Conrad to James, Peter
Observations about the Sens so far, based on preseason play:
Man, do we ever take a lot of penalties. This was something noticeable last season, and the team took another 9 penalites last night. (Including one with 3 minutes left that led to the game-losing goal.) If we assume that most penalties are taken as a result of another team either out-working or out-skating you, then this might be trouble. It might also just be Matt Carkner.
Sergei Gonchar does not turn us into an unstoppable weapon. This, I would like to remind our readers, is okay. But assumptions that adding a puck mover would result in Alfie suddenly finding himself in an open slot with the puck on his stick and a look of pleasant surprise on his face were a bit premature.
Jared Cowen does not turn us into unstoppable bacon. Just normal bacon. Any team that spends to the cap but relies on a 19 year old to bring all of the team’s required physical play is placing WAY too much emphasis on him being 6’5, 220. He’s going to be good, but not yet. I’m 6’2 and 205 and I can’t push over a Sun box when I see one of their stupid pun headlines.
Ottawa plays Toronto in the preseason about forty seven too many times. I listened to a Bloge Salming podcast last night during which he interviewed Down Goes Brown and they talked about how sick the Toronto market was of their team when Burke came in, and how Burkie (“Buuuuuurkie. Buuuuuuuuuurkie Buuuurke.”) squandered the opportunity to really blow the team up and rebuild properly. Okay: capture that disgust and hold it in your brain. Now imagine how sick Ottawa fans are of this same Toronto team. They’ve tried to make themselves as unlikeable as possible, adding a bunch of mouth-breathing dullards in Phaneuf, Kessel, Armstrong, Orr, etc. (Giguere’s a nice guy.) But who can care about the Leafs? I can’t wait for the season to start, but guess what? 2nd game of the season? In Toronto against the Leafs. Ugh.
James to Conrad, Peter
Oy vei I was almost stuck with a Leafs TV stream of the game but found some Sportsnet thing at the last minute. Praise Jah, that Leafs TV is almost as hard to listen to as HNIC. Also, gotta be pumped that all 81 Sens games are being broadcast this year…on channels that I don’t think anyone will get. Sha well, there’s always the internet. (Don’t tell Bettman the babysitters internet.) Okay, on to the game!
So, first thing’s first: that was a great hockey game. The people who bought tickets to Preseason Sens v. leafs part 19 of 19 got good value. Heartbreaking? Absolutely. Edge of your seat, opposite-of-that-last-dog-pageant-in-Dundas hockey? Yes. I am actually not as bummed out as everyone else seems to be in the Senstrosphere. (Good news, I’m retiring from words!)
Real talk: I am interested in our local professional ice hockey team; unfortunately this results in the occasional listen to a local AM radio station that follows football, golf, golf, football, adverts, adverts, adverts, adverts, homophobia and occaaaaaaaasionally the Senators. Former NHLer Jason York, who co-hosts some whatever when I’m driving home from work, has kept stressing, when not talking about football, that pre season games are sooooo much different than regular season games. I’m going to believe him. I think it’s a good rookie showcase / veteran warm up. I think the players absolutely TRY but why anyone on the ice over the age of 30 wouldn’t be pretty cautious out there would be kind of crazy.
All that said, last night was the most intense looking game I’ve seen so far. Continuing their tradition of being classless dicks Toronto upped the intensity factor with events such as that Rosehill goon taking a run at Karlsson. Ur killing it, btw, bro! And Colby Armstrong smashing Fisher into the boards head first. Look, that leg holding thing sucked and yes, lost the team the game, but Fish, if you were going to hold the guy down at least rap the guy in the chops for good measure. He really deserved it. That was a reckless move by Armstrong. Also, golf clap to the leafs for diiiiiiives-a-plenty when they lost their lead. Kessel must still be picking up his teeth after that ferocious elbow by Butler. Oh, and then laughed about it on the bench. You gotta love hating this team.
1000 gold star points to Kovalev for sticking up for Karlsson and scrapping. People are going to need to have the little prince’s back all year. Good to see a vet finesse player mixing it up. After that run at EK and his scrap you could really see Kovalev’s competitive side awaken. He REALLY wanted to beat them after that and it was inspiring. Underreported events: Kovalev a) getting up in the blue paint –scariest place on the ice- and screening Giguere for a goal b) blocking a bullet from the point on the PK! Make note world, Kovalev is currently in my good books.
Michalek was looking spry out there. Sweet goal too!
The cycle game was looking good.
Leclaire did NOT lose that game. Taking too many penalties put it away.
Our little army of puck movers seems to result in a stretch pass every two minutes…It looks like it’s the forwards who are adjusting to being far enough up ice to receive them! If a few more of those dots connect going forward, the sky probably ain’t falling on the blogosphere so much the day after a game.
Peter to James, Conrad
Didn’t see the game last night. Sounds like the typical buffoonery though. Again I’ll take the pragmatic approach and offer that all our team’s ills aren’t going to be solved in preseason and maybe not at all. (Maybe a deadline move might change things.) One thing I do take solace in is that Toronto is absolutely, unequivocally not making any post season run. I’ve always thought that the Leafs have enough chutzpah to pester slower, softer teams (sigh, like Ottawa) while faster, and more resolved teams will tolerate a face wash and snow shower while pounding on the useless halfwits and lighting the lamp. Pittsburgh, Washington and New Jersey will absoutely fucking destroy the Leafs. (For some reson I expect Montreal to do the same.) They’re too fast to get caught in the train tracks and too smart to let Colby Armstrong do anything but sit in the press box with shattered orbital bones.
I’m still pumped for the season to start, but it’s going to be a battle, Ottawa needs to show me more focus when it comes to bad penalties and ignoring agitators. They need to ignore all that Charlestown Chiefs nonsense. (Conrad, tell me you’ve gotten around to seeing Slapshot.)
[Editor’s note: Conrad has not yet seen Slapshot. And with this admission, all hopes of theccfr someday being issued press credentials to cover the pre-warm-up skate Kidz Fun Zone Spartacat Coloring Contest at a Local Heroes in Kanata are thoroughly dashed.]