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Senator shake up

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

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. 

RK.

TEAM

LW

OVERALL

L10

THE SCOOP

1

1

36-7-5

7-3-0

Milan Michalek becoming another threat for the Sharks with nine points in his past seven games

2

2

32-15-3

9-1-0

Eight straight wins for the team that was given up for dead when Martin Brodeur got injured

3

5

37-8-6

7-1-2

After losing 12 consecutive regular season games to the Habs, Boston has now beaten Montreal in four straight contests

4

4

30-14-4

7-3-0

Mike Cammalleri has at least a point in each of his past eight games

5

3

31-11-7

4-4-2

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

6

6

32-15-4

5-4-1

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

7

8

29-18-4

5-4-1

On Tuesday, Adam Graves will become the fourth member of the '94 Cup-winning team to have his number retired.

8

9

27-13-8

5-4-1

Three games into a stretch that sees them play 11 of 12 away from home

9

7

26-14-9

5-4-1

Antero Niittymaki's numbers are better than Martin Biron's, which means goaltending is once again a story in Philly

10

14

23-18-8

6-2-2

Twenty-year-old Michael Frolik starting to really make his presence felt

11

10

28-16-6

4-6-0

Lost five of six and now without leading goal-scorer Robert Lang, who left Sunday's game with a severed Achilles tendon

12

18

23-18-17

6-2-2

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

13

12

26-19-5

6-4-0

Tim Connolly has 16 points in 16 games this year; here's hoping he actually stays healthy for the rest of the season

14

17

25-22-5

4-6-0

Bobby Ryan's point-per-game pace is making him a late contender for the Calder Trophy

15

16

24-21-5

6-3-1

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

16

15

25-21-5

4-6-0

Strong showing on three-game western road trip would help Canes' playoff push

17

13

25-21-3

6-4-0

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

18

11

24-22-5

5-5-0

Weak power play continues to plague the Coyotes

19

20

25-21-3

5-5-0

Rookie Cal Clutterbuck has one of the best names in hockey and hits anything that moves

20

19

24-22-5

4-5-1

Meet the latest team to lose its way after representing the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup final

21

21

17-23-10

6-4-0

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

22

28

22-24-3

5-5-0

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

23

23

20-24-4

6-3-1

Two of backup Chris Mason's past three starts have been shutouts

24

29

19-23-8

3-5-2

How much is GM Brian Burke hurt by Tomas Kaberle's broken hand?

25

26

20-21-7

4-5-1

Kyle Calder has made the most of a promotion to the second line, scoring seven points in his past five games

26

22

17-24-7

4-5-1

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?

27

24

23-26-1

3-7-0

Tyler Arnason has been a healthy scratch thanks to the fact he has one goal in his past 38 games

28

30

15-29-5

3-6-1

Goalie Yann Danis helps Isles put together a three-game winning streak. Wade who?

29

25

22-20-8

1-5-4

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

30

27

17-29-5

4-6-0

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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