12.10.2010: In which we realize that Leclaire is also to blame for our shitty offense and trapped Chilean miners


Conrad to Peter, James

Three games and one point out of a possible six. What better way to start the ccfr’s game recaps.

Sens I would trade for future considerations

Kovalev may as well buy a condo in this section. While most of the Sens were putrid throughout, Kovalev was singled out for scorn by three different sets of announcers for his invisible play. Other than wiffing on a one-timer against Buffalo in the last minute or two and seeming really pissed off about it, he displayed his usual lackadaisical skating into the zone followed promptly by being knocked off the puck. He had no room to maneuver out there because other teams know that if they come at him with a strong forecheck he’s not going to adjust and play dump-and-chase. He’s going to try and deke. Which works about 7% of the time.

Karlsson is young, in his sophomore season, and still tiny. The only difference between this year and last is that now we play him like 24 minutes a night. This has not worked well.

Gonchar, as I suspected, does not shoot. This should have been apparent to anyone who watched him over the course of his last five years with the Pens, but it didn’t stop 20,000 Sens fans from yelling SHOOT in unison whenever he had the puck. Anyway, he’s averaging 27 minutes a game right now (!) and he has two shots on net.

Alfie really looks like he’s lost a step. Or is still recovering from hernia surgery. Or both.

Let’s put a pin in the “Which of Regin or Foligno is a top six forward?” talk for the moment.

Sens I would sign to lifetime deals

It’s depressing to think that our third line of Ruutu – Kelly – Neil is our best, but on the other hand I’m glad there’s at least one. Sweet passing by Ruutu against Buffalo. Kelly has apparently been working on his wrist shot over the summer.

Leclaire is looking like a bona fide starter. Must be tough for Elliott to see him get back-to-back starts, but I’m sure someone has taken him aside and said “Look: the guy is making FOUR MILLION DOLLARS. Of course we’re gonna play him every single night.” So far so good. Weird for our goaltending to look good and for everything else to be broken.

Gobbledegook

Sens were outshot 74 to 44 until yesterday’s game against Washington, when they actually outshot the Caps. I miss me some Andy Sutton and Anton Volchenkov right now. Two shot blockers in front of a Leclaire who’s playing his brains out takes a couple of those close losses and possibly turns them into wins.

Sens have scored 4 goals in 3 games. This might be okay if they were a tight-checking, defense first team. This is not the case.

Sens are 0 for (I think) 10 on the power play. I’d like to point out to all of those who thought the addition of Gonchar would equal an insane powerplay that the Pens’ powerplay stank last year.

Sens are incapable of beating, or even just not getting killed by, the leafs on Hockey Night in Canada. This is statistical fact. Put $50 on the next game.

And now a rant about broadcasters

I have TSN, Sportsnet, CBC, RDS and a couple other sports channels like The Score that only show baseball, and I didn’t have the game last night. A game against one of the best teams in the league. It was only being shown on Sportsnet’s new HD channel “One” or whatever. Which is an additional subscription, and unavailable to those of us without digital boxes. I tried to sign up for NHL Gamecenter’s free trial so I could watch it there, and even after signing up it continued to tell me to “Sign Up!” when I tried to get the game. My friend tried it, and got the same. So we ended up streaming it from ATDHE.net, an illegal site.

This pisses me off more than I can convey in writing. My $50 a month in cable and additional $50 in internet (to say nothing of my $30 cell phone data plan) to Rogers gets me a whole lot of content I have no interest in and doesn’t even guarantee that I can get the home team’s games. I’m paying for an awful lot of delivery and not a lot of content. To expect that I’m going to sign up for an HD channel (I don’t have an HD television) to watch premier games is just a shitty thing to do to a fan.

Peter to Conrad, James

Okay so things looked pretty bleak this past weekend. The Sens came out a step slow against Buffalo, fell flat on their face against Toronto and then rebounded with a much better effort against Washington.

