Archive for March, 2008

“Lost”

March 29, 2008

In this episode of Lost, a whole blogpost wherein someone complains bitterly about the crappy, “homer” game telecast of Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley, disappears from the known universe…..hilarity and drama ensue; subplots involve Gilligan getting trapped in a cave by a giant spider and a bizarre love triangle forming among Ginger, Mary Ann and the Skipper. 

I’m bitterly disappointed with the Senators today.  Bryan Murray is on record assuring The Sens Army that this team will be ready for the post season.  I wish there was a modicum of evidence to support this claim.  Here’s the stark reality:

The Senators are in no better place than 12 other teams that hope to win a Stanley Cup.  The Senators do not have designs on a Cup; they do not have their sights set on a Cup; the do not have the inside track to a Cup.  They will be in the playoffs, so technically, there is a chance for a Cup.  But, that chance is so miniscule that it’s not worth talking about.  Welcome to Writeoffsville, population:  Senators.    

Random Thoughts 

Anyone who thinks Cody Bass will be suspended for his hit on Mark Stuart (as suggested by the morons at NESN), should go rent themselves some hockey sense.  I’m willing to bet $100 he won’t be suspended.  The NESN folks are trying to corner the market on over-reaction.  I guess losing your best player to injury for most of a season has the unintended effect of sucking the brains out of the collective Bruins Nation. 

I don’t think I’ll be mistaking Jesse Winchester for Marian Hossa in the number 18 sweater….just sayin’.

And, just to show that the Leaf’s Nation doesn’t have exclusive rights to unrealistic expectations; I’m really hoping the Buffalos continue their cheapass ways and let Ryan Miller walk (nay, run) to the Senators via free agency in 15 months. 

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Lee’s Hangover

March 28, 2008

Brian Lee turned 21 yesterday.   I wonder if Murray considered that before announcing he’d be in the lineup today. 

We’re 3 minutes into the game and it’s clear that the Senators are going through the motions.  Do they have to get down by 2 goals before deciding to show up?  Gawd, this team pisses me off sometimes.  Luckily, the Sabres look a little deflated.    Lindy (do you think he can dance) Ruff described their last loss to the Senators as “devastating”.  Perhaps the team is feeling they’re out of it.  They probably are, but they shouldn’t feel that way until they lose this one.  If you take your cues from the coach, the Buffalos are probably mailing it in.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look that way as The Pimple takes a Vermette turnover and eventually cashes Antoine’s personal check to tie it up. Spezza had scored on a semi-break just a minute earlier and then a minute after The Puss scores, Hecht gets one. 

This team (the Senators) has rocks in its collective head.  I have no idea what it’s going to take to get this team to show some urgency.  There’s just no focus from most of the guys.  And, it isn’t like the Buffalos are playing lights out hockey.  I completely understand that you don’t turn around 4 months worth of ingrained bad habits, in a week but just some g-ddamn effort would make me moist.

On to period two

Oh, did I mention that Dany Heatley has been a ghost tonight?  Alfie is hurting….he’s clearly not himself.  I hope the same is true with Heatley (sorta) because anyone this non-existent should have an excuse. 

Fisher gets his 3rd goal in 52 games to tie it up.   I would call it a bad goal for Miller, but it was on the backhand for Fisher and it’s always a bit more difficult for a goalie to pick up where the puck is headed off the backhand. 

The second period didn’t have me craving a trip to the medicine cabinet, but there’s still not a ton of urgency for the Senators….let’s see what the third period holds.

The effort in the third period has been better and it’s been a helluva lot better than my effort on this post.  We go to a shoot out.  Lots has happened  since we last spoke, but I had company stop by so suffice to say, we got one and they got one with 90 seconds left to tie.  The Devils have lost tonight so it would be nice to get the extra point here, but I’m not going to the razor blade drawer if we don’t. 

The Puss Bucket gets the shoot out winner.  If Brian Lee had a hangover, you wouldn’t know it.  He wasn’t as noticeable in this one, but from a defensive standpoint, that’s just fine by me.  Cory Stillman didn’t play the 2nd or 3rd periods; lower body cramp.

Oh Great! Mister Magoo again??

March 26, 2008

So, we get Mick McGeough for the second straight night.  Beauty!  It’s not that he screws the Senators; at least, not any worse than he screws anyone else.  It’s just that he’s SOOOOO bad and he ruins the flow of hockey because he just gets it wrong so often.  He frustrates players because they don’t know what call is coming or why.

