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.