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Donovan a playoff force for Sens

Wednesday, 16.04.2008 / 3:00 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Donovan a playoff force for Sens
Shean Donovan doesn’t see it as a circumstance that demands a miracle. Or some sort of an impossible dream.

Rather, he ponders the 3-0 hole the Senators have dug themselves against the Pittsburgh Penguins and wonders why it can’t happen. Why his team can’t indeed become only the third in National Hockey League history to rebound from such a deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff series.

“We won four games lots of times this year,” Donovan said today as the Senators for Game 4 tonight at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200). “Lots of teams have won four games. So it’s not crazy to think you can win four games in the playoffs.”

Actually, Donovan wonders why it hasn’t happened more often. But, as anyone familiar with NHL lore knows, only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs (in the final against Detroit) and 1975 New York Islanders (first round vs. Pittsburgh) have been able to turn the trick.

“If you win Game 4, you get momentum going into Game 5 and you never know what happens. You can go into their barn and win,” Donovan said in analyzing the Senators’ current situation.
“Especially in the Eastern Conference this year, when teams go on streaks, they seem to go on pretty big ones.

“I don’t understand why teams don’t win more being (down 3-0). It sounds crazy, but you have to win that fourth game. Momentum is such a big thing and streakiness has been a big thing this year, especially because of parity.”

Donovan has been one of the better things in this series for the Senators. A low-minute guy early in the season, the former 67’s star has become one of head coach/general manager Brian Murray’s most trusted foot soldiers against the Penguins.

“For a guy who didn’t get any ice time early on in the year at all.… If you’re talking pure effort, (Donovan) has certainly been one of them, without a doubt,” Murray said today when asked to name his top performers in this series (goaltender Martin Gerber also rated a mention).

Modest guy that he is, Donovan took that bit of praise in stride when it was later passed his way.

“Obviously, it’s nice to hear that,” he said. “I just try to go out there and work hard and if that happens, that’s good. I just try to do everything to help the team win.

“Lots of guys are working hard. We’re all trying to get our first win (of the series) here. Nicky (Foligno) played great in the last game. I got a chance to play with Chris Neil and Dean McAmmond the last couple of games.… We all play the same style, so you just go in there and bang. It’s been easy to play with them.”

Donovan’s contract expires at the end of the season but he hopes he’s still in a Senators uniform come the fall.

“I love Ottawa. It’s my home and my family’s home,” he said. “I love it here, I love the organization. But that (contract talk) is a long ways away and, hopefully, lots of games away.”

Bodycheck, the official playoff program of the Ottawa Senators, is now available on-line. Check it out right here.




1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43


E. Karlsson 61 15 33 2 48
B. Ryan 57 16 31 10 47
K. Turris 61 15 28 -5 43
M. Hoffman 58 23 17 25 40
M. Stone 59 15 24 10 39
M. Zibanejad 59 16 18 4 34
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
M. Michalek 56 11 14 -2 25
D. Legwand 59 8 14 -4 22
A. Chiasson 55 9 12 -8 21
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02