Thursday, December 18, 2008

Split ups today, shake ups tomorrow?

The free fall of the Ottawa Senators continues, leaving Sens coach Craig Hartsburg no doubt wondering what has become of his return to the NH.

At the time, taking on the Sens bench job surely seemed like a dream job, one of the perennial top flight teams, with many of the core players still in place, looking for a coach to lead them to the final step.

Instead, those long timers have seemed to have lost their way, this season becoming one of frustration and just a little uneasiness in the Capital, as an under performing Senators’ team battles to stay out of the basement rather than to claim the top prize.

The precipitous drop in the Senator fortunes is one of the more remarkable on ice implosions to take place in recent years, only a couple of years removed from their Stanley Cup final loss to the Anaheim Ducks, these Senators look unready to make a run at a House League championship, let alone challenge for Lord Stanley’s Championship mug.

With the fans venting their frustrations on a daily basis and an owner who had more than a few expectations in recent years, watching his carefully planned blue print left in tatters, the need to make a turn around in fortunes has never been more urgent.

To that point, Craig Hartsburg shot a cannon ball across the bow of his team on Wednesday, advising that the first line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson is no more.

The lead trio is to be split up, no doubt in the hopes that some new line mates may spark some creativity and goal scoring from the high profile Senators.

The next step one suspects is for Bryan Murray to make the move to shift some players off the roster and off to other teams, in a mid season remake designed to at least secure a playoff position, no doubt with a hope to run the table then and get back into the upper echelons of the NHL playoff season.

Trades and free agency haven’t been kind to the Senators, the most talked about move of the past and the one that seems to have done the most damage to the Senators, was letting Zdeno Chara get away from the capital.

Chara was a fixture on the Senators blue line, a solid stone of a player who kept the lanes clear in front of whichever Senator goaltender of the past was between the pipes. Ever since his departure for Boston a few years back, the Sens have struggled in their own end, other names have left through the subsequent years, leaving the Sens further and further from their long sought goal of a Stanley Cup.

With 2008-09 unraveling again, Hartsburg is hoping to reverse the slide with line up shuffles, if it fails to bring a sense of hope to the season then further more permanent changes are in the cards for 2009.
Ottawa Sun-- Stink, stank, stunk

No comments: