Thursday, Dec 16, 2010, 8:00 PM EST
Xcel Energy Center
Enemy: Hockey Wilderness
The Senators have had quite a lot of time to think about Monday's "devastating loss" to the Thrashers. Frankly, I don't know if that's a good or bad thing with this team. Every time they look like they're turning things around -- Monday's loss was the third game in a row they've scored three goals (that's called a streak!) -- they inexplicably play such a bad game that any built momentum is lost. So what will we see tonight? Flip a coin, because I can't predict this team any better than they can.
Since that's useless information to you, here's who I'll be watching:
- Jason Spezza: Earned the Sens one point last game with a nice penalty shot goal and then cost them a point with a ill-timed pass in overtime. Spezza's comments on the matter sound like the ones of a more mature player; his game tonight will either reflect that maturity or mean those were just words.
- Brian Lee: What, no one wants this guy? Scratched, waived, and then scratched some more, the team is at least trying to do him a solid by letting him play in front of family and friends. The fact that Matt Carkner was taken out to do so means Lee needs to step it up -- something he hasn't been able to do... well, ever.
- Daniel Alfredsson: It was Alfie's goal that sparked the team's comeback against Atlanta. He had jump in his game, so now it remains to be seen if he's over his ailment or he was just feeling good that night. Let's face it: the team's not getting a spark from anywhere else these days.
- Pascal Leclaire: The porcelain god managed to get injured again in practice, and Brian Elliott gave up two soft goals against Atlanta. Apparently, Leclaire is healthy enough to play once again, and Elliott's inconsistencies have opened the door for him to take command of the Sens' net yet again. Is this the night it happens?
- Martin Havlat: Remember him? Seems to be healthy (so far) and leads the Wild with 20 assists. Mach 9's speed might be a real problem for Ottawa's defense tonight.
- Matt Cullen: Remember him? Cullen's 19 points (6G, 13A) would tie him with Alfie for best on the team. He's not certain to play with a groin injury, and anyone who remembers his effort level in the playoffs will agree that the Sens would dodge a bullet if he's out tonight.
- Jose Theodore: He's been the hotter hand in Minnesota recently. Sounds like the Wild have goalie problems of their own. Maybe if we offered them Lee + Leclaire...
Be sure to join us in the comments thread, where it's going to be awesome no matter what happens on the ice!