The first period has been nothing to write home about.  The Senators have been somewhat better about keeping the Buffalos to the outside, but they’ve also given up some chances and a post.   Comparing the opening periods of tonight and last night, I would say the Sens are showing much better energy.  Brian Lee has been fine for the few shifts he’s had.  He certainly doesn’t look out of place (yet).  He even led the rush for an Ottawa chance.  Schubie has a semi-breakaway goal; Sens 1, Buffalos 0.

Second Period

There’s something liberating about losing all confidence in your team.  After last night, I no longer expect anything from this team.  Which is good because I’m not getting much of anything from them in the second period.   Derek “Asspimple” Roy scores and even in the replay, I cannot find the defenseman who is supposed to be standing in the spot from which Roy scores.  Here’s something sad;  to this point, Brian Lee has been the best defenseman for the Senators. 

Third Period

It’s difficult to really describe just how stinky our defensive coverage has been.  Maybe “fetid, maggot infested, dead bayou catfish in 95 degree heat” stinky; or how about “dead squirrel wrapped in a slice of bologna and stuffed in a shoe” stinky?  Yeah, I think that’s the one.  It’s now 3-1 Buffalos (The Pimple has his second of the night) and it could easily be 6-1.  Remember when our defensive corps was a strength?  Gosh, those days were neat.

You know frustration is setting in when Cory Stillman throws a gloved punch at Vanek for pretty much no reason.  Nice shot, Cory!  I’m with you.

Okay, don’t do this to me…..don’t give me hope.  You heart-stabbing bastards!  Sens score a shorty to make it 3-2; 7:00-ish left in the game.  Oh boy!  Alfie ties it a minute later.  NOW WHAT????  Uhhh…a Volchenkov goal from 58 feet?  I’m sure I’ll wake up soon enough.  Maybe in time for a slapper from Alfie; 5-3 Sens. 

Welcome to the world of the Ottawa Senators and their fans.  This post is pretty much symbolic of the rollercoaster ride that we’ve been on.  6-3 final and in fairness, I barely noticed Magoo at all.

Brian Lee Up With the Big Club Today

March 25, 2008

No Beer and Sens losses, make Al [something, something]

March 25, 2008

Ok, here’s a chance for the Senators to show us something.  Win and we’re still in striking range for the division.  Lose and we hand it to the Habs.  I’m finally feeling human again, so I’m having a beer with my hockey (which is the normal state) and looking forward to the match.   

I flip on the tube to find Mr. Magoo is doing the game. Oh boy!  This guy must have pictures of someone with someone else doing somethings; possibly naughty or illegal things, otherwise, how the hell does he still have a job.  Not to mention that he worked in the playoffs last year; unbelievable.  I wouldn’t let him work a Monopoly game.  Oh well…here we go:

Period One

Please take your time getting across the crease, Herr Gerber.  I’m sure there’s no hurry.  1-0 Habs.

Watching Randy Robitaille trying to lay a check reminds me a bit of my 6 year old niece cozying up to my dog.  It’s really kinda sad.  I was thinking that I would give him credit for at least trying to hit someone, but it’s just so lacking in conviction that I can’t muster any love.

This is shaping into a crappy night.  The Habs are really taking it to the Senators; out-hitting, out-skating and dare I say, out-caring. 

Wade gets an owie behind the net so there’s not much help in front of Gerber for the inevitable rebound; 2-0 Habs. 

Some more crappy play and more crappy crap and the freakin’ crap is crappy crap crap; 3-0 Habs.  There’s going to have to be something extraordinary happen for me to continue this post.  And I was so excited for hockey….and a beer.

Changing Horses in Mid-stream; NCAA Baskeball

Let me start out by saying that I have run an NCAA pool since I was a freshman in high school (that’s 25 years).  I played college basketball.  (Emery in goal to start the second period) I’ve played basketball since I was 6.  I was the kid in town who always had a ball with him; I carried it around like little girls carry around a Barbie.  But, I’m losing interest in March Madness and I’m not running a pool this year.  Here’s a partial list of things I watched instead of NCAA basketball over the last four days:  hockey, English football, golf, M*A*S*H (no, they’re not making new episodes), Survivorman, March of the Penguins (not hockey related, btw), and (a very crappy movie) Sahara.  That’s not to say I didn’t watch at all.  It was on the TV as I napped a bit and I even watched the full games when the Badgers played.  (It’s 6-1 Habs now)  But, here’s the thing….for most of the game I end up yelling at the TV begging for traveling calls; it’s just such a joke now.  At one point in a Tennessee game, a player changed his pivot foot twice and there was no call.   The college game is more and more like the pro game every day which is to say, it’s sucky.  I can barely muster a molecule in my body that wants to watch anything that resembles professional basketball.   That’s where I am.

