Back On The Blog


[Hello to you Hammers coming over from Iain Dale’s blog.  Just thought I’d let you know I’m a Spurs supporter.  We don’t need Bellamy because Keane is on his way back to White Hart Lane]

Some of you might have thought I was just being lazy with my one sentence review of the Flyers game and it would not be a huge stretch to assume such a thing about me, but it really isn’t accurate this time.   I’m just a little angry about my team and when I see such a lack luster effort (I’m not one of those fans who mistakes scoring goals with putting in effort) and I’ve been watching that same effort for the better part of the season, it just leads me to one conclusion.  It’s a conclusion that I can hardly bare to write; one that Bryan Murray cannot pull off with a straight face; one that King Biovail won’t be very happy about. 

The Senators have to fire Craig Hartsburg.  They have to do it now.

Exhibit A
On a snowy, icy, rainy night in Newark, the Senators looked very much under the weather. So much so, when I asked one Devils player about the opposition after the game, he responded by saying, “No heart.” Then he backtracked a bit, saying: “They looked disinterested; you could see it in their faces.”

Exhibit B
I watched the 2nd and 3rd periods of the Flyers game.  I didn’t see one; not even ONE meaningful hit from the Senators.

and Exhibit C
“Certainly I thought we went out and did something about it,” said Hartsburg, who also was confused as to why Lehtinen wasn’t thrown in the box.

“In a hockey game like that, you need to respond with constant physical play. Guys like (Chris) Neil, (Jarkko) Ruutu and (Cody) Bass did that. That was as physical a game as we’ve played, and a lot of it happened after that point. It was a strong response by our team.”

And lastly, Exhibit D

Let’s see if I can pull this all together:  The opposition knows you’re not playing hard.  Your fans know you’re not playing hard.  Your coach thinks that playing a physical game is a good response instead of a way of life and you’re in 12th place in the conference.  If that’s not enough, the coach also thinks that putting Jason Spezza with Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil is a recipe for success.

Hartsburg said if Spezza doesn’t have success playing with rugged wingers Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil, the next stop could be the press box for one of the club’s highest-paid players.

It’s pretty clear to me that Hartsburg does not have the attention of this team.  I don’t know exactly why that would be; whether it’s that they don’t respect his systems, his decisions or his methods, but whatever it is they’re not playing for Hartsburg and they’re apparently, not playing for each other either.  Here’s a comment I posted on The Sixth Sens (he sees Daigle people) website in regards to sticking up for Alfie when Jere Lehtinen squashed him into the boards.

free willig said…
Here’s the reason sticking up for Alfie is worth more than 2 points. Because if we’re not willing to stand up for Alfie, (or anyone else for that matter) then other teams can just run our guys without fear and pretty soon we’re playing our entire Bingo team (literally or literally). And, I would also argue that a team that is not willing to stick up for each other is not a team that has any chance in the playoffs. If you’re not playing for each other, you’re going nowhere. Lastly, your suggestion of Kelly (or someone of his ilk) challenging Lehtinen is EXACTLY what should have happened. It’s not about sending a heavyweight (if we had one) out to beat Jere to a pulp; the code is about making him accountable in a fair fight. That’s all I would ask. Lastly, (really this time) There is nothing to say that this would be mutually exclusive with gaining two points and it usually charges up your team.In finishing (no really), it bothers me when people who lay a clean check are made to drop the gloves. That’s just ridiculous, but Lehtinen’s hit was not clean. Not penalized, but not clean.        

To be sure, there are other issues with this team.   There’s not one defenseman on the team who is a threat to carry the puck up ice and make a play and honestly, I’m convinced that if we had just one such defenseman, you would see some of our forwards come out of their scoring slumps as offensive pressure from the backend opens up space for the forwards.  But, one thing you can always control and the one thing you absolutely have to bring to the rink every night ESPECIALLY if you’re challenged a bit offensively, is a physical game.  And that, my friends is coaching or lack thereof. 

In closing, is anyone else getting tired of the same quotes from the coach “we’re not putting in a 60 minute effort” and players “we’ve got to be better” after every loss.  Please find something new.


3 Responses to “Back On The Blog”

  1. Temujin Says:

    Not much effort out of the Sens tonight, either.

    Coach needs to go.

  2. freewillig Says:

    yeah, that was sweet.

  3. Open Letter to Jack Edwards « Hockeyschlock Says:

    […] Changes They’re always fun, aren’t they?  I was on record calling for Hartsy to go, back in December.  It made sense back then.  There was still the […]

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