- 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.
A blown 2-goal lead, undisciplined play, and a deflating game-tying goal allowed by Pascal Leclaire were the lowlights of a game that Ottawa had dominated for the better portion of the first two periods. Last night's loss was the kind of game that drives most fans nuts and drives sensationalist fans to post drivel using interweb forums, newspaper comment spaces, and or start masquerading as Leafs fans.
There's been a distinct trend with the way the Senators have played lately, win one game, piss away the next game or two. It's been this way since the Nashville and Boston games and fans are ready and willing to lay the blame anywhere. To assist in my point making, I'm going to reference the Have Your Say comment thread over at the Ottawa Sun's website to gauge the response to last night's loss to the New Jersey Devils. As always, my comments will be in bold.
Why oh why do they keep making Shean Donovan a healthy scratch? He's the only one on the team who plays at full potential all the time. He adds energy to the team when they need it the most. ~ Mike in Nepean
I may be going out on a whim when I say this, but it likely has something to do with Donovan having the least amount of talent on the team.
Bryan Murray and his GM wanna be nephew are responsible for destroying this team. I am lost for words lately about the Sens, once a power house, no more. Murray is building the team for a cup run in 2017, not now or any time soon. Yah, Mucklar gave away high end draft picks, but built the team to win then not 5 years later. Bad move by Melnyk to fire Mucklar. Should of kept Murray as the coach and the rest is hstory. Murray and side kick Bob must pay for the Kovalev signing, this will go down as the worst Sens signing or NHL signing in history. And not signing Mike Comrie for a million bucks still disturbs me. Fire Murray now before he destroys the team any further. ~ Bob the short-sighted fucking idiot
Bob's at a loss for words, consonents and vowels. He's also a short-sighted fucking idiot who can't see the irreparable damage that John Muckler created during his tenure here. Muckler didn't build the Senators to win. He sat on a roster that was assembled by his predecessor, Marshall Johnston and got lucky.
Can everybody just RELAX!! The first half of last night's game, the Sens looked fantastic (except, of course, for Kovalev); yes this team needs to ratchet up the intensity and learn how to close out a game, but this is also a team that has 4 effective lines and a better D than they are credited with. Kovalev? I said it was a mistake when they signed him, but in my most pessimistic moment even I didn't imagine he would be this bad...he's embarrassing himself and, more importantly, he's embarrassing the organization. Sit him down for a week...do something...do anything! ~ John
Everybody relax! It's not the team's fault. It's only Alexei Kovalev's fault that the team isn't playing well! It's his fault that the third and fourth line pluggers took some undisciplined penalties and it's his fault that Leclaire let in a soft equalizer. But of course, we should have known that Kovalev would be mediocre through 14 games because John predicted it! Pat yourself on the back John. You deserve it, you all knowing SOB. (Editor's note: Would people fuck off with this Kovalev was a bad signing shit until the season's at least half over. Granted, he's not playing very well right now. However, we knew what he was when he signed here. 50-60 points and some half assed efforts. Considering the shitty free agent classes last summer and this upcoming summer, there's not that much inherent risk in signing Kovalev if he reaches his projected point totals. Besides, Ottawa's not exactly brimming with offensive prospects, and secondary scoring was an issue last year. Imagine if Murray never signed Kovalev and the team had to cope by rolling Cheechoo and Shannon on the second line every night? Fans would be fucking outraged.)
The reality is Ottawa clearly has a toxic relationship with the NHL officials and its hurting us. We need to start showing a lot more respect even when we disagree with the calls. Ottawa should immediately create a new team policy that only the coach, captain, and assistant captains will speak to the refs and linesmen about the officiating. No more arm waving, pained looks, or yells from the bench. They need to show respect. Refs are human and they have big egos. The few players we allow to talk to the refs must always do so in a calm respectful manner. The bruised egos of the refs from our whining is costing us a 60/40 disadvantage in PP vs PK. We are being called by the letter of the law and the visitor gets the benefit of the doubt. ~ Benjamin
Benjamin, your 60/40 disadvantage in PP vs PK statistic is the most unsubstantiated thing I've read on the Sun's website since Evgeni Malkin was rumoured to be dealt to the Los Angeles Kings.
