(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 post-season insights in a series of blog posts for OttawaSenators.com).
Everyone’s really happy now that we’re back home with the series tied. The most important thing is that we came back on Friday night. Everyone realized that if we had gone down 2-0, it would completely change the series and the mood would be a lot different. But because we came back the way we did, everyone is in high spirits.
Even though we were down 2-0 going in the third period, I think we always knew we could pull out that win. It’s funny, actually. Zack Smith and Bobby Butler both said if we win, lunch is on us. Maybe that was a little bit of an incentive. That was pretty funny. But I think everyone just realized we weren’t playing very well in the first two periods. We had a lot more to give and we knew we were a better team than that. I was glad we were able to show that in the third period. We came out really, really strong and we continued that into the overtime period.
Any time you can win, the long bus ride home seems a lot more positive. Guys are talking and things are just more upbeat, as opposed to coming home after a loss. Then it’s a lot quieter and nobody wants to speak to each other because everyone’s a little bit down, especially in the playoffs. It definitely helped getting that win, just to be able to keep the spirits up on the bus.
It’s hard to tell what it’s going to be like back at home tonight. I hope there’s going to be a lot of people here. But I do think everyone is going to be a lot more excited now that it’s a 1-1 series. If we were down 2-0, I think people would be a little bit skeptical about how we’re going to do in the series. But because it’s 1-1, hopefully we’ll get a lot more fans out. We’ve got some good fans here and hopefully, they’ll pack the place and it’ll be fun.
I haven’t spoken to too many people in town since we’ve been back home, but the ones I have talked to are happy. They’re saying ‘what a great comeback win’ and now they think we can take this series. I think they’re just happy that we could come back the way we did and show we can be resilient, even when we’re down.
Now we’ve got the next three games at home, but nothing changes about our approach, to be honest. We’re happy to have home-ice advantage now and not have to travel on a bus and for a few days. But other than that, nothing else changes. We’ve got to build off how we played in the third period of Game 2 and just go from there.
While it’s true we’ve got a chance to end this series at home, you can never really put any pressure on yourself that way. You’ve just got to focus on one game at a time, one shift at a time and one period at a time. I know that sounds corny and cliche, but in the playoffs, everything is so intense and such a battle that you can’t focus on anything other than that. You’ve got to step up your game a lot at this time of year.