James Day Preview: Ottawa Visits the Detroit Red Wheels

DET JDP

Hi, listen, shut up for a while so I can ask you about a stupid thing:
You know when you write a whole game preview and your computer just inexplicably fucking TURNS OFF and you lose everything you wrote and barely even remember what you were talking about in the first place? I know. Classic event. Story of both our lives. Hype jam? Sure thing!

That’s where I’m at. 

Tonight we see the return of Courteous Lazar to the line up after missing a couple of games with colic (Source: Lazar’s paediatrician). Colin Greening comes out as I am assuming the Sens brass wants him to focus on using that juicy chess club brain of his to rewrite his Wikipedia entry to convincingly show his history of being a first line centre complete with fake citations that can survive being corrected long enough for Craig MacTavish to see it doing some down-low research while he suddenly finds himself on the phone with Bryan Murray. Seriously its gunna be so sick watching Nail Yakupov playing on his off wing on a line with Chris Neil and Derek Grant on the penalty kill. HEYYYYYYYY let me be the first to talk about player usage!

Projected Lines 4 2nite:

MacArthur-Turris-Chiasson
Ryan-Legwand-Zibanejad
Michalek-Smith-Neil
Hoffman-Lazar-Stone

Should this game just be called “Prove us wrong David Legwand”? I really hope he can get something going tonight. I feel like duder owes us a bit of an awesome game. My expectations for him going into the season were pretty reasonable but the table’s set here. He’s not going to play with better linemates in Ottawa than those two…at least until he’s centring Turris and Karlsson if the Sens give up an early goal. He’s playing his childhood team and one that he actually led in points when he briefly played for them last season. Give us some of that quality Legwand that I’ve read so much about.
Anyway, I still like Chiasson on that top line. Not as much as I’d like Ryan up there but when you’ve got lethargic forwards like Leggy and up until recently Zibanejad I guess you have to use Ryan to get things going. Whatever keeps Turris – MacArthur together and Hoffman – Lazar – Stone intact. 2 out of 4 aint bad (Actually, sure it is now that I think about it).

What else? I don’t know… Clarke MacArthur has a 17.8 shooting percentage and its nearly December? Peace to the gawd.

Players to watch listen for: Justin Abdelkader
Expect to hear the name Justin Abdelkader a lot tonight. Is it because he is currently 2nd in team scoring for the Wings? Is it because Pavel Datsyuk is sitting out tonight and he’ll be relied on heavily? Nah, more just that Justin Abdelkader is seriously the most annoying sounding name. Ugh, its just this …sea of syllables. Every time we play the Wings its AbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkader. Enough with the Abdelkader. It’s fine at first but you’ll see after the 2nd intermission you’ll be muting your tv and will do your own commentary while the latest (greatest) Coke Boys mixtape is blasting in the background. What? Oh, like I’m the only one who does that. 

Update: They also have a guy called Tomas Tatar?

Other Update: They play together? Ugh. Can we just get this game over with?

Defense pairings? Only one we need to talk about.
Borowiecki – Karlsson. Borowiecki – Karlsson? I’m no expert coach but I’d have drawn it up a little more like this:

Freebasing Cocaine – Erik Karlsson.

I’d have even settled for:

Marc Methot’s bargaining leverage – Karlsson

The fact that Wiercioch has not been able to stay in the lineup let alone make a significant mark on this team has got me into “Who will we get from Edmonton for this guy?” territory. It sucks. There was a lot of potential for this guy but you when you see Methot miss months of time and Phillips get to play with Karlsson, uhhh, okay? I guess he’s very experienced? Then Phillips gets hurt and they pair him with Borowiecki over a much more experienced, left handed Wiercioch? That’s pretty damning. I dont care if they are both offensive defensemen. Wiercioch should straight up have more of the coach’s trust at this point in his development to fill in with EK over Borowiecki. Hell, even Cowen’s spent good time with the king. Well, not GOOD time but time. At this point I’m basically asking Patrick Wiercioch to bump his trade value for ALL OF OUR SAKES. Should this game just be called “Prove us wrong Patrick Wiercioch”?

Craig Anderson gets the start after a couple of solid performances from Robin Lehner. With four games this week on two sets of back to backs as always the result of the game will depend heavily on the performance of the goaltendi–.

I know, I know what youre thinking. James, first you talk about player usage and now how the goalies have to bail out the team’s tepid defense! I’m going broke having to replace all these burnt computer monitors from my sizzling hot takes.

Enjoy the game. Sorry about all this –

What’s that? I forgot to mention something-something Daniel Alfredsson retirement/emotions/retirementemotions?

MUST HAVE SLIPPED MY MIND THANKS 4 READING

James Day Preview: The Ottawa Senators Host the Nash Bridges

pred 2 JDP

Hi. What of it? Who cares.

