Thanks to TSN's expert who once coached the Hartford Whalers to a last place finish, there's a new term in The 6th Sens glossary. The care meter. Jason Spezza's and Mike Fisher's might have been working last night, but mine broke after the third Philadelphia goal.
Thanks for the new term Pierre. You're the best.
Peruvian Marching Powder
I've never been a big Ray Emery fan. Even when the Senators were winning here, I was never truly impressed with his play. Like Lalime and Tugnutt before him, I thought he was the beneficiary of playing behind a ridiculously strong Senators squad. That being said, I hope Ray has his shit together and continues to have a productive season for the Flyers. As an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, I'd love for Rayzor to get a large offer from a team and suck some precious cap away from an Eastern Conference rival.
Bryan Murray Crazy?
I see Murray today said he's looking to add a forward - am I crazy or is the team's biggest weakness on defence? Picard and Lee are garbage...garbage! ~ Isaac
No Isaac, you're not crazy. The Senators defensive situation isn't very attractive right now and when Erik Karlsson wasn't ready, it's forced the team to reassess the situation. There's no question that the Senators are in a bit of a tough situation, having to balance the need to make a push for the playoffs without giving up too much of the future. And with Karlsson and Cowen likely in tow for next season, Bryan Murray has to assure that their roster spots aren't blocked next season.
That being said, Eklund says there's a Sens rumour involving the Hawks and Seabrook. It's a bit of a pipe dream scenario however I'm curious...If Chicago offered up Seabrook for Volchenkov, would you find a way to get a deal done?Snoopy...
There's not a lot of love being shown to Pascal Leclaire lately and for good reason. His recent penchant for giving up some soft goals has Sens fans and TSN emcees muttering the names of Lalime and Gerber. To be fair to Leclaire, unlike his predecessors, he hasn't had the ability to play behind a good blueline corps.
Ah well, the only positive for me if Leclaire continues his sloppy play is that I'll get to use this photo more often...
With each passing game, it's looking more and more likely that last year's point production from Ryan Shannon was nothing more than a cock-tease. It's a reflection of Shannon's inability to score that fans have begun to rally around a Free Sloth! movement. Now, I can appreciate Donovan's effort level and refusal to complain about his role, but they're exemplary characteristics to champion when expectations of production and one's salary are low.Fight of the Night
The legendary willingness of Leafs-loving Torontonians to dish out mortgage-payment-like sums to witness a perennial loser may have reached its breaking point.
Tickets to Maple Leafs games are being sold for unprecedented low prices on the open market – in what ticket brokers and resellers say is an early sign of a backlash against the club's league-topping ticket prices and basement-dwelling performance.
For the first time ticket sellers can remember, Leafs tickets with face values of $100 to $300 each are routinely selling for as little as half that amount. ~ The Toronto Star
Little as half that amount? You Leafs fans make me sick.
Maybe if you had supported your team better, the Leafs' franchise value could have increased by more than a paltry five-percent. $470 million in franchise value? I don't know how some of you Leafs fans can live with yourselves. It's selfish. Had you kept paying your inflated ticket prices, maybe, just maybe, Brian Burke could afford to bury Vesa Toskala's salary in the AHL.
Of course this issue of money is related to an article that Neate Sager ran on his website called Out Of Left Field.
Anyways, I'm not going to systematically break down Neate's article in a Fire Joe Morgan'esque style because he makes some interesting points. It also wouldn't make much sense because SLC from Five For Smiting has already taken him to task. There are a few points that I did want to make though...
- Are Toronto sports fans concerned about attendance problems that the Blue Jays had late in the year at the Rogers Centre? No. Their management structure might not instill confidence in the fanbase but at least Rogers is a viable and stable owner. It's similar to the situation here in Ottawa, if Rod Bryden still owned this team. I might have a little more concern about whether or not the organization is profitable. Regardless of how people perceive Eugene Melnyk, he does provide a stable ownership. I don't imagine that he's losing much sleep over the prospect of losing a couple of million so long as the novelty of owning a professional sports team and the endless number of Fan 590 radio appearances continues to appeal to him.
- If Nate's going to use the lack of Sens paraphrenalia as an indication of support, he should also acknowledge that the current 3D logo, jerseys and merch aren't very fashionable.
- If you really want to know why SBP is where it is, then this is a must read.
