What To Do?

I don’t know about you, but last night left me feeling like my goldfish died.

Not the end of the world, but a bummer all the same.

Through the haze of my blank stare at the television after the game, I started to think, and read.

Read the message boards…oh the horror, the horror!

Nothing can make something bad seem not quit so bad as much as vapid over-reaction (I hope at least!).

First and foremost, Leclaire.

Yes, on a scale of 1-10, he’s been shit.

But those comparing him to Gerber need to gain a little perspective.

Pascal has to play.  He was off for a year, don’t expect him to slip back into the net without some issues.
When it comes to some of his weak goals (not all), the defense has been horrible.  Deflections, open men, no blocked shots, on the wrong side of the rushing player, giving the offense the entire net to shoot at.

Let Pascal continue to play.  I believe he has the mental attitude to work through the struggles he and his team are facing.  The future is Pascal, and sitting him is not going to improve his game, and Elliott is not ready to shoulder the burden of this teams porous defense.  Why ruin Elliott’s confidence, while Pascal doesn’t improve?  It just doesn’t make sense.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish there was a better solution then letting him struggle during games, when every point matters, but that’s the situation, for better or worse.

The defense.

Watch Picard, his processing is like a VIC24 trying to run Doom.

Instant lock-up.
The guy is almost always in the wrong spot, never seems to know what to do with the puck, and seems to think he’s playing touch hockey.  No need to actually check a player, catching up to him is good enough, then let him go.
This kid is a great hockey player, compared to you or I.  But he’s not NHL calibre yet, if ever.  Send him down, eat the salary, and hope some time in the AHL will turn his game around, ’cause leaving him in the NHL will destroy him, and all those around him.  This isn’t a first round draft pick we’re talking about.
That bring us to Lee.  He has to play with a quality partner.  He needs to play with Kuba.  Playing him with Campoli, or Picard is like letting your 4 yr old babysit your 3 yr old.

Seriously, when they burn the house down, whose fault is it really?

Lee may not develop into the #1 guy as was hoped, but the fact is he does have NHL calibre skills, and given the right partner he will have the room to learn the game both by watching how his partner plays, and by having someone to cover his gaffs, as well as not being consistently put into bad positions.

Campoli.  He reminds me of Lee.  He has good skills, but he needs a partner who covers for his deficiencies, and offensive tendencies.  Let Phillips ride shotgun.  Phillips has a strong outlet pass, sound defense, and the experience to recognize when Camps has over-extended himself offensively.

This leaves Carks and Picard.  They’ve played a lot together, and Carks has done well in compensating for Picards weak game.

Once Volchy is back, send Picard down, and bring Kudelka up, he might surprise, and he can’t be worse than Picard.

Shannon over Donovan?  Honestly, why?  If Shannon’s not a top 6 guy, he’s definitely not a bottom six guy.  Donovan needs to get back into the game and provide a legitimate bottom six presence that, with Shannon, is sorely lacking.

This team is not a top contender, and losing to PHI is hardly the end of the world, but they do have to at least play well in losing.  Being soundly beaten is not good enough, and leaves one wondering if this team is really a legitimate play-off contender.

The Sens are currently sitting 8th in the east, on pace for a 93 pt. finish.

Saturday brings a legit challenge, versus a foe they will possibly be battling for a play-off berth coming down the stretch.  NYR currently sit 9th in the east, on pace for a 91 pt. finish.

This game is a must win.  2 pts. puts them solidly back into play-off contention, while a loss will see them passed by the Rangers, and slipping well out of the post season race, FWIW less than 20 games into the season.



7 Responses to “What To Do?”

  1. You forgot the penalties. Oh, the endless, senseless penalties. How can Pascal, or anyone get their groove on when they’re out-penalized the way they have been. But yes, the soft, soft D boys aren’t helping matters.

