James Day Preview: Ottawa Senators visit the Columbus Blue Snuggies

Yeah know what? That thing doesn't look half bad.

Yeah, you know what? That thing doesn’t look half bad to have in your life.

Remember Snuggies? Yeah whatever, that woman actually looks like she’s enjoying life more than me so who am I to say anything about anything, moving on.

ottawa columbus

Thoughts are with our old buddy and Civil War Reinactor extraordinaire  Nick Foligno as he tends to a serious family matter tonight and will not play.

Hi everyone!

Like the late great rap singer T.I. (which stands for Thermodynamic Integration) once wrapped (sic), “What chu know about 5 game winless streaks?” and then, and then, and then he was all, “I know all about thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat” and then I was all, “He’s rap singing what we’re all thinkin’!”
Today we are all Thermodynamic Integration. In the past few weeks we Ottawa Senators fans have been witness to a variety of losses:
– Squeakers (Anaheim)
– Arse whoopings (San Jose)
– Very winnable games where they played pretty well and should have taken it (Dallas)
– Blown leads (Chicago, NY Islanders, Infinity)
– Blown leads in games they didn’t really deserve to win I mean when you give up over 50 shots how in the Christ do you expect to get away with that type of bologna (NY Islanders)


November is a much, much softer month than the death march that was October. I thought the road to victory would commence at least on Sunday…but thanks to some bad luck on an own goal coupled with the Senators’ TIME HONORED TRADITION of being unable to take and/or hold on to a lead, here we are; five games deep in a winless streak. Can the Senators step up and finally get back in the win column? The answer:

Sunday’s game against Dallas had a few things to be happy about. One of them would be Paul MacLean’s psychedelic line combinations stopped tripping balls so much. Tonight’s projected lines from the past couple of practices have been:
Greening – Spezza – Zibanejad
MacArthur – Turris – Ryan
Michalek – Smith – Neil
Kassian – Grant – Conacher

I am actually into these lines…well, with the exception of Kassian playing tonight but we’re not going to get into that…
I haven’t been as low on Milan Michalek as a lot of people out there. He’s no “each player on the second line” but I don’t think he’s been dreadful or anything. But hey, you don’t have 3 points in your last three games without making a few enemies am I right, LADIES?
Michalek on the 3rd line, much like Conacher being bumped to the lower fourth dimension, has intriguing potential. Michalek and Conacher aren’t bottom six players. Maybe the skilled and speedy Cory Conacher can make something happen lining up against Columbus’ fourth line of Sean Collins (?), Michael Chaput (??) and Jared Boll (more or less ?). That trio combines for a total of 15 games experience and zero points this season. The problem that Conacher or Michalek each face is that they are both playing with one pretty good player (Smith, Grant) and one player who to put it politely hasn’t shown much ability with the puck this season (I know Neil has a goal but I’m pretty sure he yelled that puck into the net and has generally been more clumsy with his hands than his usual ‘okay’). Still, that Columbus bottom six…take advantage boys…remember you’re playing to earn your reputations back!

Jared Cowen, you’ve been playing like shit, welcome to the first pairing! 
Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, the defense pairings look fucked up as ever! Sens are coming off a game where they actually kept the shots against respectable for once so might as well move the pairings around because I apparently know the first thing about coaching.
Cowen – Karlsson
Borowiecki – Methot
Phillips – Gryba
Congratulations go out to Marc Methot. After playing on the first pairing as an integral part of a team that went to the second round of the playoffs and getting an invite to Olympic orientation camp you may make your glorious return to Columbus on a pairing with a guy who’ll be playing his 10th career NHL game tonight! I’m not really having a go at Methot or even Borowiecki for that matter I’m just skeptical that first pairing minutes will solve Jared Cowen’s struggles. I’m just a fisherman from International Waters though, I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’ about nothin’ about nothin’ (about nothin’). Terrifying as the idea of Karlsson – Cowen playing against Marion Gaborik is, I must say, Boro-Methot looks like it could be a tough to play against. As for Phillips-Gryba…umm…manly?

Win it for Andy….and also, if it’s not too much trouble…win it for Lehner as well
Okay, yes, Ottawa will face a backup tonight AS IS CUSTOMARY but c’mon this isn’t Anaheim’s backup Frederik Andersen who is still unbeaten this season and has a very, very realistic .952 save percentage. No, this is Curtis McGoalie. That lovable chimney sweep who we all kind of remember from his LEGENDARY 3-4-0 run in the nation’s capital. He’s been pretty damn good in his 3 games this season stopping 74 of 78 shots but guys……………………c’mon….you can beat Curtis McElhinney right? Please? 
On the other side of the ice we get to see Robin Lehner, who despite only playing 3 minutes on Sunday before going cold into the shootout BUT AT LEAST HE GETS CREDITED FOR THE LOSS, get what could be the first of a few consecutive starts. That Dallas game was a metaphor for the season Lehner’s been having: Spot duty where he’s put in a pretty terrible situation where the team in front of him can’t get it done. Columbus finds themselves in the bottom ten of the league in goals-for which presents Ottawa, who are just outside the top 10, a rare opportunity to outscore an opponent (see what I did there?). The challenge is that the Bluejackets are one of the stingiest teams for allowing goals. Bobrovsky or not, McElhinney has a 1.55 GAA. With 4 players currently operating at a point per game (or better!) pace, the Sens big guns will have a real test on their hands tonight. And I truly think it’s on the forwards and defense to get this thing done. Lehnny’s been going above and beyond to keep a lot of games from being embarrassing this year. Time to do him a favor and win just one…lest The Lehner uppercut the entire team into a pit of spikes fal;sdfkajsc time to go back to reading about the mayor of Toronto saying that using crack cocaine and being publicly intoxicated while in office, “is what it is.”






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