Let’s get right straight into today’s Hype Jam presented by Crystal Lite:

You exercisers out there, you are the true champeens. KEEP FIT AND HAVE FUN MOTHERFUCKERRRRRRRRS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here’s the good news. The margin of error is huge here. Thanks to the Toronto Mapleaves basically anything north of allowing 9 goals will seem reasonable if Ottawa loses. If they take this baby to overtime? That’s basically like 3.4 spiritual victories right there! United in expectations! Cap Floor Makes Us!
K, here’s the bad news. The team we’re playing scored nine fucking goals in their last game. 8 different scorers too. E’rrybody feelin that fresh biscotti confidence right now. Which is nice? …for them?

Needless to say, the Sens are in for quite a challenging stretch of games playing the Preddss, the Winged Wheel and the Bluesmen twice over the next week or so. Daunting? Yes. Also a chance to make a statement or two? I JUST JINXED IT AND YOU’RE ALL WELCOME.
Let us be the seriousness for a moment. You wouldn’t know it by hanging around on twitter but the Senators have actually won more games than they have lost this season and are holding down a bubble spot in the ToiletEast.
Looking back at the team’s wins thus far, they have pretty much exclusively been beating hurtin’ ass teams (Columbus, Edmonton) and aight teams (Detroit, Minnesota). That alone is basically a better performance than last year but I cant help but notice the only very good team they’ve defeated so far was Tampa Bay in just their second game. When it comes to the high qual lot of opponents the Sens appear to be in the “Good for them for keeping it close and making a game of that loss” (like when they played Chicago) or “Hey came out with a point!” (like when they played Chicago) phase of things. Am I suggesting that they are due to beat a very good team like Nashville? Nah, nothing’s handed to nobody in this league (writing!) but I am hoping for them to surprise in a couple of these upcoming games as I cant help but look compulsively at the standings these days. Sure, it’s still so early in the season that less than 10 points separates Ottawa from the conference crown (not that I remotely expect that) but what I’m fixated on is that currently a mere 4 points could bounce Ottawa out of Wild Card territory and into what hockey historians call “the actual mix.” (Citation not needed as citations are a form of snitching).
Given the parity in the league these days, tiny point differentials in the standings tend to stick around all season, but still I feel like the longer the Sens can keep themselves above 8th place, the more they can get away with their average ways. *eyebrow wiggle, wink, tear*
With games in hand on a lukewarm Detroit, a lumbering Boston and a Toronto team that is currently a Diarrhea Factory that’s on fire and the only thing to put it out are high powered diarrhea hoses, the door is open for Ottawa to maybe move up a spot or two in the standings.
But again, HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY they are about to play a team that scored 9 fucking goals in their last game BUT AT LEAST THEY ARE ONLY IN FIRST PLACE IN THE CENTRAL DIVISION.

Your Starting Goalies: A Tradition of Respect…Continues.
Robinne Lehner gets the start in net. He is still searching for his first win since
1. The birth of his son Sycamore Aloysius Lehner
2. The creation of this assholish thing I came up with. What was I saying? Oh yeah,
3. Lehnny, c’mon, win the fucking game.
That’s simply a tremendous and helpful list right there.

Really though, I wish Lehner got a start on that road trip. I can’t be certain it would have resulted in more W’s and of course Andy has been playing out of his mind but therein lies a bit of an issue for me. You keep playing the hot hand in Anderson like MacLean did one has to assume that he’s eventually going to have a weak game like he did against Calgary. I tend to think that after a while you’re kind of playing Russian roulette with his sharpness. Whatever, I don’t fucking know (THANKS FOR READING) but I was really on board with the true tandem thing and now Lehner has to come in to a pretty huge game after not having played in about 2 weeks and is coming off of a loss himself. Hopefully he doesn’t look it because we really, really really need him at his best tonight (aaaaaaaaadoi).
Something called Carter Hutton starts for the Predators. In playing a goalie I have never heard of and at age 28 has fewer than 50 NHL starts, Nashville is carrying on a tradition of respect given to the Sens for a few years now.  Nashville is playing great and have some serious MFs on defense but I would love for Ottawa’s snipers to take advantage of facing so many backups. I would imagine that part of being the lowest paying team in the league that’s somehow in a playoff spot is capitalizing on teams underestimating you like this. Let’s stress out the Jason LaBarbaras of the world with high clappers and low blocker shots, huh?

