Game Day Thread — Ottawa Vs Capitals

Ottawa Senators (22-17-4) Vs Washington Capitals (25-11-6) @ Verizon Center, 7pm ET ; Television: TSN
Since the Washington Capitals have traded Chris Clark to the Columbus Blue Jackets, there are an inordinate number of people who are lauding Alex Ovechkin’s recent appointment to the team’s captaincy. While hockey fans will assuredly enjoy debating the merits of giving the C to Ovechkin around the office water cooler, there’s no question that it instantly gives Caps fans their most recognizable leader since Rod Langway. (And any day that I can reference and include a picture of Langway on this website is an awesome day in my books.)
Since I was in the studios last night recording the latest podcast, I wasn’t able to get my prediction in for James Gordon’s Ottawa Citizen panel. However, I still submitted one even though it wasn’t published and here’s what I did say…

4-2 Capitals

I don’t know what’s more weird: The fact that former NHL coach Pat Burns is the source for the latest Tiger Woods gossip or the fact that Jared Cowen, Ottawa’s top prospect who Bryan Murray thought would be a productive NHL’er by November, was never even entrusted with shift against the Swiss during the WJHC semis. What does it say about the state of Ottawa’s blueline when I still think that Cowen could help? Now throw in the recent goaltending struggles and the fact the Capitals are the highest scoring team in the NHL and tonight’s result could be an unmitigated disaster.

While there were some media concerns that neither Pascal Leclaire or Alexei Kovalev would play tonight since they missed practice yesterday, both will suit up for tonight’s game. Here are Ottawa’s lines: Michalek-Regin-Foligno; Shannon-Fisher-Kovalev; Ruutu-Kelly-Neil; Donovan-Winchester-Cheechoo. On defence, Chris Campoli will be healthy scratched.

Who is Willie Desjardins?

In the opening segment of the podcast, we spent the duration of time talking about the World Juniors and how the coaching staff used Jared Cowen. There was a great quote by Tim Murray in Don Brennan’s article this morning that reinforced what Tim and I were saying last night. Here it is,

Sounds like the world junior championship was not a great experience for Senators first-round pick Jared Cowen. “In the New Year’s Eve game he was one of five Canadian defencemen that weren’t very good,” said Senators assistant GM Tim Murray, who was in Saskatchewan for the tournament. “(In the semi-final game) in his hometown, they didn’t give him a chance to redeem himself. It embarrassed him, it deflated him. I think players come back after that. Then, when they lose (Travis) Hamonic (to injury), their hands are tied. They went into the final with six defencemen, and two of them they’re not comfortable playing. They gave up six goals … I’m not saying it was the direct result, but it was the result.” ~ The Ottawa Sun

I’ll give Tim Murray some credit here. He said it more eloquently and in fewer words than we did while managing to do it all without dropping the name Willie Desjardins.

Donovan To Be Honoured

On Friday, January 8th, the Carleton Place Canadians will be honouring Shean Donovan in a pre-game ceremony before their game against the Cumberland Grads.  Whether they plan on retiring Donovan’s number, I’m not entirely sure. I am after all getting this information from a Carleton Place newspaper. However, if they don’t retire his jersey, doesn’t it seem a bit shallow that they’d only honour Donovan by giving him some applause? Where’s the hook? You’d think Donovan’s ability to grow up and move on from Carleton Place should warrant more than some simple applause.

Panthers Game On CBC

According to the Ottawa Senators official blog by Rob Brodie, this Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers (7pm ET)  will now be televised on HNIC.