UPDATE 1:04pm - I didn't do my homework before posting below but it looks like Snoopy's getting the start as Ells has been hit by the flu bug. This is another reason to WIN. If Leclaire wants to see another start this season, he's going to need to earn it tonight. Go Sens!
Can you say must win? I'm not pushing the big red panic button over here, but yes, tonight's game versus the provincial rival Maple Leafs is a must win. The pre-Olympic red hot Sens have cooled off after two uninspired performances since returning to action this past week. Tonight brings the lowly 15th place Leafs to the SBP, and if their record wasn't a good enough reason, here are a few others as to why the Sens need this one...
1. We're at home. Given our record in Kanata this season, we would certainly like to clinch top spot in the North East to give us the advantage in the playoffs. Duh. And with home games becoming few and far between down the stretch, we need to win there as much as possible. We lost to the Rags at home the other night, no need to make it two straight.
2. A good friend of mine, a die hard Leaf fan from Oakville, will be in attendance tonight. Simply, I'd like him to see that the Sens are the superior team.
3. Orr 2 - Carkner 1. While the Sennies need a W tonight, Carks needs to drop Orr like a hot potatoe. A hot potatoe that just got knocked out. (plus I have $20 on the outcome of the inevitable fight!)
4. Our next two games are against the 29th and 30th place teams in the league, respectively. I'll cringe if we don't come out with 4 points. Nuff said.
5. We need to settle our goaltending...once again. Elliot played bad, Snoopy came in. Snoopy starts, sees 5 shots, Elliot takes his place. Ugh. Ells should get the start tonight and it would be grand if he could return to his back-to-back NHL weekly star performance. We need goaltending back on track for the stretch and into the playoffs. It needs to start tonight.
6. HNIC. My buddy from Oakville isn't the only one who needs to see the Sens are the superior team.
7. I can't stand how Luca Caputi is the talk of the town in Toronto. I mean, who's Luca Caputi? Oh wait, he's an AHLer on the Leafs second line. This team is bad. We must beat inferiour teams, always. And so, tonight's a must win.
This is all pretty obvious, but I needed to let it out. After two weeks off and two poor games, all of the Sens (especially Volchenkov) need to get back on track. A two game grace period is enough. Time to get back on track. Honestly, another poor effort tonight would really start to concern me. Again, not "panic button time" but this team needs to respond tonight. I believe Clouston will get the boys rolling, so he better. If they can't get up for tonight's game...uh oh...
So I think it's a must win, but do I think they will win? Of course! Look out for the return of the lunch pails as the Sens will likely welcome the youngest team in the league with a lot of banging off the bat. This should open up room for our top two lines to return to form and find the back of the net.
I'm no good at predicting the final score, so I'm not going to. I'll leave it at Sens W - Leafs L.
Do y'all agree that tonight is a game of significant importance? Or am I over exaggerating the need to win?
Not too long til game time...Enjoy!