by SENShobo on 11/01/10 at 11:01 AM ET
Injury updates, but first. . .
From the Ottawa Sun, Murray pulls Foligno aside after Saturday’s demoralizing 0-4 loss to the Bruins,
“[Foligno] has to get some points,” Murray said. “As I said to him, I’ve think I’ve tried to go to bat for him with the coaches. To make sure he gets the opportunity, ice-time wise and with linemates. I just want him to take advantage of that. That’s all.”
“I think you start to press. The other night, a couple of pucks bounced off his stick that normally wouldn’t, and I think it’s (him) trying to do a little more for the team. He’s a real competitive kid and he’s going to be good. It’s just a matter of we need him to step up a little more.”
Foligno’s not the only Senators forward having problems finding mesh. Peter Regin, Chris Neil and Winchester are also goal-less, while top centre Jason Spezza only has one in six games. On the back end, power-play quarterback Sergei Gonchar has yet to notch his first as a Senator.
“They do have to start contributing offensively,” said coach Cory Clouston. “They’ve got to start shooting the puck and getting into paint, and contributing in that area.”
Every team deals with them, other teams have more of them, but the Senators still can’t seem to get away from the effects of injuries.
While Foligno, Regin, and others have been expected to step up in the absence of Spezza, Michalek, Kuba, and Leclaire, it has simply proven to be beyond them. On a team as starkly offence-dry as Ottawa, losing those skaters has a noticeable impact on the offence, just as losing those not named Spezza has a noticeable impact in Ottawa’s own end.
Facing pressure to defend better as scoring dries up, and to attack more as the defensive side of their game takes a hit, which way do you lean, which way can you lean? While it is likely that Murray may well have only told Foligno to make the most of his opportunities, one is left wondering if the subject of trade rumours popped up, given that Foligno has come up as a name more palatable than Lee’s at times. Hopefully, no such discussions did or will take place, Ottawa’s future unable to handle more mortgaging.
From the Ottawa Citizen, on the roster injuries,
Leclaire, on his way back from a groin injury, could serve as Elliott’s backup on Tuesday against the Maple Leafs and could be in net on Thursday against the Islanders.
That would allow the Senators to get Robin Lehner’s $856,452 NHL salary off the books and get the Swedish rookie back to Binghamton of the American Hockey League, where he can start playing games.
Defenceman Filip Kuba (broken leg) could also return either Thursday or Saturday.
Michalek’s status is uncertain. He’s likely out through next weekend.
It wouldn’t be too surprising to see the team ease up a bit, knowing that it is Leclaire, even on the bench, rather than working hard to keep Lehner from any embarassment as they might subject him to. Far more interesting to see, however, will be what Clouston and Ottawa’s defence can do as Kuba finds his way back into the mix, and possibly proves just how key his veteran dependable play can be.
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