20.08.2010: In which we feel unappreciated and you don’t make love to me the way you used to

Conrad to peter, James
show details Aug 18 (2 days ago)

The Hockey News, via Puck Daddy, predicts its standings for the Eastern Conference:


They predict Ottawa will come tenth. With the caveat that they are making these predictions in fucking August, and so said predictions are thus both ridiculous and futile. Though it is August and there’s nothing else going on unless you count the women’s tennis in Montreal (which, actually, I do) and so: what do you think? Fair or unfair?

peter to James, me
show details Aug 18 (2 days ago)

Ho snap! It’s on like Grey Poupon!

I saw this and was about to email you guys but Conrad beat me to the punch. To salt this festering wound I submit the latest Sports illustrated NHL power rankings as well


What do I think? The hockey news ones are bad but Sports Illustrated’s are a hundred time worse. Granted these aren’t final season prognostications but still the insult of the canes, thrashers and canadiens all being placed ahead of the sens is mind boggling. Affrontery of the highest magnitude. (I was unable to find a youtube video that accurately conveys my outrage.)

The single most popular complaint seems to be that there isn’t anyone to puck in the net. Seriously? I pray that’s the sens biggest problem. Seeing as how they had issues with special teams, injuries, goaltending and putting together 60 minutes of hockey last season. Asking who’s going to score is the biggest analyst cop-out, even for August. Obviously you need to score to win but its not the biggest issue and shouldn’t prevent them from making the post season. To wit, last year they finished dead last amongst playoff teams in goal differential with -13. (tied for 19th place overall).I guess no one think they can win 11 straight again, whatevs. I see them coming sixth.

So (name redacted) and I have a pretty cool bet going for this year’s MLB season, we picked two teams to win 100 games and two teams to lose 100 games. We’re adding up the totals and the highest number wins, or closest to 400 if no one makes the century mark. I was thinking we should do the same thing for the NHL only using the 45 win mark and 35 loss mark> (or we could pick a number of points) What do you say? It’s one thing to pick the teams you think will do well, its another to pick who you think will suck. Interested? We’d have to have some sort of draft since the oil and caps (topical!) would be pretty hot properties.

Conrad to peter, James
show details Aug 18 (2 days ago)

I agree with you about the scoring complaint. Back when the Sens were a one line team they were among the highest scoring teams in the league and all the analysts said they needed secondary scoring. Now that Fisher had a career year, we got some rookie support from Regin, Alfie had this 200th straight season with at least 20 goals, and we still had Michalek, Spezza and Kovalev to score timely goals, secondary scoring isn’t a problem…but we don’t have a first line that will score 125 goals a year so they jaw about that. So, they’re right: the Sens do not have six players who can score at least 20 goals. That makes it them and fucking everybody else in the league. Besides Washington, who still get boned in the playoffs.

I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I always find these preseason predictions extremely unfair to the Sens. Not because I think them finishing 10th is out of the realm of possibility, but because there’s no nuance. It’s not like these predictions will talk about the shift of team philosophy to a transition game and speculate on the effectiveness. It’s always Team A had Players X and Y last year, and now they have Players X and Z, and so = number of places up or down in the standings. Forget the absolute fucking crap shoot of it all. Or that every single person except for maybe James Mirtle is totally wrong all of the time.

But yeah, if I had to write 100 words about, say, the Minnesota Wild’s coming season, I would have absolutely nothing insightful to say either.

peter to me, James
show details Aug 18 (2 days ago)

James Mirtle was sent back in time by Colin Campbell’s great great grandson… Not sure who he’s here to protect, or what he’s even supposed to be doing at all? But he’s here and he tweets…

James to peter, me
show details Aug 18 (1 day ago)

Re: The Bet – 1. We buy a lottery ball machine split three ways, Peter gets it Monday, Wednesday I get it Tuesday and Friday Conrad gets Thursday and Saturday and we do a best 4 out of 7, 500m hurtle race every Sunday at 5am to see who gets it that day…oh and I just realized we also can use it to choose the order that we pick the teams with!

2. We need to bet something that is to be gained by the victor here…even if it’s only a mini pitcher of Keiths Dark. That’s the only way I’ll follow it. (if it is a mini pitcher of Keith’s dark and I win…you guys can have most of it).

Okay, Smooth Jimmy’s take on this:

This may be a touch of a tinfoil hat response but please gentlemen, indulge me:

Expanding my thought-grapes past the cozy hate -filled confines of the Greater Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto Tri-City area I am getting the impression that, much as we love them, we root for a generally disliked and routinely disparaged team. Being a longtime fan of this club I am uncertain if our geographic location in hockeyland has given me a thick skin as a fan or a thin skin. Though I scoff at remarks from leafs fans as getting to truly pathetic levels (fan site trolling) I also get very fatigued by the constant put downs.  I am quite certainly aware, as is any fan who can’t help but read message boards, of the taunts a-plenty and I am increasingly learning of their many angles.

All I know for sure is that the Senators sure seem to get put down a lot, whether it be in times of success or in Hartsbergian times. The team plain gets a hard time. Speaking of hard times, I have a hard time believing I can separate my bias from this subject but we shall carry on through this email, friends!

Articles like What We Learned aside- You CANT DENY that Greg Wyshynski and puck daddy’s writers really dislike the Sens. A lot. Wysh even started off a recent article to the tune of “When it comes to Jason Spezza I’m not exactly waving the red and black pompoms.” Very well…at least he’s upfront before bashing a point per game player who is ALSO a point per game post season player. Meta moment – Jason Spezza is the Ottawa Senators of players.

