James Day Preview: Ottawa Visits Texa$ with a Dollar Sign (to borrow money)



Hey there hi there HO THERE. Whew, sorry, off to a bit of a rough start here. Let me regroup…Bob Cole style:

Hockey. Tonight. The Ottawa Sens. The Texas Stars. Captain Jaden Spenzza looks to get revenge on Captain Al Silfversson. OH! BABY!

Area Goaltender Proving Doubters Wrong Despite Years of Goodness:

Put your handerson in the handerson of the manderson who stopped the puck…derson.
Craig Anderson everybody! BAMBY! BAMBY! BAMBY! I don’t care who the opponents were, the bald headed beast has turned away the last 61 shots he’s faced and that’s the kind of momentum he needs going into a game against the high octane offense of 3 goal DYNAMO Ales Hemsky. Yo, shit is quiet for your man Hemsky.
Remember when letting him dip and keeping Michalek was a disaster? Heady days. I didn’t think I’d be saying “well at least Milo is a solid 3rd liner” when re-examining that turn of events. Yeah, we’re good for 4th liners who can put up a goal total that you can count on one hand here in Ottawa, thank you very much.
“I can’t really hurr…what Ales say because I have my 4 goals pluggings my ear” – Z. Smith, person who is currently outscoring Hemsky.

Heyyyyyyy, raise your hand if you would prefer Hemsky’s contract pushing fellow right winger Mark Stone down the lineup ‘til 2017? Me. Neither. Bullet dodged.

Gathered crowd in unison: “JAMES STOP HATING, STOP HATING…*sniffle* he’s already deaaaaaaad!”

(Exclusive Video: Me, hating)

BACK OFF, I still need to bring up when Alex Chiasson was a huge disappoint to us all last season and ended said season tied with Hemsky’s 11 goals. Imagine he made 4 million instead of  900K?  Or you can picture David Legwand but making an extra million bucks and signed for longer. Did we lose that Spezza trade? I don’t know, I guess but less we forget that Spezza put up fewer points than Turris last year…and currently does this year as well.  Don’t even get me started on how overlooked it is that Dallas somehow failed to make the playoffs. Must be nice playing in Texas where no one gives a shit about the quality of the team until further notice. Like Milli Vanilli said, “Blame it on the not having Patrick Sharp despite having the Art Ross winner last year” <– relatable problem.
I know, I know that was last year, this is this year and now they’re kicking everyone’s ass. *Slowest clap in human history*

EXTREE EXTREE Stacked Team Does Well.

The most heartwarming story since “LA Kings Overcome Adversity of Winning Cups and Find Way to Be Good Again”.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, fuck this stupid team. #Analysis

 *Looks up at heading* Whoa this started off being about Anderson? K. Tonight he will square of against Antti Niemi. Yes, the goaltender so good he wasn’t resigned by the team he just won the Cup with. Yeah, and if that’s not enough, SAN JOSE thought they were too good for him despite his getting a Vezina nod while playing for them. Round of applause for the Goalie Game Rodney Dangerfield. With only 4 regulation losses on the season, Niemi has been in net for 3 of them. That’s the start of the exact combination of Dallas playing down to the Sens and Ottawa being at their best that’s going to be needed for this thing to work.


Speaking of the Sens being at their best…

Please welcome back Colin Greening to the familiar confines of the healthy scratch ranks. We’re all still reeling trying to figure out what Matt Puempel did to deserve this demotion other than put up 1 goal in 17 games despite getting numerous chances to prove himself? I mean, Colin Greening got 26 games before being sent down to the AHL! *Rimshot*

If Prince and/or Puempel were making a strong case for themselves I’d be hot over this but in truth I can’t say that either player have done so. Maybe a bit more time in the AHL, where he recently scored 30 goals, can get Puemps going again.
In the meantime, hey,  Greening gets one game during this call up? I don’t know, I’d almost be curious to see if he was hungry enough to bite someone’s arm off to keep from riding the buses. If not. Well, business as usual. He goes back down to Binghamton until 2017 AKA Clarke Macarthur’s glorious return to the line up (Get well soon my sweet, sweet prince).

