Lee is up!
Campoli is injured?
And Cheechoo is waived?
We don't need a Stanley Cup to have a parade in Ottawa today!
Bryan Murray Extended
In my earlier article today, I neglected to mention that Bryan Murray had his contract extended after the Ottawa Senators organization picked up his option for another season. There's no question that Murray deserved it after he has given the organization some stability in the wake of the John Muckler era or as the Gatinese Senators fans like to call it, l'ère de la merde.
More Volchenkov News
Remember that scene from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air when Hilary Banks' news anchor boyfriend Trevor proposed to her while bungee jumping and ultimately fell to his death? That's sort of how I felt when I read the following paragraph...
The team also said it has made a new contract offer to rugged defenceman Anton Volchenkov, one of its top blueliners. Murray said Volchenkov's New York-based agent Jay Grossman wants to present the offer before making a decision. ~ Ottawa Sun
It started off so well...and then I learned that Jay Grossman wants to present the offer to Volchenkov face-to-face in a meeting? Great. Now I'm concerned. Grossman, if you'll recall, is the same representative who helped facilitate the trade of Kovalchuk to the Devils after his client turned down numerous fair offers to keep the player in Atlanta. Obviously the circumstances are a bit different here in Ottawa than they are in Atlanta -- ownership stability, competitive team -- but I still have reservations that Volchenkov may ultimately decide to leave the organization via free agency thereby preventing the team getting anything in return.
Shutdown Line For the Playoffs?
Much has been made of last night's performance by Anton Volchenkov in helping to shut down Alex Ovechkin's line but he wasn't alone. The trio up front of Kelly, Fisher and Alfredsson deserves some credit and it should be interesting moving forward to see if these three will be called upon to match up against other teams' top lines.
Cheechoo Reactions From Around the Web...
Ottawa is no longer the greatest city in the history of ever. It's now to be known as the capital of Assholetown. ~ Cheechoo song guy
Jonathan Cheechoo will not accompany the Senators on their two game trip. He is finished in Ottawa. ~ @SunGarrioch
Hate this move. I understand the money side of things but this one hurts. Doubt anyone claims him. Bingo his next stop? ~ SensChirp
It finally happened: Silver Seven Senshas been put on waivers. This is likely necessary to make the cap hit work for Saturday's game, and it's kind of surprising it hasn't happened sooner. I highly doubt anyone will pick up Cheech, but you never know. ~ Darren M.,
I respect the hell out of Cheechoo, and would be the first in line to support him in regaining his NHL form, but business is business, and if you want to cash big cheques, you can’t blame the one writing them for expecting you to earn it too. ~ Gerald Norton, SenSay
Cheech should just walk away and save his legacy..."You're only as good as you're last performance!" ~ Canucnik
Volchenkov Contract News
According to Chris Botta, Senators announce they are not trading Anton Volchenkov, have made an offer to the potential UFA and want to keep him.
You know it's a good night when both of the Senators' special team units operate at 100-percent efficiency. Anyways, since it has become the norm, here's tonight's post-game haiku...
Picard on for three.
Hey Elliott! Watch glove side!
First in Northeast. Phew!
Enough is enough. Pascal Leclaire has joined the likes of Magnus Arvedson, Martin Havlat, Sami Salo and the pre-2001-02 Daniel Alfredsson as Senator players who cannot avoid injury. What once was empathy for these players has transcended into comedy. Maybe laughter is a popular coping mechanism, but what else is left to do when one finds out that Pascal Leclaire tripped over a puck at practice this morning and tweaked his knee? According to Bruce Garrioch, Leclaire spent several minutes stretching out his right knee and later appeared to be fine.
Call it a scare, just don't call it a surprise. It's a bigger revelation that he came out of today's freak accident in good health.
Senators At the Trade Deadline
"There's no chance of acquiring a player that makes any amount of money, so (the media) can have a break on that day - you won't have to worry about calling my office."
"Maybe somebody will call me and I don't know what they offer me, who knows? At this point in time I'm not anticipating very much." ~ Bryan Murray, National Post
An interesting quote. A little surprising though, I was expecting something more along the lines of if there's a move to be made at the deadline that makes us better without jeopardizing the future, I will pull the trigger. Even though this Murray quote was taken from the last week of January, I question whether or not there should be some concern that one or both of Chris Kelly and Jonathan Cheechoo are now playing on the team's top two lines.
