James Day Preview: Ottawa To Play Landmark ‘Actual Important Game’ In ‘Lumbus

Executive Producer: Ken Burns

Executive Producer: Ken Burns

Hey there, hi there.

Let’s start this off in the Konfession Korner:
I have never previewed an Ottawa-Columbus game of any import before today. I hope I don’t screw this up! What’s that? Hard to screw up when your standard is “Refried Garbage”? Well, looks like we’re BOTH in luck then! Come away with me…

I don’t know how many more times they will be allowed to hit “Continue” by the grace of the Toilet Bowl Conference but the Sens once again get another shot at…well, at this point I’m going to describe it as “taking steps toward” a Wild Card spot. Sure, only three points separate Les Boys and Detroit, but you have to be a bit humble to the fact that Ottawa does have three additional teams separating them from the Wings. Heyyyyyyy including The Columbian Blue Coats. HOLY FREEDOMY BELLS OF FREEDOM THEY ARE PLAYING EACH OTHER TONIGHT! #bellletstalk about it!

One of the main reason’s Ottawa’s even in the hunt still? These chaps: 
Platinum Angel Kyle Turris and Clarke “Underrated Flow” MacArthur. These guys! Turris is quickly becoming lauded as the best trade of Bryan Murray’s tenure here in Ottawa. It hurt when the trade went down but Turris is going from “Solid acquisition” to “maybe best bang for the buck player in the NHL”. Is it just me or does he seem to improve with each game? With Jason Spezza having a spotty go at a season with high expectations, how much heat has Turris taken off the captain by seamlessly sliding into the top centre position. Much as I respected him as a player, this is something Mike Fisher could never have done.
If Turris is perhaps Murray’s best trade, is it safe to say that MacArthur is fast becoming his best FA signing? I’ve been saying since the off-season (no reference needed WHAT IS THIS WICKEDPEDIA?) that MacArthur would surprise Sens fans….but ahh…I did not expect 2nd in points on the team at any point in the year. Just outstanding work. MacArthur is right up there with Bobby Ryan on my list of “Operation: Give All the Monies To Re-Sign” players. The unbelievable roll the 16-7-6 line has been on has been keeping Ottawa in some games they don’t even deserve to be in. Thanks fellers!
A big night for Bobby Ryan is on the horizon. I mean it has to be. He’s in a bit of a goal slump yes but he’s still a factor game and game out and he’s actually still been wracking up points. He’s a 30 goal scorer not an 82 scorer. There’s going to be the odd dry spell. 

“I’d blame player 61 [for my decision to put Greening on Spezza’s wing]” – Paul MacLean
Get Well Get Well Soon We Want You To Get Well Mark Stone! Just when the kid was getting into a little groove eh? Someone on Twitter brought up a terrifying comparison of Stone to Martin Havlat. Obviously crazy early on both the performance and injury fronts but already the poor guy has seemed to suffer a setback as soon as he’s gotten something going. High praise to dole out to a guy who’s got a goal and an assist on the season but it’s as much a shame for Spezza as it is Stone. MacLean looked like he was going to keep the 19-61 combo intact for you know…A COUPLE GAMES. Again Spezza sees his linemates shuffled and Colin Greening is the latest contestant. Luckily the Sens have a line that’s really clicking as Greenzo has but 3 more goals than Stone this season despite playing FORTY-FIVE MORE GAMES THAN HIM. Ugh, I think I’d like Greening more if he wasn’t locked up until the futuristic year 2017. Michalek, who I thought was one of the Senators best players on Saturday, will complete the jazz trio. Oh and one more thing:

Chris Phillips’ Injury Is The New Chris Neil Injury!
Kinda mean? Lil mean. As much of a fan favorite as Neil is, I think it was pretty cool to get a sneak peak at the future when Neil’s injury opened a spot for M. Stone Shyamalan. Despite being only 3 goals behind Dany Heatley IN A CONTRACT YEAR, Neil’s not exactly had his best season. For me, it was welcome to see some young blood injected into the lineup tonight for a good stretch there. With Phillips’ undisclosed injury, we’ll get a glimpse at a youthful backend  some of the teams developing rearguards (much better).
One of the duos will be Patrick “Still 2nd in points among defenders despite sitting out 20 games” Wiercioch and local hero Cody Ceci. Ceci, who just got word he’d be spending the rest of this storm tossed season with the Sens *throws confetti* has been paired mostly with the defensively responsible (pointing!) Phillips. It will be interesting to see if MacLean will let these two offense-minded young pups eat ice cream and stay up to watch Saturday Night Live or if he’ll assign them each to Old Man Methot or Nightwatchman Gryba at the sign of the first mistake. Pretty exciting pairing if you ask me……………….ASK ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! … Moving on…

Craig Anderson starts after a pretty unfortunate performance by Robin Lehner on the weekend. Not even down on Lehnny, every goalie has games like that (RIGHT CRAIG ANDERSON) and he’ll bounce back. Now that he’s slowly but surely put together a 16-10-7 record and as a part of 39 of the Senators points, Craig has re-established himself as the team’s starter. Games like Saturday’s show that when Anderson has an off night we can’t necessarily expect Robin Lehner to jump in there and save the day. Truth be told the season’s hanging on a balance to the point that both guys have to rise to the challenge and it’s going to fall on Andy the majority of the time. Let’s hope that he redesigns his mask is up to the task.
Former Senator for 25 minutes, Curtis McElhinney who is luckily not a human being named Sergei Bobrovsky gets the nod for the Blue J’s.
Huge, huge two points tonight…and every other night for the rest of the season so…just go out there and HAVE FUN! …but seriously win this fucking game.
Enjoy the game! 

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