Pletch over at Sens Army made a good point how there should be a new coaching award for new coaches. Montreal is in ruins and Gainey made the bombastic, stupid idea to fire Guy Carbonneay. Here in Ottawa, I criticized heavily Bryan Murray for firing Craig Hartsburg but his the team's recent play, you can't disagree with him. John Paddock and Hartsburg tried to implent some defense into the team. For Paddock, it didn't work. For Hartsburg, it worked a bit better, as the team is on track to having a better year defensively. However, when you loosen the reins on the offense, the defense will catch up to.
Anyone else noticing a bit of a weakness on the Penalty Kill since Antoine Vermette left? For example, the game against the Islanders, the Sens dominated but both Islanders' goals were both scored by Josh Bailey and both were on the PP. It seems like management will have to find a 4th killer on the 1st Unit along with Phillips/Volchenkov, Alfredsson, and Kelly. Jesse Winchester has been in that role for the last few games, but I think it's better if he was used on offense to spurt him again.
By the way, when will Winchie score? He has 3 on the season and personally I hope he gets 5 this season because he's become one of my favorites and was one of the few bright spots in the 1st half of the season. Clouston has given more minutes to his secondary scorers such as Nick Foligno, Mike Fisher, and Ryan Shannon. However, Shean Donovan hasn't been suedm uch, and I think it's been a disappointing season overall for him. With Neil most likely gone and Bass ready to step in his role, I think it would be good to trade Donovan and but either Ilya Zubov or Peter Regin on the fourth line with Ruutu and Bass.
Who else is excited for next year's goaltending? Brian Elliott looks very good however I think management should give him the backup job next year. Auld looks like he is done in the Nation's Capital. He's a good goalie but he's very streaky. Very, very streaky.
So tomorrow I see a hard line, tooth-to-nail, exciting game to watch. Zee final score will be...
Ottawa 6(Kelly, Spezza, Heatley, Foligno, Kuba, Winchester), Carolina 5(Cole, Staal, LaRose, Wallin, Staal) in Over-Time.