And the challenge deepens.

Already without big ice time players Kovalev and Kuba, Ottawa now faces the daunting challenge of defeating the defending Cup champs minus 2 of their 6 top forwards.

This is a matter of how bad is it, not is it bad.

The problem with losing bona-fide top six players isn’t simply the loss of skill, it’s also the challenge of replacing the considerable ice-time they consume during a game.  All indications are Ryan Shannon will be tasked with helping to meet this challenge.  Shannon has a future with this club, after having been resigned to an extension earlier in this season, so it’s fitting he get the call ahead of Donovan, whose future remains in doubt.  But Shannon’s size, in a 4th line role, is troubling.  Yes he is fast, and defensively responsible, but he is not physically intimidating, and that is the primary role of a 4th line, particularly in the post season.  Here’s hoping Ryan can seize the moment and help make the 4th lone a scoring threat as well as a physical presence.

Directly filling Milan’s slot in the top six will be Foligno.  Nick has struggled since his return from a broken leg, but he has shown a willingness to play hard.  In order to succeed, he will have to start contributing on the score sheet, now.  There’s no doubt he has the skill to do it, but until now has remained far too inconsistent to be considered a legitimate top 6 forward.  Nick has the chance to go into negotiations this off season on either very solid footing, or a weak position.  Every young player wants a chance to prove his worth, well Nick, welcome to a glorious opportunity!

The fact of the matter is that this team has been playing, and succeeding, without Milan for sometime now, so, in that regard his loss is somewhat mitigated, but it remains a loss none the less.

If the Sens are going to win tonights match, it will require a better game than they played in the 1st.  Better goaltending, better defense and the same diverse contribution through-out the line-up.

You can’t win a series in one game, you can only win one game.  Focus on that challenge, keep up the intensity, and continue to sow the seeds of doubt in the Penguins…but they remain the underdogs, big time, and Clouston must remind them of this constantly.



3 Responses to “From MXP To SHH”

  1. dave young Says:

    I agree GN, but we were succeeding without Milan while we still had Kovy. and then we succeeded without Kovy while we still had Milan. Interested to see how we do without either.

  2. Nicky turns Cullen into the shooter…rebounds for Fish… watch ’em go!

    I woulda played #10 on the road…may not make a huge difference, #18 and # 47 will spend the whole night killin’ PENALTIES!

  3. GelatinousMutantCoconut Says:

    I’d like to see Donovan on the 4th line, but that being said Shannon could turn out to be the best option.

    The line has Smith and Winchester to be physical and intimidating. That presence should be able to make room for Shannon to fly around being pesky and forcing turnovers, and using his speed to create odd-man rushes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: