A little less than a week ago, the Ottawa Citizen wrote about the Ottawa Senators' dislike of the spoiler role that they now find themselves in, but noted that the players are still playing for pride and for fun. I'd like to add to that list the chance to piss other team's off, but that's just me.
Today, Steve Milton of The Hamilton Spectator wrote another story about the league's spoilers, including Ottawa as well as the Thrashers, Avalanche, Islanders, Lightning, and Maple Leafs. We know the Sens have been hot since the Cory Clouston era began, but Ottawa's not the only non-playoff team on a tear:
Coming out of the weekend, four of the hottest teams in the NHL were the Islanders (7-2-2), Maple Leafs (7-3-1), Senators (6-3-1) and Thrashers (6-3-1).
Spector is wondering how interesting this off-season will be for the league's restricted free agents, like Ottawa's Brian Elliott. I'm wondering how boring it's going to be, with teams likely avoiding long-term contracts and certainly shying away from high-paying RFA offer sheets. In other circumstances--like, maybe last year or in 2007--I could see Elliott attracting an offer sheet in the $3M range, but I don't se ethat happening this year.
There are, however, some big names on the list Spector presents: David Krejci and Phil Kessel (BOS), Drew Stafford (BUF), Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu (CAR), Cam Barker and Kris Versteeg (CHI), Travis Zajac (NJD), Brandon Dubinsky and Nikolai Zherdev (NYR), and Ryane Clowe (SJS), among others. Any of those names would be pretty good acquisitions for the receiving teams.
Mike Comrie missed the morning skate today with the flu, but he'll probably play tonight anyway.
Clouston is having fun these days coaching, according to the Ottawa Sun. Easy to have fun when you're winning.
Elliott apparently played drums in a band with Wade Redden on guitar. So say the Sun. He's also won all five games he's started since the Senators acquired Pascal Leclaire at the NHL trade deadline.