- The media here is understandably in the tank for the organization. It's the city's only claim on major-league status. Pointing out anything negative is a sure ticket to the shit list. That doesn't explain why Don Brennan was wondering... A) what's wrong with Filip Kuba? B) Where's the uterus located?
The Senators finally play one on the road against the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately for Ottawa, Ray Emery’s first game against his former club will be on home ice. It doesn’t help matters that Philly is on a four game winning streak and Emery will likely hang some cash on the dressing room bulletin board. Provided that they like the guy, the Flyers should do everything within their means to assure their new teammate of a victory. Unless Mike Richards and his cronies are spending the night before partying with some adult film stars or unless Emery’s five-hole is the width of the gap between Chris Pronger’s front teeth, Ottawa could be in tough.
If you're interested in reading the rest of James Gordon's panel predictions, follow this link to the Ottawa Citizen here.
As the 2009 Hall of Fame class was formally inducted into hockey's shrine yesterday, I'm sure I wasn't alone in wondering how different things could have been for Steve Yzerman, the Detroit Red Wings and the Ottawa Senators had former Detroit GM Jimmy Devellano pulled the trigger on an infamous deal that never happened.
According to legend, on February 26th, 1996, Detroit's VP and GM, Jimmy Devellano and Ottawa's GM, Pierre Gauthier agreed in principle to a trade that would have seen Chris Osgood and Steve Yzerman dealt to the Senators in exchange for Alexei Yashin, Damian Rhodes and Ottawa's first round picks in 1996 and 1997.
Over the years, there's been a lot of speculation as to why Devellano backed out on the trade. Some theorize that owner, Mike Illitch, vetoed the deal because Yzerman was one of his favorites. Another theory is that Devellano backed out because he only wanted to put a scare into Yzerman using the threat of a trade. At the time, it was well publicized that Head Coach Scotty Bowman was having issues getting Stevie Y to commit to the defensive side of the game. By publicly displaying the possibility that he could be moved, the threat of a trade left Yzerman quite impressionable. Imagine having to be faced with the daunting task of turning a his hometown team, a perennial losing franchise, into a contender.
However, the question remains...what if the Yzerman deal actually occurred?
On the surface, the Jason Spezza, Zdeno Chara and Bill Muckalt for Alexei Yashin fleacejob never happened. Without the 1996 and 1997 first rounders, Marian Hossa and Chris Phillips never would have played for the Senators either. No Hossa. No Heatley. No Milan Michalek. No Jonathan Cheechoo. (Huzzah!) And no 2010 second round pick.
In other words, without Chara and Phillips, the conversation concerning the best Senators defenceman ever would have been limited to Wade Redden, Norm MacIver and Steve Duchesne. Yikes. If that wasn't bad enough, imagine having to go through the rest of your existence as a Sens fan without being able to reference Bill Muckalt's goalless 2001-02 season?
Conversely, had Steve Yzerman been dealt to Ottawa, maybe he never would have made the team sacrifice and developed a solid two-way game. More importantly, without Jason Spezza, fans never would have heard their peers draw parallels between their respective careers.
With the Red Wings, Yzerman won three Stanley Cups (1997, 1998 and 2002). I think it's safe to say that by adding Rhodes and Yashin, these Cup victories never happen. Without three Stanley Cups, Yzerman's legacy is irrevocably altered. Maybe it could have been that he had salvaged Alexandre Daigle's career? While that would have garnered the respect of pundits everywhere, Yzerman wouldn't have received a ring for that. Maybe the key to the City but definitely nothing as cool as a Stanley Cup ring. More importantly, my website would be without a sweet punchline for its banner.
Had Yzerman arrived in Ottawa, I don't think there's any question that management would have immediately given him the captaincy. (Along the same lines as the Canucks giving Mark Messier the honours when he signed there as a free agent.) Now, assuming that Yzerman retired after the 2005-06 campaign, Daniel Alfredsson would only be enjoying only his fourth season of captaincy. Weird.