Legs Will Be Wands.
Well, a big story going into the game is no doubt Coach Yod’s Psychedelic Rock Lines (available on gatefold special edition tie dye vinyl). The most controversial of all being the Greening – Legwand – Ryan line. A combo that I honestly can’t even picture those players’ friends and relatives even being stoked on.
David Legwand has not been well received so far and with fair reason. Having watched him in 17 games it’s pretty crazy to believe this guy put up 51 points last year.  What’s interesting for me is that he was brought on to insulate the center position and I was wondering how long it would be before MacLean needed to bump down a struggling Zibanejad and promote Leggz (assuming that has to be his nickname) so the 21 year old could regroup. Assuming the lines remain comme ca:
MacArthur-Turris-Chiasson;
Greening-Legwand-Ryan;
Michalek-Smith-Neil
Hoffman-Zibanejad-Stone.
What positives can be taken out of it?
Hmmmmm. *25 minutes later* …..Okay I got a couple of things!
The bizarre feeling second line of Michalek – Zibanejad – Ryan did precious little to warrant MacLean keeping them together, so I suppose were not “losing out” on it’s demise to the shuffle. I do in one sense get that if there’s a player who could spark a second line that as shitty as this one, it’s Ryan rather than Chiasson. In fact, Chiasson has actually demonstrated a pretty impressive affinity for deflections at the goal mouth or at the very least, posing a threatening distraction that goalies must deal with while MacArthur takes a glamorous shot (Of Note: Faces Magazine voted MacArthur’s shot Ottawa’s Sexiest Shot to pose a threatening distraction to on a first date). I don’t mind him staying up with 7 and 16.
*Completely skips over Michalek – Smith – Neil line* 
Listen lady, we’re all sensitive people with so much to give and we have to YOLO every minute of our stupid lives whether it’s in the form of helping your dad move his office over the course of an entire Sunday, buying a new shower curtain or enjoying a hockey game on a Thursday following a week of no hockeys.
To this end, before the season started, if you showed me a piece of paper with “Hoffman – Zibanejad – Stone” on it, I’d probably say, “That’s a pretty exciting piece of paper you have there. Some dynamic things written on it as well. Care for one of these Rolos? Bet you havent had one of these in ages! When I was a kid I used to like putting them in the freezer and– ” And it goes on like this. Anyway, that could be a pretty fun line to watch. I think Zibenejad has the potential to create a lot of space for Stone and Hoff. Hopefully this trio clicks to the point that they get more ice time than 9 -15- 25. A GIRL CAN DREAM AFTER ALL.

I’m not even going to talk about defense. Fuck it. Thanks 4 reading.

Enjoy the game and remember: A win is a win is a anything better than a 9-2 loss.

Scotchcast Episode 8: Emotional Times

BLESS UP! Join Cyber Badboys Varada, Steve and James as they make the tremendous life decision of drinking hard liquor on a Monday night and share their emotions, shitty ideas and MUSINGS about everyone’s favourite team the Ottawa Senators. Topics include their EMOTIONS 20% of the way into the spiritual journey that is their season, betting several trillion dollars on who’s getting the boot from the roster when Marc Methot is released from his underwater prison and other frustratingly delightful tangents along the way. They, as always, take on hardball questions from you the beloved listener. Enjoy!

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Ottawa That 1st Period Against Detro Tho Vs. Minnesota City Wildernesses

First off, Lest We Forget…Tha Pass 

The most Swaggerless team in the West, the Minneapolis Wilds, snooze into town tonight. GET HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPED.
This team is so boring that not even Matt Cooke, a player who gruesomely sidelined our Captain for nearly a year, will be in the lineup to make things interesting.
Mild Rant: Take this moment as a pleasant reminder that you gotta hear both sides. Matt Cooke is a changed man. Oh, that Achilles laceration? Why he was just trying to neutralize the back of Karlsson’s ankle with the blade of his skate LIKE YOU DO in the game of ice hockey. It’s called Old Tyme Hockey. A throw back to the good old days, like the time that Bobby Clarke used the classic “use your stick to break the other team’s best player’s ankle” defense technique.  Good clean fun. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, WHATEVER FUCK!

Just Nudge Me if I Fall Asleep Writing About These Guys (or don’t, plz).
An item of “interest” for tonight is the Wild’s banged up roster. Zack Parise will not be in the lineup for tonight’s tilt after suffering a concussion. He is their best forward. He…is not playing. Matt Cooke is probably serving time in piece of shit jail and is also unavailable. So are some their other defensemen/who cares.
The Wild are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Penguins and are beginning a 3 game road trip. Can Ottawa take advantage of these things? I don’t know. They only seemed to do so against the Syracuse Crunch feat. Curtis McElhinny so far this season…but they also kind of just beat Detroit’s ass so should be interesting. If they can come out of the gate like they did last game I feel good but defenseman Ryan Suter is apparently amazing despite never getting written about and is no one’s favourite player. Oh, and Tomas “Gamblor” Vanek has one goal on the year which is hilarious. The sniper has one goal on the year so far. Let’s not be the #AccomodatingSens and keep him on the perimeter and …uhh…ON the schnide? Is that how you use that? *looks up Wickedpedia.org/schnide* Speaking of having trouble in the biscuit department…

Kyle Turris Please Stay Chain Fliffin’ and Don’t Get Snakebitten

HAAAAAAAAAAN 
Gunna be the flyest at the grade 7/8 dance with that chain! Still needs a turtleneck but I still see you shinin’ my T.