I didn't think leclaire was going to be a savior but I thought he might be able to hold on to a two goal lead. He let in two goals last night that should have been stopped had he concentrated a bit more. I think we made a mistake by letting Alex Auld get away to bring in a goalie who was a flash in the pan for one year. Is this another nail in the coffin for Brian Murray? (Ed. note: It's amazing how many locals don't know how to spell Bryan Murray.) The sens keep working on the power-play in practice and are not getting much success during game time, they should be practicing what it takes to hold on to a lead (review tapes of games when Martin was coaching) we didn't lose many after we had a lead in the second period. Getting p-off now, Ray. ~ Ray Routhier
Okay, isn't it a bit naive to assume that Pascal Leclaire will be a savior when Ottawa's defence is characterized by three #3 defencemen and three 6th d-men? How do you even evaluate Leclaire properly when Kuba and Volchenkov have already missed significant time due to injury? Or better yet, how do you favour Alex Auld over a "flash in the pan" Leclaire? The only footnote in Auld's career was that he was dealt in the infamously lopsided Roberto Luongo trade.
Sign Brendan Shanahan. Bottom Line. He'll bring ACCOUNTABILTY, GRIT, AND DETERMINATION. Something this team lacks. Plus the two stanley cup rings, leadership, and pure heart to the locker room. Why the Sens are sitting on the fence on this guy is beyond me. He's the Gary Roberts type player we always try and look for mid season. Well he's sitting at home Murray, call him. And he'll light a fire under Kovalev's ass. Kovalev is the worst signing in Sens history. Murray baffles me, we could of signed Comrie for 1.1 mil and he passed on him too. You are ruining this team with quality, good guy, home town players. So frustrated right now, I feel like starting a protest outside SBP Place. ~ Todd
Please don't sign Shanahan Bryan Murray. He's old, slow and more one-dimensional than Alexei Kovalev. The game's passed him by. I don't know who Martin Gerber is, because I'm a sensationalist fan and I've deemed that through fourteen games, Kovalev is the worst. Give me a good ol' Canadian lad instead, like Mike Comrie because I'm a revisionist and think that Comrie is the bomb.
I'm not going to say that the Senators didn't deserve any of the penalties that they received, as that would be an outright lie. However, my gripe is with the consistency of the officiating. There were numerous occurences of New Jersey Devils players taking liberties with Senators players. I watched as New Jersey players were able to clutch, grab and interefere with Senators players who didn't even have the puck. If they are going to call those hooking, holding and interference penalties on the Senators, then they should be calling them on the Devils too. This season has been a complete joke, as far as the officiating is concerned. ~ Morris Levy
That last comment should read, Morris Levy smartest Sun reader ever.
Mario, what are you talking about?
I read through these comments and they're all pretty reasonable.
Here's a solution:
If you can't handle an UNMODERATED FORUM, don't read it! There are a ton of moderated arenas out there, such as hfboards, sensnetwork.com, the6thsens, forumice where you can get your hockey discussions on.
I know you mean well, but with Team 1200 (especially the afternoon show) basically with their lips connected to the organization's backsides and with Garrioch the only one in print media daring to challenge common perception, I welcome free flow of opinions, however irate and silly. ~ Steve in North Gower
A free plug on the Ottawa Sun website? Thanks Steve in North Gower! (Ed. note: In the future, please don't encourage dumb Ottawa Sun readers like Ray, Bob and Todd to visit this site. They may be overwhelmed.)
Lack of discipline tied to a lack of focus leads to another home loss.
It's often been whispered that the players run the show in the Ottawa Senators organization and nowhere was that more evident than last night.
Neil attacks a New Jersey player that was getting ready for a faceoff, an extremely selfish and show-boating move.
A marginal Carkner puts the team down a defenseman early on the game, leading to subsequent penalty trouble.
Clouston, the man-boy, will sit on his hands through it all. He is afraid, timid and unable to stand up to the Senatorium Country Club dressing room. Meanwhile, Murray looks confused that the low-talent pluggers and overpaid Kovalev and Cheechoo don't produce.
