Boy, what Ottawa Senators fans would give for a good old-fashioned post-season flop right about now.
For the Sens to choke in the playoffs, they’d have to first make them, of course. And unless Cory Clouston – hired to replace dismissed coach Craig Hartsburg – has a miracle up his sleeve, this will be the first spring since 1996 that Ottawa doesn’t even have the chance to disappoint during a best-of-seven series.
The Sens have been mired in a complete swoon since November of last season, following an appearance in the 2007 Cup final. When a team is that bad for that long, a complete shift in the organization’s direction is usually a viable option.
But with Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson all signed to long-term deals, Ottawa management finds it hard to face the fact the team should do a ground zero rebuild rather than attempt to reload around the three pillars.
If that mentality continues to hold up through February, the Sens could be the first team to be a buyer at the trade deadline, while simultaneously in the hunt for the first overall pick.
Milan Michalek becoming another threat for the Sharks with nine points in his past seven games
Eight straight wins for the team that was given up for dead when Martin Brodeur got injured
After losing 12 consecutive regular season games to the Habs, Boston has now beaten Montreal in four straight contests
Mike Cammalleri has at least a point in each of his past eight games
The Wings, who have dropped five straight, had a six-game losing streak in February last year. Apparently this just isn't their favorite time of year
Ovie is on fire, but Mike Green is red hot, too, scoring 14 points in his past nine games to tie Andrei Markov for the league scoring lead among defensemen
On Tuesday, Adam Graves will become the fourth member of the '94 Cup-winning team to have his number retired.
Three games into a stretch that sees them play 11 of 12 away from home
Antero Niittymaki's numbers are better than Martin Biron's, which means goaltending is once again a story in Philly
Twenty-year-old Michael Frolik starting to really make his presence felt
Lost five of six and now without leading goal-scorer Robert Lang, who left Sunday's game with a severed Achilles tendon
Saturday's win over Columbus featured defenseman Andrew Hutchinson's first goal of the year and forward Brian Sutherby's first tally in 23 games
Tim Connolly has 16 points in 16 games this year; here's hoping he actually stays healthy for the rest of the season
Bobby Ryan's point-per-game pace is making him a late contender for the Calder Trophy
First freshman Derick Brassard is lost to shoulder surgery, then rookie stopper Steve Mason is diagnosed with mononucleosis. For now, the Jackets are going to keep giving Mason starts
Strong showing on three-game western road trip would help Canes' playoff push
Most of the league was mad when Edmonton signed Dustin Penner in 2007; more and more, Oilers coach Craig MacTavish sounds disappointed with the decision, too
Weak power play continues to plague the Coyotes
Rookie Cal Clutterbuck has one of the best names in hockey and hits anything that moves
Meet the latest team to lose its way after representing the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup final
Bolts are getting some blueliners back, which should help limit the kind of performance like the one that saw Tampa give up six goals to the Flyers at home last Friday
If Nashville is going to make a playoff push, now is the time; the Preds play 10 of 14 at home through the rest of this month
Two of backup Chris Mason's past three starts have been shutouts
How much is GM Brian Burke hurt by Tomas Kaberle's broken hand?
Kyle Calder has made the most of a promotion to the second line, scoring seven points in his past five games
An organization that was once the model of consistency has now fired coaches in two straight seasons. How much more time does GM Bryan Murray have?
Tyler Arnason has been a healthy scratch thanks to the fact he has one goal in his past 38 games
Goalie Yann Danis helps Isles put together a three-game winning streak. Wade who?
As a coach who wasn't hired by his GM currently guiding an underachieving team that's lost eight straight games, Alain Vigneault has to be getting a bit nervous
Thrashers haven't got the memo that the less talented your team is, the harder you have to work
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.
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