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Next Up...Ottawa...not Looking Any Further!!

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

When all you read about the Ottawa Senators today are distinct and pointed remarks made from their owner Eugene Melnyk it really does worry all of us in Columbus.   Why?  Behind the scenes where the finger pointing is directed at head coach Craig Hartsburg and long time GM Bryan Murray for the lack of success, they are on the firing line, and they are tweaking the squad to get better. 


This was a team that at the beginning of the year was one of the favorites to win the eastern conference.  In the off season, this was a team that had goaltending issues with Ray Emery.  He is now an all-star playing in the KHL.  Recent video today has him beating up his trainer in the hallway during a recent game.  This is a team that continues to battle with goaltending issues today.  Martin Gerber has cleared waivers and is going to the AHL for a conditioning slate for 2 weeks.  Rookie Brian Elliot will play his 7 straight game tonight and the CBJ will face Alex Auld who has not seen action since January 7th.  This was a team that has had more trade rumors speculated all year long with super star Jason Spezza.  He was apparently even coming to Columbus at one time along with Antoine Vermette.  Those speculations have since been put to rest as the CBJ are playing some solid hockey and are in the midst of their own playoff run. They have made a few of their own tweaks in the lineup to get better. But why does the owner get all the attention right now?...why?......the Sens have been told to win now or else!!


They are currently a desperate team. Behind the scenes, Ottawa is working on getting better. They did not compete in the final 20 minutes of the Devil game and that must change. They play against the Blues tonight, a team that is 3-0-1 in the last 4 prior to break, and this their first game in almost 8 days. Needless to say, they are chomping at the bit.  Ottawa lost a 4-1 stinker to NJ on Tuesday and now hit the road. Melnyk stated the team must win 28 games, but dropped his tone to wining 26 or 27 would allow them to get to the Promised Land.  Currently the Senators are 13 points out of the final playoff spot and they look to get the streak rolling tonight.  They need scoring, they need to compete and they need their best players to be their best!!!.....have we heard those lines before?


What can be said about the play of the CBJ recently?  They are competing and have dug in for the long haul.  They are getting healthier and the hunger to play will be determined on a minute to minute basis. The team is beginning to have options for its availability of talent and role players. The prognosis is positive, especially with team playing in the midst of 8 of the next 10 at home!!


Stay tuned!!



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