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Cory Clouston's press conference took place yesterday afternoon, and the response we received was hardly a shock.

The Ottawa head coach was largely measured in his description of the drama surrounding Dany Heatley, verbalizing that the winger's role wasn't diminished in his opinion, and he was attempting to distribute scoring chances among the players.

To be fair, the Senators have always faced issues with secondary scoring -- Clouston could attempt to gear it up by switching things around, but history has shown it rarely works in lengthy doses. Heatley was, and still is regarded as the team's go-to guy for points (despite being a one-trick pony while doing so). Even if he wanted to legitimately reduce No. 15's role as punishment, the coach couldn't afford to do so.

That being said, The Driver brings up a relevant question:

"If Heatley thinks his role was diminished last year, what will his role be if he comes back and now he's fighting Kovalev for ice time?"

The newly-minted Clouston gained the confidence of fans and the front office with his effort to right a sinking ship last season. He will be looked upon to start this year out on the right foot, and it wasn't setting up to be an easy task, even prior to the Heatley circus. He could attempt to placate Heatley by getting him his touches, but how will that sit with a headcase like Alexei Kovalev (and vice versa)? Could you play them on a line together? Of course, but you get the feeling that there would be a visceral reaction from one or both if things weren't split right down the middle.

Clouston handled himself well yesterday, which couldn't have been easy, given the way he's been dragged into this mess (and regardless of the mounting evidence that suggests there's more to the story). One initially thought he had a pile of work to conquer if he had a chance of surviving a mid-season changing of the guard. That pile -- assuming that Heatley makes an appearance -- is beginning to look like Mt. Everest.

More later.

4 responses to "Clouston's middle finger restraint"

  1. Putting Heatley and Kovalev on the same line won't work. Vancouver tried that back in the day with Bure and Mogilny, and they just never connected. Both needed to be "the guy" on their respective lines.

    Dennis Prouse

  2. I don't think so either, hence the reason why I referenced the potential visceral reaction. I just thought I should mention that they could play together "on paper", given the fact they skate on opposing wings.

    The Universal Cynic

  3. They both don't seem to mind passing the puck (not a characteristic of 'the man' type players), I don't see where passing to each other would be a problem - hell they'd be padding each others stats. It's not like they each pile up assists only by bouncing the puck off of the target (opposing goaltender) Sergei Berezin style.

    I'd give the egos a chance first, before passing judgement. I was gonna use Nash, Getzlaf with Heatley at the worlds as an example, but the other two don't seem to have egos as big, or at least they are able to keep them in check.

    Does anyone know if they played on the same line in Russia during the lockout?

    On that note, nobody has reportedly asked Dany what he thought of the Kovalev signing.

    More interested in rehashing the same questions.

    Master Of Puppets

  4. I know they both played for Ak Bars Kazan during the lockout, but lines are extremely difficult to confirm. If it's any consolation, word was that team did have chemistry issues and didn't make it out of the first round of the playoffs, so take that for what it's worth.

    The Universal Cynic