Hockey Night in Canada's Kelly Hrudey:
Can Patrick Lalime make it back for the playoffs, and if he can, will he be able to play as well as he did last year? For the rest of the Senators, do they have the willpower to fight through all the playoff-type checking? Toronto can almost will itself to victory at times. Can Ottawa do that?
For Toronto, they have to stay healthy. Certainly when you look at their team, it's an impressive lineup, but it's a lineup that needs to stay healthy. Mats Sundin is very durable as is Ron Francis, but you look down the roster and see guys like Leetch, Nieuwendyk, Nolan, Mogilny, Tucker, these are all key players who've had injury problems and that's a serious blow to the club.
We all know this is a series with some history, but I'm not so sure Toronto has Ottawa's number. The Leafs certainly don't mind playing them. I think that every player recognizes that what happened in the past really doesn't make a big difference once the game starts. Once the puck drops, it's evident that each game takes on its own life, its own form.
But I think heading into it, there are certainly teams you're comfortable playing against and I think Toronto feels that way about Ottawa.