Will be a struggle to make the playoffs... ~ Greg
I'm with Greg. That early Matt Carkner penalty opened the floodgates to undisciplined play. (Ed. note: Sarcasm was intended here. Lots of it.)
According to Erin Valois of the National Post, Dany Heatley's McDonald's trading cards feature Dany not in a Sharks uniform, but a Senators one. By buggering up Heatley's photos, it's a nice homage to ruin his trade card value man when his trade value was reduced to nothing this past summer. I can only imagine the disappointment of some fat, disillusioned San Jose fan who spends his allowance buying 15 Big Macs a week only to find out that his favorite player isn't featured in a Sharks jersey.
"Chris Neil Isn't the Cleanest Player."
“He’s not the cleanest player,” said Downie (who admitted he didn’t see the hit), “and he’s always preaching about dirtiness every time we play them, calling players gutless. Then he does something like that. He’s got to look in the mirror.”
“I’m not even going to take that on,” said Neil. “Every time we drop the gloves, he says ‘I don’t want to fight.’ At least he showed up (Thursday night).”
Of the hit, Neil said: “I was coming in to take the boards away and had some good jump. He bobbled the puck at the last second and I don’t think he saw me coming at all. It was a shoulder right in his chest. He’s eight feet tall, so it’s not like you could hit him in the head.” ~ Chris Stevenson, The Ottawa Sun
Good on Chris Neil for not taking his miscommunication with Steve Downie to the next level. This is reason #201 why I could never be a professional hockey player. Emotions would get the better of me. If I were Neil and had to respond to that question, I would have been too tempted to respond with the use of flash cards, or sign language. (For the record, Downie's partially deaf in his right ear.)
Winchester In, Shannon and Donovan Out
It will be interesting to see how Winchester is utilized by Clouston tonight. There's no question that Ottawa needs to be more successful on faceoffs and the return of Winchester and Spezza should help. With Shannon and Donovan back out of the lineup, it may be time to put Jonathan Cheechoo on healthy scratch notice.
Conveniently, I was listen to Over the Edge yesterday for the first time in weeks and Glenn Kulka was mentioning how when Cheechoo was in his prime, he was doing more than just scoring, he had a good work ethic and prided himself on being a bit of a physical presence. It's a fair point, however, it's worth considering that Cheechoo's injuries have hampered his skating ability to the point wherein he makes Shaun Van Allen look like Scott Niedermayer.
It's too bad, Cheechoo is a person and story that I want to root for. There's no question he could be an effective player but his skating ability is so debilitating that he can no longer keep up with the play or be effective in his puck pursuit.
I was out and away from the computer yesterday and was unable to get my game prediction in to James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen in time for today's prediction panel. Regardless, here's what I'm feeling...
When's the last time the Senators played a team that wasn't from the Southeast Division? Between days off and numerous games against the Tampa Lightning, the thought of playing a new opponent is refreshing. (Even if it is the Devils.) Speaking of the Devils, they played and beat the Isles last night 2-1. Even though Brodeur will likely play, the Devils aren't a high scoring team and I like how the Senators are anxious to play more and get on a bit of a roll. Brodeur keeps it close but Ottawa should win this one.
Bruce Garrioch Slings Mud At Someone
Volchenkov's agent says reports of contract talks are "a total frabication." ~ SunGarrioch
You mean these reports?
Senators 2, Lightning 1
For already the third time this season, these two teams will meet. Besides a game featuring two offensive stars who are struggling to find their touches (Kovalev, Lecavalier), there's still some bad blood brewing from the last meeting. In fact, the only thing that I'd be willing to guarantee is that either Matt Carkner or Chris Neil will engage in some post-fight showboating. Since the first two meetings were blowout victories (with each team having won a game), I think that a tightly contested game is probably overdue here. Volchenkov and Spezza are still on the shelf, so Pascal Leclaire needs to have a bounce back game after recently seeing his save percentage dip below .900.
According to TSN's Brent Wallace, here are the lines at practice.
Michalek - Spezza - Alfie
Shannon - Fisher - Kovalev
Foligno - Regin - Neil
Ruutu - Kelly - Cheechoo
While it's great that Spezza's skating at practice and might play tonight, it a quote like this that makes you say yeeeeeesh.
