Game Day Thread — Senators Vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs (23-34-12) Vs Ottawa Senators (37-27-5) @ SBP, 7:30pm ET; Television: Rogers Sportsnet
Cory Clouston has been using some psychology to inspire his team to improve their play as the season winds down. If you haven’t heard, Clouston has told his players to play with some urgency and treat each remaining game like it’s a playoff game. Good thing it starts tonight against a Toronto team that Ottawa’s never beaten in the postseason. I wonder how many insecure Sens fans cowered their cubicle because they have been traumatized by their Leafs-supporting co-workers after four playoff choke jobs.
Here’s my prediction that ran in the Citizen

Senators 4, Leafs 3

With 17 goals against, Ottawa’s still in the top third of the NHL for least amount of goals allowed since the Olympic break. If they could remedy their scoring, they’ll be in a comfortable position heading into the playoffs. That being said, I’m hoping that Luca Caputi isn’t the only Italian whose addition to a roster can inspire a team. With the probable returns of Chris Campoli and Nick Foligno, I have to pick the Senators to win at home, a place where they’ve played well — 23-9-4 — this season.

Thanks to Bruce Garrioch, here are the lines and defence pairings that were used at practice today:
Forwards:

Michalek-Spezza-Foligno
Kelly-Cullen-Alfredsson
Shannon-Regin-Kovalev
Ruutu-Winchester-Neil

Defence:
Phillips-Volchenkov
Sutton-Karlsson
Carkner-Campoli

Brian Elliott gets the nod in nets tonight while Mike Fisher is out because of an undisclosed upper body injury. There have been no reports that Fish is out with a swollen head. To make room for Campoli on the blueline, the organization has optioned Brian Lee back to Binghamton.
With news that the Senators have lost out on the services of unrestricted UMass forward Casey Wellman (Ed. note: He signed today with the Minnesota Wild), a number of papers are now reporting that last year’s bidding war for Tyler Bozak’s services came down to the Leafs and Senators.
Also, there’s Senators inspired steaming pile of shit emanating from the ‘buzz involving trading Volchenkov’s rights to Edmonton for Cogliano before July 1st. There are even fabricated rumblings that Jason Spezza could possibly get dealt to Edmonton. (He won’t. He has a NTC that kicked in last summer.) If the Spezza rumour was true, the level of unintentional comedy that would ensue from the Senators trying to convince another star player to waive his movement clause to go to Edmonton would be off the charts.
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