    BM, move some extra bodies (or waive if necessary) and a pick or two for a bonified defensive stud. This move is key now. We have some good young talent developing and an extra second rounder next year. Giving up a first round pick in a week draft year wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  2. Hey Oman,
    After having tee’d off on the officiating last post, I thought I’d lay off…it really does bother to me to focus too much on officiating, as it comes off so sour grapes…but honestly, it has been unbelieveble.
    I would agree that moving a 1st, to fulfill a bonafide strategic need is a wise move. The issue is the defensive prospects of this club, and the worry that by signing a high priced Dman now, it will cost you a forward you will need later, and there’s no franchise depth in that area.
    Basically, do you move for a Dman you need now, but don’t (hopefuly) need later, or wait it out, and use the big move to land a forward you know will need.

  3. We badly need A-Train back. We have 4 unproven defencemen in Campoli, Picard, Lee and Carkner. A-Train should be resigned or traded for another proven defenceman by the end of the season.

    We shouldn’t be giving up any 1st round picks either, we need forward prospects.

    Also if Leclaire does have a bad game (which he will) our offence needs to step it up and get the goal back. We need to better than the 23 SOG and 1 goal we managed on Emery last night.

  4. […] Sen Say:  What to do?  I agree that it isn’t time to panic over Leclaire as he has has a lot of time off from playing and it was bound to take him some time to get back into the mode.  […]

  5. Yes, the depth of forward prospects is a concern… With Nick Foligno and Peter Regin taking prominent roles, and Jesse Winchester likely to be an NHL-er (though likely bottom six), it’s also likely that of the rest of the prospects — Ilya Zubov (is he in the KHL yet?), Jim O’Brien, Louie Caporusso, Jakob Silfverberg, Zach Smith, Cody Bass, Erik Condra, and Andre Petersson — a few more will make it to the big show. Not sure if any of these guys will be stars though, and BM does have to be concerned about replacing his aging, top 6 wingers…

    Right now our biggest hole is on defense. Period. We have scoring depth galore, assuming chemistry continues to grow and lines continue to settle. And despite Pascal’s performance as of late, goal tending should be fine this year. My gut says fill that hole now and take a bit of a risk by including a pick in the deal. I also think that a big-time D-man could be a fantastic mentor for Karlsson and Cowen etc. over the next few years. With the reasonable depth of forward prospects and a free agent and/or strategic trade here and there, I think there would be enough scorers to compliment a power house defensive core.

    While the Hossas and Havlats got most of the attention, it was Redden (in his prime) and Chara backed by Phillips, the A-Train and the rest (Meszaros, Corvo, Preissing, etc.) that drove the team. For many reasons, mostly out of Murray’s control, this D core has eroded. Now he has to either sit and watch his team quite possibly miss the playoffs again, after spending a good deal of the Eug’s money, and wait for his blue chippers to join the team next year, or take a risk and make a move that makes Ottawa a playoff team.

    I’m not saying make any crazy Burkean move, but a solid move none-the-less. This could be the turning point. I see a team struggling to find their identity and it could go either way right now. They could be a good team or a bad team right now and no one really knows for sure. The right move now could make all the difference.

  6. You said to send Picard to Bingo. With his one-way deal, he’d have to clear waivers. There are so many D-Men injured in the league right now, he’d likely get snapped up. Maybe Murray wants to get something, anything, for his players instead of just a small salary off the books. Aside from Karlsson, there’s no-one to bring up, anyways…and injuries are bound to keep happening. Losing Schubert on re-entry waivers was really just a class move by the Sens to show respect for someone who did everything the organization asked of him.
    I don’t see that happening with too many other players.
    Anyways, Picard isn’t as much of a mental basket-case as you and others say he is, but he’s certainly no Norris candidate. He’s just a guy that needs to get some confidence and carve out a niche as a 5-6 defenseman and power play specialist. It’s tough for him to work on that in Ottawa where he’s being asked to do so many things way above his current capabilities. Him and Leclaire have to stop shopping at Brain Farts R Us.

  7. Oman, agreed, especially with the last paragraph.
    Sacul, I wish I could agree with you on Picard. Again, I think this kid has potential, but he really has to improve his in situation processing. As it stands he rarely knows what he’s going to do with the puck, he’s reactionary, and in a league this fast, this skilled, Dmen simply cannot take a second to hold the puck and look around, they have to know what to do with it when it hits their stick. Picard simply isn’t close to this level.

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