Do I have anything to say about the actual game? Hmmm.

With the majority of the high end players playing quite Zestily™ right now there’s not much to say in regards to them (thx 4 reading). Well, actually I should bring up Lindy Ruff’s pre-game comments where he said that you could swap Karlsson’s and John Klingberg’s jerseys and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them. *Needle skips off record, Internet goes DEAD silent, glass breaks in background* 
King Karl, you really gunna let this guy talk about you like that? You have two fucking Norris Trophies, my pal. You’re the current leader for a 3rd despite having to play with Mark Borowiecki when Marc Methot’s out of the line up. So some punk comes along and gets to make break out passes to Jamie Benn and failing that Tyler Seguin and failing that Patrick Sharp and failing that Jason Spezza? Go rip Antti Niemi’s still beating heart out of his chest protector. Klingberg wasn’t playing on a power play with CHRIS NEIL at the beginning of a Norris winning season. Fuck outta here. Go roof these guys in their own barn.

Wow, I just blacked out.

Since no one askesd, here are some of the lesser skaters I’d love to see have a good game:

Alex Chiasson – Boyo, you’re getting steady time on a good line. Quite literally could not pick a more perfect game for you to have a big night against the team who gave up on you…you know, so this team doesn’t give up on you.

Milan Michalek – You go out there and show em who the REAL overpaid bottom 6 Czech National with top 6 pedigree is!

Shane Prince – B, despite my tough talk earlier, don’t think I’m rootin’ against ya! I don’t ACTUALLY want to see Colin Greening get a chance. Now, go out there are HAVE SOME FUN! score a goal look like a much, much better option than Colin Greening.

Cowen-Ceci Pairing – Self-explanatory



The Hater’s Guide to Week 8

This is a weekly feature that takes an uncharitable look at the Senators’ upcoming opponents.


Me, aging gracefully (not pictured: you, rocking Forever 21 but you just turned 30)

Tuesday, November 24 – Senators @ Stars

Ah, Dallas, another one of those teams that you forget has already won a Stanley Cup, although in fairness, most people in Dallas probably have as well. But Dallas’ improbable, triple-overtime 1999 Cup win is really more Buffalo’s entirely probable, fully inevitable Cup loss, isn’t it? Keep plucking that chicken, Buffalo. I will say that as far as teams that have left Minnesota go, the name “Dallas Stars” works a lot better than “L.A. Lakers,” although locals still frequently refer to the team by its unofficial nickname, “Not Quite Cowboys Tickets”.

Hey, you know who nobody seems to talk about much anymore? Dallas’ second-line centre, Jason Spezza. Remember him? Tall guy, #2 overall pick, former Senators captain? Anybody? Spezza’s still getting it done at 32; these days he doesn’t warrant nearly as much attention on a team that’s surrounded him with young offensive talent, but he’s still got the highest ticket on the Stars’ roster at $7.5M for the next four years. Yowza. Dude is going to look like Richard Attenborough by the end of that deal. Thankfully, the Senators trading Spezza was one of those clean breakups where both parties won; one gets to start over in a new town with a clean slate and a fresh reputation, and the other gets to laugh every time they see their ex on Facebook wearing a cowboy hat.

PREDICTION: So far this season, Dallas has been “the best team in hockey”, which is exactly the position you want a team in before it takes the Senators for granted and fails to prepare. Look for Alex Chiasson, who had a point in his dramatic return to Dallas last year, to quadruple that effort in this game, and for Jason Spezza to turn the puck over to Mark Stone at every opportunity. Senators 5, Stars 0.

Wednesday, November 25 – Senators @ Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche have one major point in common with the Ottawa Senators, which is that Stats People hate them, and one major point of difference, which is that the Avalanche have a terrible record whereas the Senators continue to be awesome. I’m not saying you’re wrong, viz kids. You’re just wrong about the Senators. Tell me how you’re not. See, you can’t.