Gotta feel for Turris after that Detroit game. He had what must have been quite a frustrating outing against a particularly sharp Jiminy Howard. First, he had a goal waved off for some reason (WTYKY is sad to report that Mr. Howard has since passed away from his injuries on the play. Please donate to his memorial fund here). Then after, that he springs free on a shorthanded breakaway and all the way from the Intensive Care Unit at the General Hospital, Howard manages to flash the leather and rob him…k..THEN AFTER THAT Turris is closing in on a two on one break (did I mention how awesome the Sens played against Detroit?) and who else but old Selke Trophy McGee, Pavel Datsyuk is the one backchecking on the play and makes an impossible takeaway on a goalmouth tap in. He even had other great chances on top of these! With 2 goals on the year and only one that counts, I really hope he can put one in tonight otherwise it could start getting in his head and no one wants that. He’s playing pretty well (though some more face off wins would be grrrrreaaaaat) and I would hate to see this slump go on. Considering he once went a month without one he’s capable of some Schnide Time but you know what? He’s a Platinum Angel who plays with Perfect Hockey Player Clarke MacArthur and Robby Bryan, I think he can get it done. This game will likely be decided by offense because as Sir Mix A Lot would say, things are lookin’ paltry on the back end.

And they said we were FOOLS for carrying 37 defensemen!
So on a D corps already so fragile that we had to turn to 36 year old Chris Phillips who was on the 3rd pairing last year to play with Erik Karlsson, we are now short one Big Rig. As a result we are going to see Karl play with a rotating cast of every left handed defender on the team. I am reaaaaaaaaally hoping that coming off a good game Wiercioch can actually run with the ball and kind of calm the shuffling down. Why? Oh just because Mark Borowiecki who has only played 29 career games is slated to start with Karlsson and this makes me … how you say…uneasy. Actually you know what? I bet Karlsson plays both left and right tonight and ends up paired with everyone at some point. Play along with Karlsson Pairing Bingo at home or on your Newton™ mobile device! The outcome of this game relies heavily on otherworldly play from Karlsson. So, business as usual, I guess.

Marc Methot Health Status Update: Still need to confirm but hearing from a couple of sources that Methot was seen gingerly doing the Shmoney Dance. Progress!

Craig Anderson gets a well deserved second consecutive start after one of his best performances of the year on Tuesday. Despite being a fan of his I can give him a pretty hard time for his inability to stop the first 10 shots of the game but he rose up to meet an big challenge that night. After facing only 2 shots in the first period (one real and one of the ‘trying to get one on net to pump the stats up in hopes the coach will be less mad at us at intermission’ variety) he stood tall and looked absolutely incredible as the Wings mounted quite the charge for the next two periods. Crazy hard to be thinking about Madagascar for a whole period then suddenly having to face like 30 shots in the next two.
Musings: I think this set goaltending tandem thing has really made Anderson up his game to prove that ain’t nobody gonna hold him down from being no.1. I hope he can stay hot but he’s going to need a lot of help from the forwards as…you know…dat D. Speaking of stepping up…

Non-Condraversy
Finally, I don’t know how long our boy is for this team (thanks untradeable Colin Greening Contract!) but I wanted to give some due to E. Hondra. This is a guy who is coming out of stays in the press box and playing consistently very well. That’s gotta be a pretty tough task. If I were him and I was only getting the odd game after being an steady roster regular for the past couple of seasons I’d be so distracted trying not to fuck up that I’d be playing like…Colin Greening. With Marc Methot’s impending return in mid-2015 (don’t hold me to that bold prediction!)  I worry that Condra’s useful skill set and reasonable contract will make him the odd man out when the Senators are forced to make a move. In the meantime, couldn’t ask for a better guy to insert into the lineup in a pinch. Shouts to you Conrdra.

Anyway, let’s go smoke behind the Quickie before the game.

The Ottawa Shot Differential Vs. Blue Columbia Jackets

See what we did there?

See what we did there?

*Looks up from filling Bronson Ave Petro Canada bathroom sink with hot water to warm up pack of Ramen noodles I found*

Huh? Oh! Hello haters.*hides noodles in hat*  I didn’t see you there. Welcome to this web-site.

