Ottawa Senators (13-8-4)
Los Angeles Kings (16-10-2)
Now that the Dany Heatley saga is behind us until next season, tonight's matchup with the Los Angeles Kings should serve as an awesome forum for masochistic fans to relive the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and revel in the awesomeness off Anze Kopitar.
Normally, this is the portion of the thread wherein I'd link to my game day prediction that was made for the Ottawa Citizen's prediction panel, but unfortunately, I missed the deadline. Regardless, here are my thoughts on the matter...
Kings 3, Senators 2Picking against the Senators in a game like this isn't as hard as I thought it would be for a number of reasons. Not only do the Senators have a poor track record on these Pacific Division roadtrips but after facing Heatley and the Sharks on Tuesday, they're probably mentally drained from having to deal with the attention and answer questions surrounding their former teammate. Even though their play didn't reflect it on Tuesday, my feeling tonight is that the Senators might lose a bit of that mental edge now that the Heatley issue is on the back burner for another season.
Like Dany Heatley, The Senators Need Options
Maybe it's just me, but at no point during the San Jose game did I ever stop and think, if Brian Elliott wasn't playing tonight, the Senators might be in this one. But that's the approach the mainstream media -- here and here -- is treating Elliott's Tuesday night performance. Even though it's fair to say the game was over when Ryane Clowe scored an ugly goal that put the game out of reach, Tuesday night's game wasn't Elliott's fault. So why are the local media wondering whether or not Mike Brodeur will get an opportunity to show his worth in either of the Anaheim or Phoenix games that close out this western swing?
Senators vs Kings History
Okay, so going beyond last summer's forgettable Rich Hammond versus Sens Chirp rumo(u)r bickering, there's actually some rich history involving the Senators and Kings.
Remember Bryan Murray going off on Kings colour man Jim Fox after the latter publicly criticized Murray on air for Zdeno Chara's actions during a Senators Kings game in 2006? If you'll recall, Jeff Cowan dropped the mitts with non-fighter Chris Kelly so late in the game, Zdeno Chara went after Tim Gleason in retaliation. Good times...
What about this 2001 brawl that featured an epic goaltending fight between Jani Hurme and Felix Potvin and saw Hurme's teammates on the bench unlace his trapper so that he could throw lefthanded bombs against the former saviour of the Leafs?