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The rewind version...

Poor, old (well, he's 34), slow Shean Donovan. It's apparently hard to give him love, which I discovered after the Penguins' Matt Cooke took out No. 10's knee for an extended period of time. Yes, the Senators eventually ended up winning that game quite handily against Pittsburgh. The thing was, the Pens ran out a D that was about as effective as a bunch of ex-ECHLers on a peach schnapps bender (yeah, you know it happens). I'm usually shy on sports betting when it comes to the NHL, but even I was tempted to get down on the home team that night.

So when I felt that the loss of Donovan was more relevant than an uneven matchup vs. Pittsburgh, I was rather surprised by the reaction of Senators fans. How dare I defend Shean Donovan, a player who, when he's in the lineup, saw the Sens go 8-3-1 during his 12 games played this season. "But he's been a healthy scratch," they insisted. Oh well, God freaking forbid we question a first-year coach on his decision-making skills. Here are your alternatives in that doomed-to-the-press-box troika: Jesse Winchester and Ryan Shannon. I'm not saying any NHL expert picks Donovan as MVP of the team, but he has played a far more responsible game than the others (Shannon in particular), and could have been viewed as an underrated piece for the club, especially considering his price tag.

Of course, when I pointed this out to the Donovan naysayers, no one could make a case for the other two as viable replacements for the old bugger. Chew on that.

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