But what about Osgood? Had he come to Ottawa, there's no question that playing behind the safety blanket of the Detroit Red Wings, his career numbers would no longer be skewed and writers would not be discussing the merits of whether or not Osgood is a Hall of Famer. However, with Chris Osgood enjoying the prime of his career in Ottawa, the Senators never would have had the need for Patrick Lalime so those infamous Joe Nieuwendyk goals never would have happened. It'd be quite the tradeoff, striking the Nieuwendyk goals off of the pages of the franchise's history book but having to endure years of looking at Chris Osgood's ugly bucket helmet. Would it be worth it?
In retrospect, it's fun to discuss what could have been had Yzerman been dealt here. Sure, maybe Ottawa would never have developed its label as a playoff choker. Or maybe Yzerman would have wilted under the hometown pressure and bombed like Mark Messier did for the Canucks. The only real conclusive thing that I can say is that had Stevie Y played here, he'd have a better chance at succeeding Bryan Murray as GM.
Senators 4, Oilers 3
Poor Ladislav Smid. Had Heatley not vetoed a trade to Edmonton, Smid might never have contracted the swine flu. In a game that will likely be billed as the Battle of the Diminished Heatley Returns (TM), Cogliano, Penner, Smid and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers arrive in Ottawa with some significant injuries and an abysmal road record (2-5-0). Even though they are coming off a victory that handed the Colorado Avalanche their first home loss, the Oilers will still be without stars Ales Hemsky and Sheldon Souray. In order for Ottawa to win, they have to play a more disciplined game and for everyone's sake, I hope that Cheechoo and Michalek outshine their counterparts so that we're spared from some more revisionist anti-Heatley commentary.
To view the rest of the Ottawa Citizen's panel predictions, click here.
Bryan Murray Looking to Deal:
“We have to make a tweak if we can,” Murray said Monday before heading to Toronto, where the National Hockey League’s 30 general managers are meeting this week to discuss head shots, rule changes, equipment standards and maybe a deal or two.
“Very definitely, we have to find a way to get at least one more player here,” he said, acknowledging that player would probably be another forward. “I’m certainly going to investigate as we go forward here to see if there’s anything more we can do, and at some point we’ll figure out if we need to make a change.” ~ courtesy of James Gordon, The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa's forward ranks are already congested as is. God help us if Bryan Murray acquires another forward and buries Shean Donovan a little deeper down the depth chart. If there's a deal to be made, hopefully it involves a situation in which Bryan Murray can upgrade Jonathan Cheechoo. Unfortunately, based on the standings right now, the only team that's out of the playoff race are the Carolina Hurricanes. I'm not sure if old, expensive players like Rod Brind'Amour ($3.6M cap hit for this and next season) or Ray Whitney ($3.55 for just this year, but protected by a NTC) are appealing to Sens fans. However, if Carolina's not asking for much and Ottawa can move Cheechoo or Kelly's contract, maybe it's something worth considering.
Watch Out For Oilers Fans
One of Silver Seven Sens' sister sites doesn't understand why Sens fans would take issue with Dustin Penner thinking that Sens fans would prefer the Edmonton deal to the San Jose Heatley deal and are redirecting traffic here to check it out. Thanks for the hits fellas.
If it wasn't easy enough to dislike Dustin Penner after his Anaheim Ducks beat the Senators in the 2007 Cup Finals, it might be a little easier to hate on the guy after he dropped these lines to some Edmonton journalists...
“There’s really not much to say about the situation,” Penner said. “I don’t think there’ll be much for you guys to write about when we get there.”
Not unless he has another breakout game showing to Ottawa fans what they missed out on.
“I guess that would be good,” he said. “But with the way the season has gone so far, I think they might be thinking that anyway.”~ Sun Media
Dustin Penner is one smug fuck. The way he's been talking, you'd think he was always this fit and productive. Truth is, sans these past 17 games, he's done sweet fuck all for the Oilers and was generally regarded as an overweight salary dump in the prospective Heatley deal. (Well, unless you're pro-Bryan Murray and consider him a genius for having the foresight to try and acquire the previously struggling Penner.)
Dustin, you may think you're hot shit right now and granted, you're playing pretty well. Truth is, I'd rather have Milan Michalek because he's a better player and a little bit less of a douche.
Oh, and if someone would casually remind Jonathan Cheechoo that tomorrow night would be a really good time to start producing, that'd be awesome.
If you're going to the Sens game tomorrow, do the guys a favour and support the San Jose return. Michalek's Anonymous unite!
