First off, my apologies for very few blogs recently but the re-launch of the site has been my focus and small issues that we have been trying to resolve but now the site is close to where we want it to be! Next, a huge thanks to the folks at Fox Sports Grill in Scottsdale, Arizona for giving our group a nice little spot in the restaurant so we could watch both Sens games on the weekend!
I have to start this blog off with giving Jason Spezza alot of credit for turning around his game during the Sens last 10 game stretch. It has been by far and away his most consistent ten game segment of the season but his faceoff numbers could be better. There have been too many times when the Sens have chasing the opposition for puck possession. On this current six game road trip, the games in NY and Carolina, Spezza was very poor in the dot and Ottawa was lucky to get away with a win in one of those 2 games. Regardless, Spezza has produced offensively and minimized his turnovers which is very nice to see.
The play of Nick Foligno and Ryan Shannon continues to progress each game out. You know what you are going to get from these two players game in and out. Foligno is playing with an added edge to his game which has made him even more dominant at times. His driving to the net is something a few Sens players could add to their game. Both players are making the most of their additional icetime.
Chris Campoli has been very disappointing the last half dozen games. Head coach Cory Clouston has cut his icetime dramatically and just two games ago Campoli had less than 14 minutes of playing time. At the same time, Brendan Bell has been promoted to the second pairing with Filip Kuba due to his very consistent play and at the expense of Campoli and Brian Lee's soft play. Bell continues to produce offensively and consistently gets pucks to the net, something both Lee and Campoli are guilty of. Even Clouston has made mention of this problem with both players in his postgame interviews. Here is hoping Bell is rewarded with at least a one year contract extension with the Sens. He has the best point production per game of any blueliner for Ottawa and his confidence continues to grow as he carries the puck up ice with authority while making smart decisions.
Brian Elliott earned his first career NHL shutout last night and showed management that he is capable of dealing with adversity. After being pulled the night before, Elliott was strong positionally and didn't get caught wandering out of his goal the way he did in Atlanta. It will be a great showdown between Elliott and recently acquired Pascal Leclaire next training camp for the starting position in goal.
Next up for Ottawa is the Florida Panthers tomorrow night and the six game road trip is capped with a visit to Boston the following night.
As always, your comments or questions or welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on FoxSports.com.