Why have the Avalanche crashed back to earth after succeeding wildly as a poor possession team not much more than a year ago? I mean, they’ve still got a number of great players, and also John Mitchell. Some blame their coach, the super-chill Patrick Roy, whose management strategy to date has been “depend on PDO even though I don’t know what it is”. Some blame regression by their goaltender, Semyon Varlamov, as if a guy with Varlamov’s rap sheet could somehow regress any further. Some blame the moral pestilence that has taken root in Colorado since the enactment of Amendment 64. Like most complex hockey analysis questions, it’s probably some combination of all three.

PREDICTION: Denver is literally the “mile-high” city, with significantly lower air pressure than at sea level. Thin air can cause altitude sickness and even delirium for those not accustomed to it; it also results in lower coefficients of aerodynamic drag, allowing heavier bodies to move more quickly with less air resistance. Look for Chris Neil to be a superstar in this environment. Senators 5, Avalanche 0.

Saturday, November 28 – Senators @ Coyotes

Before you roll your eyes at what’s likely to be a poor turnout for a November game between the Senators and Coyotes, remember that a Saturday night in suburban Glendale offers a lot of options for your entertainment dollar. You can take the kids to the Challenger Space Center. You can take your wedding ring off and hang around Home Depot. Hell, you can find a garage cockfight in five minutes if you’re looking for one. So in that light, does anyone really expect people to go to the rink at the mall and watch a hockey game involving some weird, budget NHL team they’ve never heard of? That being the Arizona Coyotes?

We were talking before about breakups. This game will by Kyle Turris’ fourth return to Arizona as an Senator, and his first as an undisputed, on-pace-for-forty-goals first-line centre. If Jason Spezza looks back on his time in Ottawa as the kind of relationship that just ran out of runway after eleven years, then his replacement Kyle Turris probably looks back on his time in Arizona as the kind of relationship where he was tied to a chair in a garden shed for three years being force-fed gruel and bible verses until the SWAT team pulled him out. That’s not a breakup as much as the inspiration for years of Count of Monte Cristo-style revenge. I have seen Twitter wags joke about how Turris’ goal song should be Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”, because of his ubiquitous gold necklace. Rather than that feel-good divorce-rock, however, Turris’ performance in this game should be soundtracked by any of several GG Allin songs, none of which have titles that can be printed here.

PREDICTION: The Coyotes beat the Senators in October in a game in which you may recall Milan Michalek’s nugatory brother Zybnek concussed local sunbeam Curtis Lazar. Lazar fights now, so look for him to reenact the end of Rocky III on Zybnek Michalek, and most of the rest of the Coyotes’ paltry roster while he’s at it, as the Arizona fans still in attendance grudgingly stand to cheer his leadership. Look for Milan Michalek to send his brother’s widow a ham. Senators 5, Coyotes 0.

Season prediction record: 10-5-5

Next week: Really having a problem figuring out an angle on the Blackhawks. Any ideas?

The Chet Sellers and Luke Peristy and James Podcast


Image courtesy @Capital_Gains65


If you’re not a listener to the weekly regular intellectual podcast that Luke Peristy and I do over at Silver Seven, that’s cool, no judgment. There’s a lot of listening options out there and you’ve only got so much time in the day. Some nights you work a double and just need to unwind with your Neil Diamond LPs, I get it.

BUT! James joins us for this week’s show, which means you get a full 50% of the Welcome To Your Karlsson Years writing staff talking into a single microphone. That, my friends, is value. Join us as we break down Jared Cowen’s attitude, throw shade at our haters, and do simultaneous Michael McDonald impressions. The greatest story ever told? You decide.

