Friday, April 16, 2004

As a respite in an otherwise insane week, I had the pleasure of seeing the Senators seize back the momentum in the series with a 4-1 victory. After Monday's tease , in which the Sens carried the play but couldn't capitalize, the Sens finally solved the Eagle. There were some tense moments, including Belfour stoning Hossa on a shorthanded break, leaving some of us wondering if it was "here we go again..."

However, sitting here 15 minutes before game time, there's a totally different atmosphere around Ottawa. There's an air of confidence (bordering on overconfidence in places) that I can't remember seeing in previous editions of the Battle of Ontario. And perhaps for the first time it may be fully earned. The Senators have shown up with their "A" game in each game. That's more than can be said for most previous years. They've outshot and generally outplayed the Leafs. You could even make the case that they've outhit the Leafs.

While some are wondering if the Sens will underestimate a possibly Sundin-less Leafs team, I'm not worried. This is a team that is playing its game rather than reacting to its opponent's. The effort will still be there.

Of course none of that means anything tonight. The Sens are only as good as the game they bring tonight. However, instead of holding their collective breath in dread, Senators' fans are holing their breath in anticipation of a series lead.

5 minutes 'til puck drop. Go Sens!