Anyways, tomorrow brings the overhyped Olympic roster freeze deadline. Try to enjoy it.
Video of the Day
Thanks to a reader named Jamie P. for sending me this video featuring Gord Miller ripping into Pierre McGuire for his celebrity drivel during tonight's broadcast.
No Podcast This Week & New Comment System
Due to some extenuating circumstances, Tim and I will not be able to record a podcast for you readers this week. We apologize for the inconvenience and we will be back with one next week.
In regards to the new comment system, to leave quotes, you can do one of the following things:
Thanks to Google News, I learned something new today. According to a website that calls itself the Thaindian News, Tenley Molzahn, one of the contestants on The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love may have in fact once been a girlfriend of Chris Campoli. For those keeping track at home, Molzahn ranks somewhere between Carol Alt and Sophie from Rockland on the list of women who've had relations with Senators hockey players. (Ed. note: Never trust the Thaindian News. Apparently, they've confused the information concerning Molzahn and another contestant, Gia Allemand, who actually dated Campoli. Hat tip to Twitter follower msconduct for the clarification and here are some pictures of Gia Allemand.)
I emailed my girlfriend to weigh in on this pseudo-celebrity and here's what she said,
Gia is a New Yorker, so I'm not surprised...Campoli? From the Sens? She kept saying how she has had her heart broken too many times, etc....she's only 26.
She may only be 26 but she has had the inopportune fortune of having two professional athlete relationships -- Campoli and Carl Pavano -- not work out. I think it may be safe to say that the gravy train has left the station.
Jonathan Cheechoo Goes For 500
Thanks to The Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan, I now know a few trivial statistics about Jonathan Cheechoo.
For one, Cheechoo is tied with Daniel Alfredsson for fifth amongst Ottawa's forwards with a Jason Blake'esque 111 shots on goal.
Secondly, Cheechoo hit four of the five styrofoam targets at Sunday's Sens skills competition. What we didn't know is that he earned $750,000 for each target hit. What? You thought that ownership was paying him for production in an actual game? Get real.
Also, Cheechoo will be suiting up for his 500th career NHL game tonight. While I was a bit surprised that Cheechoo had been around the League that long, I was even more surprised to learn that Cheechoo's name was included in trade rumo(u)rs involving the Los Angeles Kings.
According to Matthew Barry of Hockeybuzz, Cheechoo is being targetting by the Los Angeles Kings because Dean Lombardi thinks that Cheechoo can rekindle the success that he once had in San Jose. Cheechoo, you'll remember was a draft pick of Lombardi, the former Sharks GM. If you're now cleaning the coffee that you just spat out onto your computer monitor, brace yourself, it gets better. Allegedly the rumo(u)red return for Cheechoo is Oscar Moller and an undisclosed defenceman...
...Shit, that's almost more than Bryan Murray got for Heatley.
Elliott to Start
As per Ian Mendes' Twitter, Brian Elliott will get the start in nets tonight against the Flames. Elliott will get an opportunity to redeem himself after his personal best nine-game winning streak came to an end against the Toronto Maple Leafs this past Saturday.
“You can call it whatever you want, you can put whatever number you want on it. He’s starting tonight. I’m not going to label anything right now." ~ Cory Clouston
And with that, Cory Clouston dropped trou, took a steaming dump at the feet of the media scrum and said, "Here's your number two."
Elliotte Friedman's Senators Related Quick Hits...
If you haven't done so already, I highly recommend subscribing to Elliotte Friedman's blog. His 30 Thoughts articles provide some good information that's not easily found on the Interwebs. Anyways, for the purposes of this site, I purged these Senators related bits directly from his most recent work...
Yesterday was supposed to be a good day. I woke up knowing that the Senators were looking to extend their eleven game win streak in Toronto, home of the 29th ranked team in the NHL that had just dealt away 40-percent of its offence earlier in the week. On paper, it looked like an easy win and ultimately, it's what lead to me submitting my 3-2 victory prediction for Ottawa in time for James Gordon's Friday night prediction panel deadline. Little did I know that the events leading up to the game would spiral out of control and stack the deck unfavorably against the Senators.