Episode 26 of the Chet Sellers and Luke Peristy (and James) Podcast

Shane Prince gets the Mike Hoffman treatment and other thoughts

(Content warning: 12&13 discuss Patrick Kane, domestic violence and sexual assault)

  1. Matt Puempel was sent down today and joined the BSens. It’s hard to say that it was a move necessary to get Puempel additional playing time as he’s been consistently in the lineup and played decent minutes. It makes more sense that he was sent down because he hasn’t done much when in the lineup. Maybe Ottawa wants to bring up another winger from Bingo or something or get a different look at someone else. It’s clear that Puempel hasn’t made the most of his opportunities.
  2. Why was Puempel a fixture in the lineup for so long if he wasn’t exactly noticeable? He’s essentially hipster Curtis Lazar. Puempel’s smiley, plays a two-way game, is responsible on the ice, and has been given leadership responsibilities in rookie tournaments and pre-season. The essence of coachable. Oh, and a first rounder too.
  3. It’s not that I think Shane Prince isn’t coachable, but it’s not a stretch to suggest the organization isn’t enamored with him (that rumoured trade request out of Bingo probably doesn’t help). Think some of it is just style of play though. Last season Mark Stone was a darling and Mike Hoffman was inexplicably dropped down the lineup. The rational was Hoffman’s defensive awareness or lack of it and the preference for the two-way Stone suggests there are some rookies Dave Cameron and co are more comfortable playing.
  4. Now, I don’t think there’s anything in Prince’s game to suggest he shouldn’t be playing and he’s at least been better than 25, 15, 90, and 27 when he’s been in the lineup. Prince even made the fourth line look good when he played with them. He’s absolutely someone who can help this team and with the various top-6 vacancies (McArthur, Stone, and Hoffman) is someone who can actually keep up as part of the top 6. However, he’s an offense-first type of player and given his inexperience at the NHL level, I’m not shocked he’s been kept out of the lineup. I think it’s the wrong move, but think that’s what’s going on here. Cameron has questions about his defensive game so he sits.
  5. Craig Anderson needed to be better. And he is. Andy is a zone right now and that’s a good thing because Ottawa’s defense is still porous.
  6. Excited to watch Ottawa play the Stars this week. I still have some questions about Dallas, but watching that high-powered offense play Ottawa’s defense should be…interesting. Good thing Andy is playing better.
  7. Mike Kotska was called up after the unfortunate injury to Patrick Wiercioch. I don’t follow the BSens closely so what follows might be complete crap, but it seems like the right move regardless of whether he plays or sits in the press box. He’s a vet with ample NHL experience for a call-up (70 games) and he’s used to splitting time between the AHL, NHL, and press box. His development isn’t going to be harmed if he sits out a few weeks and it’s hard to imagine he’d produce worse results than some of the combos the Sens have put out there this season.
  8. It’s got to sting if you’re Freddie Claesson though. He’s been in Bingo for a while now (it’s his fourth season with the BSens) without a sniff of NHL action. He’s a left-shooting defenseman and the Sens, like most teams, have a glut of those. He doesn’t have the offensive upside of guys like Wideman or Wiercioch or the size of someone like Cowen. He feels like someone who’s not really in the organization’s long term plans.
  9. Ottawa’s fourth line had a really good game against Columbus. However, Ottawa’s bottom 6 hasn’t been as good this season as they were to finish the season in 14-15. There’s only so much you can do with that fourth line that must include Chris Neil and Zack Smith. Where it’s really hurting is on the third line. I think Michalek is having a decent year, but Pageau has slowed from his start and Curtis Lazar is still young I guess. During the run last season, Ottawa was a great three-line team and they need to get back to that.
  10. Jared Cowen physically contained a slumping Voracek last night with a couple big hits which is an achievement for Cowen. But it reminded me of a lot of other “Cowen back in the lineup” games. Remember when he came back from injury against Carolina, had a big hit on Jeff Skinner and a fight? He makes a big physical statement then the physicality just sort of goes away, he doesn’t use his size effectively in his own end, and just reminds you of the old Cowen pretty quickly. It’s because Cowen doesn’t get so much of what’s going on around him and rejects the valid criticisms of his game. It’s an adrenaline rush, not an actual adjustment.
  11. Don’t love Garry Galley in the booth. He celebrates a lot of things about hockey I don’t like. He was big on praising Cowen last night but failed to emphasize miscues like giveaways and failed zone exits. That’s not a criticism specific to Galley, lots of analysts don’t notice or comment on this stuff in real time. I get that it’s hard, but it’s also their job and just leads to more interesting and useful analysis.
  12. Speaking of commentators, Nick Kypreos made some pretty offensive comments regarding Patrick Kane during Saturday night’s Chicago-Vancouver game. Kypreos was referring to Kane’s offensive totals this season when he said Kane “wants to shove it down peoples’ throats”. It’s a totally inappropriate phrase given the rape investigation surrounding Kane to start the season but it highlights larger issues in the hockey broadcasting community. For starters, those who go on TV to discuss NHL hockey on regional or national networks need more training for how to discuss topics such as domestic violence and sexual assault professionally and respectfully. Unfortunately, such incidents aren’t going away and it’s thankfully getting harder and harder for mainstream media to just ignore these cases. Do your job and do it better.
  13. But it also illustrates what too many in the broadcasting community believe: that assault victims lie and the true victim is Kane in this specific case. I’m sure networks like Sportsnet are telling their employees not to discuss certain things about Kane’s rape investigation. But if employees like Kypreos really believed domestic violence and sexual assault are serious crimes and that victims (not just perpetrators) need to be treated fairly, they’d take steps to ensure they talk about assault and rape investigations differently. If they really stood with victims, with women, the unscripted parts of Hockey Night in Canada or weekly intermission panels wouldn’t refer to Kane shoving anything, they wouldn’t use language that suggests consent is optional. They wouldn’t use chicken shit terms like “incident” to describe violence and rape or talk about players like Kane overcoming “adversity”. But that’s what they do. If TV’s hockey experts didn’t think all women were liars, they wouldn’t frame excellence on ice as proof of Kane’s innocence off ice. But that’s what they do and that’s what Kypreos did last night. It matters not to pundits like Kypreos that Kane was on pace to win the Art Ross last season before his injury; that he’s contending to do so this year justifies all of Kane’s actions, Chicago’s gross incompetence and revolting behaviour, and the league’s continued negligence.

