A Troubling Loss


And I don’t mean the game.

Losing Kovy, in a meaningless game, to a useless goon like Fedoruk (who should have been back in the box for the charge on Karlsson) is just disgusting.  Once again the officiating of the NHL proves to be, at best, incompetent.  Chris Lee, a one man officiating wrecking crew to Ottawa, once again used the rule book like it was his personal play thing.  Seriously, is it a rulebook, or a guideline?  Because right now, the officials of this league have near cart blanche to amend it, apply it or ignore it as they see fit, from shift to shift.

But I digress.

The knee injury remains undetermined, in terms of severity, and the results from an MRI should be available tomorrow.  So we wait to see.  Needless to say, Kovy will not be playing in the Alfie celebration Saturday night.  With the post season set to begin the 14th, that leaves a 4 day rest, which, if the injury isn’t too severe, may have him close to ready come the start of the first round.

The other side of the coin is, with the recent lack of regulation contribution from Kovy, how much of a loss would an injury to AK27 really represent?  This is a very difficult question to answer.  The fact is, even if he isn’t producing, he does force teams to pay attention to him, out of nothing more than fear, if not reality.  This opens up the ice for others.  Personally, I was hoping to see Kovy prove his worth in the post season, but that was based more on hope than reality.  The reality is his ice time has been declining, his production has been bottom six over the last half of the season, and his back check remains a major issue, he’s been a + player once since March 2nd, a span of 17 games, and has accumulated a whopping 2 pts (1G, 1A) in that time.  17 games, 15:34 ATOI, no PK time, lots of PP time, and 2 pts.

To me, the potential loss of Kovy represents more of a depth challenge, than an actual production loss.  Who takes his top 6 minutes?  Shannon?  Smith?  Keller?  Cheechoo?  This is the problem an injured Kovalev presents.

If I had my drothers, we’ d see a shuffle like this –

Regin – Spezza – Alfredsson

Michalek – Fisher – Kelly

Foligno – Cullen – Neil

Ruutu – Winchester – Z. Smith

I think this line-up provides the right mix of offence, defence and grit.  If the Sens are going to play the Dirtybirds (I beieve the Pens will purposely lose their final 2 games, in order to both secure this match-up, and improve their draft position), they’ll have to have lines that can shut down the oppositions offense.  This role, to me, falls on the second line, a line that can skate, check and defend, frustrating the high powered offence of Pittsburgh.  The third and fourth lines are interchangeable, with the exception of Cullen who, if Fisher struggles, could claim the second line centre role.

A major wrench in the works is Michalek.  Does he have a torn ACL?  That’s the rumour, and the official talk around his injury has done nothing to dispel this thinking.  If this is in fact the case, expecting him to perform as a top 6 is beyond reasonable.

Thoughts?

GN

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15 Responses to “A Troubling Loss”

  1. The hit on Kovy I hope will be alright, just keep the fingers crossed.

    On a different note ..
    who does the TSN power rankings.. Calgary, Newyork and Montreal rankerd higher than Ottawa. Must be the work of a leafs fan.

    • A mentally challenged monkey would be my best guess…no offense to mentally challenged monkeys everywhere.
      GN

  2. dave young Says:

    Hate to disagree GN, but I do.

    I don’t think a major shuffle is in order, and breaking up the Ruutu-Kelly-Neil line doesnt bode well. I didnt like that they moved Neil up last game. He needs to stay with his boys.

    Alfie-Spezz-Regin
    Foligno-Fisher-Shannon (To try to rediscover magic)
    Michalek-Cullen-Winchester/Smith
    Ruutu-Kelly-Neil

    But what do I know?

    • I’m just not sure about Shannon, I played with him in thar role, but just don’t think he’s good enough in any one area to warrant the ice time a top 6 role would provide him. To me, Kelly can provide some offense, will hit, and has solid two way play. But, like you, what do I know, lol!
      GN

  3. Regin – Spezza – Alfredsson

    Michalek – Fisher – Foligno

    Winchester – Cullen – Z. Smith/Donovan

    Ruutu – Kelly – Neil

  4. Losing Kovie is a big problem only in the sense that teams have to keep an eye on him & he does open up room for other guys. Personally, I would insert Cheechoo back in the lineup because of his experience & potential scoring ability which is greater than any of the other reserves. I just think that Shannon is too small & too soft especially in the playoffs when the energy & toughness get turned up a notch. I would insert Donovan & Z. Smith before I would insert Shannon, just saying.

