Gameday #45: @ Ottawa SenatorsPosted: 22/04/2013
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS @ Ottawa Senators
Scotia Bank Place, 7:30 PM, Root Sports
Well this game could very well be a shitshow. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has made no secret about his contempt for Matt Cooke injuring his best player, on accident, and apparently there is a lot of blood lust floating through Canada’s national capital tonight. And as though it couldn’t get any worse Kris Letang is back out of the lineup with food poisoning, Beau Bennett won’t play with a day-to-day upper-body injury, and Marc Andre Fleury is currently back in Pittsburgh as his wife is in the process of popping out their first baby.
Also, favorite part about that Melnyk story is his quote about all the stuff that Cooke had to cut through:
But the force of that skate, [it] had to go in through a sock, a sub sock, then [Karlsson’s] skin, muscle, sheath and then get to [Karlsson’s] tendon … either this guy is very good or very lucky, to be able to do that.
You mean it had to cut through two socks? Whoa!!!
So what that all means is that Steve MacIntyre will be in the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight! I mean the reasoning is simple, if the Sens try something, MacIntyre will give himself up to prevent it, if they don’t: well there’s as good of a chance of him scoring as there is of Jeffrey scoring at this point so who really cares.
There is a reason to believe that the Senators won’t turn this game into a brawl: they need to win. The Senators, who have been held together by bubble gum and electrical tape all season, have been passed in the standings by the NEW YORK ISLANDERS! Their 52 points put them in a virtual tie with the Rangers, but the Sens have a game in hand, once this one is played though, the Sens would actually drop down the rankings for fewer ROW (regulation and overtime wins). So essentially the choice is for them to make. They can play hockey against an incredibly injured team with a backup goalie dressing in his first ever NHL game, or they can be clowns and embarrass everyone, but mostly themselves. If they throw away this game it will totally open the door for Winnipeg to sneak into the playoffs.
Ottawa is a team I would rather not play in the playoffs, Craig Anderson is too good and that’s been problematic in recent playoffs for the Penguins (think Jaro Halak and Dwayne Roloson). Also, if they can make it into the playoffs they will likely get Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza back from injury, so yeah.
As I alluded to earlier, Tomas Vokoun will get his second straight start and he will be backed up by recent signee Eric Hartzell. This typically always means that something will happen (hopefully just poor play) with Vokoun and then all of a sudden Hartzell will get the opportunity to make his NHL debut.
Total guess at what the Penguins will do in terms of lineup:
I’ve got a piece to write about Tomas Vokoun. Go Pens.