Game Day Thread — Senators Vs Oilers

Senators (36-25-5) Vs Oilers (21-38-6) @ Rexall Place, 9:30pm ET Television: Rogers Sportsnet
The View From John Stevenson’s Couch
It’s a good thing that Ottawa’s goaltending coach – John Stevenson – is a sports psychologist. Pascal Leclaire may need some consultation after Cory Clouston has opted to give Brian Elliott the start tonight against the Edmonton Oilers. It’s a move that will assuredly have some fickle Senators fans questioning the Little General’s decision since Leclaire had a strong performance on Saturday against the Maple Leafs.
Personally, I like the move and in in all fairness to Elliott, as well as Leclaire played against Toronto he deserves the opportunity to get back in nets. Were it not for a bout with the flu, Saturday would have been his scheduled start. Let the two of these goaltenders push each other and hopefully it will bring out the best of them as the playoffs draw near.
Predictions, schmedictions…
There’s a reason why Edmonton’s plummet down the standings has gone faster than a ferrari with a drunken Nik Khabibulin behind the wheel. If you thought that the Senators bout with the flu left them shorthanded against the Leafs, check out Edmonton’s inactive players list for tonight’s game — Khabibulin, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Stone, Ladislav Smid, Sheldon Souray, JF Jacques, Ethan Moreau and Ryan Jones. It’s part of the reason why I picked Ottawa as part of James Gordon’s Ottawa Citizen Prediction Panel

Senators 4, Oilers 1

With a healthy lineup and a resurgent Pascal Leclaire, Ottawa will be out of excuses if they can’t beat up the League’s worst team. Like Dany Heatley’s refusal to waive his NTC, here’s hoping that an Ottawa victory leaves the Oilers faithful in tears.

As I mentioned earlier, Elliott will be in nets tonight. Also, Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Regin will return to the lineup. Thanks to the Ottawa Senators’ Twitter, here are Ottawa’s lines from practice this morning: Michalek-Spezza-Alfredsson; Regin-Fisher-Kovalev; Kelly-Cullen-Neil; Ruutu-Winchester-Shannon.

Other News and Notes (aka your glorified Google News Feed) with a Little Something, Something Thrown In

  • Cory Clouston hasn’t ruled out a Nick Foligno appearance during the latter stages of the team’s current western road trip. For those, like me, who aren’t thrilled with Ryan Shannon’s production, this is fantastic news.
  • “Getting drafted was definitely a thrill.  I think every kid who loves the game dreams of playing in the NHL and winning the Stanley Cup.  Getting drafted has made me that much more hungry to chase after my dream.  I knew that there was a chance I would get picked and couldn’t be happier that Ottawa selected me.” ~ Michael Sdao, USHL chat transcript
  • Anyone who has a vested interest in Anton Volchenkov’s contract extension talks will want to stay tuned to this website for the next few days.
  • Tim and I will likely be running a contest in the next week or two with a prize up for grabs. If anyone has a suggestion for a contest idea, email us.