Archive for the ‘Game Reports’ Category

Misery Loves Misery

January 11, 2009

It looks as though some of my friends at the Ottawa Bloggers Collective finally found the point at which I arrived on December 17th.  Welcome to the club.  Now go grab your knives and start slicing at your fingers. 

Now, to catch you up on what I’ve been up to, since I know that’s why you all come here.  This has landed me a 5 day stay in the hospital.  Yes, the Senators weren’t happy enough just crushing my mind, hope, dignity and hope (did I say that already? sorry), they’ve also crushed my pancreas

In my absence, the Senators lost 4 games.  So, let’s bring Brian Elliott up to the bigs and throw him into the fire for the Rangers game.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the move and it is likely to lead to Martin Gerber being waived so that will get one albatross from around our necks.  But, I just hope that whatever results they get from the “boy” (I think he’s 23 now) are tempered in the eyes of the overlords, by the sorry state this club is in. 

The Elliott Report
The first goal wasn’t his fault as it came on a scramble in front of the net and the Senator’s defensemen didn’t clear anyone out.   I didn’t love the second goal as it came from a bad angle, but it was from a mere 12 feet and perfectly placed in the top corner on a bang bang play.  All in all, I would call this an unqualified success for Elliott.  Sure, he didn’t win, but I don’t expect the Senators to win any more.  A 2-0 loss is the moral victory; we’ll give the boys a silver star for not losing 4-0 (that’s about all the Rangers can muster, I would say)  Elliott didn’t give up any stinkers, a GAA of 2.00 is pretty good as is a Sv% of .920 and he made some damn nice saves.   There was nothing in this game to deflate the poor boy’s spirit.  Ding ding; an angel gots its wings.

The rest of the guys played like they’ve been playing.  Wade Redden coughed up one of his patented cross ice, attempted zone clear give aways, just like he has every game of his life….wait, oh yeah; wrong team.

By the way, I have no comment on the Carrie Underwear “story”, except to say I hate country music.   Far as I can tell, hockey players have been dating, marrying and generally carrying on with their lives for 100 years now.


You Decide

December 24, 2008

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

Take Another Sip From The Bowl Of Fetid Putrescence

December 21, 2008


And that from a game the Senators won.  It was abundantly clear that this was a game between two struggling teams.   The best part was really the end; partly because it was mercifully over and partly because Jason Smith got the game winner in overtime; his first point as a Senator.  Yes, his FIRST POINT.  You’d think in 30 games, he would have lucked into a second assist or something, but no.  The way the Sens celebrated, you would have thought they’d just won a playoff series.  Oy!

Gerber has a stinky five hole.
This was easily the worst game I’ve seen Martin Gerber play.  Anyone who has followed the Senators at all knows just what a powerful statement that is.  The Dallas announcers were even making fun of him.  One of the niceties of having Centre Ice, is that every now and then, you get a telecast that doesn’t take you to commercial but you continue to get the announcer’s conversation at commercial breaks.  These guys were really making shit out of Gerber and then they toned it down a bit but kept it going during the telecast.  “This thing looks like it’s headed to a three point game here again tonight….barring another shot on goal at Gerber’s end….”.  Hilarious!!

We use words like honor, code, loyalty….
The Senators use them as a punchline.  Alfie gets cleaned out and sent to the lockerroom on an illegal hit from Jere Lehtinen.  I do not care that it wasn’t penalized.  No one watching that game would argue it was a clean hit.  Even the Dallas announcers thought it deserved a penalty and I would say it deserved 5 minutes.  There was no answer by any Senator.  The fact that it wasn’t penalized should further dictate that retribution is exacted.  This is your CAPTAIN, you jackasses!  The one player on the team this team that absolutely deserves better than this putrescent season and you can’t even stand up and be counted when he’s cleaned out?  

And I thought I was embarrassed by this team up until now.

This win means nothing.  Sure, Vermette got off the schneid with his first goal in forever.  (how does someone get ON the schneid?)  Sure Spezza looked like he gave a shit (Heatley still doesn’t).  Sure Cody Bass would have hit his mother if she was on the ice.   This was still a win against a bottom feeder.   Win the next two and then we’ll talk.

The Lonely End Of The Rink

December 20, 2008

If I had money in a gambling account, I’d bet against the Senators tonight.  Oh, lookie there; I do.  First time I’ve ever laid a wager against the Senators.  It feels funny; like I have headcheese in my shoes.  