I have rarely read a positive article on the team…by just about anyone outside the Ottawa press and even then I…Now…rrrrk…I’m putting the brakes on this rant to acknowledge that I have only really gotten into reading hockey blogs over newspapers since a little after the Sens’ Stanley Cup final run. What I’m getting at is that maybe, in truth, there hasn’t been much positive to say for outsiders. Not controlling our destiny to skulk into the playoffs to be swept by Sidney and co, missing the post season all together and then last season’s first round exit. Oh, and all the while a team awash in controversy after controversy.

THAT SAID… I don’t think Conrad is wrong at all that this team is glossed over repeatedly and can do nothing short of win the Stanley Cup to silence their critics. Fine…that’s what its all about I guess…also though…I find in a 30 city league, teams both good and bad don’t win Stanley Cups very much – can I get a WHAT all you St. Louis Blues fans out there?!?

Let us take for example the Senators 11 game winning streak. I cant remember a more discounted effort. I don’t think it was solely overlooked because of the Caps 13 game streak parallel to it. With so much chatter about increased team parity in the cap era you can’t even get a high five for taking down 11 straight? No, rather it is being used as a catalyst to explain why they are not going to do as well this year. “Surely, that 11 game winning streak wont happen again so…no playoffs for this team” Yeah, maybe it wont but maybe there will be fewer 5 game losing streaks too. Holy crap cut a break for defying expectations and going on a huge tear beating in the process eventual champions Chicago? Not to mention surviving a sea of injuries to key players pretty much the whole season through? Nope. Its actually the reason WHY they wont be good this year. Bias: I think if Montreal or Toronto went on the same 11 game streak the media would be whistling Dixie out of their assholes that the underdogs have become the east’s new sweethearts.

In short – Fuck it. They are my team they will always be my team. Haters gone hate. Right Chris Phillips? Awwwwe look at that hangdog expression….c’mon hockey writers…he’s learnt his lesson…LETS GET HIM A PRESENT!

Ps. Ian Mendez still loves/needs us.

peter to James, me
show details Aug 19 (1 day ago)

James that last mail was incredible… I humbly award you first pick in our winners/losers bet. We don’t need to go on Maury to determine the paternity of the loto machine ball hopper thingy. It’s all you.

Re: the media bias against the sens, I get the weird feeling that major news outlets, particulairly american based entitites don’t feel the need to trumpet the cause of Canadian franchises because of the intense (or percieved to be intense) media scrutiny they operate under here at home. Why bother focusing on a team where followers can open page one of the local sports section and get all the info they need? Problem for Ottawa is the we have the hydra or cerberus (or other multiheaded, ornery creature from mythology) of Garrioch and Brennan (oh and Scanlon can be thrown in there when he feels like it). Gulp, this is the face of our franchise to AP and other wire news services?

Like my grammy always said, you can’t plant seeds in a garden till its covered in shit. Ottawa’s problem is that they’re perpetually covered in shit, constantly viewed as a team in transition looking for its identity. Which to me seems like the most tired sports cliche. Its not their fault. The problem is no sports cliche is doled out by that team itself. It’s the sports writers who award knicknames and laud the achievements.

Answer me this, when Spezza Heatley and Alfie were tearing it up on the way to the cup who came up with a knickname for that line? When Chara, Phillips, Volchenkov and Redden were handing out punishment (okay maybe not Redden) where was the cool name that got people talking? The history of sports writing was not just to provide a description of the action for people who couldn’t wittness it live, it was to grow and generate interest in the game. Every major professional sport with pre-WW2 origins owes a huge debt to the creative and dedicated sports writers dispatched to rained-out diamonds and frozen football feilds across North America. We can’t expect fair and equitable treatment when we have sports writers using their columns to publicly boo-hoo that they weren’t invited to Mike Fisher’s wedding.

I kinda like the fact that Ottawa gets overlooked, it just means that there’s still an opportunity for dedicated people to still write incisive, accusatory, predatory and celebratory material without fear of being labelled as unoriginal. Pfffft, Fuck those other guys!

Conrad to peter, James
show details Aug 19 (1 day ago)

First, I love both of you guys and want to take you behind the barn and get you pregnant.

Second, I agree with everything everyone has said. Here and forevermore. It’s Zen Conrad.

You know, I was reading that Puck Daddy Mount Puckmore! (?) article on the Red Wings and was thinking about what incredible history that franchise has. And the fact is that they could miss the playoffs for a couple of years, make them for a couple of years, have a few 1st and 2nd round exits and not suffer the wrath of the speculative journalists. I mean, they’re a perennial contender, right? No matter what. This is flabergasting because hockey is such a fucking crap shoot. It’s not like we have an LA Lakers who have won a third of the championships in the last two decades (yes, I watched PTI last night). Typecasting happens and, for better or for worse, the Sens are the disappointing team. They never made it over the hump (a conference finals loss in 7 games and a trip to the finals don’t count), so they’re always on the verge of failure. Forget that they spend to the cap, have plenty of promising young players…are at least as likely to go on a run as Montreal…

But there’s another part of me that says this is all part of a young franchise simply paying its due. The Blues are a good example – a team that has occasionally been good, occasionally VERY good, and has never done anything. No one gives them guff because they’ve also been around forever. No one would be shocked if they were the playoffs next surprising team. The Sens will get there…they just need to hang in there, get past the taint of expansion team impurity, the identity that places them with the Wilds and Lightnings and Thrashers and Blue Jackets of the world.

I blame the sparkles on the jersey.


1 thought on “20.08.2010: In which we feel unappreciated and you don’t make love to me the way you used to

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « The Cory Clouston Fashion Review: An Ottawa Senators Blog

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