The odds of Ottawa being in a shootout tonight would appear to be small, with the lowly Pittsburgh Penguins in town, but there are also a number of reasons to believe the conference cellar dwellers could make things uncomfortable for the Senators.
For one, Sidney Crosby will be back in the lineup and making his first regular-season appearance in the capital. The rookie sensation missed last Wednesday's meeting between the teams in Steeltown with the flu, a game Ottawa won 7-2.
Teams that are out of the playoff race are expected to pull off a few surprises in the ensuing weeks, however, as their guys are either playing for a new contract or hoping to catch the eye of a contending club looking to bulk up before the trade deadline.
As well, teams coming off a road trip, as the Senators are, often suffer letdowns in their first game back home. And the Senators are in no position to take anyone for granted these days.
Never before has it been more evident they really could use the help of an Olli Jokinen, the star centre of the Florida Panthers it's believed the Senators covet.
So Sidney Crosby is back in the lineup
...and sometimes teams aren't in top shape when they come off a road trip
...so therefore we need to trade for Olli Jokinen[?]
This wraps up a column beginning with the Sens lack of success in the shootout (which will be not be a factor whatsoever during the playoffs) and praise for wiz Jussi Jokinen.
Needless to say, I'm thoroughly unconvinced that the lack of an Olli Jokinen is the reason this team has been leaving a vexing amount of points on the table in close games, but I'd appreciate it if someone could fill in the missing thought sequence in Brennan's column.
The missing thought sequence is due to the missing brain matter in Brennan's cranium!ReplyDelete
A peice of wood has more hockey sense than this guy!
Winning close games is all about working harder than your opponent. While Ottawa has oodles of skill and are probably the best in the NHL on capitalizing on opponents mistakes, working harder than their opponent is not something they are frequently accused of doing, especially the better Senator players.ReplyDelete
No one even close to their cap is coveting Olli Jokinen anymore. Not after he turned down a four year $16-million deal from the Panthers.ReplyDelete
You'd have to get him for damn near nothing, use him as a rental, and then say bye or lose a substantial part of your team next year.
A better 2nd line center would be a good addition to the team and fill what I see as a significant gap (Smolinski just isn't consistent or skilled enough).ReplyDelete
I don't think Jokinen is a good candidate given the salary issues, as it would be better for the team to get a guy they at least have a chance of signing next year (or one who is already under contract at a reasonable rate).
Ottawa is only interested in a rental as they are unlikely to be able to sign any more players for next year. They are going to have a hard enough time signing Redden, Chara, Havlat, Spezza, Hasek (or a replacement if he retires). Ottawa can probably only keep Jokinen for this year unless they decide to let one or more of those guys listed above leave.ReplyDelete
This guy sounds like he should be writing for the Toronto sports papers.ReplyDelete
I see Havlat leaving along with 1 of Chara, Redden and Spezza next year. If they can't reach terms, Muckler has said he will make a trade to avoid taking on extra salary. That could be a move to replace some of those guys with younger versions or another goaltender, or a bunch of other things.ReplyDelete
If Havlat can't return for the playoffs, they get more room under their cap for now. But if you trade away the relatively cheap grinders like (e.g. Fischer, Smolinski) for a rental you take away a lot of next year's team.
Another reason we don't want Jokinen...Gandler...need I say more.ReplyDelete
Good point wavetank...how about Scott Mellanby?ReplyDelete
My opinion of why Ottawa leaves a lot of points up for grabs, you probably won't like it but, they play with Talent alone. They are probably the most skilled team out there, no doubt. But they seem to lack playing the game with Intensity and Heart, which I would say is the biggest factor in making a run for the cup.ReplyDelete
Can you do it on Talent alone, sure you can and the Sens have a good chance, but when faced with Adversity the Sens just don't seem to be able to step it up that extra bit needed. They need a guy like Mike Peca who plays with his heart on his shoulder, and can make a huge difference in the game.
I thought Heatley would have been that player but he seems easy to get aggitated like he was in the Pens game. Alfreddson is a talented Flashy player but just doesn't seem to where his heart on his shoulder enough though he does sometimes.
Thats my thoughts, I'd go for the type of player who is a 2nd line guy who puts 200% in everynight.
Holy cliches, Batman!ReplyDelete
The Senators also don't have a veteren to rally around. A guy like Andreychuk for Tampa in 2003-04. Who is the face of the Senators? Detroit had Yzerman. Colorado had Sakic. New Jersey had Brodeur and Stevens. Ottawa lost to Toronto who had Roberts and others. Ottawa has some great players but no one player is the leader or the face of the team. No player seems to have the power to rally the troops in Ottawa. No player has stepped up to take control of the team. This is Ottawa's problem.ReplyDelete
That guy might end up being Hasek. He laid out some criticism of his teammates a couple weeks ago (regarding lack of ability to win close games) and he may need to do more of that if Ottawa is to win in the playoffs. He's really the only 'winner' on the team and might be the only guy to have the kind of clout needed to successfully criticize his teammates without them rebelling.
geeiwonder, cliches?? If you think having heart is a cliche then have fun watching your sens never win a Cup. If you've ever played hockey at a highly competitive level then you'll know you just can't go out and rely on talent alone. You need that guy who can make you play better than you actually are.ReplyDelete
Stevie Yzerman and Mark Messier are classic examples. They have no problems calling out the players on their team. David hit it right on the head as well. The sens have no true leadership.
If you don't agree prove me wrong.
What bullshit you spew! Who the "f" has heart on the Leafs?Roberts? What the F did they win with him? OH,They beat the Senators.That is your Stanley Cup.The Leafs have no "Heart" to win the cup only to beat the Sens.BFD! I watched Belfour and the Leafs give up twice now.No Heart!They let him go to Fla.ReplyDelete
What bullshit you spew! Who the "f" has heart on the Leafs?Roberts? What the F did they win with him?ReplyDelete
About 5 more playoff rounds than the Senators did the past 5 years with arguably a less talented teams and many more playoff injuries.
Duff if you look I never said the Leafs had as much Heart this year than in years past. But I would still put them ahead of Ottawa in that epartment this year.ReplyDelete
They have a good group of proven vetrans on the ice, a lot who have been injured this year so that may have something to do with their playoff success. But I wouldn't put it passed them to beat the Sens.
Ottawa has won 4 playoff series in their history, well since expansion. They've had 5 first round exits as well.
Toronto has won 9, they've alsow won 7 since Ottawa first made the playoffs.
Looking at that I think Toronto has been the better playoff performer and they've had much better leaders and coaches.
PS Duff, if you want to swear and what not go F yourself. You don't have to swear to make a point, it just makes you look like a retard which I'm sure your not.