I don’t expect a thing from the Senators tonight.  The Devils are hot and the Senators are playing with 4 revamped lines, so chemistry will be an issue at best; comedic at worst. 

I am immediately rewarded for my insolence with a Devils goal a mere 40 seconds into the contest.   Wheee!  Luckily, this torture is going to be broken up as I must leave shortly to take my wife to dinner.

[cue the elevator music]

I’m back; that was some good mahi mahi.  The Senators gave up a power play goal just as I was turning on the car to listen on XM.  I promptly shut it off and went with music.   

Laugh It Up
Doc Emrick, play by play man for the Devils; known in hockey circles as one of the best at what he does, has been referring to Alex Picard as Alexandra Picard (presumably because it’s spelled, Alexandre) and Christoph Schubert as Christian Schubert.  He has a block with Schubert’s name as I’ve heard him make that mistake in the past. 

Other funny stuff includes the afore mentioned Christoph Schubert falling down a lot and the Senators trying to enter the offensive zone when no one has a clue where their linemates are going.   It’s a regular 3 car pile up. It’s also hilarious watching the Sens try to exit the defensive zone.  Oh, and all these goals they’re giving up are gut busters too.   Remember when at least our penalty kill was good?  Senators lose 5-1.  What laughs!! 

My 42 inch plasma for a number 1 defenseman.
The answers are not going to come from within.  The Senators will likely roll up 3 more losses before the Christmas roster freeze is over.  They have a chance against Dallas, but it’s not a good chance after traveling tonight while Dallas sits in Ottawa and watches them play the Devils.  Road games at Philly and Calgary you can pretty well write off.  If this happens, the Senators will likely be 12 points out of a playoff spot.  The only question is whether they retool a touch or trade a piece of the core.  I guess they could just continue to suck and take a shot at the first pick in the draft, but after Melnyk came out and said they’d be in the top 4 teams in the conference, I doubt that’s the course they’re looking for. 

An Ottawa scout was in Minnesota this week; discuss.

That Thud You Heard?

December 17, 2008

Was the sound of my crest falling so hard it was felt in Ottawa.  I’m not going to say I don’t care about the Senators.  I will always care.  What changed for me last night?  I was no longer surprised, hurt or angry about losing to yet another team we should beat.  I will also no longer be able to summon joy when we win.  The wins won’t matter because this team is going nowhere unless there are changes in personnel.  I’m not interested in a trade for trades sake.   It has to be a good hockey move.  There are too many possibilities out there to speculate on what that might look like.  We’ll know a good hockey trade when we see it. 

No Longer Dejectedly Yours,

Free Willig
Hockey Schlock

Ants On Ice In Red Shirts, 2. Ants On Ice In White Shirts, 0.

December 16, 2008

At which game, one Freewillig was heard to have said, “My gawd, we’re even worse in person”. 

The Worst Thanksmas Ever
I happened to be in Milwaukee for Thanksmas last week, so I grabbed the wife, bro-in-law and his wife and made the trip down the Chi-town for the good ‘ol hockey match at the United Center; that souless, hollow, life-sucking cavern of a basketball court hockey rink.  Our seats were at center ice, 13th row of the upper deck.  In most hockey arenas, those wouldn’t be half bad, but here…..well….let’s just say that I was able to identify most of the players on the ice by their skating style and nothing else. 

I have more than enough Senators’ sweaters for everyone so we were some of the few decked out in Sens gear.  I was wearing my Havlat sweater for it’s ironic qualities and I would later come to regret that particular move.  We had planned to get to the arena by 6:30 for a 7:30 game, but if you’re at all familiar with Chicago traffic, you won’t be surprised to hear that we pulled in to the parking lot with just enough time to get a beer and get to the seats for the anthems.  (I don’t ever want to hear the operatic version of O Canada “sung” by the guy at the United Center again.  Yick!)   My wife has a friend (he played guitar at our wedding, actually) who is a manager of the food service at the United Center so he had promised to get us into the bowels of the building.  I had a quest; one which will not be fully revealed in this space just yet but more on that later.   The friend (we’ll just call him “Steve”….that’s his name) said he’d just catch up with us after the game and show us around then.