The powers that be must think that taking 3 steps to make some bullshit playground move makes for more exciting basketball.  Well, I demand a little more integrity than that.  I’m sorry folks; I’m out!

It’s 7-1 Habs now.  I’m going to watch the third period to see if we come out and pound Max Lapierre into a bloody pulp, which would show me that we, at least, have a pulse.  It’s funny; the day after the last Habs game which we won 3-0, the talk shows on Team 1200 were all about how the Senators reminded the Canadiens who the big boys really are.  I suspect I may be sending an email to the Morons tomorrow. 

Take heart, Leafs’ fans; alas this is all you have left:  The Senators are not a good hockey team right now.   Rush over to TSN to tell the world how bad we are.  Go on…git, now; TSN is thirsting for your brilliance. 

 I really try hard to not get too high with a win or too low with a loss, but I just wonder when the Senators are going to start to show some urgency (if ever).  This is not a team I have much faith in at this point.

I’d like to say something nice about the teasing comeback the Senators made in the third period, but nahhhh…..it had as much to do with the Habs coasting as any extra effort on the part of the Sens.  And the worst part of it is, the Ottawa media and perhaps the Senators’ players will “take some positives” from it.  NOOOOO!!!!!!…..they need to be punished for this crapass performance.   Here’s a radical idea; how about a bag skate on game day?   We take our lumps against the Buffaloes tomorrow and then see if the boys are made of anything other than wet sand the rest of the way.  Or maybe I’m just extraordinarily cranky today.  What started as an evening full of energy has ended with me feeling like a slug.  Perhaps I’ll chuck myself into a salt pot.

Someone Put Turds in my Plastic Eggs

March 23, 2008

Many folks are doing Easter today.  From what I understand, Jesus rolls back a rock, steps out and if he sees his shadow, there are 6 more weeks of winter.  My Easter has been eight inches of snow, enough phlegm to fill a coffee can and a turd laid by the Senators. 

I’m still far too fuzzy to give any kind of analysis of the Senators play.  I, at least, liked the way we came out in the first.  After that, I don’t have much recollection.  One thing I’m very disappointed with:

Away from the play, Jiri Tlusty completely blindsides Dany Heatley.  There was no penalty called on the play, but what I’m really disappointed with is that one of the other Senators didn’t hand Tlusty his lunch at some point later on.

The time is nigh to start putting some glue on this house of cards, boys.

Can you figure out what this means?

Just wondering

 … When Toronto’s Jiri Tlusty scored to tie the game in the third, that was a switch, huh? Somebody else undressed.

I figured it out eventually, and maybe it’s the fever affecting my intellect, but sometimes being so clever just isn’t worth it.  I suspect most people reading it just scratch their heads and think he’s a bad writer; it’s just awfully cryptic.  I know providing context can ruin a joke, but it’s not a good joke if only 10% can figure out what the hell you’re talking about.

The Blues Make Me Sick

March 21, 2008

Tried to watch the game (cough).  Wasn’t able to stay awake (hack, snort).  I think we won (urp).

I’m going back to bed now.

My Disjointed Mind is Going to Carolina

March 16, 2008

[in case you haven’t noticed, I’m still figuring out the formatting features of this blog site.  I know the interwebs community is a patient bunch so I’m taking my time] 

Hang on folks…it’s the day after/before St. Patty’s day (St. Paul celebrates on the closest Saturday to the actual day) and this is going to be as disjointed as the Senators’ play today.

Joe Corvo hit someone….sure, it was Vermette, but still.  Redden finally hit someone; it was Eaves.  Seeing a pattern here?

 Kinda funny watching Commodore go after Ruutu all day.  “Let’s see, which of these guys am I not friends with?????  I guess I could hit Eaves, but some of the guys really like him.  Oh yeah, this guy Ruutu is a bit of a jerk; I’ll just beat on this chump all day.  Let’s see….how many penalties do I want to take; I think I’ll shoot for 5” 

Do you think Corvo wants to stick it to the Senators if for no other reason than to raise a middle finger to the Ottawa media?  Understatement of the game….”Joe Corvo has fit in nicely here in Raleigh”; hattrick, Corvo!