“It’s a matter of whether more time off is going to help,” he said. “If they think that more time off would cure me, then I’ll take more time off and make sure I’m 100%. I don’t know how much better it’s going to get. It might get better by playing and getting stronger that way, we’ll see.”
Alfredsson Isn't a Hypochondriac
The Senators captain's inclination is not to get vaccinated, and for now he says he isn't close to changing his mind.
But a letter he just received from the Swedish Olympic Committee could sway him.
"They said they would like everyone to have the vaccine before the Olympics," Alfredsson said on Wednesday. ~ Allen Panzeri, The Ottawa Citizen
Live Game Blog:
If you're interested in checking out or participating in a live game blog of tonight's game, then come back here tonight. Bring the wit, bring the humour. Thanks to Dany Heatley Speedwagon of Scarlett Ice for hosting.
After Ottawa had started the season at a torrid pace, recent losses to Tampa and Atlanta have helped return the Senators back to the middle of the Eastern Conference standings. While there's an old adage in sports that says good teams are able to overcome long odds and find ways to win, Ottawa's been unable to overcome the concurrent absences of their best defenceman, center and goalie.
Fortunately for the organization, Pascal Leclaire has already returned to the lineup after his bout with the flu and Jason Spezza has returned back to practice with the club. Anton Volchenkov will be out for another ten to fourteen days, but the prognosis is a lot better than the originally projected four to six weeks. As each of these players makes their way back into the lineup, I reason that the Senators can return to the levels of success that they had achieved early on.
Because of Cory Clouston's system.By employing an aggressive forechecking system that encourages puck pursuit, the Senators' forwards are doing an exceptional job of pressuring the puck early, forcing defencemen into making poor reads and decisions that often result in turnovers in the neutral zone. The proof is in the giveaway and takeaway numbers exhibited by the Ottawa forwards.
Here's a list of the forwards and their numbers. The first number will indicate their number of giveaways and the second number will represent their takeaways. All stats are courtesy of NHL.com.
- Daniel Alfredsson: 8, 11
- Jonathan Cheechoo: 5, 5
- Mike Fisher: 4, 7
- Nick Foligno: 1, 10
- Chris Kelly: 4, 3
- Alexei Kovalev: 8, 2
- Milan Michalek: 1, 9
- Chris Neil: 1, 6
- Jarkko Ruutu: 0, 5
- Jason Spezza: 9, 12
- Shean Donovan: 1, 0
- Peter Regin: 3, 4
- Ryan Shannon: 1, 3
- Total: 46 Giveaways, 77 Takeaways
I'm not saying these statistics are the be all and end all of defensive statistics, however, I think there's a lot to be said for the aforementioned results. Albeit, it's still early but there is some statistical progression that's reflective of Jason Spezza's improvement as a defensive player. By comparison, in 2007-08, he had 96 giveways and 44 takeaways. And in 2008-09, he had a ratio of 81-73. If he keeps up his current pace, he'll have his first positive turnover differential ever as a player.
While Kovalev's struggles to find his offensive niche, he'll have to do a little bit more on the defensive side of the puck to rid himself of his stereotypical Russian image. Mind you, he wasn't brought in here to reduce the number of goals scored against the club.
Michalek and Foligno are beasts who have combined for 20 takeaways and 2 giveaways.
Regardless of how much Gord Wilson smatters Chris Kelly's hockey IQ, Kelly has to improve. For a checking line center pulling down the kind of coin that he does, he needs to be more consistent and drastically improve upon his 38% success rate on faceoffs.
Now if only Clouston could fix the power play...
The Senators are almost at that infamous 15-game threshhold wherein it's deemed socially acceptable to start analyzing the current core of the roster in detail.So with that in mind, it comes as no surprise that in a Bruce Garrioch article that ran in the Ottawa Sun, he came out and shat on Alex Kovalev's production thus far saying that the enigmatic one who commands a $5M salary and has only 5 points to his name needs to step up his game.
