Who would have thought the Ottawa Senators could reel off 2 straight wins without the heart and soul of their team and number one center?
Well I can tell you not too many Sens fans figured this team could play the kind of “grind it/team effort” that you need when you lose your captain and number one center. With Alfie and Spezza out for long periods, this team showed the kind of character that Sens fans yearn for!
After falling behind 2-0 in the first period last night to their arch rival Montreal Canadiens, the Sens coaching staff made the necessary adjustments and the players executed a great gameplan in the neutral zone while using their speed and physical play. Add a little stellar goaltending to the mix with Pascal LeClaire and you have a recipe for success on most nights.
Nobody is expecting Ottawa to win 10 straight but if this team can pick up a few wins on homeice and a couple of road points every 5 games, they will keep in contention for a playoff spot and hold down that 6th spot in the Eastern Conference.
Ryan Shannon, Jonathan Cheechoo and Jarkko Ruutu have really elevated their games since the 8-2 blowout loss to Pittsburgh before Christmas. Chris Neil and Chris Phillips continue to show great leadership with their on-ice performance the last few games too.
With the Colorado Avalance on deck and the NY Islanders in back to back game on homeice, the Sens need to capture as many points during this homestretch.
The Avs visit Ottawa tomorrow night while the Isles face the Sens on New Year's Eve. Grabbing 3 of 4 points would generate some serious momentum heading into the New Year.
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.