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Greening: A Test Of Our Mental Toughness

by Sens Player blog / Ottawa Senators

(Forward Colin Greening, a native of St. John's, Newfoundland, who saw 24 games worth of duty with the Ottawa Senators this season, is back in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators for the Calder Cup playoffs. He'll provide some insights in a series of blog posts for OttawaSenators.com).

Saturday night’s loss was a really tough one for us. It’s just an example of how quickly things can change in a game. If you let your guard down for just a few seconds, it can come back to bite you.

We’ve done very well in these playoffs when games have gone to overtime. But we can’t really talk about that now because we didn’t get there on Saturday night. Whether it’s overtime or any period, we’re very confident but I guess given our success in overtime, we probably would have thought we would have had a good chance.

We just need a good effort on Monday night to get past this. I think if you look at the game last night, it was a really good game, an entertaining game. Most guys had a fun time playing in it until we lost it in the final few seconds. Now it’s just a matter of continuing what we were doing. We did a lot of good things last night. There are some things we need to correct and then we can just go from there.

Most of our games in the playoffs have been tight and that’s the biggest challenge that we’re facing right now, having to deal with one-goal games. It’s one shot or one save that can make the difference. But I think mental preparation is the most important thing. I don’t think it’s mentally tough. You just need to be mentally prepared.

I guess the million dollar question right now is why we’ve done so much better on the road than at home in the playoffs. I don’t think there’s any particular reason for it. It’s just the playoffs. You win some, you lose some. That’s just the way it goes. If the wins come at home, great. If not, we’ll take any win we can wherever we get it. Right now, they happen to be coming on the road. There’s really no answer for that. When you play well, you play well. It has no bearing whether you do it at home or on the road

On the road, I think we just realize it’s another game. It goes back to mental toughness. One of the biggest challenges when you play in another rink is to make sure you’re mentally tough for the game. You don’t have the support you would have at home. When we’re on the road, I think guys stick together more and we just play as if we are playing at home. Again, it comes down to mental toughness

It was great seeing our fans pack the building on Saturday night. It’s probably the best atmosphere we’ve had all year. It’s always nice to be able to feed off that and you could tell in the first five minutes that we did. We did play so well and everyone was pretty energetic. It’s always nice to have that added bonus, when you have lots of screaming fans and everyone pulling for you.

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