Well, it doesn't have to be said that we need to find a way to win this game. I suspect that way will involve Ales Hemsky in some notable fashion tonight as he always seems to play well against Columbus and carried us to our last victory over them. He needs to have a bog performance.
Right now we have a substantial problem generating goals and nothing is being done to fix it. The impact of the losses we've suffered on D with regards to our offence is being felt substantially.
I have a feeling we'll need at least 4 goals and probably 5 in order to win tonight.
If Andrew Cogliano can carry over his strong play from last game and Erik Cole can chip in a goal, we're proobably in good shape; but there are too many players on this forward roster right now who have such minimal chance of contributing to the offence tonight.
I hope Steve MacIntyre plays; we seem to be better with him in the lineup for whatever reason. I suspect he would due to the Columbus lineup.
Should we win these next two games; we are surely in the thick of the battle for 6th. This means in my opinion that you've got to act at the deadline as though you're trying to win the Cup. Not all-out crazy insanity go for it; but sensibly and smartly. Use the extras we have (and we do have extras) to capitalize on value out there. It's always tough to speculate exactly who's available and what's going to happen; but being that my Ottawa prediction is still very in question, they COULD be a prime target. I just don't know if they're actually going to sell or not. If they do; the targets are obvious:
The Islanders are a much safer bet.
In the west, Colorado, PHX and St. Louis all could be targets. They have many assets worth looking at. Adding Jordan Leopold would be a good move.
As for us; should we be buyers I think we have to look at these guys on our roster and determine if they can/should be moved:
Cole - obvious, he's a UFA
Nilsson - Ever going to turn the corner or no?
Pouliot - Get something while you can
Penner - If you can move him and get the cap space for next year, it may give you room to land a star
Any pick but the first - would be in play for me depending on the player
We need to make a call with regards to goalies as well. I have to wonder if there isn't an upgrade out there somewhere. It's really too bad that Florida has climbed back into the playoff picture...I really could have seen a blockbuster deal at the deadline with them involving Vokoun and Bouwmeester.
There'll be some big surprise; that's for sure.
What I secretly hope: Pronger to Edmonton. Boo him all the way to the Cup clowns.