There are a few thing that need to be done in order for the Senators to win, in a segment I like to call "Not Gord Wilson's keys to victory".
- Solid defence for once. Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov already know who they'll be keeping an eye on all night: Alexander Ovechkin. But Washington is not short on offensive talent by any stretch. Rising star Alexander Semin will test the defensive skills of Filip Kuba (who currently leads the team in average time on ice) and Alexandre Picard. Not to overstate the obvious, but the Senators are not getting the quality defending that fans have come to expect from Phillips-Volchenkov or any other pairing (though the other pairings are all new). Not to mention that the Caps may have both Sergei Fedorov (remember him? Man, the 90s were great...) and Mike Green returning from injury. Yikes.
- I'm not going to make any apologies for it: The Senators need Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson to combine for at least two goals if they want to win this game. The Antoine Vermette trade clock is tick-tocking towards its inevitable conclusion, and it would be nice if the guy would raise his value a bit by chipping in a goal every 10 games or so (did I mention he's on pace for 15 points this season?). A big game from Nick Foligno or Shean Donovan is needed in order for the Sens to have any chance of collecting two points.
- Jarkko Ruutu needs to be an asshole. After helping the Senators win a couple games last month by pissing off the opposition and drawing penalties, Ruutu has been a non-factor for the past few games. He needs to get in the face and into the minds of the Capitals if the Sens are going to pull off a win. Where have you been recently Jarkko? We have enough underachieving forwards on this team. Be the asshole that the Sens need to win.
Lineup change: Christoph Schubert will be back in the lineup following two games of healthy-scratchiness, replacing the strangely competent Brendan Bell on defence.
Bonus! Check out a Northeastern division summary from illegalcurve.com - how's our division doing so far? Well Boston is kicking ass, and we're not as good as the Leafs. This doesn't bode well for our Sens.