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Here's a hint: He's orange. Hey, Bryan Murray...we know you're hitting SoCal on this road trip, but that's no reason to succumb to the Mystic Tan.

Some abbreviated and belated thoughts from Monday -- I'm under the weather, Blogger is acting up and I'm fading fast...

First of all...yes, I was one of those delinquents who stayed up to watch the Anaheim game -- keep in mind that traditional bedtime for the city is 9:30 pm...10 if they're feeling "naughty". This is a phenomenon The Driver and I refer to as "Large Vanilla Cone Syndrome". In short, when it comes to breaking out of their shell, Ottawans can't even do that right. It's like living amongst hundreds of thousands of Ned and Maude Flanders clones.

Anyway...about the game itself. Not a lot of surprises if you ask me, save for the score. I figured Ottawa would score one goal, but assumed the Ducks would garner 4 or 5. The only reason they didn't was due to The Manatee's relatively consistent play, and he deserves credit for that.

I kept hearing a lot of talk about how the Sens showed "so much emotion" during Monday's game. News flash: Frustration and fear are emotions, but they aren't the ones you want to be seeing during a game like this (or any game, for that matter). It's blatantly obvious that the Ducks are in their heads, and they aren't going away anytime soon. And keep in mind the latest victory was accomplished without Chris Pronger, after Lakehead boy Patrick Sharp disposed of him late last month with a hearty (but accidental) stick boosh to the jaw.

So what happened? The Sens got pushed around, and the fans subsequently freaked out over a lack of grit. Now all of sudden you've got people referring to Chris Neil as the second coming of Christ, and demanding that Brian McGrattan dress...or better yet, that the team call up Jeremy Yablonski from Binghamton. (That last suggestion kills me, by the way.) I even heard one radio host on the post-game show suggest that the Wild's recent attempt to turn into "Goonasota" was brought on Anaheim's physical dominance.

Look, Mensas: I know it may seem like semantics after the ridiculous officiating job on Monday, but there's a big difference between icing a bunch of scrappers who can't skate worth a damn for 6 minutes per game, and the Anaheim Ducks. Make no mistake: Anaheim is a dirty team, but it's their skill and balance over four lines that sets them apart. Yes, they do play "on the edge", but they're also willing to sacrifice their bodies to protect the puck, fight the battles along the boards, rock the trap and beat your ass in a foot race. I saw none of that from the Sens on Monday.

And for all this talk of how effective players like Phillips and Vermette (!) can be when they do choose to hit -- it's a bloody joke. When they "choose" to? Why are they choosing? Why aren't they simply doing? Here's your answer: They're soft. And personally, to say something like that about a player like Phillips bothers me, because given his size and decent speed, he'd be amazing as a physical blueliner. But dude doesn't have a mean streak, and it takes him far too long to get angry.

The Sens achieved post-season success by grinding down the opposition's defence. Anaheim takes that technique to another level -- throw in the trap, some balanced scoring and a fairly capable goaltender...it's over. Show me one team out of the Eastern conference that could handle that over a seven-game series. You think Pittsburgh won't have their snipers flattened? You think Hal Gill is going to save their ass? Montreal plays the Ducks on Sunday -- can't wait to see that.

One final note: I will say this about Anaheim -- their goal horn flat-out destroys. It's so powerful and resonant...just fantastic. Ottawa's goal horn reminds me of Ottawans themselves -- nasal and annoying. In fact, if Ottawa's goal horn were a person, it would sit right beside you in a restaurant when all other tables are vacant, then bitch to you about its rheumatoid arthritis without any prompting whatsoever.

More later (assuming that I'm semi-lucid).