    Regin – Spezza – Alfredson – they need to keep scoring & carry the team
    Michalek – Cullen – Fisher – secondary scoring potential
    Ruutu – Kelly – Neil – they need to pick it up a notch & they will
    Foligno – Winchester – Cheechoo – played very well in Bingo
    – two bottom lines with some jam & potential for scoring those garbage goals in front of the net & these two lines are very good defensively.

    Extras – Donovan – Z. Smith – Shannon

    • Hmmm, the Cheechoo factor. Well, calling up Cheechoo now could result in his being claimed, is this a good thing or bad? I suspect the Sens will recall him Saturday, just to see if they can off load him.
      Would I play him? No. He can’t skate. I want him to succeed, but I just don’t see it happening, he’s done.
      As for Cullen and Fish on the same line…the problem remains both Cullen and Fish are better at centre, so do you lose more by puttin gone f them on wing, then you gain by loading the skill onto one line?
      GN

  5. Regin Spezza Alfredsson
    Foligno Fisher Winchester
    Michalek Cullen Smith or Donovan or even Cheechoo
    Ruutu Kelly Neil

    when Kovy is back

    Regin Spezza Alfie
    Foligno Fisher Kovy
    Michalek Cullen Winchester or Smith or Donovan or even Cheechoo
    Ruutu Kelly Neil

    Michalek and Cullen played well last night although they did play with Regin for a while but that line was all over the ice, even if it is Tampa, so I would keep them together to see if there is a possible chemistry factor there.

    I think you can easily roll all four of these lines in the playoffs

  6. Kovy is/was so valuable in so many ways but…”BALANCE”…Coach Clouston is very capable of screwing this up…ya cannot mix the lines in the playoffs like you can in the reguler season!

    Jason; Alfie and Petr
    Foligno; Fish and Shannon (under threat, the whole line)
    Milan; Cullen and Winchester (He’s commin’!)
    Kelly, Yarkko and Neil (“THE DIFFERENCE MAKERS!”)

    And forget that other call up horse shit…”Ya dance with what ya brung!”

  7. I like the lines canucnik has but can we replace shannon with z. smith, he would be a better spare until Kovy returns shannon will prob be too small for the playoff grind

  8. GelatinousMutantCoconut Says:

    I have to agree with the Foligno-Fisher-Shannon Michalek-Cullen-Winchester pairings. the Spezza and Kelly lines should stay intact.

    I do think that Zach Smith should be given a shot though, in place of Shannon. Maybe play them both against Buffalo, to gauge their play?

    I guess it also depends on the first round opponent. Against the Devils, Shannons speed could be an asset over a relatively slow team. But against Pittsburgh, we want physical guys like Smith and Winchester banging around the soft stars and tiny tough guys the Penguins possess

  9. Well that second remaining regular season game against a shit team has come back to haunt us again 2 seasons ago Alfie hurts his knee against the leafs and now this year against the lightning Kovy is done again with a knee injury, note to all Sens coaches for the next 100000000000000 years the second last season game bench all your stars even the enigmatic ones

    • The issue is partly who you play, but largely officiating. Todd Fedoruk is on the ice for one reason, to hit to hurt and fight. When he charged Karlsson, the officials chose to allow him to continue his running around, resulting in the eventual injury to Kovalev.
      Competition committees, GM meetings, owners, NHLPA, rulebooks, yada, yada, yada, this league is run by the guys in stripes. If they want to call a penalty, they do, then it’s a rule, if they don’t want to call it, they don’t, and it isn’t a rule. Look no further than the Smith on Neil fiasco. They didn’t want to remove a player for being 3rd man in, so called it a rough, not a fight. This is not discretion, this is blatant manipulation.
      As I’ve said, the officiating in this league is terrible, and the Achiles heel of this sport ever gaining legitimacy in the US. The fact it is continuously defended, and protected from scrutiny is only further evidence of its near omnipotent power over this league.
      GN

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