Gearing Up For Some Hockey ABC

The next 4 games for Ottawa will be important. So far, Les Senateurs have lost to the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers in regulation and have grabbed a point from the Nashville Predators and Boston Bruins. Let’s see how the opponents have fared up so far…

New York- 4th East (5-2 loss)
Pittsburgh- 1st East (4-1 loss)
Nashville- 12th West (6-5 OT loss)
Boston- 11th East (4-3 OT loss)
Tampa Bay- 8th East (5-2 loss)
Atlanta- 12th East (3-1 loss)

That’s pretty good for much of what has been the Sens off-season. The next 4 games will feature the Devils, Oilers, Flyers, and Rangers next up. I believe Cory Clouston has to get this team energized and to believe in itself. If they can win at least 2 of those 4, I won’t be mad, If they win 3 or even all of them, that would be magnificent. If they win less than 2, then we need to re-think about our team this year.

Moving on, the last 2 games have seen Mike Fisher and Alexei Kovalev excell with each other. Those two are developing some real nice chemistry. Even though those two have been priceless with El Capitano, I want to see them with top pivot Jason Spezza. Those three were on fire last night and if they can get their groove on going early, then Clouston would likely keep them for some time. The second line would feature Milky on LW and Alfie on RW with either Peter Regin or Nick Foligno on centre. If you missed it last night, Regin made a sweet, sweet pass to Milan Michalek late in the 1st that was stopped by Antero Nittymaki. If those two continue it, this second line could be very speedy. Then, we would see Cheechoo-Foligno-Neil or Cheechoo-Regin-Neil on the the third line, while Ruutu-Kelly-Donovan/Shannon occupy the 4th line. We will se though how Clouston will mix up his lines.

Just got my tickets for Tuesday’s game against the Oilers! Hoo-rah!

Topics: Erik Condra, Jason Spezza, Mika Zibanejad, Paul MacLean

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  • Sacul

    I think the Sens will REALLY REALLY miss Volchenkov until he’s back. It’s how they deal with it and if guys like Carkner and Picard can step up and play better than 5-6 D-Men for a few games that will make the difference.
    When you look around the league, a lot of teams are really thin on D with injuries and just plain lack of talent. The Sens aren’t alone, but they sure need some luck and some help back there.

    I think we make too much of the forward line combinations. They change A LOT throughout the games anyways. Clouston is a great mid-game evaluator. I think keeping Kovalev on the right side will help him, he’s always liked it there. That means no playing with Alfie, except on power plays. A Foligno-Fisher-Kovalev line could do a lot of damage. Kovie would have 2 guys to dig out pucks and back check for him. I don’t know if the skill level would be sufficient to please His Royal Floatness, though. If he received a few passes in his skates or these guys flubbed a few of his passes…there goes the spark.
    Having the option of moving a stud like Alfie around to get anyone going is just awesome for Clouston. Let’s hope to hell he doesn’t miss many games this year.
    Now that these stupid long layoffs are done, I sure hope Snoopy can get into a groove. He looks rusty every time he doesn’t play for 2-3 days (or has barfacitis.) There’s no way such a skilled goalie can live with a save % lower than .900…even though individual stats don’t mean much to the Sens success this year. It doesn’t help when your own players keep deflecting goals past you. (See where we miss Volchy? Block ‘em or let him see ‘em, guys!)

    Can they just put Donovan in and leave him there? Just because a guy takes it like a pro when he sits is no reason to do it so often. He should be on the PK unit to get extra minutes too…Kovalev could get a break from that job. Donovan’s been a “PK star” on all the other teams he’s played on, I don’t see why not in Ottawa.

  • CairraiTearlach

    I agree with your assessment re Donovan – a great 3rd or 4th line player – keep him in – he has speed, size, energy…(hands of stone though – LOL)

    Time to sit Shannon down and try Foligno or Regin on the two first two lines – Shannon has speed but simply can’t penetrate when the checking is tight and is out-sized when it comes to defensive responsibilities – Winchester can easily be placed on the 3rd or 4th lines to replace Regin or Foligno

  • CairraiTearlach

    At last!!

    Foligno is on the second line with Fisher and Kovalev!!

    Shannon is on the bench and Winchester is back in the line-up. Too bad about Donovan having to sit another one out.Oh well – at least he will be well-rested – LOL

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