So I guess you heard about the game tonight huh? And you want me to talk about it..Let me just comb through these post it notes that I’ve been using as napkins (want not waste isn’t!). While I do that,  enjoy today’s HYYYYYYYYYYPE jam:

Sorry I’ll find a song where someone’s a little more fired up next time. Still worth checking out if only for his interesting takes on doing what you love and the importance of having extendos. *invests in company that makes tattoo removal equipment*

So the last game is an interesting example of the thin line the Sens have been walking so far and the season we might be in for. Recap: They gave up a ton of shots, took a bunch of penalties and great goaltending plus solid penalty killing kept the game flatteringly close. An impressive push in the third period almost saw Bobby Ryan net his now trademark late tying goal but here’s the thing: He t’aint gonna be able to do that every time. It’s amazing he’s already done it twice this year but it’s too much to expect on a regular basis.
If he puts that feed from Karlsson in, they probably come away with at least a point. In this case, he comes up short and they lose. I’m not the first to point this out but this is the great risk we are in for with the return of the Penske Sens (Penske: Official Moving Truck of WTYKY, visit Penske.net to book yours today!).
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out over time. The Sens losing 2-1 on the end of a back to back on the road to a team as good as Chicago? I can deal with that. Losing at home to average at best New Jersey who were themselves on a back to back playing their backup goaltender in a game that the Sens should have been fired up as FUCK to play? That smells a little too much like last year’s inability to get up for very winnable games to make me comfortable. Ottawa has struggled to put up the points to put teams away lately and I present to you a big reason why…

Will the real Michael Zibanejad please stand up score points.
For a guy who’s played in every game so far this season, my G’s stat line is looking similar to a few dudes who get scratched regularly…or, you know, worse. I wrote in the off season how I think to expect in one season for Zibanejad to jump from a 33 point promising young player to 50+ point solid second line stud is a bit much. Now, notice in the bold print I said points not even goals necessarily. To shuffler extraordinaire Paul MacLean’s credit, he’s been giving Mika steady time on the second line. Yes, Mika’s had the tough task of a lot of defensive zone starts (43% or 43.2% if you want to be a dick about it) but approaching the 10 game mark? I was expecting an assist or two. He’s played the majority of his games with Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson. So for their combined 8 points Mika doesn’t even have so much as a secondary helper?
*Mark Borowiecki puts on his Mr. Assisty Assist 2014-15 sash*
No bigs right? After all, as the greatish Alex Kovalev once said, “Comes ze shootingz, comes Z goals.” Well perhaps most concerning of all is Mika’s lack of shots. He currently has 7 in 7 games and 0 in his last 2. That’s good for 13th on the team behind snipers like Chris Phillips and Zack Smith.

“But James, sometimes Zibanejazz is all about listening for the shots he’s NOT taking.”
- Michael Jordan, Gambler, Probably Bad Father, Rayovac Renewal Rechargable Batteries Pitchman.

Shut the fuck up, Mike Jordans. For the amount of ice time he’s been getting and quality of players he’s been skating with, not to mention power play opportunity he’s had, 0 points and 7 shots is pretty unacceptable. He’s been doing well at the face off dot but goddamn if crappy old garbage me expects more from a second line centre, I’d imagine the coach does as well. What I’m worried most about here is that if this continues, it could lead to a confidence destroying trip to the pressbox. Seems crazy but if you think MacLeezy wont something tells me the coach wishes a motherfucker would. Remember they sent him to Binghamton just one year ago.
In all, I think Zibs can erase this panic pretty quickly by getting a few pucks on net because as a fan of his, I would say his greatest attribute is his shot. Homie can get the puck off his stick in a hurry. Channel your inner Lazar, Mika. Yeah that’s right I went there. So Pretty please with sugar on top…take some shots, score some goals or else the coach could get psychedelic with your ice time and no one wants less stability in this lineup. And…

This is the part where I talk about Jarrod Cowens
Aight. It’s already challenging as a fan to be patient with this whole new world/new exciting point of view that is the musical chairs of who gets scratched and who plays.
Sarcastic Aside: This is BELOVED by people who try to write game previews in a timely fashion!
The bad news for the foreseeable future is that four of the most frequent healthy scratches, Cowen, Wiercioch, Greening and Erik Condra make a combined $9, 000, 000.00 or to put it in yeoman’s terms, roughly 16% of the team’s overall  payroll. You can just simply throw “Best Players Play” out the window until scientists find a cure for whatever Marc Methot died of.
With the exception of maybe Condra’s $1.25 million, sitting these guys hasn’t exactly been putting Joe Corvo and his $900K in the pressbox indefinitely. Just to add some “fun” irony, the relatively cheap Condra has been the best off the bench performer of these four guys. Cowen who’s been sat the most makes the most too at 3.1 million. Couple in the fact that he’s still in that “Be patient, maybe he just needs a wake up call” phase of his career you can expect to see him more as the season goes on regardless of how he plays. Pains us all, probably MacLean most of all, but with an owner as spend averse as Melnyk, a player who makes that much is going to get some games. So here we are, this is one of them. You can probably thank the Sens hot start for giving MacLean enough wiggle room to sit Cowen as much as he has up to this point. Two losses in a row and here he comes. Perhaps most disappointing in this whole affair is that Patrick Wiercioch has not exactly made the strongest case to permanently bump him from the line up. A pretty big opportunity blown. Why have one disappointing young defender who’s failing to live up to what they were projected to be when you can have two?
At any rate, Cowen has been bad so far but I’d like to think he’s still capable of A good game. Is that crazy to ask? ONE good game from a guy who has over 150 under his belt? Columbus is playing the notoriously tough first game back home after a West Coast road trip. They’ve lost two straight and are playing their 4th game in 6 nights. Catch a sleepy Columbus forward in the trolley tracks. HACK THE BONE JERRY COWEN. Make a couple of nice passes or something. Just help make us all be less mad at you.