Nice to see that Stillman wants to stay with the Senators.  He’s making $1.75 million this year, which is a bargain for a crafty vet like him.  He’s 34 now so he likely has a few more productive years in him.  I’m hoping he’s willing to work for $2 million or so.  I may well be dreaming in that regard; kinda like this gem of a dream I had last night.  I was playing football (soccer for some of you) for Tottenham Hotspur (the side I support) and it was me playing; not some good soccer playing version of me.  I was playing the striker position and the keeper for the other team kicked a bad clearing right to me.  Instead of catching the ball with my foot (since I’m not good at the sort of thing) I caught it with my hand and went around my back like I would dribbling a basketball and then fired it home.  Unfortunately, that pesky referee caught the handball thing.

I’ve lost all patience for Randy Robitaille.  He’s just not an effective hockey player.  He’s an ok skater, but he doesn’t do much else except for get in the way.  When he’s not getting in the way, you don’t notice him at all.  I can’t remember the last time I saw him lay a check, get in on the forecheck, backcheck, sidecheck, or bouncecheck.  I’d much rather see McAmmond, or for chrissakes Vermette, taking up the ice time on the top line.  Is it just me or has Vermette had bunny loads of jump lately?  It’s like he got a license to carry a concealed rabbit; like he has a trampoline in his pocket; a bungee chord in his pants…..er…..too bad he can’t seem to find the back of the net.

I really really really really (picture another 20 really‘s) don’t want to be that guy, but I went back to the boxscore for the Ducks game to see if Bill McCreary was the referee that day.  Don’t get me wrong; I think he’s a very good official, but I was just wondering if there wasn’t some subconscious residual punishment being heaped on the Senators for the abuse Murray gave him that day.  Yup, I’m overthinking again; McCreary wasn’t involved in that match.

Does Dany Heatley have to complain everytime he gets called for a penalty?  I kinda like it when he gets nailed.  We get to see him clear his nose in the box.  That’s neat!!  The man leads the league in phlegm.

In the dictionary under Bad; a picture of three Senators below the line after the puck when trying to kill a 5 on 3.  Definition 2:  The Sens’ chemistry today….YUCK! 

In case you don’t know, we lost.  In the careful what you wish for category, would we want to open the playoffs against Carolina? 

I’m Feeling Tidbitty

March 16, 2008

From TSN:

Netminder Ray Emery missed Saturday’s practice (flu) and is questionable to dress for Sunday’s matinee game versus the Hurricanes. Martin Gerber will make his 8th straight start in goal vs. Carolina. – TSN

Uhhh…Flu!!  Yeah, that’s what it is.  I’m sure he’s not sulking because of this.  I guess I can understand Emery might not be feeling so well given that he’s probably just being made aware that he’s likely out about an additional $2.25 million if this is the way the Sens end up going.   I’d feel a bit pukey myself.

 Weighing in on Pronger

I’m not a Chris Pronger fan.  I accept and respect that he is probably the most effective defenseman in the league when you consider the all-around game.  He’s certainly in the top 3 with Lidstrom and Chara, in my opinion.  Not much would make me happier than to see him suspended for 30 games.  As an example, I would probably be happier in the first row at a Rush concert while watching the Senators win the Stanley Cup on the jumbotrons and as the final horns goes Alex rips into the first notes of Limelight to start off the show.  That’s the level we’re talking about here.   A Tragically Hip show under the same circumstances would do it as well.

So, it is with gritted teeth and a clothes pin on my nose (and one on my left nipple just for further punishment) that I come to the defense of the length of his suspension. 

Many have suggested that Pronger should get the same punishment that Simon received for the same act.  Let’s start with the similarities of those two players:

They’re both big guys.  Pronger is 6’6″, 213 lbs.  Simon is 6’3″, 232 lbs.  They’ve both been suspended 8 times.  They’re both fairly dirty players.  They’ve both “stomped” (it just doesn’t seem the right choice of word) opposing players with their skate.  They both have the same first name of “Chris”.  Uhhhhh….that’s about where the similarities end.

