BRUCE GARRIOCH: You make your decision on March 1. There's plenty of time. They have five games before then and there'll be lots of opportunity in those three days to do either.
DON BRENNAN: Bruce is right. Plenty of time to make that decision. Lots can happen before the deadline. Good topic for Feb. 27. Dumb topic now.
TIM BAINES: Bryan Murray has to have discussions with both scenarios in mind, though. He has to see what he can get for Chris Neil and he has to find out what Filip Kuba is worth on the market. I'm not necessarily saying they should be a seller, but being a buyer could be dangerous. Let's say they're eight points out of the playoffs by then? Do they want to follow the blueprint that drove the Maple Leafs into the ground. Aiming to be a middle-of-the-pack team has dangerous consequences.
BRENNAN: "Might" is the key word. Even Murray doesn't know yet, Tim. So we should?
BAINES: The fact that we know very little doesn't stop us from doing this debate every week. Sometimes we (and I mean you, Don) say things, which border on nonsensical.
BRENNAN: Okay Tim. What's this weekend's topic? Will the Senators need to trade for more offence March 2, 2014?
GARRIOCH: Don has said a lot dumb things, but a long time ago he did say they would get back in the race. The other night in Minnesota, he e-mailed me when it was 3-0 and told me "this isn't over."
BRENNAN: Yeah, Tim. So shut it.
BAINES: I just wonder why the cerebral silent-but-deadly Chris Stevenson hasn't weighed in. I look forward to his comments offsetting the jibberish that comes off Brennan's Blackberry keys. The voice of reason has a soothing effect.
BRENNAN: Still sucking up to Chris in hopes that he'll start buying you Playboy for Christmas again, eh Tim? You make me ill.
BAINES: The sucking up hasn't worked. My wife won't let me a buy (in Don's words) "a prescription" to Playboy. So it's gotta be a gift. Really, I don't look at the pictures, I really enjoy the award-winning stories.
CHRIS STEVENSON: I think the decison's made. The Senators won five in a row and made up two points on eighth place. If they win another five in a row by March 1, they might be within 10 points of eighth the way things are going. That makes them a seller.
BRENNAN: As I've said all along (check the tapes) the Senators are going to make a strong run at the playoffs. I think they'll get in. Soooo ... if we have to discuss this now, I say they become a buyer. But with a caveat ... they sell Filip Kuba and bring in a better "offensive" defenceman.
GARRIOCH: For them to keep winning, the goaltending has to hold up, the defencemen have to keep moving the puck the way they have and the forwards need to keep scoring. Confidence has to remain high. If it doesn't, the players lose the confidence of management and the coaching staff. Then there will changes.
BRENNAN: Bruce, I don't know if the confidence has to remain high if they've got those other things you said -- the good goaltending, puck moving and scoring forwards. I think the confidence can actually slip then, and you still win.
STEVENSON: And they need six teams in front of them to tank. The Penguins and Habs and Rangers have been doing that nicely. They just need another couple of teams to get on page. Not likely.
BRENNAN: Not likely that the Senators will make the playoffs? Gee, thanks Chris.
STEVENSON: Just a voice of reason to counter the Kool-Aid drinkers. Don, I think you said on Off the Posts they would make the playoffs, not just take a run at them. You like to feel which way the wind is blowing and go the other way. They'll win another five in a row and then you'll say they're gonna choke.
BRENNAN: You should read Digital, and Cheapseats, too, Chris. I say a lot of really funny stuff. And on occassion, I'm also wise. But I teetered on the playoff thing. At first, I said they'd "make" them. Then I said they'd make a "strong run" at a spot. Then I said I believe they'll get in. That's where we stand. Did I spell occassion wrong? I always do.
GARRIOCH: Speaking of occasions: How about Carrie Underwood ducking when she saw the camera? What? She's never been on TV before?
BRENNAN: That was brutal. Why was she plunging under the table? Was she doing something she wasn't supposed to be doing? Carrie Underwood would have been a more topical topic, Tim.
STEVENSON: That Carrie Underwood move was priceless. Let's see ... "I'm a famous singer and I'm dating a hockey player and I'm at his game, but nobody will spot me ... oh, uhh, that's me on TV! I better duck!"
GARRIOCH: She must have had the in-house feed on in the box she was in. It actually happened in the intermission when the camera was trying to find her. TSN aired it early in the second. Funny. Very funny.
BRENNAN: See, Tim, a much better topic.
BRENNAN: I will say, if Bryan Murray is a buyer, I expect him to make a hard pitch for Jay Bouwmeister. I believe that's the guy they expected to be pursuing at the deadline five months ago.
GARRIOCH:: Is he any relation to Jay Bouwmeester?
BAINES: Forgive Don, he never was that good at putting together the letters in his alphabet soup, either.
BRENNAN: My spelling is off. I'm on holidays. That's enough for today. My three stars for this Table are: 1. Garrioch 2. Brennan 3. Brennan. Ciao.