Mike Hoffman and the cost of improving Ottawa’s defense

So you say you want a top-4 defenseman (or *gasp* two)? Cool. This makes a lot of sense. Ottawa’s sieve-like blueline has been a problem for a few years now (really since Zdeno Chara left, but who’s counting). The pairing of Jared Cowen and Mark Borowiecki have been predictably among the worst pairings in the league and unfortunately Cody Ceci and Patrick Wiercioch have modelled their current play on the example of 2 and 74. Don’t pine for Eric Gryba, if he was still here we’d be talking about having five defensemen who should be healthy scratches (an embarrassment of riches!). Even Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot haven’t hit their stride yet. Boro looks better playing on his natural side with Chris Wideman, who’s been decent, but this is more like that moment at the end of Titanic when Rose climbs on that door but Jack, despite his significant experience as a carefree outdoorsy American, somehow forgets that timeless lesson of how to climb on a dock with another person at the same time. Now one problem pairing is being kept afloat, but the water is still rising on another.

We don’t need more life jackets, we need some lifeboats (or not to hit the iceberg in the first place but you know). I’m not really one for trade speculation. I’m not into prospects for much the same reason. I’ll talk about them from time to time, but those things are beyond my control and not the most productive use of my time (but if you’re into it, cool, and Trevor at S7 had some potential targets). Still, this problem has lingered for so long that it’s now a common topic of discussion between me and industry experts (it’s Luke, I talk to Luke about this a lot). I’m all for trading for a top-6 forward if it improves on our current top-6, I’m a fan of the ‘improving the team is improving the team’ school of thought, though I’d still prefer this improvement happens on defense first.