Here's an excerpt from the article:
Senators coach Cory Clouston noted if some of Kovalev’s teammates had cashed in the chances he’s set them up with in last six games, he’d probably have “six assists in the last three or four games”, but he has to start clicking with linemates Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher.
“(Kovalev) had a couple of really nice plays around the net and if we bury our chances, like I said he’s got four or five points in his last few games,” said Clouston. “We need him to contribute a little bit more offensively. He’s gone through a bit of a break-in period.
“He should be familiar with our systems and his linemates and what we’re expecting from him. So, now it’s time for him to not just make those plays, but to bury them.”
What Clouston is saying makes sense. I can think of at least 5 instances where Mike Fisher was set up by Kovalev but inexplicably missed the net with his shot. If Fisher had buried more of his chances, Kovalev would have more points. But the part about Kovalev burying his opportunities doesn't make any sense because Kovalev is burying his chances. He has a shooting percentage of 23.5% The problem isn't that he's not burying his chances, it's that he's not shooting or getting enough chances. With only 17 shots in 12 games, Kovalev's not being the offensive shooting threat that this team needs right now. During his time in Montreal, whenever he'd receive the puck along the half boards by the right circle, it was just assumed that he'd shoot and score. He was always threat to shoot until he got to Ottawa. Now it just seems like he's too content to showcase his passing skills.
Don't get me wrong, I like Kovalev and I had no qualms when Bryan Murray signed him. He was coming off some productive years in Montreal and although he's 36-years old, he has the skill and talent necessary to put together a 50-60 point season. Considering the other deals that were doled out during the summer, I saw Kovalev as a reasonable short-term investment in a weak market. When compared to the terms being offered to other right wingers on the open market, his deal looks safe by comparison. And no offence to either of Ryan Shannon or Nick Foligno but Kovalev's not standing in the way of anyone who can conceivably log consistent minutes on the second line and be productive.
Besides, since Mike Fisher has started flanking Kovalev, he's turned into almost a point-per-game player. That's something pretty magical. Or maybe I'm just a fucking apologist? Meh.
Carrie Underwood has finally publically acknowledged her relationship
with Ottawa Senator, and 'IS IT ME?' winner Mike Fisher!
And she did it in the liner notes of her new CD, Play On.
In the notes, Carrie wrote:
"Thank you #12. You are the most amazing addition to my life! You are such a wonderful person and have had such an amazing hand in the building of this album and in the growth of me as a person. . . . I love you so much! You make my life better in every way!
I thank God for you every day . . . xoxo, Carrie."
In case you didn’t know, #12 is Mike’s jersey number.
Thanks to my lady friend for emailing me this news bulletin from Hot 89.9
Sun Media has learned the Senators owner was so furious with being forced to shell out a $4-million bonus to Dany Heatley, who refused to accept a trade to the Edmonton Oilers on July 1, he has filed a grievance asking for his money back.
An NHL executive confirmed last night Melnyk filed the paperwork early in the summer, not long after Heatley wouldn’t lift his no-movement clause before the bonus was paid.
Sources say Melnyk contends in the paperwork filed at the NHL’s New York headquarters, that Heatley’s camp — including agents J.P. Barry and Stacey McAlpine — gave the Senators permission to speak with the Oilers and the two-time, 50-goal scorer should have accepted the deal to Edmonton.
It’s believed Melnyk not only claims the decision by Heatley to kill the deal cost him $4 million, it also hurt the club’s ability to sell season tickets because of the uncertainty in the Senators camp.
The league executive said there’s a chance the Sharks could be forced to pay the bonus back to Melnyk if he wins his grievance. San Jose made an offer for Heatley at the NHL draft in June, but only wanted to complete the deal on July 2 — after the bonus had been paid.~ Sun Media
Never one to pass up the opportunity for bravado, The Euge is taking the dilated one to court. Oddly enough, this move wasn't unexpected. In fact, the only real surprise from this Sun Media article is that the Senators actually believe that permission to speak with the Oilers equates itself to Dany Heatley saying, work out a trade with the Oilers and I'll waive my clause.
Ah well. At least Eugene Melnyk will be all over radio and television tomorrow. Can't wait. Maybe he can also address that issue of ownership of the Ottawa Senators that was improperly attributed to someone else.
