Purse Snatchers (14-14-2)
Game Day Prediction:
As is the norm, here's my game day prediction for the Ottawa Citizen's Prediction Panel. Enjoy.
There are a lot of reasons to like Ottawa in this one. Not only did Montreal register 13-shots in a lacklustre win against Philadelphia last night and have to bus to Ottawa after the game, but the Senators have finally returned from an unimpressive road trip in which the losses mounted faster than the excuses for Jason Spezza's poor play. In homage to Eugene Melnyk throwing out clichéd lines at his charity event on the weekend, I'll throw out a tired prediction and bank on Alexei Kovalev having a big game against his former club.
Your Non-AP styled gloss over of Sunday night's game:
There's been enough criticism and overanalysis going on lately, so I'm not going to pile onto what can only be considered a disappointing roadtrip. That being said, Sunday night's victory was an an interesting win considering that I've been conditioned to expect the team to lose games in which they blow three leads and go to a shootout to decide the outcome.
Looking For a Big Bodied Forward
According to a report in The Province, Ottawa's General Manager, Bryan Murray, isn't satisfied with his team's ability to score garbage goals and fight for rebounds in heavy traffic areas.
“We don’t go to the net much, or often enough for me,” said Murray, in evaluating his team at the end of this road trip. “I think getting behind, we’ve had a more difficult time creating offence than I thought we would, and, obviously, it’s the same old story.
“When your best players don’t play well and sort of carry the offence, you don’t get it from your third and fourth lines often enough.”
Uh, okay. Who cares about production or players who work hard for their scoring opportunities? As long as Murray's next addition is like Kovalev and is amongst the most entertaining players in the League, who cares about production?
And With the First Overall Selection...
According to TSN, the highlight of this website's banner, Alexandre Daigle, will join former Senator Randy Robitaille, on Canada's Spengler Cup entry. There's no word on whether he was the selection committee's first choice for the roster, but at least if Canada doesn't win, the mainstream media won't care enough to mention the word bust.
Melnyk Speaks, Garrioch Writes, Kovalev Speaks, I Bang Head Off Of My Keyboard...
The National Post ran an article in which Eugene Melnyk threw out more cliched one liners than an Arnold Schwarzennager career montage.
When asked by Sun Media's Bruce Garrioch about how he felt about Melnyk's comments, Kovalev responded by saying,
“People who know hockey to understand I wish this could be an individual sport where you can prepare yourself and know you’ll have a good game or a bad game like in tennis” said Kovalev. “In hockey, one person can make a difference, but I’m a new guy on the team.” ~ Ottawa Sun
I suppose that's a bit more professional than Kovalev thanking The Euge for staying composed and not building a bomb and blow himself up. At least we can finally stop referring to Kovalev as enigmatic. He only wishes hockey was like tennis. What's the big deal?
The Bryan Murray Conspiracy Theory:
In an article written by The Citizen's Allen Panzeri, Bryan Murray hypothesizes that the reason why Jason Spezza isn't lighting it up -- It's because he tried too hard early on to make a favourable impression upon the Canadian Olympic team's management team.
“I think it’s frustration now, more than anything,” Murray said. “I think, and I may be wrong here, but I think he wanted to impress the Olympic guys so much early on, and then when nothing happened in a positive way for him, I think he has let that affect him a little bit.”
Add this to the list that includes:
- A nagging back injury
- The loss of Dany Heatley
- He neglects to shoot and his passing efficiency has waned
- He got married this past summer.
- Changing his stick composition back to wood
- The Lanark County excuse that Spezza's too soft
- Too many Yzerman career parallels