 1 v Niagara: Game 1 Set-up

Well, it's hard to believe that the regular season is over and we are starting the playoffs tonight. It's deja vu all over again as the 67's meet the Niagara IceDogs. You will recall last year's heartbreaking result.

Here's the regular season head-to-head perspective:

Ottawa 67'sHead to HeadNiagara IceDogs
37-23-5-3 82 pointsRecord26-34-2-6 60 points
2nd EasternRank - Conference 7th Eastern
246 GF191
219 GA233
(54/307) 17.6 (12th)
PP% (rank)(46/326) 14.1 (20th)
(64/293) 78.2 (16th)
PK% (rank)(74/359) 79.4 (13th)

Top Guns
Ottawa 67'sNiagara IceDogs
Lindsay (39-43-82)Agozzino (37-29-66)
Toffoli (37-42-79)Friesen (23-37-60)
Nigro (16-46-62)Hamilton (25-30-55)
Martindale (19-41-60)Traccitto (20-18-38)
Nesbitt (33-24-57)Shaw (11-25-36)

Much has been said about last year's result - 67's looking for redemption, blah blah blah.

That was then and this is now.

The 67s' need to play hard for 60 minutes and the rest will take care of itself. Ottawa can be accused of not bringing it to the last two game except for the odd burst of engagement. Hope they didn't develop a bad habit. They will need much more than that to take full advantage of home ice.

Niagara goalie Mark Visentin played 55 of the 68 regular season games and ended with the 11th best GAA in the league with 2.99 (no shut-outs). Chris Perugini (presumed starter) was 14th with a GAA of 3.07 over 46 games with 4 shut-outs. Looking at the goalies from a save percentage, they stay in the same spots, 11th and 14th respectively with save percentages of .911 and .905 respectively. Some pundits think that tenders will be the difference.

Here's how it's playing down in St. Catharines.

Up front, on paper, the 67's are loaded with firepower. And with more than one line. The Smith, Lindsay, Toffoli line wound up with 205 points this season; Prince, Martindale and Nesbitt (the most recent incarnation of that line) had 147 points and Cowick, Nigro and Merrett had 98. There is some scoring depth when they get going and play hard.

Looking forward to some solid play from the 67's like we know they can do.

See you at the rink tonight!!

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