The thing is, it’s going to cost a lot to get the necessary improvement. There are lots of teams looking for top-4 defensemen and few teams with a surplus of quality blueliners (maybe St. Louis, Calgary and Anaheim have suggested they’re willing to deal). Yes, there are still holdouts like Boston who don’t seem to think quality defensemen are something you want to stockpile, but generally, the league is starting to value these guys a lot more, both in terms of salary and trade value.

My point is, if your hypothetical trade packages hinges on Curtis Lazar being bankable, Jared Cowen’s involvement, or a depth player like Zack Smith, it’s not likely to fly. Maybe Cody Ceci and PW are appealing to another team, but neither player is going to get Ottawa a top-4 defenseman. Everyone’s forgotten about Colin Greening. Picks are an option, but given how the Sens misjudged their playoff chances after the Bobby Ryan trade, not sure they go this route. Shane Prince might be interesting as part of a larger deal, but it’s a reach to suggest a top-4 player for him. It’s hard to imagine another GM getting excited about Matt Puempel or most if not all the players, currently in Bingo. It’s not that they’re all bad (though that Bingo blueline is thin), it’s that other organizations are full of similar players/prospects. Nobody’s as high on Freddie Claesson and Tobias Lindberg as the Sens organization, that’s how these things go.

It’s going to take Mike Hoffman. I mean, maybe not Mike Hoffman, it could be Mika Zibanejad or Mark Stone (but not really because he is locked up for another two years on an affordable deal, the organization understandably loves him, and he’s a golden god), but it’s going to be a player who already has some decent NHL numbers, is youngish, and still has potential upside. So, no, not Milan Michalek. Hoffman makes the most sense because the organization, for whatever ill-conceived reason, doesn’t seem to value him as much as those other guys. Hoffman’s good, generates offense, has a terrific shot, and has a cheap deal that can easily fit into a lot of budgets, even at this point in the season (seriously, $2 million). He’s not the perfect option as he’s not locked up beyond this season but that’s not a huge problem as he’s still an RFA at the end of the year. He’s not a player you want to lose if you’re the Sens, but it’s probably going to cost a lot to sign him to his next deal and the blueline situation is critical.

If you don’t want to give up a player of value like Hoffman, trade with Colorado I guess. Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy are real winners.

The Hater’s Guide to Week 7

This is a weekly feature that takes an uncharitable look at the Senators’ upcoming opponents.

Me, eating so many shrimp (not pictured: you, running your chain)

Me, truthing it (not pictured: you, lying. Why are you always lying?)

Monday, November 16 – Senators vs. Red Wings

Unlike most of their local industries, the Detroit Red Wings just keep coming back. This is their third game against the Senators this still-young season, and it’s starting to look like the Wings, who were expected to battle the Senators for third in the division – third! As if there were any doubt the Senators would steamroll the various doormats and poltroons of the Atlantic – are Bad. The Red Wings sit fifth in a weak division, tied with Buffalo (which is not considered a contender) and Florida (which is not considered a hockey team). Their third-leading scorer is eight years old. Within a month, opposing teams will stop drawing up offensive schemes during pre-game strategy sessions and simply stare at their whiteboards trying to figure out their current point total plus two.

The Red Wings are not only Bad, you can rest assured they are committed to getting worse and staying there. Last week’s big news out of Detroit, other than the NFL electing to dissolve the Lions on the basis of general incompetence, was the seven-year, $30M contract awarded to 28-year-old Justin Abdelkader. If the name doesn’t seem familiar, reading it here, he’s the one you thought they were calling “Applicator” the last time you watched a Red Wings game. Abdelkader’s career high in points is 44, so when you can lock that guy up at four million a year until he’s 36, you do it. As the Senators begin to emerge from underneath their own ill-advised contracts with guys old enough to be Quaid brothers, it’s good to know their rivals are picking up the slack.

