I haven't written anything over the past week or so, because in all honesty I didn't have much to say about the state of the Sens, they have been all that good as of late, and I really didn't feel like getting into the same old issues about the team.
But over the past week a couple of encouraging things have happened.
1) They lost against Montreal, now this alone wasn't overly encouraging, but what was, was the play of the Sens in the 3rd period, I basically had to stop watching the game after Montreal made it 4-1, but then I tuned in again in the 3rd and saw a completely different Sens team on the ice, they were aggressive, they were causing turnovers and basically dictating the play and really to come back even to make it 4-3 in that game was almost a victory for the morale of the team (almost..) But either way it was nice to see this team show some emotion!!
2) Heatley returns: Just how bad did the Sens miss Heater???? REAL BAD, the game against Florida was nothing special, the team still had lackluster defense and not great goal tending from Emery, but the difference in this game? Heatley's return, and with his return he brings 2 big goals, the Sens first goal and the winning goal, and coming within a hair of landing a Hat Trick in the final seconds of the game. Heatley being back meant that Jason Spezza has his buddy back with him, the guy we learnt he really needs to finish off the plays that he creates, with him back Spezza put up 2 points beside Heatley's 3 on the night.
3) Alfie Returning: As it was announced today Daniel Alfredson is returning to the lineup Saturday night for the game against Montreal, marking the first time the big 3 will be back together since January 12, and not soon enough if you ask me and pretty much every other Sens fan out there. I will be at the game against Montreal Saturday night and I for one cant wait for it, this will be a different game then the one we saw Tuesday night and I honestly thing this is going to be a statement game for Ottawa, this can put us back 5 points ahead of Montreal and really mark notice that Ottawa is the class of the East.
The other thing I wanted to briefly talk about was Wade Redden once again deciding to use his No Trade Clause after San Jose made a query to Brian Murray about his availability, now don't get me wrong, its his right to evoke the No Trade, and frankly if GM's don't like that, don't give out the clause in a players contract. BUT at the same time I have to think, this is the second time(that we know of) that Murray has approached Redden about being moved, so you would think that he would either A) realize that hes no longer wanted in Ottawa or B) elevate his play to prove that we need to keep him here. I am, in general a Redden fan, I thought the team made the right decision in keeping him over Chara and I still stand by this as I believe Chara is too slow to really be what a team needs in the playoffs but Frankly he hasn't done B as his play this season has been sub-par, now I do believe part of the issue is Meszaros has also been awful and having Redden stuck with him as his playing partner hasn't done him any favors, in my opinion Redden needs to be playing with a stay at home, big strong nasty D-Man, someone in the ilk of Adam Foote or Rob Blake, I think this would make Redden's job much easier and allow him to have the time and space to make the great plays he is able to make, imagine having the tandem of Redden-Foote and Phillips-Volchenkov and put Meszaros-Corvo together if they could both be kept, as right now I think Meszaros,Richardson or even Schubert are basically interchangeable. It would be something special to have 2 really solid Defensive pairings with Shut Down ability and a nasty streak to really physically impose themselves on the opposing teams forwards.
Last on my list for today is Goaltending...now in my opinion..and many may agree or disagree with me, I think Brian Murray needs to make some serious inquiries about landing a true number 1 goaltender, at this point I dont have faith in either goaltender and I think its time Ottawa finally had a TRUE REAL BONAFIDE NUMBER 1 goalie. This is all easier said than done, but I have heard from many places about availability of Marty Turco or Nikolai Khabibulin, I dont think it would hurt for Murray to check on either of these 2, and frankly I think Marty Turco could be an amazing fit here in Ottawa, it would provide a nice change for him and would provide Ottawa with a steady, reliable number goalie, I know his playoff record isnt stellar, but I think last year wasn't his fault as Luongo just basically stole that series for Vancouver. Anyways im not going to go into any potential trade partners here, as I really have no idea what either Chicago or Dallas are looking for, this is just my 2 cents as to what I think Ottawa should do to really try to make a solid effort at bringing Lord Stanley's Cup to OTTAWA!!!!