According to the Ottawa Sun, center Jason Spezza is unlikely to play this week as he continues to recover from some undisclosed upper body injury. (Ed. note: likely his lower back.) While there's no timetable yet on a possible return, Bruce Garrioch is using Off The Posts to implore for Spezza to return to the lineup only when he's healthy.
There is good news on the injury front however. Apparently the severity of Anton Volchenkov's dislocated elbow isn't as bad as some had previously expected. Instead of a four-to-six week absence, a MRI has revealed that the Senators may only be without their best defenceman for another 10-14 days.The way that the Senators have played in his absence, I was starting to warm up to the idea that a one-armed A-Train might be more palatable than some of the incumbents. Besides, it's not like Volchenkov could shoot the puck and hit the net with two good arms. Just sacrifice the body and block some shots and we'll be all the better for it.
The Euge Doesn't Own the Ottawa Senators
In a story that ran in the UK's Daily Mail, a number of residents have submitted a petition to the Westminster City Council to shut down film director Guy Ritchie's Mayfair pub, The Punch Bowl. Now, it's not this petition that's of interest, it's this paragraph:
The campaign, led by Mayfair art dealer Alan Hobart and supported by Canadian property tycoon William Shenkman - owner of the Ottawa Senators ice-hockey team and a prominent donor to Tate Modern and the National Theatre - describes 'a severe downward spiral in quality of life for local residents' in the past 18 months.
Expect The Euge to respond in an appropriate manner to these erroneous facts sometime tomorrow on the Fan 590.
Scott Burnside Revisits the Heatley Deal
Predictably, Mr. Burnside is revisiting the Heatley return now that Milan Michalek's production has waned. Here's what he had to say:
It wasn't all that long ago that the Ottawa Senators didn't look so bad in the wake of the Dany Heatley trade with San Jose before the start of the season. But the tables have turned a bit, as Jonathan Cheechoo has continued to struggle with the Sens with only two assists and a minus-3 rating.
Milan Michalek leads the Sens with six goals, but three of them came in one game and he has not produced a point in the past four contests as the offensively challenged Senators have lost two in a row and four of five. Michalek has also chipped in just one power-play goal this season, one of the reasons the Sens rank 26th on the man advantage.
Heatley, meanwhile, has 17 points for the red-hot Sharks and has collected seven points in the past seven games, including a game winner against Colorado. The Sharks have jumped into first place in the Pacific Division thanks to a five-game winning streak and victories in seven of their past eight games. As we thought.
Don't you think Sens GM Bryan Murray wishes Heatley had accepted that deal to Edmonton? The Senators would now be the benefactors of a re-energized Dustin Penner.
Personally, I can't stand this need to engage in retrospective bullshit after a player has has a good week. It does nothing but piss me someone off. At the time, we knew we didn't get the best player or a fair return in the deal. However, there weren't (m)any trade partners. Milan Michalek was and is the best available talent that Ottawa could get for Heatley (my apologies Dustin Penner) and he's a great 2-way player that the organization can build around. Recently, his production has been down, but that's no doubt correlated to the loss of his linemate, Jason Spezza.
Granted, there are doubts that Jonathan Cheechoo is ever going to become a productive player. That being said, it's still too early to pass judgment. If he can improve his skating to help him keep up with the play or to create some more separation so that he can get some shots away, it could help. If he can't, god help Bryan Murray from getting that cap hit off of the books moving forward.
But in the meantime about time that people fuck right off with anything related to Dany Heatley and his ouster? We know and have accepted that he's going to get his points in San Jose.We're cool with this. If you want to come back after the season and analyze the trade then, cool. I'll be here. Until that time, fuck off. Got it? Great.
Peter Regin's From Denmark!?!
I've liked this kid since I had a chance to see him play last year. It seems like SLC from Five For Smiting is starting to come around. Maybe this feature in The Hockey News that discusses his background will allow you to learn something new. Or maybe it won't. Meh.
