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Since 2010 began, many Ottawa Senators fans have been happy to throw out a phrase to anyone who they deemed a naysayer: "Mental toughness."

The ironic thing is, mental toughness doesn't truly display itself when you're riding a double-digit win streak. Everyone's mood is happier, their step is lighter and it's not the most difficult situation for a team to be in, trust.

And that's why the latest loss an old foe -- Toronto -- is actually a good thing. 1) It involved a rival; 2) It was against a team that by numbers, should have been easier to beat and 3) They were stymied by a goaltender who they were unable to solve all evening.

Days of yore, much? You're damn right.

Mental toughness doesn't come from admiring your work from atop the highest peak. It comes when you've been repeatedly kicked in the mouth, and you keep getting up. Regardless of their opponent's current position in the standings, Ottawa needs to smack the hell out of Calgary tonight to put things back on track. It won't make them a Cup contender, but it will go a long way in showing what they might be capable of.

More later.

4 responses to "Your Tuesday afternoon Chewable"

  1. I thought teams of yore addressed the toughness issue by acquiring Vaclav Varada?

    Dany Heatley Speedwagon

  2. Meh - nothing said toughness and grit like bringing in Mike Comrie.

    Tonight will be an interesting test. If they can bounce back sharply from the stumble on Saturday, you really can start looking at the Senators as a team that could win a round or two in the playoffs. Outside of Washington, the East is pretty weak, and even in Washington you have to wonder if their goaltending can hold up throughout the Spring.

    Interesting decision on the part of Clouston to go with Elliott tonight. Clearly, he is getting no pressure from management to get Man Bangs back in there, which is reassuring.

    Dennis Prouse

  3. 3-2 win over Calgary, not very convincing to say the least. The true acid test will come vs. Washington...even then is the team peaking too soon?

    I really worry about this team...gnawing thoughts of regular season dominance followed by spectacular implosions and underachievements in the playoffs...going to need a Conference Finals out of this bunch to feel comfortable.


  4. At this point, it is worth noting the words of the great philosopher Brian Burke. In June, there is only one Stanley Cup parade, meaning that 29 other teams had their seasons end in an unsatisfactory manner. Obviously everyone is playing to be in that Cup parade, but you have to keep your expectations in check.

    Realistically, what were the expectations for the Senators in September? This was a team coming off a non-playoff year, and they were just forced to trade their marquee player without getting an equivalent player in return. In the pre-season predictions, almost none of the talking heads or print media types were predicting Ottawa would make the playoffs. Yet here we are, at the three-quarter mark, with the Senators tied for 3rd in the East. If they make the playoffs, they will have exceeded expectations, and if they win a round, they will have REALLY topped them. It's not fair to move the goalposts mid-season on a team. If this holds, you will have to give credit to Clouston for a masterful coaching job, and to Murray for doing a decent rebuild on the fly and recovering from some bad moves of his own. (Losing Eaves and Corvo for basically nothing was brutal. You can't fault him for the Havlat deal, as that was a Muckler goof.)

    Dennis Prouse