Seperate the Prey from the Predator


I think the guys can take something out of this in that they came back 3 times, beat all the pressure, and grabbed a point out of it. There were several players who excelled last night, and most of them are the players you depend on to win the game. You saw Jason Spezza flying on the ice, looking like a huge weight has been pulled from his shoulders. He wanted a goal, but he didn’t get but his 3 assists were huge. Anton Volchenkov layed another one of his devestating hits, this time on Joel Ward. Volchie also picked up a goal, which tied the game 4-4. Chris Phillips’ instincts and hockey smartness led to the tying goal with 1.6 seconds left in the 3rd. And most importantly, our goalie, our second savior (next to Alfie of course), Pascal Leclaire kept us alive in this game with his huge saves. He did allow 6 goals but all were caused from turnovers by Sens skaters and almost all of them were blasts from the point. He really is the goalie we’ve been looking for since the incarnation.

CC worked today in pratice on creating less turnovers. 26 of them in one game is just unacceptable. At one point it looked like the pairing of Carkner-Picard was busting every nerve of my body. Not much about Carks, but Picard’s stupid plays were driving me crazy. He looked so-so on the PP but his untimely turnovers in the neutral zone and his knack to screen his own goalie are bad, really bad. Filip Kuba will not play again on Saturday so Picard will likely still be in the lineup but it would be much appreciated if Cory worked with him on his defense.

Milan Michalek didn’t practice today due to what is being called an upper-body injury. Let’s hope that isn’t too serious because he and Spezza have worked up some miraculous chemistry. Jesse Winchester, as predicted by moi, was sent down to Binghamton for conditioning today. There’s no room for him temporarily and he needs to get back on his feet. Erik Karlsson had the best game of his career last night and I think he’s gonna get those goals pretty soon if he plays like this.

Tomorrow’s game against Boston is important. If we win, I think Ottawa can really send a message around the league that we are for real. Without Lucic and Savard, Boston has struggled to score. Leclaire should get the start while Timmy Thomas gets the call for Boston since Rask played last night against Philly.