The Peroni Report
Most of the game, I spent with my head in my hands; alternately disgusted with the Senators’ play or with the complete stoning by Huet on the few great chances we had.  I’m sure this game was not as bad as it looked from the haze of the upper deck; it’s a torturously slow game from that far away.  Luckily, I was sitting next to some very nice Hawks fans, so I had some decent hockey conversation AND they have Italian beef sandwiches and Peroni at the United Center so not all was lost. 

Postgame and I Fear I’ve Jinxed Our Boy
Steve showed up at our seats with 30 seconds left in the game.  I thought we were just headed for a tour, but instead, he leads us to the autograph pen.  I had brought along a t-shirt to deliver to Cody Bass and that was my main goal for the evening; getting the shirt to Cody any way possible.  That seemed like it would be no problem at all now that I was behind the scenes. 

This is where having 4 sweaters along paid off.  I took off my Havlat sweater and was wearing my Cody Bass t-shirt.  Marty Havlat passed within 2 feet of me and I gave some thought to asking him to sign my sweater, but it just seemed weird.  Wife thought it would have been flattering, but I don’t know.  Some of the guys filed past and I gave a few words of encouragement; some of which were acknowledged and some just blown off.  I even gave the Manatee a “nice game”.  Heater had a group of kids from Madison, Wisconsin in attendance.  I guess he still does some charity work there, so he was occupied.  I didn’t have my Heater sweater along anyway.   The guys were remarkably good about signing stuff for the few Sens fans in the pen, given just how crappily they had played.   Alfie came by and signed the sweater my sister-in-law was wearing.  My wife has always like Neiler because he’s always really good to the kids along the tunnel at the Xcel when they play there, so he signed the sweater she was wearing.  Fish then came out and I flag him down to sign the sweater my bro-in-law was wearing.  I had Cody’s shirt in my hand, so I asked Fish “Is Cody still in the room?  I have to get this t-shirt to him”.  He looked at me and I pointed out the shirt I was wearing.  He laughed and said “I can give it to him”.  I guess there’s no one I’d trust more to pass something along.  I told him I really appreciated it. 
We had already been there an hour and with a two hour drive, we decided not to wait anymore.  Our friend walked us around in the underworld and I passed within two feet of Scotty Bowman, so that was a treat.  I was struck by just how freakin short the guy is. 
I think it would have been a helluva lot better experience had they not played like such shit in the game; I would have been much more chatty with the guys but all in all, I guess I’m just happy to be able to ‘mail the package’.  I will freely admit that it was quite weird being a 40 something guy, asking guys 10 years my junior for autographs.  It’s the first time I’ve gotten autographs in person.  Not sure how I feel about it. 
As you probably know by now, Cody Bass has been sent to Binghamton.  The unveiling of the T-shirt will just have to wait.  I hope he liked it. 

Me Sees Feces

December 9, 2008

A game-ish
That was an experience I don’t want to repeat.  Due to injuries, the two most dangerous players on the ice for Florida were Bouwmeester and McCabe and the Senators pissed the first two periods down their collective leg.  When is this bunch going to get it into their heads that they’re not good enough to take any team in this league, lightly.  And that’s what it was folks; plain and simple.   If I’m Jay Bouwmeester, I’m thinking “why in hell would I want to play here?”  If we play like this on Wednesday, we’re going to get Coyote’d

The highlight of the night for me was Garry Galley saying, ” Better be aware of Florida’s backside”

I’m out
I’m on vacation through Monday, which includes taking in the game in Chicago on Wednesday.   I look forward to writing that report for a great many reasons. 

Let’s talk about other stuff.  Erin had an interesting post about the Avery ordeal.  I’ll admit that I’m one of those guys who was embarrassed for manhood by what Avery said.  I never engaged in “locker room talk” even when I was regularly in locker rooms, so to hear it out loud and caught on camera offends my sensibilities.  So, tonight when my wife got home, I asked her the question.  She had heard about the Avery thing (and she pays zero attention to hockey; when she goes to a game, she spends 60 minutes talking to her friend), but didn’t know specifically what he’d said.   I laid out the entire scenario for her.  Her response?  “That’s not so bad.  That seems like a really long suspension for THAT” 

What it boils down to really, is that the NHL and the Dallas Stars are tired of Avery’s act.  The punishment doesn’t fit the particular crime, but Avery is being punished for years of just being a huge dick (even guys use terms to slag their own gender).  He broke a different Code; he didn’t leave it on the ice and everyone is more than happy to pounce on this opportunity to rid themselves of a menace.  Amazingly, Avery had never been suspended before and it’s because he had made his comments to guys while inside the boards.  And that’s where the hypocrisy of the NHL is so evident.  As long as the general public doesn’t get wind of it; so what!  I’m sure he’s said things that would make most of us want to rip out his knee caps.  Rumours of racial slurs abound and he made a cancer “joke” to Jason Blake.  

