(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).
It’s amazing feeling thinking that we have a chance to win the Calder Cup tonight, but you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself. If we do that, it’ll probably be a downfall for us. Right now, we have to keep things in perspective and realize we still have to get one more win and we’ll deal with whatever happens after that.
For us, the key tonight is being consistent. The last two games, we’ve been really consistent throughout. And we have to stick to our game, which has been one of our strengths in the playoffs. We just need to keep that same mentality and realize, if we do have a bad shift or maybe just a lull in our game, to come back with another good shift. But consistency is the biggest key.
We expect the Aeros’ best game tonight. Think about it. This is an elimination game for them and they’ve been in this situation before. Their last two series went to Game 7, so they have experience in this situation and they know how to battle back. We know they’re definitely going to bring out their best game, their ‘A’ game, especially in front of their home crowd.
I hope we can bring some of the momentum we generated in Binghamton. We fed off the crowd back in Binghamton and obviously, we’re not going to have that going for us tonight. But I think everyone should feed off the experience we had in the last two games. Speaking with guys this morning, I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Our start is going to be extremely important tonight. I think they’re going to throw everything they have at us in the first period. Not to say they’re not going to give a very good, consistent effort, but for them, I think they realize if they’re going to take control of this game, it has to be in the first period, so we’re going to have to be ready for that.
We talked this morning about what happened to our assistant coach, Steve Stirling, who isn’t with us here in Houston. We don’t want to change anything and let any distractions get in the way. He sent a message to us saying that he didn’t want to be a distraction. At the end of the day, it’s part of life and there are some things that are greater than hockey.
If you look at the character Stirls has, he’s just been with us all year and he’s been especially great to the younger guys, helping us develop. I think in the back of everyone’s mind, we all want to get this done for Stirls and bring the Cup back to him on Wednesday.