If Carrie Took Mike's Last Name, She'd Be The Second Celebrity Named Carrie Fisher That Nerds Would Jerk Off To
According to an AP article, Carrie Underwood has a new album dropping on Tuesday and one of the songs was influenced by the Senators' own #12. Here are the details:
"Mama's Song" is a straight-up love tune about helping a mother gain trust for a good man who wants to marry her daughter. The presence of her boyfriend, Ottawa Senators center Mike Fisher, can be felt on the song, the most personal of the seven Underwood wrote for the album.
Help her mom gain trust in Mike Fisher? I'm not surprised. Her mom probably bought the Center Ice package last year to watch him play and wondered what the hell he was doing out there on the power play. Thankfully, Mike's returned to form this year and Sens fans couldn't be happier.
By only capturing two points in games against Southeast opponents like Florida, Tampa and Atlanta, Ottawa's going to be kicking themselves later in the year for giving away two combined points against Nashville and Boston last week.
Here are the highlights from the week:
With only two games scheduled later this week, Ottawa will get an opportunity to lick their wounds proverbially and literally. With the losses and injuries mounting, there's probably not a better time for this team to get a bit of a reprieve. Even though the next few days should help Jason Spezza recuperate from his lower back problems, the fact that he's only 26 years old and has dealt with this nagging problem for the past few seasons, should be cause for concern to the organization and fans alike. If anything, it could prove to be a deterrent for a future contract extension. So while Spezza's back problems will likely have ramifications in the future, the same can't be said for Anton Volchenkov's dislocated elbow.
A Dislocated Elbow Can Drive a Point Home:
As it stands, his injury is killing the Senators defence. And not necessarily because Volchenkov's strong play, physicality and shot blocking ability are sorely missed. The truth is that the problem with Ottawa's blueline is that the gap in talent between the top three defencemen -- Kuba, Phillips, Volchenkov -- and everyone else is big. Whenever one of the top three guys is forced out of the lineup, the team has a difficult time replacing those minutes without exposing the flaws in each of their other defencemen. Pascal Leclaire's return from the flu should help keep scores respectable, three to five more weeks without Volchenkov could be agonizing on the eyes and the standings.
There have been some rumblings that Bryan Murray should make a move to get a defenceman to address Volchenkov's absence. Considering the incumbents that we have, that might not be a bad idea. Personally, I'd love to see Murray target some financially strapped team looking to create some payroll flexibility like Chicago. Now obviously Brian Campbell's contract is terrible and he's out of the question. And Seabrooke is likely unattainable considering the assets that would be required to get him. And Keith is the lynchpin who they have to resign in the summer. That leaves Cam Barker as a quasi-expensive ($3.083M per year) but still young and enticing enough piece who could help Ottawa's blueline. If it's feasible to acquire someone like Barker by moving some inexpensive blueline depth. Do it.
Down on the Farm:
Congratulations to Erik Karlsson for registering his first career AHL point (an assist) on the weekend. In his first and only game on the farm, Karlsson was a -1 with 4 PIM, but he did register three shots on goal. If you want to keep future tabs on this highly touted prospect, don't hesitate to use the Binghamton statistics tab located on this site's menu.
While I was looking at Binghamton's statistics to see how Karlsson had done the other day, I couldn't help but notice how some of Ottawa's other players are performing stastically. Jesse Winchester's producing at more than a point-per-game clip. In three games, he now has 2 goals and 2 assists. As we draw closer to the conclusion of his two week conditioning stint, it will interesting to see how the organization handles his return to the big club.
Also, for those who are wondering why Cody Bass didn't stick around longer during the preseason, maybe part of the reasoning can be explained by his mindboggling minus-10 rating through ten games.
It's worth mentioning that the Cheech rang one off of the iron yesterday. (And yes, I do realize that it's sad that I even have to mention this like it's some sort of accomplishment.) Oh, and Gerald Norton's worried that if Jonathan doesn't start scoring soon, he could be riding the buses in the minors.
I Hate Czech Goalies:
First it was Hasek. Now it's Ondrej Pavelec. Enough said.
They're Calling For Lightning on Thursday:
With their two previous meetings being blowouts featuring some fisticuffs and bad blood, Thursday night's game should be another entertaining affair. Expect an evening chalk full of goals, fights and Chris Neil or Matt Carkner showboating.