I will not be the least bit saddened if I never see Sean Avery in the NHL again, but I think the Stars are just happy to have a “reason” to rid themselves of this guy.  And honestly, I’d like to cut the guy a *little* slack and think that his request to get counseling is NOT just a ploy to “look like I’m doing the right thing”, but I just don’t buy it.  I think he saw the reaction of the Stars organization and thought “I really stepped in it this time…I better think of something quick”.

Have a nice career in the KHL, Sean.  Watch out for staph infections.

Brian Burke
Will be a colossal failure in Toronto.  And by that, I mean he will never get the team any farther than Pat Quinn did.  He’s got a few years grace period and 3 years from now when the Leafs finally make the playoffs again, everyone will say what a great job he’s done getting there, but three year’s after that, the Leafs will be no closer to a Cup.  Vancouver was a perennial playoff team while he was there, but no more.  The Ducks won a cup mostly because Bryan Murray drafted well.  Burke was smart enough to know that he was staring at a losing proposition in Anaheim.  The team has no where to go but down.  They’ll be losing some key components in the next couple years.  Neidermayer and Selanne will be gone to retirement.   Pronger will be a free agent.  The prospect cupboard is pretty bare for the Ducks.   (this sounds all too familiar).  Burke simply got out at an opportune time.   And now he’s on to the Leafs.  His personality is big enough to deal with Toronto, but his acumen is not enough to fix what’s ails them.

I Think I’ve Seen These Guys Somewheres Before

December 7, 2008

This holiday season, I’m thankful for the love of a good woman, a warm fire on a cold night, the singing of birds, and the Centre Ice Package.  I love having the Centre Ice Package, but I have two complaints:  1; For the majority of games, Centre Ice will show the feeds from both the home and away telecasts (to the extent that there are two telecasts of the games), but in the case where the game is coming from Canada, we in the US do not get the game in high definition even if it’s broadcast that way (and they all are).  2;  If the second telecast is a game being broadcast nationally in Canada on TSN or CBC, we don’t get their feed at all and are relegated to the local schluff.   Given the choice, I generally will watch a Canadian telecast because the quality of announcing is such a step up, that is worth giving up high definition.  There are a few exceptions (hi Doc Emrick; Billy Jaffe how ya doin’) but I don’t watch a lot of their games to begin with. 

The Senators have seen a LOT of the Penguins over the past two years.   This is the third of four meetings this season and we’ve have a couple of playoff matchups each of the last two years as well.  Familiarity breeds contempt in the NHL so I’m looking forward to this one.  The last game I thought the Senators really gave a full effort was against the Penguins last March. 

Steigerwald and Errey start off with “you gotta love Lyndon Slewidge”.  Alright, that’s a nice bit of love.  I’ll take it.

First Period
Ruutu, Bass and Neil start the game.  I’m liking the message that sends: “Get’s yer asses puckered boys, it’s gonna be a rough one”.   Fisher’s line with Vermette  and Donovan also look like they want to hit and it takes a bit to get a hit out of either Vermette or Donovan; for the love of Christ, why don’t we do this every game.  I guess the Penguins bring out the best in the Senators. 

Steigerwag says Neil isn’t a heavyweight; that he won’t fight Godard?  Bullshit he won’t!  Chris Neil is valuable simply because he’s not an embarrassment on a regular shift AND he’s willing to drop ’em with the heavyweights.  He’s not going to win a lot of those bouts but he has my respect for stepping up.  Here’s a guy who wrestles with guys 40 pounds his better and gets in, and takes decent shots. 

The Pizza line is dominating early, but Sabourin looks sharp…how does that happen?  I guess the same way it happens for Mount Bauldinator; some guys just take longer to find themselves in the NHL and it generally happens this way with goalies, defensemen and Markus Naslund. 

