Ho Ho Ho And A Bottle of Rum

Throughout the game, I had all kinds of notes written up about the play of the Senators and some individual things.  I’ve shit-canned everything except the opening and the Fischler intermission reports, and have moved on to an embarrassing amount of rum.  Here it is:

I’ll just start with this; the last two wins mean damn near nothing if the Senators don’t beat the Islanders tonight.  Fighting through the rabble (assuming for a moment, the Senators are not rabble) to a playoff spot is going to be hard enough, but it’s just not possible if you don’t beat the teams you’re supposed to beat. 

My coverage is provided by MSG and that means analysis by Billy Jaffe, who I really like quite a bit; maybe it’s because he’s from Chicago and he just sounds like ‘home’. (I was born there).  But, more likely because he’s a rational and even handed analyst.  But, there’s always the intermission “analysis” of Stan Fischler to drive me crazy, so I have that to look forward to. 

Fischler After the First
The Maven thinks it would be good for the Isles’ psyche to get a win.  (Will my corneas survive the brilliance?) “Ruutu is Sean Avery with a Finnish accent”.  (Uhhhh…not quite, “Maven”…Ruutu kills penalties and doesn’t score nearly as often as Avery, but maybe I split hairs)

Fischler After the Second
Will the brilliance never end..he says Josh Bailey’s new nickname is “Ace”.  *bangs head on wall* Do I need to explain why that doesn’t work or is Fishler’s senility obvious to everyone?  Tell you what; if Josh dies while playing in the NHL, I’ll start calling him “Ace”. 

It’s Obvious
The current incarnation of the Senators will not make the playoffs (and my bottle of rum takes a dent to acknowledge this fact).  I spelled it out in the lead in—-with a team skating this close to the edge, they cannot afford to drop points to the bottom feeders.  Bringing the A-game against the Ranger means nothing if you don’t put away the Islanders.  The Islanders hadn’t had 3 wins in a season against the Senators in 15 years; so much for that.

Here’s the long and short of it: 
The Senators struggle to get the puck out of the defensive zone with possession and they don’t hit anyone.  Another Senators blogger said “As much as you might prefer it, the number of hits a team throws, or bruises a team inflicts, has no literal bearing on the scoresheet.”  I just have to disagree.  While I appreciate this blogger was essentially lamblasting Bobby Clarke in the process, (and I am in full support of that since the man has certainly lost his hockey mind), hitting still is a very important component to winning.  Right now, the Senators have two players with significant ice time who consistently hit with a purpose; Jarkko Ruutu and Mike Fisher (Neil is hurt).  It’s just not enough to be an effective team in the NHL unless you have the talent of the Detroit Redwings.  No matter how many constipated looks we get from Craig Hartsburg on the bench (and that’s a John Paddock flashback I wanted no part of), it’s not going to make a difference for this team. 

{oh hell….here are some notes just for the helluvit}

 Oh, young Mr. Lee!…a careless play in our end leads to a great chance for the Isles.  He was banged off the puck in the corner.  Howie Rose, announcer for the Isles, identifies Brian Lee as being from North Dakota (born there, went to school there) but we all know he’s a Minnesota boy.

The 4th line won’t be getting much ice time. Schubert, Bass and Zack Smith look like 3 guys who’ve never played together (and that’s really the case).  Auld is his own worst enemy here.  The Isle pressure started with Auld’s giveaway.

Fisher with a post and next rush down the ice Andy Hilbert with a beautiful tip past Auld.  I really have to wonder what the Penguins were thinking just letting Hilbert walk away. 

Same old story…the Sens can’t get the puck out of the zone with possession.

Senators did not look good in the first period.  The Pizza line had pressure and the Fisher line had a couple of good shifts, but other than that, the Senators were chasing the puck all over their end.  Jesse Winchester is trying to bring a bit of physical, but it’s clear it’s not natural for him.  Only way to make it natural is to continue to bring it.

Second period
Don’t see it often but Alfie with a stupid penalty.

I like watching Ruutu kill penalties because he doesn’t clown it up.  It’s clear he’s a smart guy.  He definitley knows when to pull his pants down.

A-Train and Phillips on the entire two minute PK; the Isles didn’t get a shot thru

Jaffe praise for Alfie.  Beautiful to watch; strong on his skates and smart.

Isles score with 35 seconds left in the 2nd; blocked shot caromes perfectly to a streaking Freddy Meyer.

Isles have been outscored 9-1 in the third period the last two games.

Freddy Meyer with a goal from the point.  Auld was busy pushing jason smith out of the way and got beat on the short side. 

Hartsburg’s constipated look; I grow tired.

Alfie goal!  Pass by Heater was sublime.

[and then I gave up]

Bryan Murray has a choice; he can give up on this season or he can deal for a puck moving defenseman and see if there is hope for this version of the Senators.  This cannot be a short-term move.  Whomever they get (if they do) has to be a good player for the Senators for a long time.  More later….the rum is stealing my brain. [Hi Sherry]

Around the league:  Ron Wilson is being interviewed after the game against the Flyers and he lauds his players for their effort and Bryan Burke for relaxing the players against the dumb questions of the Toronto media; asking if they’re worried that they’ll all be traded.  “Our effort’s been exemplary all year and I think Brian did a good job of relaxing them from..I hate to be blunt ; from the dumb questions you guys have been asking our players…that they’re all going to be traded within a week and Brian assured all our players that wasn’t going to happen and that’s the best thing he could have done”.

