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Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy not really feeling current top line centre Stephane DaCostaaaaaaaaaaaa.
I don’t think he’s horrible or anything but consider the far superior Kyle Turris looked a little in over his head at times filling in as top pivot last year. After seeing his first crack at it, as a fan, I don’t think I’m interested in watching DaCosta find his sea legs with only one win in the first three games of the season. I simply think there might be better options to choose from
Jean Gabriel’s Pizzageau for instance. If management is okay with trying out a slight, speedy guy in Spezza’s place why not go for, you know, the better of the two slight, speedy guys? In my opinion, aside from Turris, Pageau has produced the most chances so far in this young season. He’s a spark plug who seems to make things happen even when saddled with some of the less skilled players on the team. Admittedly, he does have great chemistry with Condra and MacLean might not be in a hurry to break that up. Still, I think Condra is so reliable that he could make it work for a couple of games with a different centre.
My favourite part of the game in LA on Wednesday (besides watching Ottawa defend a number of 5 on 3’s and Andy surrendering pretty much the first shot of the game *slide whistle*) was when Neil took a puck in the face. No, not because I’m mad at him for taking an unsportsmanlike penalty from the bench for squirting human jack-o-lantern Dan Carcillo with a water bottle. It is worth noting, however, that maybe that’s something you don’t want to see your ASSISTANT CAPTAIN doing with less than ten minutes to go in a tied road game. Talk about getting beaten at your own game. Anyway, Neil’s temporary departure forced Paul MacLean to shuffle the lines a bit. After some initial psychedelia Bobby Ryan landed on Pageau’s wing. I was praying they’d get something going quick to give the coach some incentive to keep them together for a few shifts. They didn’t look out of place but alas it was just a brief tease. I think it’s something that’s worth a try even just to start the game tonight in San Jose. That is if Spezza’s not playing. I don’t think we see the captain until Sunday.
I don’t want to give him all the credit but Pageau’s goal against LA really helped to shift the momentum of the game which was looking like it was going the way of the route after 20 minutes.
If you want to talk career numbers JGP has managed almost as many points in a third of the games as DaCosta has. JGP has put up 5 points in 12 games while DaCosta has 7 in 37 games. Factor in Pageau’s playoff experience and it becomes 12 points in 22 games. Most striking is that unlike DaCosta, JGP is typically buried in the lineup while DaCosta is usually handed a more prominent top six assignment like he was on Wednesday versus LA. Of course the competition you play against is tougher in the top 6 but a pass to Milan Michalek probably has a bit of a better chance of making you look good than a dish to Matt Kassian.
With Ottawa in need of a win on this South Western swing, I think Pageau is worth a try between Ryan and Milo to start off against the Sharks. With all his time spent in the bottom six I also think it’s made Pageau a more physical player than DaCosta. He did put Dustin Brown on his ass at one point last game; no easy task. He’s also solid defensively taking a number of D zone draws…that said, he has been getting killed at the dot lately…so…uhh…I think he’s earned it? No, really, I do.
To me the best fill in, aside from Turris, would be big, quick and skilled Michael Zibaneham. But that’s all kinds of “I’m not even going to talk about that right now.”
When will Genghis Lehner get his first chance to eat the still beating heart of Craig Anderson?
Though I am pumped as anyone to see Lehner get some game action Ottawa has only had 3 contests in the past 14 weeks of the season. What can I say, these are exciting times with Ottawa having not one but TWO, count em TWO good goaltenders. Facing a team who’ve been the absolute class of the NHL, save for some Def Comedy Jam lockeroom remarks (good luck in future endeavours whoever that reporter who printed that was btw), you have to assume MacLean goes with his no.1 in this situation. No doubt in my mind Lehner will get the start tomorrow against the Ducks…which is…I still can’t believe a professional sports team is called that and this is in a world that has a team called Sheffield Wednesday and another called the Nippon Ham Fighters. *stretches for two full minutes* What was I saying? Oh yeah, facing a team of San Jose’s
REGULAR SEASON calibre, we’re going to see how Ottawa as a club needs some work still to take it to the next level. As such Ottawa will need some of that Anderstud swagger tonight. Some of that absolute game stealing shit that he can get on. He was flat out heroic against Buffalo and hung out to dry on penalties against LA and Toronto. Being an NHL goaltender is a relentlessly hard job. After being slightly maligned for giving up a softy and looking human in a first period that was basically a twenty minute penalty kill, Andy not only has to “bounce back” tonight but flat out steal one against an unbeaten team to give Ottawa a chance. Should Lehner get the start and win this thing? Whew, get ready for the makings of Ottawa’s first ever controversy not based on who’s less terrible at goaltending!
Now that he in one fell swoop become a point per game player, Bobby Ryan has silenced his critics for a while so y’all can go back into your nest and you can shut the fu– GodDAMNit Silfverberg has 4 goals.
As it is written in the Book of Karlsson Tweets “#whocares.” Now the new thing is comparing him to Silfverberg? I am NOT down with this. If you seek out ways to be disappointed in a player you can always find them. So let’s all be pissed off at Marc Methot for being a -1 on the year because Nick Foligno is on pace for 55 goals! Fire Murray! I did not fight in the Complaining Wars of 2009 to 2013 on the front lines of moaning that Spezza needs a quality sniper just to malign the guy who finally IS that less than a handful of games into his time here. Ryan’s coming off his best game as a Senator and I’m hoping he can get rolling.
Usually Ottawa gets ripped to shreds on Western road trips. This one has the potential to be a bit different. With or without Spezza, the top line has two players in Michalek and Ryan with years of experience playing on or against a lot of these teams. Ditto Turris, really. I’m not sure how much of a factor this will be but I can’t ignore that two thirds of the goals against the Kings came from Ryan and Milo. It can’t hurt that MacLean cut his teeth as a coach in the Western conference. The West always seems this bruising, quick and skilled Sasquatch (or Yeti) stealthily lurking in the redwood forests just off the coast of the glorious Pacific Ocean. Hopefully with a few of our best players and our coach having seen a whole lot of these teams in the past it will take away some of the mystique surrounding them and Ottawa can just focus on how they are really fucking good….uhhh…wait, come back! After looking like they were going to be taken apart by LA the Sens showed they could very much compete with one of the best in the conference. Tonight hopefully they can carry a bit of the confidence in as they face THE best in the We– I forget how the rest of that goes. BEAT THOSE SHARKSQUATCHES!
Enjoy the game and here’s hoping we’re not all watching Saturday Night Live after 2 periods!
GEAU SENS GEAU!