Look at me; I’m not bored
Very entertaining first 10 minutes for a 0-0 game.  The Senators are all over the Pens.  Shots are 8-2 and the Sens have hit the post on a gaping (I love that word) net.  Still, the Penguins have missed on some passes to wide open skaters in shooting position so it seems they’re not really clicking today.

Steigerwad waxes “Shean Don with blinding speed.”  Oh please…the man skates well; above average.  Keep the hyperbole to yourself.

And that’s the best hit I’ve seen this year
Alex Picard got completely cleaned out by Brooks Orpik when trying to hold the puck in the zone.  Good on Picard for trying, but WOW, what a jolt!  The physical play really picked up for the last 2 minutes of the first period.  Both teams got in some good licks.   

Period two
Alfie blocked a shot on our end and then left the ice for the dressing room, after which, Spezza scores on a wrap around and the Sens finally get off the schneide.  It’s probably not that long ago, but it seems forever since the Sens had a lead in the first period.

We’re halfway through the game and there hasn’t been a penalty from either side.   This is probably a very good thing since the Penguins power play is some Lon Chaney- hairy ass-scary shit. 

Welcome back, Kotter
Alfie back on  the ice with 11:15 left in the 2nd and lookie what we have here…another goal by Jason Spezza.   2-0.

I’m gonna pound you, sucka….or something…..
As I said, bullshit that Neiler won’t go with Godard and he did ok too.   He gets inside and unleashes a few upper cuts, but takes some bombs to the side of the head.  Stick tap for you, Neiler!

Oh, my fargin’ head
Brooks Orpik has had quite a game; first he lays out Picard and then he runs the Spezz Dispenser into the turn buckle.  I’m impressed Spezza got up off the ice after his head was rammed into the glass; not only that, but he got up Giggling.  There are going to be tough times ahead, challenges to be faced, blind passes to the other team, but I’m willing to take my chances with Giggles.   

You feel shame
The Sens take a couple penalties in the middle of the stanza and the second one burns them.  It was really one of the headiest play I’ve seen by Crosby; he makes a slap pass from the wall to Staal in the slot.  Staal needed only to angle his stick to put it past Auld from 15 feet away.  The brilliance was the pass; Crosby with the deception first, and putting it right where it needed to be second.  Awesome! 

Say hello to my little…uh…. hat (hee hee)
Giggles bounces one off Letang from behind the net for the hattrick.   One manifestation of all the criticism Spezz has taken is that he’s shooting the puck much more.  Dare I say he’ll be over 3 shots/game this year? 

Third period
Anton Volchenkov clearly likes a challenge.  He has been absolutely stellar defending Crosby all day.  The fact that he doesn’t get a lot of mention in this space should just make you feel good about him.  And it was a mere 4 years ago that people were questioning whether or not he had it in him.  Here endeth the question.

Pittsburgh is really forechecking hard now.  Senators are going to have to figure out a new route out of the zone because the Penguins are sitting on the “around the boards” move.  It seems a great many teams have figured out that the Senators go around the boards too often to clear the zone and the forecheck sits on it. 

Last call for bus service to Morrisburg, Watertown, Syracuse and Binghamton
Brendan Bell shows why he’s spent 5 years in the minors.  On a Senators power play, he whiffs on a pass and then half asses it back while Malkin walks in for a shorty. 3-2  How Bell didn’t recognize the danger of Malkin is beyond me.  He seemed paralyzed by the failure of the pass.  I’m sensing that the ‘boy’ has a 10 cent head. 

I’m not convinced
The Senators withstood the final flurry by the Penguins and held on for a win; a good win at that.  But, I really don’t believe this cast of characters will be good enough to get it done.   When you’re relying on Shean Donovan to be an answer to your secondary scoring issue…well….that’s just a recipe that leaves you with burnt toast.  With that type of effort, they will win their share of games and maybe even make the playoffs….if they bring that effort.  But, that’s not really enough, now is it.

Kovy Comes A Callin’

December 3, 2008

Again, no upside for the Senators tonight.  They’re playing a fellow bottom feeder and a team that played last night. 

Join the OBC, if you’re up for the punishment, over at Scarlett Ice for the live blog.

Ho Ho Ho And A Bottle of Rum

November 30, 2008

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

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.