Lehner’d Skyn…nyrd….whatever, thanks for reading.
Coming off an extremely strong outing where Anderson graciously allowed only 2 goals on 45 shots (an insane 34 in the first 2 periods alone) Craig will get the night off. Incredible Hulk protégé Robin Lehner gets the start (a-doi). With the upcoming schedule busy as it is (HEYYYYYY would you look at that Ottawa gets to play Chicago AGAIN later this week #blessed), it’s good to be able to rest your starter and have another good goaltender play in their stead. ISN’T THAT RIGHT TEAMS WHO’VE BEEN PLAYING THEIR BACKUPS AGAINST US AND WINNING? Dare 2 Dreeme.
Ugh.
Anyway, I don’t have much negative to say about Lehner’s play so far this season. I think Anderson’s been far more positionally sound but you can’t teach Lehner’s brand of Highlander jazz.
The Lehner has given the team just as much of a chance to win as Anderson. To his credit, Lehner doesn’t even have one of those 3 goals on 6 shots in the first period nightmares like Andy does, so that’s nice(?).
I know it’s their team identity, and this is going to sound cray-zay, but to me, the big key to victory is for the team in front of the goalie to actually show up and play some defense in the second period.  Yes, I’m being unreasonable but in Lehner’s last start, New Jersey was limited to 7 shots in the first. Period ends, zero goals against. In the second, NJ’s shot count doubled to 14. The result? 2 goals, a lead going into the 3rd  and a serious momentum shift in the game  caused by bad babysitting which all ties into that whole thing about we can’t expect Ryan to tie things up with the saving of the bacon game after game.

Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovski was added to Columbus’ already hefty injured reserve list today. Fresh off the IR himself, Curtis McElhinney gets the start for the Jean Jackets. I’m not actually counting this as much of an opportunity as our beloved Sens have been unable to take advantage of this type of thing in a couple of recent games. Need to stop making backups and third stringers (ahhhh my liiiife) look good.

Lastly, a get well soon to Nick Foligno who was injured on a very scary collision in LA two nights ago. Glad it wasn’t more serious. We’re sending our healing vibewaves to you, homie. Here’s to making a full recovery, Nicky.

K, enjoy the game, eat your fries, eat em.

James Day Preview: Ottawa Vengaboys host the Colorado City Snow Hurricanes

Whaaat is the deal with my compete level of late!?

Whaaat is the deal with my compete level of late!?

First, let’s get HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPED: 

(seriously unlistenable after like 1 minute…and I LOVE terrible music)


Recap Re: Crap
Kind of a crazy terrible looking game against the city of  Florida. Thrilled to get the win but man that was a character building experience to sit through. Look, I know I’m coming in hotroversial here but I really think the arena crew down in Sunwater, Florida could stand to cut back to at least half the sand they are using in their slush/sand/ice mixture. The ice was pretty bad in Tampa too as evidenced by Steven Stojko losing the puck on his shootout attempt (salut les hateurs!).
I am very excited to watch the Senators play ON GOOD CANADIAN ICE (thumbs up) and complete more than four or five passes during the course of the game praise be to Jah, Lion of Judah for he makes all things possible *Takes huge hit of eucalyptus flavoured chemical mist from Vapegun™*

Phillips still in the game like Jack Lalanne (that’s an old guy, I know, it’s a terrific reference! Gracias quatro el reading!)
I’m just as concerned as the next “Joe Water Bottle Full of Silent Sam Vodka in My Desk Drawer at Work” about Chris Phillips getting over 25 minutes a night. Not only is it unsustainable but there should be I don’t know…SEVERAL guys who should be getting this assignment ahead of him but you know what? He’s looked great the past couple of games. He looks like the Phillips who just a handful of years ago you’d put out to neutralize players like Alex Ovechkin and could actually handle that assignment. Get well soon Marc Methot but pretty crazy that Phillips has been able to step in during this time of need. He will be in for quite a test against the speedy Avalanches but remember one thing my G…just pass it to Karlsson and if Karlsson’s not open, pass it to him anyway and Karlsson will figure it out…with his miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiindlegs. I’m just kidding around Phillips doesn’t need to be told that. He would never try to carry the puck for more than 3 feet. Seriously, have fun watching for this tonight. It’s a game within the game (within the game within the game).

