James Day Preview: Ottawa Senators Host the Buffalo Groundhog Days


You’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting but the day has come: Ottawa FINALLY takes on the Buffalo Sabres. It’s not all bad! Despite being old hat, a game against the Sabres can serve as a reliable slump buster. The proof is in the pudding that Buffalo is ripe for the picking with 2009 Calder Trophy winner and current Guinness World Record Holder for Longest Human Neck, Tyler Myers getting scratched the other night to send a message to the league’s most porous defence. Will Myers enter this game fired up or will his downward slide continue? All I know is that I want to see Erik Karlsson continue to Big Time him. You cannot WRITE that kind of comedy.

Thomas Vanek continues his contribution to making Buffalo the weirdest team in the North East by putting up 23 points in his last 12 games good for a 12th place standing in conference. What is he, Mario Lemieux on the 1986 Penguins? …or better yet 1986 Buffalo Sabres?

Ottawa has a bit of soul searching (thing?) to do after turning what should have been a tap in into one of the most boring games in recent memory (recent memory being that 1-0 loss to Carolina). Ottawa’s sputtering offense has prompted to MacLean to shuffle his lines which I will discuss now in a segment called…

Shades of Clouston

Okay, so I’ll be the first to say that when you’re getting shut out by Al Montoya at home your offense does indeed need a bit of a spark but is it just me or are these line combos getting a bit on the psychedelic side?

MacLean’s Forward Lines Based on this Morning’s Practice:

Turris-Smith-Frozen Dinner-Al Silfversson

Tugnutt-Tom Waits-@REAL_SpartaCat

…I’m no coach (I’m just a caveman) but sometimes I wonder what the better call is, mixing things up by putting a 19 year old with 16 NHL games under his belt that you WERE all about sheltering one week ago on the first or second line or just keeping the lines together for a couple of games to shake their respective sillies out and start scoring again. It’s not like they haven’t been scoring all year it’s just been on and off. I don’t know if another line shuffle will necessarily help with consistency but in fairness, MacLean has little choice in mixing things up as in addition to losing his premier playmaker (well aside from Karlsson) Peter Regin has fulfilled reaching the double digits in games played and has moved to his rightful place on the IR. On a related note I want to congratulate Guillaume Latendresse and wish him the best of luck in his recent decision to opt out of his NHL contract to fight the Islamist insurgency in Northern Mali. We hardly knew ye in the SIX GAMES you played here.

Honestly if you’re going to try out some wild stuff might as well be against Buffalo.

Well Well Get Well Soon We Want You to Get Well.

Krang Anderson gets the start against Ryan Miller. Prediction: Craig Anderson will somehow manage to have better hair than Ryan Miller.


James and Varada discuss their big stupid thoughts on whether or not Ottawa should make a  trade to supplement for Spezza…with SEXY results (obvi).

Varada says:

Obviously being shut out by defensive juggernaut Al Montoya makes a person think long and hard about what the rest of this season is going to look like. Turris has played well, considering what we’re throwing at him. And I like seeing the kids get experience. But we’re in for a bumpy ride.

As for trading to replace Spezza, I’m gonna go back to my early season comments about how if there was ever a season when I was comfortable with this team collapsing, it’s this season. Already a quarter of a season in, you say? That’s just bonkers. I never want to live through the season-before-last, out-almost-immediately rebuild season again (how do you do it, Islanders fans?), so if there’s an opportunity to get a top five pick while only having to live through 48 games of failure, I say go for it. I can take having another rebuilding year knowing that we don’t suck as much as all that, we just ran into some hard luck injuries with Spezza and Cowen. Embracing the suck also allows this team to trade Gonchar at the deadline for a pick, which ain’t gonna happen if we’re on the bubble.

Obviously hoping for a tank job when you’re 6th in the conference is a bit weird, but you see the before-and-after-Spezza’s-injury team scoring, and who are we going to get to replace 4th-in-scoring-last-year Spezza with? We can probably trade for Weiss out of Florida or something, but then there goes your first rounder. So it just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

Ride it out, and if the wheels come off the wagon, so be it.

James Says: 

I agree completely. If the asking price to trade for someone for 30 odd games is any of our prospects I don’t want to pay it. Look at our team. We love them and everything but they’ve been icing up to 3 AHL defenders and have already lost 2 top six forwards thus far. It’s pretty impressive that they are even competitive most nights. As a fan I’m okay with wherever this team lands in the standings in this weird year. The alarming thing is that, according to my source (Twitter), Ottawa had a scout at Columbus’ game last night. I will go on record in saying: Pleeeeeeease don’t make us cheer for Vinny Prospal (again). In a contract year Prospal’s definitely a prime candidate for a trade. Another likely lad in that conversation is perennial Murray boner-giver Derrick Brassard. With a combined 13 points  (6 for Prospal, 7 for Brassard), those aren’t the kind of performances that are unattainable even with Ottawa’s depleted line up. I mean Zibanejad and Silfverbeg already have…some points and … let’s move on…If Murray makes any move I’d like it to be signing one of the many fine quality FA’s who are just sitting there. Like say, Jason Arnott or  or… JESSIE WINCHESTER! I hear Nikita Filatov is 4th in scoring on his Italian Roller Hockey League team the Milano Pizzas.

Song that describes my feelings about this game:

what else? OH mandatory plea to follow us on TWITTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!
Enjoy the game!


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