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05-04-2004, 04:52 PM
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I really question the internal leadership, and more importantly, the willingness to win. The talent level of the Ottawa Senators is palpable and they seemingly have the right ingredients to paint themselves the shade of elitism; but, for whatever reason, they underachieve and lack a killer instinct.

I think management made the right decision in shedding Jacques Martin from the coaching staff. That had less to do with his abilities as a coach and more of Ottawa growing as an organization.

The next step[s] should be, as you said, improving the goaltending situation. Sadly, it's easier said than done. There doesn't seem to be a wealth of quality goaltenders on the market that are indisputably an upgrade over Patrick Lalime.

Secondly, Muckler needs to address their center position; it is still disturbingly weak for a supposed contender. Radek Bonk should be the primary center man to be traded, with Todd White trailing right behind. To me, the trade for Bondra made little to no sense, as it masked our true weaknesses [perhaps a strategic movement]. Our left wing is still weak and should be rectified through trade or via free agency. I think dangling a player like Martin Havlat could command the type of player that we desperately need, while maintaining the more prominent players on our roster [Hossa, Alfredsson].

When looking at Calgary and San Jose succeeding in the playoffs, it's crystal clear that talent is not the most dominating factor in the playoffs; it's heart and a willingness to succeed. That's not something that Ottawa can develop internally, in my opinion, but an external source that can be the catalyst for it. A few new faces that want to win and have a passion, both for the game and success in general, could prove to be beneficial.

brucegarrioch is offline