T’aint Misbehavin’
I know I’m jinxing this but Chris Neil has ZERO penalty minutes in three games. I gotta take my hat off to the guy. If the Sens are going to improve this year, staying out of the box is going to be right up there with the need for otherworldly goaltending and I think the former greatly helps to allow for the latter. Ottawa’s goaltending wasn’t stellar last season and it certainly didn’t  do Craiger and Robbie (peep the super duper casual first name basis) any favors that they had one less person helping them out constantly and often (that’s right C&O).
Don’t get it twisted, I still think Neil has some serrrrious flaws with his game that are worsening with age but, hey, I can get into Chris Neil keeping his nose clean. My expectations DONE been managed considering he once racked up a team-helping 144 PIMs in just 48 games the year of the lockout. Whatever fuck. The point is last year Chris Neil had his highest penalty minute total since his rookie season which HEYYYYYYYYYYYY was over a decade ago. You cant teach singlehandedly putting your team on the PK for an average of almost 3 minutes per game, that’s why they give you a letter. This ain’t fahntasy hockey. PIMs don’t help. Penalties happen, they’re always going to happen but on a team with as delicate a structure for success as this one you gotta avoid them. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’ white boy.

Wow, props to Christophers Phillips and Neil. Bizzarro season in full effect.

Craig Anderson gets the start in net. That’s right I’m saying it. I will no longer be a slave to the tyranny of Paul MacLean announcing the starting goaltender during the national anthem. I’m calling it. Babygirl has been the starter for years now and is coming off a shutout win. It’s gunna be Andy in goal tonight for the home opener and you know what– What’s that? The Coach announced that Anderson is the starter hours ago? Well looks like I was right. Hmph.

Craig will square off against Sam Varlamov who’s allowed 10 goals in 3 games to start the season so maybe Anderson will face him and Reto Berra. Reto Berra is definitely a player that we’ve both heard of. Also, the name Reto. Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetooooooooo.

Light a Mupdate (3:41pm): Varlarlmalarlov is a James Time decision. He hurt his dumb groin being stupid (probably)

Anything else about the Avalanche? They are a perfect 0% on the power play.

OH NO Greening and Cowen are healthy scratches! What are we supposed to complain about?
Oh good, Mike Hoffman is scratched too. That was close. Resume complaining but complain amongst yourselves if you don’t like it because I think it’s the right move. With over 600 players currently on the roster we are going to see dozens of people sit night in and night out. I thought Condra looked great against the Panthers.. He looked more dangerous than Hoffman did in the previous two games. Don’t hate Hoffy’s game or anything but Condra was a presence in his shot and I’m glad to see him rewarded for a strong game.
Courteous Lazar draws in to the line up on hat trick I MEAN hat trick I mean….managed expecthattricks.

Should be an exciting game as neither team plays defence.  Enjoy!

Don’t forget to tag all of your tweets Sens related or otherwise #DANGERFLUTES Not part of DANGERFLUTENATION but want to joint the movement? Learn more here.

James Day Preview: Ottawa Karlssons vs. Trashville Predadirts

legwand

Please to be clicking on this before you start reading:

*waits less than patiently for 5 seconds of Toyota Venza ad to pass* 

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Let me be the first to formally say iBienvenidos a sus años del Carlosson! 

After one of the most exhilarating and optimistic off seasons in team herstory, we emerge from under a pile of melted plastic lawn furniture to cheer OUR Ottawa Senators and their actual playing of games! Now we’ll have some filler to enjoy betwixt arguing about the use or non-use of advanced stats, why we’re upset over Patrick Wiercioch’s lack of playing time or Marc Methot’s contract negotiations (Ed note: Hey dickhead, sign that goddamn contract, you’re being offered years of riding shotgun with one of the world’s best players who’ll probably help you get your next contract too…so, pretty please, STFU and go make millions of dollars already) and get down to some NHL Hockey: The Most SENSUAL Game On Earth’s Ice™. I really like the new slogan the league is going with.

