Should we talk about how we are living in a Frozen Crystal Daymare or just skip tha–
Man, They (?) weren’t kidding going into the season when They (??) said it would be tougher than ever to nab a playoff spot with the new divisions and the Olympic break, huh? Eastern Conference: The Relentless Stare at the Standings Continues!
After failing to GIT-R-DONE (Trademark, WTYKY) against both Montreal and New York the Eastern Conference AGAIN has #blessed our boys in Red, White, Black, Some Sparkly Gold Trim and occasionally Off White with an opportunity to not just advance in the fight over the playoff Wild Card but potentially into a legit (and tenuous!) playoff spot. Goddamn! This season is like a video game with unlimited continues!
With some of our closest competitors ‘Lumbus (vs. LA), New Jersey (vs.St. Lou), Toronto due for a loss (Side note: TO currently riding their first 5 game winning streak IN SEVEN YEARS…god no wonder their fans are so miserable) against some tough competition, tonight could prove to be a profitable one for the Sens…that is of course if they caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare.
What? Not an unreasonable concern after Saturday’s rotten egg against the Rangers. Woof, Methot (Heyyyyyyy who I just found out is hurt)’s goal early on only made things worse. After watching them go up 1-0 less than four minutes in, I sat up straight all, “HERE we go. Ottawa’s finally going to bring it during one of these afternoon games WHERE THEY ARE ACTUALLY SUPPOSED TO BE AT AN ADVANTAGE!!!” My bad. Whatever these things happen, after all, Pittsburgh lost 5-1 to Florida last night, so, circle of life?
Anyway, there’s stuff to talk about…tonight’s game for instance!
Please Welcome Stephane DaCostco Who’s Been Called Up To Address Ottawa’s Needs At Centre!
With Binghamton’s only winger Mark Stone suffering an injury in practice yesterday, the Senators have recalled one of their dozens of centres to fill his spot. Not saying I am mad at the recall of DaCosta, bro has been tearing up the A (really, really sorry) of late and an injury call up to reward him is not unreasonable. What’s that? He’ll be pivot to Greening and Neil on the fourth line? Okay, what is unreasonable is to expect points from him. The impression that I get is that a lot of people are extremely low on SDC as the memory of his uneventful early season shot is apparently still fresh. I am definitely realistic to the fact that there likely isn’t room for him in the lineup going forward but I don’t think I’m ready to give up on the guy entirely. Actually, looking back at his numbers, I’m pretty impressed that he finished with a +1 considering how brutally bad the Sens were out of the gate. Anyway, he went back down and kept a point per game pace with the B-Sens. Good on him, hope he does well and if it’s a showcase for a trade well…let’s hope he helps the Sens and himself.
Turns out Paul MacLean is a man of principles but even he has his limits.
What am I talking about? Well, if a player from the team YOU coach was having sex with YOUR wife would you let them play? This is clearly what’s been going behind the scenes. What else could explain signing a player to 3 year contract only to play him in 6 more games than Matt Kassian? Either way, an injury to Marc Methot in practice yesterday has forced Coach to put the philanderer back into the lineup. He’ll play on the 3rd pairing with Eric Gryba. So we’re all caught up on our defensive 3rd pairing news.
What’s next? Let’s see here, Ah, *puts on tiny reading glasses* “Talk About the Third Line”… *Takes off tiny reading glasses, shuffles through papers, puts tiny reading glasses back on* Oh, okay, Smith-Spezza-Condra…….mmhmm…yeah that sounds like something that would happen.
Is that maybe the weirdest line in a season of weird lines? A defensive minded, physical centre, a point per game play making first line centre and a penalty killer. Okay, Smith and Condra may not be a couple of Johnny Muplighters but they are pretty competent linemates. Also, they are at home on third line. My focus is on this question: Is there any excuse for Jason Spezza to not fucking shred his competition tonight? Presuming he faces the 3rd pairing at some points he’ll be deking his way past John Erskine and Connor Carrick (Side note: Congrats on your 11th NHL career game tonight, Brometheus!). I don’t know, some sources are reporting this is the second line (Ed note: Perhaps even weirder to have that as your 2nd line?) but I’m thinking MacLean rolls his lines and this Spezza combo is a 2B. Is it too much to expect that if he even gets a sniff of that bottom pairing of Erskine-Carrick that he should make it look like a powerplay?
No some disrespect to the Caps but this is a guy, a team captain, whom I’ve seen get assigned Sidney Crosby in multiple playoff series (with less than sexy results but I digress!). It’s easy to say here that the mighty have fallen but with the emergence of Turris and the steady play of Zibanejad the idea of Spezza playing in the bottom six presents him an opportunity to skate circles (OR WHO KNOWS WHAT SHAPE(s)!) around lesser players. The price tag for such an opportunity however…is…let’s talk about something else!
Please See National Geographic Photo Above Before Reading
After what I feel, frankly, were two turds against Montreal and New York, Craig Anderson gets the start again tonight for some reason. I don’t know who MacLean is trying to get in the head of more here, Andy or Lehner. Look, I’m not going to pretend that I’ve already forgotten the Anderson just helped Ottawa through its strongest stretch of the season but has anyone else felt like he’s had that shaky look to him the past couple of games? I really hope Paul MacLean’s apparent policy of “right the good ship Anderson at all costs” pays off tonight. And hey if all these Anderson starts contribute to Lehner playing angry down the line. I am INTO it.
Enjoy the game!