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Silver Nuggets: O'Brien, Lee in; Ruutu, Kuba out

Lots of controversy means lots of headlines for the Ottawa Senators, as they look for answers to their myriad problems before taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight:

  • After being recalled earlier today, Jim O'Brien will play on the fourth line with Jesse Winchester and Zack Smith. Jarkko Ruutu will be scratched. (@SunDoniB)
  • Also scratched will be Filip Kuba. Brian Lee will take his place in the lineup. (@SunDoniB)
  • Tonight Chris Kelly gets a shot as the team's top-line centreman. (Sun)
  • I missed out on the prediction panel today, but I'm similarly pessimistic to those who sent in predictions. (Sens Extra)
  • Cory Clouston was toying with the idea of benching either Filip Kuba or Sergei Gonchar in the wake of their lack-lustre performances of late. I'm not sure about Gonchar, but the way Kuba has played this season, Brian Lee--seriously--won't be much of a step backward, if at all. (Sun)
  • Ken Warren thought it would likely be Kuba who takes a seat, if it comes to that. (Citizen)
  • The Sens jumped six spots in the Aggregated Power Rankings, up to 21 this week. (From the Rink)
  • Don Brennan thinks Matt Carkner's the league's new heavyweight after convincing pugilistic victories over Derek Boogaard and Eric Godard. As impressive as those showing were, he'll have to beat Colton Orr before being able to lay claim to that title. (Sun)
  • Mike Brodeur says he's ready to help save Ottawa's season again this year. Clouston doesn't quite think so. (Sun)
  • Weird: Ryan Shannon hit his wife with a shot that left the playing area last game. (Citizen)
  • Robin Lehner's the silver lining to the Antoine Vermette trade dark cloud. (Citizen)
  • With "Not Martin" Brodeur in Ottawa and Robin Lehner in Buffalo for the World Juniors, the Binghamton Senators are still running with Barry Brust as their go-to guy. Behind him now is Ryan Nie, on a professional try-out contract from the ECHL, after the team recently released Darren Machesney. It's a carousel. (Press & Sun Bulletin)
  • Jordin Tootoo has voluntarily entered the NHL/NHLPA substance-abuse program for alcohol abuse. His mother hopes he continues to be a role model for other residents of the Canadian North struggling with alcoholism. (Vancouver Sun)