A Year, And a Season, On Ice?

Sens are hoping the cannon isn’t the only thing that goes off with a bang.  With all but one game of a decidedly mediocre 2010 in their rear view mirrors, the Sens hope to see it, too, go out with a bang, in the form of an all important win in Columbus.

But Columbus is hoping for the same, as they, like the Senators, find themselves in a dog fight for a post season ticket.

Neither of these teams, however, are known for consistency.  In fact, nobody knows what to expect going into this game.  Both teams have struggled mightily to score, and keep the puck out of their net, and neither have been able to string together many wins.  Both teams had a glimmer of hope in November, but were unable to build on winning streaks.

And now, they both find themselves in dire straights.

The Sens, an organization known for winning, faces the very real, if not altogether likely, prospect of missing the post season in 2 out of 3 years, and Columbus looks poised to once again struggle just to make the post season, for only the 2nd time in franchise history.

But, while everything about these two remains unpredictable, one thing is for absolute sure; one team will skate off the ice with a much-needed win, while the other will no doubt feel the already mounting pressure grow to an almost untenable degree.

Neither team can afford to lose this game.

But one will.

And the ramifications of such a loss may be wide-reaching.

Already Clouston has inserted in-experienced Jim O’brien, in favour of Ruutu, and Brian Lee in favour of Kuba.

Smacks of desperation to me.

Ruutu, while certainly not providing much in the way of offensive punch, has been effective as a 3rd line grinder and defensive stalwart.  How O’brien figures into this line-up is a mystery to me, unless there’s something in the works for Ruutu’s services.

If a forward had to be scratched, I would have much preferred to see Kovalev rocking the tie than Ruutu.  I sure hope this is a trade thing, otherwise, Kovalev getting another pass is a disaster, IMHO.  The players must be sick of watching him float around and either turn the puck over at the blueline, or make ill-advised passes in the face of any physical pressure.  Add to this the gap between his ability, and production, and off ice statements when demoted to the 4th line, and you have what appears to be a player bigger than the team, working in an environment of virtual omnipotence.

Hardly setting the table for a roster led turn-around.

As for Lee ahead of Kuba, hell, why not?  At least Lee has something to play for and, unlike Kuba, will probably at least try to be affective.  To date Kuba has looked timid, dis-interested and altogether inept both in his own end and on the PP.

The same can be said for Gonchar.

Between he and Kovy, every shift they play is like playing Russian Roulette.



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