Not all eyes will be glued to tonight’s Bruins v. Panthers game. In the nation’s capital, most of the Sens Army will be watching tonight’s Senators action like that guy from the Score a Honda commercial. Crying while watching the game peering through the cracks between their fingers. Right now, it seems as though every topic of discussion has polarized the fanbase and a quick glance around the Senators message boards and blogs will reveal that there actually is a sect of the populace who are dumb enough to clamour for the return of Jonathan Cheechoo and or Mike Brodeur. To be succint, fans are collectively losing their shit.
One thing that I’ve noticed hasn’t been talked about, is the fact that for the bulk of the season, Cory Clouston has paired several forwards together: Ruutu and Kelly; Fisher and Kovalev; and Michalek and Spezza. For better or for worse, there have been times when the aforementioned first two pairs have been split apart but for whatever reason, despite the seeming lack of chemistry (or production in Michalek’s case) Clouston has refused to remove Michalek from Spezza’s wing.
Looking at Michalek’s numbers, it’s not difficult to discern that this will be his least productive season since his rookie campaign. Despite his team leading 22-goals, he has only scored 5 times since December 19th and he has an underwhelming 11 assists while registering significant minutes on the power play and alongside Alfredsson and Spezza. This situation reminds me a lot of Cito Gaston’s mindnumbing unwillingness to remove Vernon Wells from the cleanup hitter spot in the Blue Jays lineup Although on paper, he’s the best left-winger that this team has, his and the team’s respective struggles have made me question whether or not there may be a better fit for Jason Spezza on the left-side.