The Pittsburgh Penguins made a big statement on Sunday, crushing the Ottawa Senators by a lopsided 7-0 score to grab a big Game 5 win and a 3-2 series lead. There were plenty of talking points following the game, including why Senators coach Guy Boucher kept changing goalies during his team’s dismantling, but the biggest (and the one which should have Sens fans worried) was that Boucher admitted that he thinks the Penguins are the better team.
Guy Boucher on #pens: "We know they're a better team. Everyone knows that on the planet."
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 21, 2017
The full quote, courtesy of NHL.com, goes into a few more specifics.
We know they’re a better team,” Boucher said of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “Everybody knows that on the planet. They’re the Stanley Cup champions. They’re the best team in the League. That’s no secret.”
That’s not going to give fans too much confidence that the Senators can string together two wins to make the Stanley Cup Final. Boucher could have just said that the Penguins were the better team in Game 5, a statement which could have gone unsaid as the final score effectively tells the story. His comment sounds like he’s giving up.
Boucher later said he knows the Senators have to be at their best to beat the Penguins, a comment you’ll hear pretty regularly from a losing coach, but his initial statement gives merit to the idea that the Senators were underdogs entering the series and are now readying their excuses.
Will the Senators be able to tie up the series and force a Game 7? It’s possible, but only if they’re able to push the mental advantage the Penguins clearly now have out of their head.