As I sit here on HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA, writing this article, I have the TV tuned to CBC, and the radio set on the Team1200. Thus, listening to the hype for this afternoon's game, clearly, it is exciting.
Considering the fact that many things have happened in such a short time to both the preceding teams, I will elaborate a recap, and my opinion on the situation.
Clouston The Wizard
After gaining some territory whilst winning five games in a row under Clouston's guidance, the Senators are still situated 13 points out of a playoff spot.
Recently succumbing to the Canucks in a 5-2 regulation loss after losing their captain Daniel Alfredsson to hair line fracture (jaw), the Senators couldn't perform at their maximum potential as a team.
Daniel Alfredsson who has a serviceable 52 points in 55 games played with the Senators this season, makes up for a big chunk of the team's offence.
Though, it seems Dany Heatley has picked up his game, being more physical in his of play, whilst forechecking, and speeding down the wing, while Spezza has lost his stock, primarily because he gave the puck away while doing dekes, he paid for his lacklustre play with less ice time.
As well, it seems Clouston's conjuring has depleted, due to the fact that he is lacking the heart and soul of his arsenal. Clouston is a great coach, but how can he work his magic when his team is lacking a key part of the puzzle? That is where Senators' GM Bryan Murray comes in.
Murray Pulls A Trigger
With his team in jeopardy because of the loss of some much needed offense, Murray decides that is it time to acquire some help.
Therefore, Dean McAmmond, a three-year veteran with the Ottawa Senators was traded to the New York Islanders along with San Jose's first round draft pick (acquired in the trade that sent Andrej Meszároš to Tampa Bay, and Filip Kuba with Alexandre Picard to Ottawa).
In return, the Senators received Mike Comrie, a proven second line centre; and Chris Campoli, a young offensive defenceman.
Supposedly, Bryan Murray has high hopes for these two young men, of course, we shall see what they can do.
Inversely, Mike Comrie, previously an Ottawa Senator for 61 games (including 21 playoff games) has proven his worth in the past. Is Murray trying to reignite the passion and hard work ethic the Senators once had in 2006-2007?
My, My, The Situation In Habs Nation Has Taken Off
Kovalev, a 16-season NHL veteran, was asked to sit out a few games due to his ethic swings. Hence, it is no surprise that Kovalev is a gifted hockey player, he tries too hard sometimes, and wants to be ''the go to guy'' when his teammates are out to injuries.
According to Bob Gainey, he was quite fatigued, and was forced to sit out a couple of games to rest his spirits, he took a blood test, and found something quite intriguing, but refused to disclose that information to the media.
If that were not enough, Kovalev should be fully energized for the game against his Eastern Conference rivals.
The young Kostytsin, Sergei, has been sent down to the Montréal Canadien's AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, since his stats haven't been on par with the team's expectations, but he is only a few points off his average of last year.
Who Will Win?
It seems both teams have an equal chance at victory, the Senators missing offence due to the injury of their captain Daniel Alfredsson, though adding a puck moving defenceman in Chris Campoli to mix, as well as a good offensive talent in Mike Comrie, whereas the Habs on a downhill slope, will resurrect Alexei Kovalev's play, perchance it may help them climb back onto the ladder they fell off.
Update: IT SEEMS DANIEL ALFREDSSON CAPTAIN OF THE OTTAWA SENATORS SHALL PLAY!
''SUPER HUMAN HEALING POWERS'' - TEAM 1200