Tonight we officially(?) enter a new era of the team. With Spezza having split, Karlsson at the kontrols, and a cornucopia of kidz on the roster, only one thing is certain going forward: That I remain committed to terrible and insufferable game previews.
COME AWAY WITH ME:

The Kids Are …on the team Alright.
I for one have been waiting for the torch to be passed to a new generation for quite some time now. I’d say since about the trade deadline in 2011 to be exact. It has been a less than smooth ride so far but here we are.
With greenhorns Courteous Lazar, Mark Stone, Alex Chiasson, Mika Zibanejad, Mike Hoffman, Cody Ceci and Mark Borowiecki making up about 40% of the starting lineup I am really getting what I wished for…and more (Borowiecki)
As exciting as new blood is, I am practicing the ancient art of managed expectations. Why? A few reasons:
– Despite making a serious bid for team captain, Lazar has never played an NHL game. There could be a few nerves under that steel.
– For all of our top 6 wishes and coke caviar dreams, Mark Stone will be playing only his 24th career regular season match tonight.
–  Mike Hoffman is a dynamic young player…who has 6 career NHL points btw.
WAIT WAIT COME BACK! I’M NOT TRYING TO BUM YOU OUT I’M TRYING TO LIGHT A FIRE UNDER YOU!
I actually love how the coach is handling this.
Lazar and Hoffman will start the game under the responsible and disciplined eye of Chris Neil on the fourth line. Meanwhile, Stone will play under the nurturing bosom (sorry, weird of me) of veterinarian center David Legwand (who I sincerely hope scores a goal tonight) and workhorse/clotheshorse Zachariah Smith.
Lazar and Hoffman get the chance to be a little creative while Neil creates penalties space and Stone gets to play shotmaker with a couple of hard working, rugged guys. If Smith and Legwand can crash and bang and get some pucks loose around the front of the net, hopefully Stone can do some of the precise garbage collecting that he’s made a name for himself with.

Gabbin About Tha Gawdz: Top Six Talk
The Platinum Angel express line of MacArthur – Turris – Ryan needs no introduction. Is anyone still adjusting to Clarke MacArthur being one of their favorite players? Me neither. Let’s move on.

The second line of Michalek – Zibanejad – Chiasson is the most intriguing to me. Zibanejad goes into this season with perhaps the most pressure on his Swedish shoulders of Persian-Finnish decent. Coach MacLean has spoken many times of the need to remove the adjective “young” when talking about certain players and he feels at just 120 games and 21 years of age that Zibanejad falls into that Boyz II Men crowd.
As a second line centre he’ll have to put up around 20 more points than he did last season to be considered a success. It’s a steep increase but if he gets the steady ice time that a 2nd line centre should and can play very consistently in that time, it’s possible. However if MacLean gets into his “Everyday I’m shufflin'” business, well, let’s try to keep in mind that he’s 21 and not be too mad at him. Patience. That’s what Legwands R 4.
Milan Michalek is a speedy, defensively sound top 6 winger who puts up around 20 goals or better per season. Lots of fans hate him because something-something injuries. I honestly can’t hate this guy. He’s not the flashiest player in the world but he’s certainly not a liability and has great potential if he can stay healthy. And before you pelt me for sticking up for him, let she/he/they/zhe who is without complaint that Ales Hemsky did not re-sign here cast the first rotten tomato.
Lastly, Alex Chiasson makes his debut to refreshingly little fanfare. I am not going to fan the hype flames either. I want to just let him rock and see what he can do. He is known for coming in…I forget how that goes, but he tends to start the season scoring goals which is exciting because we need those. Apparently Alex had a disappointing season last year by finishing with 33 points. That’s as many points as Zibanejad had to earn him a top 6 spot to start the season so…Either Dallas’ standards are high, the Sens are low or THIS.
I hope these guys can gel quickly because that is a fast, big line to have coming at you.

Cowen is on the first pairing. 
Lets pretend this isn’t happening! *takes 10 Zoloft* Ahhh. If there’s one player on the team who can possibly carry this guy it’s Erik Karlsson. God speed to BOTH OF YOU.

Phillips – Ceci…Over the hill old man balances out inexperienced rookie to make one awesome middle pairing defenseman? *freebases crack cocaine until further notice* 

Gryba – Borowiecki … Go out there, have fun, and don’t get suspended. Seriously, don’t get fucking suspended.

I have little to say about the defense tonight other than this will be a goddamn psychedelic rock ride. Good luck to each and every last one of us.

Greg Anderton gets the start in net, naturally. He currently sports a 1000 save percentage and 0.00 goals against average. Let’s hope he can maintain those numbers (past the first 10 shots of the game, which will likely come in the first 4 mins b/c see above). What else? His new mask is a different version of his old mask. Oh and his cat’s breath carries a hint of cat food smell.

Oh right about Nashville…lots of new faces here. Human jack-o-lantern Oli Jokinen, the NHL’s first half man – half Chihuahua Mike Ribeiro, Ottawa’s own Derek Roy, and the rest (James Neal, Anton Volchenkov). Damn these guys got up to some stuff in the off season. I’m basically hoping that they need a bit of time to adjust to each other and that our boys can take advantage of that. Olive Garden menu stalwart Pekka Rinne gets the start in net.

ENJOY THE GAME AND GO SENS GO!!!