The Dilemma in Ottawa
Last nights game was a huge litmus test for both the leafs and the sens. Along with the fight for first place for the foreseeable future anyway, the leafs needed this win after a trouncing at the hands of Ottawa last time. (Granted too many players were out of the game to call it a fair match up) And Ottawa needed this game to continue to flex their muscles in the east.In reality the only importance this game had was for points to stay in the top spot. The real question though is this game may have determined alot more for John Muckler in regarding trade acquisitions.
No I am not going to mention Lalime in this article, but this game left Muckler in a major bind.
The notion of Bondra coming to the Sens was raised again by the round headed Garrioch and others on the Hotstove. The main question Muckler needs to answer after this game is does he go for toughness or does he go for more scoring. Hell why not both, or will that change the team too much.
This game left both questions unanswered. The Sens went 1-14 on the PP and the only goal they scored was from a 5 on 3. This is the best PP in the league. These guys seem to always score on the PP. But tonight had nothing. Belfour was great but so is Brodeur and any goalie can get hot in a series so…is the answer getting Bondra.
As stated on the Hotstove, Bondra would make the second PP line or the first deadly with Hossa on the other side. Bondra would add strength to the left side creating an even more balanced offence.
Or, would you say that this game once again proved to Muckler and all Sens fans that they need to get tougher. I don’t know what game you saw but the Sens seemed to fold under the pressure. Hossa was a ghost, (granted Mcabe tried to lay him out a few times) but becuase of that Hossa seemed soft. The only real tough guy on that team is Chara in my opinion, and even he had to leave with an injury (after throwing another player around like a rag doll)
The Sens and their fans can complain all they want about how dirty the Leafs are. Some of those penalties were deserving, others though were a joke. The refs looked like teachers trying to protect the younger kids from the stronger ones in a gym class. (Aki berg’s slash, Joe Niewedyk GT interfernce come on)
This was the sens opportunity to do two things. Either play tough and show the leafs and all other teams that they are going to tough it out in the playoffs. Or it could have been a chance to show the teams to “go ahead play tough and get penalties, we’ll just burn the crap out of you with our PP”
Last night the Sens did neither of them. And you know that the word is out to all teams that are contenders in the east. Check hard, check fast, fight a few guys, lay a few cheap shots and the Sens will back down.
So again the question still remains. Does Muckler go for skill in Bondra to try to burn teams for getting penalties against the sens? Or does he go out and get a few strong and tough guys to protect his stars and take care of guys like Domi and Perrott, who were the preverbial pain in the ass for Ottawa last night. Love Domi or hate him, but he did his job last night and it helped the leafs big time.
This is a tough decision for Muckler, one that could really alter his team for the playoffs. Let’s hope he makes the right one. Or his team could again falter in the playoffs to a tougher group. (Not necessarily the leafs)
What would you do? and How did you see that game last night?
Were the leaf cheap shot artists? or did they play the perfect game against Ottawa?
Should the leafs get Bondra? Was that a fluke on Ottawa’s part for the PP and next game the leafs are dead in the water?