Randy Two-Two on thin ice

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Nearing his 500th career game, Randy Robitaille has only experienced the NHL playoffs 11 times.

He'll be lucky to make it a dozen this spring with his hometown team if he continues to play the way he has most of the season.

Robitaille has scored six goals in three games with the Senators -- and none in his other 28. His third two-goal performance came in Saturday's 4-3 overtime victory over the Lightning on Saturday.

The 32-year-old, Ottawa- born forward also scored a pair in wins Nov. 1 against Atlanta and Dec. 5 in Florida.

Most recently, Robitaille has been the left winger on a line centred by Mike Fisher. He has also filled in on the right wing with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, as well as seen duty on the third or fourth lines.

All in all, Robitaille has averaged 13:21 of ice time per game, seventh most among Senators forwards. He also averages 1:38 on the power play.

Better numbers are expected.

"We had to have some production from him," coach John Paddock said after Robitaille snapped a 13-game goalless drought Saturday. "I talked to him before the game (Friday) in Buffalo. We're getting some secondary scoring ... but if you look at Fish last Saturday he scored three in all different situations but none with his linemates. I thought Robie stepped it up the last two games.

"I think he is what we thought he was when he came, but you just can't go along and not produce, and there wasn't a lot of production happening there," Paddock added when asked his evaluation to date of Robitaille, who signed a one-year, $625,000 US contract on Oct. 16. "There has to be production. If you're going to be a skill player, you have to produce. You have to get points.

"He's probably been all right. But we need a little bit better than all right."

Brought into the fold by GM Bryan Murray as a depth player, Robitaille will almost certainly slip a notch on the company ladder when Patrick Eaves returns from a separated shoulder, likely next weekend.

If and when Murray adds the top-6 forward he covets prior to the trade deadline, Robitaille's stock drops farther.

He's not exactly a checking forward and he's not the banger or energy player you want on a playoff team.

Robitaille, who also has eight assists, enjoyed his best NHL season in 2005-06, when he had 12 goals and 28 assists in 67 games with the Wild. That team did not have anywhere near the number of weapons this one does, however.

Robitaille feels his lack of consistent production is due in part to lack of opportunity.

"I feel I can add a lot more than what I've brought, but with the situation I've been put in and the ice time I've been given, I'm trying to do the best I can," he said. "Obviously, with more ice time, you'll see production go up a little bit. But whatever situation they want me to play in, I'll play. I knew before signing here what the situation was. I'm happy to be contributing, but I'd like to contribute more, game in and game out."

He better start at it soon if he wants to get any ice time at all in the playoffs.

THIS AND THAT: For losing his bet on the world junior championship final with owner Eugene Melnyk, Daniel Alfredsson will wear a Canada jersey at today's practice for only the first five or 10 minutes. Then, the photo-op is over, and it's back to business as usual ... On Saturday, Paddock shuffled his lines completely when it appeared obvious the Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson threesome was no match for the Martin St. Louis-Vincent Lecavalier-Vaclav Prospal line and when Dean McAmmond had to leave with the flu. The changes included moving Antoine Vermette to left wing with Spezza and Heatley and moving Christoph Schubert to left wing and going with just five defencemen. "I guess-timated at the right combinations," said Paddock ... On the play of Ray Emery, who stopped 16-of-19 shots, Paddock said: "I didn't like the Lecavalier goal. He shot the puck from the side wall and (Emery) put the rebound out four feet. Other than that, we left him hanging dry for the first and third goals."


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