Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Grey skies are gonna clear up

Tonight's game at the Corel Centre between the Sens and Wayne's Coyotes will be eventful for a couple of reasons:

One, Ottawa needs to snap their losing streak and get the train back on the tracks. Phoenix is a hungry, scrappy team, but if the Senators play their game, they should get the W.

And two, because your captain and mine, Daniel Alfredsson, comes back in the line-up, cracked ribs and all. He'll be wearing a protective flakjacket of sorts, and probably won't be at 100%, but an Alfie at 80% is better than no Alfie at all.

I wouldn't expect him to dominate right away like he did previously, because he'll be playing through considerable pain, and so if he doesn't go into the corners with the same vigor he usually does, we shouldn't hold it against him.

Having your best player, your leader, your captain back should, you'd think, serve as an emotional lift to the rest of the team, who in his absence played with visibly less desire.

If a guy coming back from an injury much sooner than he was supposed to doesn't motivate the Dany Heatleys and the Bryan Smolinskis to elevate their game, nothing will.

It also sends a message to the rest of the team, and that message is quite similar to the one I've been trying to spread: suck it up. Play through pain. You hear that Jason?

Some have commented that it's only January, and there is no need to rush anyone back. Fine. But these regular season games matter. You want home ice advantage throughout the playoffs and there's that little thing called momentum that you sorta kinda want going into mid-April.

The idea that you can simply turn it on is not something I subscribe to, regardless of how talented your club is.

We saw that last year with the struggling Sens, who for the majority of the regular season never quite got it rolling on a consistent basis.

Many said "oh, who cares, it's the playoffs that matter!" Yes, that's true, but don't you want to be playing well and have some confidence going into those playoffs?

In order for the Senators to be playing their best, they need their best players in games. If that means guys have to play with some discomfort, then it shouldn't even be a tough decision.

You don't want to risk reinjuring it, or making it worse, but you also don't want to sit on your ass because it hurts slightly when you skate.

Follow Daniel Alfredsson's lead. Man up.

Thankfully, "Mr. Glass" will be back on Thursday, or so he's aiming for. If he skates and doesn't feel good, he might not play, again. Apparently a chest pull really hurts :( More than a broken rib? I dunno, I've thankfully had neither, but somehow I doubt it.


At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alfie at 60% is better than all our other forwards.

I think Spezza is getting a little too much flak though... Although a pulled chest muscle might as well be a pulled vagina... it actually kills. I pulled mine working out once and couldn't raise my arms for a week.

That being said, if Spezza misses anymore time this year with a pulled uterus, sprained ovary etc, I will jump on the bandwagon.

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great site
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