Mike Millbury“He hated to be blunt…but he was again.  I think this guy is a terrific coach and he’s done a good job. …That’s enough of that!  That’s tough to take.  That’s rude…it’s insulting.  Enough of that!  It’s just rude.  It’s just arrogant.  “I know all the answers and you people in the media are all stupid.”  (turns to Kelly Hrudy and Ron McLean) Are you stupid?  Are you stupid?  We’re all stupid and we ask stupid questions.  Geez!  Give it up!!!

Let me just start by saying I have no idea how Mike Millbury gets a job outside of food service.  In the “stupid and arrogant” department, Mike Millbury is leading the team in sales.  First of all, Wilson is just protecting his guys and being the bad guy to the media; good on him!!!  For Mike Millbury to act like he’s just been sent to the corner with his thumb in bread pudding is simply priceless. 

Mike…you are dumb!  You’ve shown it over and over and over again. 

Millbury Deals
You can decide if they were good or bad, here are a number of the deals Mad Mike has made per TSN.ca:

13-Mar-96: New York Islanders traded Wendel Clark, Mathieu Schneider and D.J. Smith to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty, Kenny Jonsson and 1st round selection (Roberto Luongo) in 1997.

25-Aug-97: New York Islanders traded Dan Lacouture to the Edmonton Oilers for Mariusz Czerkawski.

20-Mar-99: New York Islanders traded Tommy Salo to the Edmonton Oilers for Mats Lindgren and 8th round selection (Radek Martinek) in 1999.

19-Jun-99: New York Islanders traded Zigmund Palffy, Bryan Smolinski, Marcel Cousineau and 4th round selection (previously acquired from the New Jersey Devils – Daniel Johansson) in 1999 to the Los Angeles Kings for Olli Jokinen, Josh Green, Mathieu Biron and 1st round selection (Taylor Pyatt) in 1999.

19-Dec-99: New York Islanders traded Felix Potvin, a 2nd round selection (later traded to New Jersey – Teemu Laine) in 2000 and a 3rd round selection (Thatcher Bell) in 2000 to the Vancouver Canucks for Kevin Weekes, Bill Muckalt and Dave Scatchard.

24-Jun-00: New York Islanders traded Olli Jokien and Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.

24-Jun-00: New York Islanders traded Eric Brewer, Josh Green and 2nd round selection (Brad Winchester) in 2000 to the Edmonton Oilers for Roman Hamrlik.
24-Jun-00: New York Islanders traded Kevin Weekes, the rights of Kristian Kudroc and a 2nd round selection (later traded to Phoenix – Matthew Spiller) in 2001 to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 1st round selection (Raffi Torres) in 2000, 4th round selection (previously acquired – Vladimir Gorbunov) in 2000 and 7th round selection (previously acquired – Ryan Caldwell) in 2000.

03-Jan-01: Los Angeles Kings traded Jason Blake to the New York Islanders for a 5th round selection (Joel Andresen) in 2002.

22-Jun-01: New York Islanders traded Mathieu Biron and a 2nd round selection (later traded to Washington, later traded to Vancouver – Denis Grot) in 2002 to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Adrian Aucoin and Alexander Kharitonov.

23-Jun-01: Ottawa Senators traded Alexei Yashin to the New York Islanders for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and 1st round selection (Jason Spezza) in 2001.

24-Jun-01: Buffalo Sabres traded Michael Peca to the New York Islanders for Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt.

22-Jun-02: New York Islanders traded Mariusz Czerkawski to the Montreal Canadiens for Arron Asham and a 5th round selection (Markus Pahlsson) in 2002.

11-Mar-03: New York Islanders traded Chris Osgood and a 3rd round selection in 2003 to the St. Louis Blues for Justin Papineau and a 2nd round selection in 2003.

11-Mar-03: Edmonton Oilers traded Janne Niinimaa and a 2nd round selection in 2003 to the New York Islanders for Brad Isbister and Raffi Torres.

 How you parlayed that into a job on Hockey Night in Canada, only the picture holder knows.  You’re associated with two of the worst trades in hockey history.  Nice work!  Now get the fuck off my TV screen.

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3 Responses to “Ho Ho Ho And A Bottle of Rum”

  1. Senators Lost Cojones Says:

    Good heavens! I knew Milbury was, and always will be a congenital fucking idiot, but I had never seen his reign of error laid out so methodically before. Gawd, it’s like watching a train wreck. The carnage! The blood! Oh the humanity!!

    Although…thanks for the Yashin deal, Asshat!

  2. Meaghan Says:

    How anyone can take anything Milbury says about hockey seriously is beyond me. He’s proven time after time that he knows nothing about the sport (as you have so admirably laid out here). It also seems pretty clear to me that the other HNIC commentators all hate him. Even Kelly Hrudey, who seems to be such a nice guy, has trouble hiding his low opinion of Milbury on the air.

  3. freewillig Says:

    It’s funny…the two trades you might think he did ok with (getting Jokinen and Luongo) were wiped away in one fell swoop….swell foop….whatever. I really have a hard time even looking at the man. He has a face I’d like to punch.

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