A recent Ken Warren piece for the Ottawa Citizen had a headline that read, Alfredsson misses practice as Volchenkov has injury setback. A headline that at first glance, would have Sens fans collectively yelling profanities at their computer screens. Here's the gist of the article:
Daniel Alfredsson missed Ottawa Senators practice on Monday, but coach Cory Clouston says it was only for “maintenance," meaning the captain is expected to be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game at Scotiabank Place against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Senators, who blew a 2-0 lead before dropping a 3-2 decision to the New Jersey Devils Saturday, will be without defenceman Anton Volchenkov for the fifth straight game.
Volchenkov is out with an elbow injury and skated on his own Tuesday. Clouston, however, suggested his recovery could be longer than originally expected because he was experiencing difficulty shooting.
Note to Clouston, Volchenkov experiences difficulty shooting the puck even when he's healthy. If his ability to shoot is the barometer, maybe he's closer to a return than some are giving him credit for.
Kovalev Fantasy News
Apparently I'm not the only one who's noticed that Kovalev's not shooting enough. ESPN's fantasy hockey guru, Sean Allen, noticed that Alexei Kovalev is not fitting in with the Ottawa Senators. He is on pace for just 129 shots on goal this season after averaging more than 200 as a Montreal Canadien. Yes, I do think he is droppable in shallow leagues.
- When we arrived at the SBP parking lot, the lot was empty and the rate for parking was reduced to $7.00. I wish I was kidding when I say that this was the highlight of my AHL experience today.
- Attendance was announced as 4,500 people but I would wager that there were less than 1,500 people in attendance. I don't know what's more sad, the fact that the event wasn't marketed properly, the fact that Sens fans didn't come out in droves or that 3,000 people paid to watch the game and still didn't show up. Maybe the Senators organization didn't market Martin "Future Star" St. Pierre properly.
- The low attendance made me wonder if the CFL has any chance of survival in Ottawa. New ownership aside, Ottawa's never supported non-hockey minor league teams that feature an inferior product. For the CFL to succeed, it has to develop a novelty status like the Ottawa Lynx had in the early 1990's. For people to go, it has to be the thing to do or see.
- Because of poor gate sales, the second level concourse was devoid of any open concession stands. Fortunately, the first level was also devoid of ushers. I felt bad for the people who shelled out the $27.50 to watch the game from the first bowl when people who paid $17.50 could enter the first level to buy concessions and sit wherever the hell they wanted.
- Without any alcoholic beverages being sold on the second level concourse, my friend and I spent the first intermission at Bert's Bar. Our off-ice experience there was ruined by a number of Hamilton Bulldog fans/degenerates who spent the better part of the intermission whooping it up at a television that was airing the Tiger Cats CFL game.
- Erik Karlsson logged a ton of ice-time and played in every on-ice situation. He had a few turnovers but was clearly the team's best puck mover. I'd say he was one of the few noticeable players on the ice for Bingo, but I was too intently focused on watching his game to be truly objective.
- The only other Senators who deserve mention for their play are Erik Condra, Denis Hamel and Mike Brodeur. Speaking of Hamel, does anyone else remember when he was frequently called up by the Senators and felt that he was a full-time NHL player?
- Even though he played well, watching Erik Condra was a bit uncomfortable. I just can't get used to watching someone other than Alfie wear #11 on the home team.
- In a weird instance, a Binghamton player (#9) fell on the ice in the second period. I didn't recognize the player until he was shown on the scoreboard. I believe my exact words to my friend were, "Josh Hennessey? Shit, I forgot he was still in the system." My friend and I then spent the next five minutes discussing how imperative it is for Patrick Wiercioch to salvage John Muckler's Havlat trade. (Note to Wiercioch: No pressure. Honest.)
- The in-game highlight of this afternoon's game was a Hossa'esque shift by PK Subban that featured him cycling the offensive zone by himself and then inexplicably losing control of the puck at the blueline thereby creating a delayed offside.
- When Hamilton finally scored, their fans celebrated in a weird fashion. They would lift one arm and then lower it while raising their other arm. This process repeated itself for a bit and I couldn't understand it. Mind you, they're CFL fans and are entertained easily. In hindsight, this would have been an ideal time for the Senators fans to start an Ug-ly Fans (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap) chant.
- Binghamton's power play went 0-6 on the afternoon. Fitting.