PREDICTION: Monday’s game is Polish Heritage Night at the Canadian Tire Centre; the Senators have only ever had one Polish-born player, that being their first goaltender, All-Star Peter Sidorkiewicz. You may recognize him as the handsome fellow that’s been leading off the Hater’s Guide for the last few weeks. Look for the Senators to handle the Red Wings easily, and for the CTC scoreboard to honor Sidorkiewicz during a first period TV timeout as he sits in a box drinking champagne he had to bring himself. Senators 5, Red Wings 0.

Thursday, November 19 – Senators vs. Blue Jackets

The Red Wings are Bad; the Blue Jackets are somewhere worse than Bad, somewhere down in that strata below Bad that’s typically reserved for Kevin Smith movies. The Blue Jackets are so bad they just hired professional screamer John Tortorella, like the NHL is the Steve Wilkos Show and the Blue Jackets are a weed-dealing 15-year-old who needs to be scared straight. Tortorella is the kind of super-chill guy who’ll march a flaccid six-inch meatball sub back to a kid making $9 an hour at Subway, bellowing without a trace of irony, “I don’t know how you have the TEMERITY to call yourself an “artist”. Thomas Kinkade was an artist. THIS is an EMBARRASSMENT.” And the kid will have no choice but to stare ahead blankly, much as Nick Foligno is probably doing right now.

Tortorella has actually overseen a pretty reasonable dead-cat bounce from the Jackets, who are 6-5 under their new coach after starting the season 0-7. Sadly, their recent wins have come without veteran forward David Clarkson, who suffered a back injury two weeks ago and has been placed on injured reserve. Clarkson, you’ll recall, was the Leafs’ prized seven-year, $37M free-agent signing who played so badly that they were pleased to trade him to Columbus for a guy with a degenerative back condition who will likely never play again. The rest of the NHL was stunned by the deal, in the sense that Clarkson was like a fine bottle of gin, if that gin was being sold at a gas station and the word “gin” was in quotation marks; it turns out this isn’t even illegal, because nobody thought anyone would actually buy it. Get well soon, David Clarkson.

PREDICTION: It’s always nice to see an ex-Senator come home having gone on to bigger things; look for Nick Foligno, now the leader of the Blue Jackets, to feel nostalgic for his time in Ottawa by drawing several goaltender interference penalties. The Foligno-Methot trade is one of those rare one-for-one swaps both teams can feel good about, in that Nick Foligno is a dependable captain, and Marc Methot is the ocean. Senators 5, Blue Jackets 0.

Saturday, November 21 – Senators vs. Flyers

Finally, the Flyers, those sleazebags in fluorescent orange who have been cheap-shotting dudes since the 1970s, much like your Uncle Vernon who works construction and likes Wild Turkey. We all expected the Flyers to be Bad and they have obliged us by being exactly that, although a quick perusal of their roster gives us every indication as to why. They collect Schenn brothers like Pokemon. Their second-line center is Sean Couturier, or as he’s referred to these days, “the extremely poor man’s Mika Zibanejad”. They signed Vincent Lecavalier to a long-term deal during a year that started with “2”. And I haven’t even mentioned Andy McDonald yet.

There was some speculation in recent years that Bobby Ryan, a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey (also known as “Philadelphia’s Aylmer”) was itching to sign with his hometown Flyers, presuming this was a universe where Bobby Ryan would turn down $49M from the Senators a year before anyone else was eligible to offer it to him. I never understood this argument, particuarly since I don’t remember anyone saying the same thing about Flyers captain/good Orleans boy Claude Giroux and his hometown Senators. You don’t need to play in your hometown, you know. You can always go back during the off-season, keep a pied-à-terre, help out some buddies, get arrested. The world is not that big a place; we have the Internet now.

PREDICTION: Nem Floyers suck, yeh? Must be somethin in the wooder down yere. Senators 5, Flyers 0.

Season prediction record: 8-5-4

Next week: The Mountain time zone – the continent’s most pointless time zone.