Ottawa Senators (22-21-4) vs If Wade Redden Scores Tonight I May Cry Myself To Sleep (22-17-7) @ 7pm ET, MSG; Television: Rogers Sportsnet
Like Cory Clouston said after a loss earlier in the week, anything that can go wrong, is going wrong. If you haven’t heard, Pascal Leclaire will not be able to make his scheduled start tonight because of an errant Mike Fisher shot that rang off of Leclaire’s mask in practice. To compound matters, Brian Elliott has the flu and will not be able to playing so the team has been forced to recall Mike Brodeur from Binghamton to make an emergency start.
There are so many things to hit on here, so bear with me:
- No further evidence is needed to prove that the old Mike Fisher is back. He’s reverted back into that streaky point producer who has an uncontrollable howitzer of a shot. In typical Mike Fisher fashion, he missed high and hit Leclaire in the face…again. At least this time Leclaire was fortunate enough to be wearing a mask.
- More importantly, why is Mike Fisher and his wild 9,0322,232 mph slapshot even allowed to take shots at a Senators starting goaltender during a game day practice?
- It’s also affirmed that Pascal Leclaire has joined the likes of Magnus Arvedsson, Sami Salo, Martin Havlat, the pre-1999 version of Daniel Alfredsson and Damian Rhodes’ confidence as one of the most historically brittle pieces of Senators property.
- There’s no update on Leclaire’s condition yet, however, if he’s due for more cosmetic surgery, I won’t complain. I’ll still embrace him even if he becomes our own walking plastic corpse like Joan Rivers.
Here’s my prediction that ran in James Gordon’s Ottawa Citizen prediction panel…
Senators 2, Rangers 4
I like Cory Clouston’s thinking. By giving the team a puckless practice at Central Park yesterday, neither Elliott or Leclaire were afforded the opportunity to let in a soft goal. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will carry over into the game tomorrow night. Besides, the Rangers have lost once in regulation in the past 10 games and Henrik Lundqvist is likely to be between the pipes in an important game.
Here are the lines tonight: Shannon-Regin-Kovalev; Foligno-Fisher-Neil; Ruutu-Kelly-Cheechoo; Daugavins-Smith-Donovan.
By the Numbers:
Last night, as Tim and I recorded the latest The 6th Sens Podcast episode ft. Wayne Scanlan of The Ottawa Citizen (that I’m uploading to the servers now and will be available later tonight), Tim and I crunched some numbers after looking at the schedule and standings.
Prior to the Olympic break, there are 15 games in 30 days (including tonight’s affair). Here they are: New York Rangers; Montreal; Boston; Chicago; St. Louis; Boston; New Jersey; Pittsburgh; Montreal; Buffalo; Vancouver; Toronto; Calgary; Washington; and Detroit. Of these games, how many are legitimately winnable with the current roster and a banged up Alfie, Spezza and Michalek? Five? Maybe six?
Ottawa currently has 48 points in 47 games. Say Ottawa wins five games out of the next fifteen and gets 10 points. That’d leave the Senators with 58 points in 62 games. Now using last year’s barometer for making the playoffs at 92 points, Ottawa would have to get 34 points in their last twenty games. Translation: they’d have to win 85% of their games after the Olympic break. While all this number crunching is fine and dandy, it really puts things into perspective regarding how poorly the Senators are playing and how easily the next stretch of difficult games can put them behind the 8-ball. If Ottawa’s going to make a run here, they better start turning things around quickly.