The first sign that things were going to wrong occurred as I was doing my morning errands and was driving behind an Aztek with novelty license plate that read SENSRULE. Whether there's some mysterious correlation between the two is completely subjective. However, this is second time that this has happened within the past season, so I'll be damned if there isn't something more to this coincidence.
When I arrived home after running my errands, the first thing that I did was to sit down with my laptop and peruse the interwebs to keep up with the latest hockey news. It didn't take very long to find out that Brian Burke's son was tragically killed in a fatal car accident on Friday night and that JS Giguere would be starting in nets for the Leafs. So not only would the Leafs have the sentimental karma working in their favour, they were starting the guy who absolutely killed us in the '07 Cup Finals. Not only is Giguere equipped like the Michelin man, he's the latest in a lineup of goalies who have killed the Senators over the years. (Ie. Tim Thomas, Ed Belfour, Curtis Joseph, Martin Gerber, et al.) And to make matters worse, he was acquired earlier in the week and was stuck in that proving himself to his new team and teammates mode.
Naturally, as I surfed the 'Net, I also sifted through my email wherein I found this message in my inbox...
Morning gents...if you were wondering why your picks aren’t posted yet after I asked for them by 10 pm yesterday, it’s because my laptop is fried. Apparently I have what’s called the “Blue Screen of Death,” which sounds pretty bad.
Anyways, I’m at the office posting stuff now. ~ James Gordon
The Blue Screen of Death?! How could things get any worse?
Three words...Bob. Fucking. Cole.
As the Montreal Canadiens played earlier in the afternoon and the CBC didn't schedule the senile wonder to do the play-by-play, hockey fans quickly deduced that Bob Cole would be calling the Leafs versus Senators game later that evening. In other words, Senators fans would have to soul search for a reason not to stab themselves in the ears since Cole is notorious for his disregard in using the correct Senators player names while he calls the action.
There you have it: A novelty license plate; the sentimental aspect of the Leafs winning one for Burkie; the Blue Screen of Death; JS Giguere; and Bob.Fucking.Cole. Last night's outcome was determined before the puck was even dropped and the referees were allowed to affect the outcome of last night's game. So when I get emails from Leafs fans claiming to be Ron Wilson that say,
Good prediction. Let me guess, you're still holding Nortel stock... or worse yet ... Senators season tickets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5-0 flattered the Sens
we're getting tired of owning you...
I'm compelled to say that he's right. This Leafs fan deserves to be one smug prick. Not only did his team's chance at the postseason increase from 0.0% to 0.1% after last night's win, he's correct in asserting that I shouldn't have bet against the Leafs.
So yes, go ahead and revel in yesterday's trivial win over a team that had lost the game before it had even started. (Ed. note: Like Ian Mendes mentioned in yesterday's prediction panel, it's unbelievable how often the Leafs hold meaningless things over Senators fans. Four playoff series wins? Fantastic. Congratulations on floundering out in each of the subsequent playoff series.) Unfortunately because of emails like this, I'll have to comfort myself in the fact that the likelihood of Ottawa making a postseason appearance is now at 97.8%.
Senators 3, Leafs 2
What is it about the Toronto Maple Leafs that compels their brass to acquire goaltenders who have been a thorn in the side of the Senators? First Martin Gerber, now Jean Sebastien Giguere and his lacrosse-sized equipment. Fortunately, Giguere's game has regressed to a level that his equipment shouldn't help, and I think that's why the Senators will avenge their '07 Cup Finals loss to him. Also, what better subplot for tonight's game than finding out which story gets more airtime on the CBC -- Toronto's trades or Ottawa's 11-game winning streak?
Here are the lines for tonight's game: Michalek-Spezza-Alfredsson; Kovalev-Fisher-Shannon; Ruutu-Kelly-Neil; Cheechoo-Regin-Winchester. Brian Elliott gets the nod in nets while Alexandre Picard draws back into the lineup because of Erik Karlsson's shoulder injury.
When the Senators are on a winning streak like they currently are, it's tough to really get down when news breaks that young and productive players like Nick Foligno and Erik Karlsson would be lost to injury for a number of weeks. We all eventually say things like, ah well, at least the team is still winning. Frankly, it's tough to complain....until I find out that that Bob Cole is the likely play-by-play guy for tonight's game.