The Ottawa Senators won the ugliest game of these Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday night, trouncing the Montreal Canadiens by a 6-1 count. It was a tilt filled with nasty play on both sides, with the benches nearly empty towards the end of the game.
While the win is huge for the Senators, as it gives them a 2-1 advantage in the series with another home game coming up on Tuesday, their win on Sunday may go a bit further than simply what happened on the scoreboard. They’re in the heads of Montreal.
This is a Senators club more talented than a lot of people realize. They have plenty of offensive talent up and down this roster, and have the best offensive defenseman in the league back in their lineup, with Erik Karlsson. They’re better than the no. 7 seed might indicate.
But as talented as they are, they’ve also found a way to get into the collective heads of the Canadiens players. We saw players like PK Subban lose their composure on Sunday, which led to a ton of penalty minutes and several ejections from the game.
Perhaps more than any other player, the Senators are in the head of Carey Price. Price has allowed 11 goals in three games so far, including six on Sunday night. The play of Craig Anderson is running circles around Price, who many pegged as a Vezina candidate earlier this season.
With another home game to play, and a chance to go up 3-1 in the series, this Senators team is clearly in control of this series. They have the offensive firepower and the goaltending. After watching the Habs mentally melt down on Sunday night, it’s hard to imagine a result to this series that doesn’t involved the Senators coming out victorious.