The Senators will go back to work Saturday night.
The New Jersey Devils are in town for what should be an emotional night at the Canadian Tire Centre and across the country as Ottawa teams up for a tribute with the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
It will be good to get back to the rink. Sports can certainly help in the healing process after the tragedy that took place at the War Memorial and Parliament Hill. This has been at the forefront of everybody’s minds since the tragedy that took place Wednesday.
It really was emotional to watch the tribute that took place to Nathan Cirillo as he made his way back to Hamilton on the Highway of Heroes. There are so many images from this week that will be frozen in time. For me, that will certainly be one of them as time goes on.
I’m setting the PVR for tonight’s ceremony. I want to be able to watch it again when I get home so I can see how the country reacts. It’s been a tough week but the city and the nation will recover from this tragedy. It is the True North Strong and Free.
About "Bruce Garrioch"
Bruce Garrioch is an award-winning journalist and a must-read in the hockey community. A Day-Oner at the Ottawa Sun, Garrioch is one of the top sports journalists in the country, covering the Senators since their return to the NHL in 1992-93. A 2009 winner of an Ontario Newspaper Award for his coverage of the Dany Heatley saga, Garrioch has a strong ability to break news and brings inside information with his Sunday NHL column, one of the most popular in the country. It is read by GMs, players and coaches who want the inside scoop. Garrioch has covered the 2008 Stanley Cup final for Sun Media, the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and 2006 Games in Turin, Italy. Mainly, Garrioch has the pulse of the Ottawa Senators. If people want to know what's happening they turn to him to get the info on contracts, negotiations, signings, trades and, of course, games.
The Senators will go back to work Saturday night.
The Senators and Maple Leafs are still scheduled to play but that will likely change with officials leaning towards postponing the game.
A decision on whether the game is played is expected later today. The Senators are consulting with the RCMP, the Ottawa Police and the Mayor’s office.
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, president Cyril Leeder and NHL officials at the headquarters in New York are monitoring the shooting incidents downtown and a decision will be made later today.
“It’s fairly fluid right now. Right now we’re in communication mode with the league and local police authorities,” Leeder told HockeyCentral at noon in Toronto.
“We’ve been in a controlled lockdown at Canadian Tire Centre. We’re doing everything we can that if the situation clears that we’re in a good situation.”
Coach Paul MacLean said his thoughts were with those involved.
“I have been (briefed). It’s close to home. It’s a tragic event that we don’t have all the details on,” said MacLean. “We’re just waiting like everybody else. All we can do is make sure our loved ones are okay. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.”
MacLean said he was still preparing his team to play.
“This is a significant event,” added MacLean. “Everyone is going to think a little bit deeper about things. At this point, we still have to prepare for the game.
“(Postponing) the game is the NHL’s business. If they feel it’s warrented I’m sure that what’s it’ll be. (President) Cyril Leeder will be talking to (owner) Eugene (Melnyk) and if they feel that’s the right thing to do that’s what they’ll do.”
Leeder added: “Safety and security is first and foremost.”
While the Maple Leafs didn’t skate this morning, they are staying downtown and a club official told the Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan they have been told not to leave the building.
Defenceman Chris Phillips said he would understand if the game is postponed.
“No question,” said Phillips.
Phillips added: “I think we all feel pretty safe and have a sense of security playing in Canada. You see it happen around the world and you never expect to happen in your own backyard. It’s pretty scary.”
Neither the Leafs or Senators are scheduled to play until Saturday. Toronto play-by-play man Joe Bowen told Sportsnet radio in Toronto the scene from his downtown hotel room was chaotic.
“I’m in my room and I’m hiding under the bed,” said Bowen. “It’s frightening. Everybody is being told just stay in room. I’m watching out the window and there is something going on (down) on the street.”
The Leafs had a meal and meeting at 11 a.m. They are waiting word on the game.
The Battle of Ontario is back.
No it isn’t what it used to be in its heyday but a visit by the Toronto Maple Leafs is always a good night.
The Senators come into this one on a roll. They are also going to catch the Leafs on the back end of a back-to-back so Ottawa has to take advantage of this situation.
The Leafs will be tired. By the time they arrive at their hotel _ after clearing customs _ it will be 1 a.m. at the earliest. These are the ones the Senators can’t afford to give away the advantage.
The Senators have gotten off to a good start but there is plenty of work to be done. They have been living dangerously.
This team needs to put 60 minutes together. That hasn’t always been the case this year. The Senators can’t have Mika Zibanejad remain pointless much longer. He is being relied upon to be a second-line centre so they need him.
Just an update: There were no changes today and coach Paul MacLean wouldn’t name his starting goalie. I suspect it will be Craig Anderson. I also think it’s time to get Jared Cowen back in the lineup.
You have to think this will end soon.
Jared Cowen was signed to be one of their top defencemen. He struggled in the first three games but he won’t sit forever.
It sure looked like he will sit Saturday but that won’t be decided until after the morning skate.
I know everybody here feels he should be dealt.
I don’t see that happening _ at least not right now.
My sense is the Senators want this guy to play big minutes every night. Trading him doesn’t seem like an option. It will certainly become one if he keeps struggling.
The plan is to get Cowen back on track. To do that, he has to play. Patrick Wiercioch had his moments of struggle against Colorado Thursday night.
By the way, there is no update on Marc Methot. He hasn’t skated and there is no timetable for him to skate with his back injury.
Do you think the Senators should deal Cowen?
I’d say not at this juncture.
TAMPA _ There are no changes Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The sitting will have to sit and wait.
Colin Greening scratched. Erik Condra scratched. Patrick Wiercioch scratched. Younger players are getting a chance to play and that’s the way it will stay _ at least here against the Lightning.
The Senators just went through a three-week training camp. Making changes at this juncture would seem odd.
” I think for all the guys we’re talking about it’s patience, for myself, for the group, patience is an important part of our vocabulary this year. We have to make sure we are making decisions based on what’s best for the team,” said coach Paul MacLean this year.
Sooner or later, Greening will come into focus if he doesn’t start playing. He is in the first year of a three-year, $7.1 million extension. He’s not making that kind of money to sit. They have to get him going at some point or another.
The injury to Methot has taken some pressure off lineup decisions. It won’t be that way forever.
Enjoy the game. Don’t forget our live chat at ottawasun.com