Chris Pronger is a hockey player pushing the edges of acceptability.  Chris Simon is a hockey player who pushes the borders of being a criminal.   And, I don’t think he can help it….I mean, the criminal part, not the hockey player part.  Aside from the “stomping” suspension, Pronger has been suspended for slashing (happens every game), high sticking (happens every game), leaving the bench for an altercation (doesn’t happen so much any more but not something you’d label a player as “crazy” for doing), cross checking (happens every game), kicking (ok, so this one is a little over the top…happens every 170 games that Marty Havlat plays), elbowing, (happens every game), and (again) elbowing (happens….I already said this you cheekie monkies). 

Here is Simon’s rap sheet:

[allegedly] calling Mike Grier a nigger (happens almost never), cross checking a player in the throat (uhhh….happens maybe once/year), elbowing (happens every game), cross checking (happens every game, but what doesn’t happen every game is) then jumping on the guy and punching him into submission, kneeing (happens here and again), taking a two handed swing with the stick to Ryan Hollweg’s head (happens once a decade) and then the stomping thing which happens twice in 2007/2008 but really not very often in the scheme of things. 

Chris Simon is a disturbed person with some real anger issues.  Chris Pronger intimidates with dirty play and maybe reacts badly here and there.  The MO (that’s Modus Operandi….just stop it, I don’t know Latin or whatever it is) is not that of a player out of control. 

I believe that Colin Campbell, as is his job, took all of this into account and made the correct determination. I’ve heard too many people say that the crime is the same, so the punishment should be the same.  But what those people aren’t taking into account is everything that had happened before that and the degrees to which those action offend the sensibilities of the game.  Pronger, for the most part, has been suspended for taking game situations to a naughty degree.  Simon (the other Chris) has acted outside of the game because he loses his mind when angry. 

The NHL, and I believe rightly so, very much acknowledges the history of a player before meting out punishment.  Hate Chris Pronger all you want and I’ll even give you $5 to make the sign, but don’t compare him to Chris Simon.  It’s two different Chris’, people.

O Canadiens

March 14, 2008

I love the nervous energy I had all day today even if my co-workers didn’t always appreciate it.  I was near giddy; singing or even worse, whistling along to every song on the radio.  Gawwwdddd…I’m annoying!  But, it sure feels like playoff time and what in the hell is better than that.  So far, this game feels like a playoff game except for the lack of physical play.  I have to be honest; I wouldn’t mind at all facing the Habs in the playoffs…they’re just as soft as we are. 

The Senators get a pick-me-up as Alfie is in the lineup.  He doesn’t look great out there.  I’m sure he’s still hurting and wish they’d just let him rest and get better for now.   It’s just so obvious that he’s not quite right and this game is not that important in the scheme of things.

At least the verbal sparing is Heatleying up as he’s been jawing with Komisarek all night.  I think Mikey has been treating him as rubbish a bit.

 In case you hadn’t noticed, Wade Redden has lost his spot on the top power play unit.  It’s now Meszaros and Stillman on the points with Heater, Alfie and the Spezz Dispenser.  The second unit is Redden, Schubert, Vermette, Lapointe and Fisher.

1-0 at the end of the first.  The Sens get a power play tip in goal by Spezz.  The vaunted Hab PP failed on it’s one attempt and the Senators will start the 2nd period with 1:40 in PP time.   

For once, Gerber isn’t the goalie with the rebound problems.  Price gave up two goals on rebounds….sure, one of them was banked in off the goalie from behind the net, but it’s nice to have the manure on the other team’s guy for now.

It’s 3-0 Senators after two periods.  Spezza has his 2nd (on the afore mentioned bank in from behind the net) and Vermette cleans up the other rebound on a Kelly shot off the rush.  In other news…the Wild have a 2-1 lead over the Devils which makes me happy for two reasons; a Wild win both helps the Senators a bit and makes my attendance at playoff hockey games, all that much more likely.   Oh man, I hope the Wild and Senators don’t play on the same nights in the first round.   Shouldn’t have said anything…the Devils just tied it up.

I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about the Sens being screwed by the refs lately.   Well, not tonight.  Commodore and Redden both get away with obvious interference calls in the first.  Streit gets called for a phantom hook and Koivu gets called for a phantom trip.  The interference thing has gotten WAYYYY out of hand lately.  You see it on pretty much every dump in now; the Dman holding up the forechecker and the Ducks are the absolutely the best at getting away with this.  Just another reason to hate the Ducks.

 The Senators played defense the way they played in the first 17 games this season in closing out the 3-0 victory.  It’s a pleasure to watch them when they’re playing that hard and that smart.  But, I’m keeping the pins in my Paddock doll for now, just to be sure.