Sens I would trade for future considerations

The defence corps – yikes: inside out moves, getting caught out of position, leaving guys open in front of the net. Every sin you could think of was checked off the list. This new, speedy group looked sloppy and irresponsible. Carkner played his best game against Washington so at least he’s trending in the right direction. I’m not panicking and it should be noted a few forwards lost battles on the boards while backchecking and put the d-men in tough spots.

Sens I would sign to lifetime deals

Leclaire – haha, just kidding, he played well in 2 of the 3 games. Though, that Washington game winner was kinda soft. Kelly Neil and Rutuu should be renamed the zamboni line.

Gobbledegook

Not too worried ’bout the lack of offense. There’s an ancient sports adage that reads “Make your mistakes when you have the ball/disc/flaming boar’s head, not in your own zone/end/volcano.” Ottawa really needs to win the battles with two guys along the wall. Buffalo and Toronto constantly were first to send that second guy into a scrum to win the puck. The Sens did a better job of that on Monday.

And now a rant about broadcasters

Denis Potvin is pretty useless with his impaired analysis. He’s behind the play, frequently irrelevant and kinda annoying. All he’s doing is slowing my man Dean Brown down. Not cool

James to Peter, Conrad

Hot mess!

Jeez. Okay. Conrad took care of a lot of things there. I will start off by stating this cable rant is exactly why I will not buy it but rather continue to follow the team via a combination of going to games, watching at a bar, streaming online and, when that falters, listening to the radio. When it was announced that all 82 games were going to be broadcast this year I had a serious hunch that it was going to come at the cost of more games being handed over to obscure new boutique channels (senssportsnetoneoflatterdaysaints.com). So far this seems to be the case.

Related: I don’t have a cell phone. People give me shit for this periodically (which is fine). Whatever: I’m a 70 year old man who makes his own decisions. Considering I bi-weekly hear awful stories about unacceptable customer service, long ass contracts and flimsy phones (my gf’s phone has been in the process of being ‘repaired’ by rogers –read LOST- for 3 months now), yeah, I cannot wait to spend way more for less! Catch me on my answering machine. So, anyway, good job Rogers, for 50 bucks a month I can’t watch the Sens play the Caps on a Canadian holiday but now I can watch The View in 5 different barf zones! I am going to get a ticker for my cordless phone with semi-functioning 1 and 3 buttons.

Oh yeah, right, games! Note the different levels of knowing what the eff happened!

Game the first:
So this game I attended with some good pals. It was an amazing time. The game was another thing that was happening! Jokes, internet, just joking. The game was really entertaining. (…not so sure on TV b/c Buffalo be boring. It was fun in person – e.g. Did you know at the event when things get boring or shitty you can flag down a teenager who will sell you a large can of beer?) LeClaire was holding the fort this affair. Big time. I nudged my friend Steven after the second period and said “Hey Steve(n), check the shots on goal…”
OTTAWA s.o.g – 11 BUFFALO s.o.g. – 45438054312380 – mild exaggeration but seriously they were more than doubled in SOG almost all game.

So THAT’S how you challenge one of the world’s best goaltenders with a run and gun offensive team!

Leclaire kept this one close but I just didn’t feel the Sens had the jam to take it. I made peace (got drunk) with that early on and just had so much fun watching live hockey again.

Note: We were literally rubbing our hands together with excitement at the prospect of a Karlsson/Gonchar-anchored power play. It’s not going super duper so far but it wasn’t the candy glass of last year. It looks like a power play. There’s potential in that. Also, Leclaire was really good. Miller was really bored.

Game the second:
I was deep into Thanksgiving dinner at the lady’s family’s during more than two thirds of this game. (DARN!). I did have it on in the other room and caught some awesome, impartial play-by-play that was interrupted by the punching of myself in my bathing suit area. Caught the first two Toronto Goals and most of the 20 minute Toronto powerplay called the first period. According to the Newtonian principle of not even playing reasonably well against this crew of shitheels, I stopped watching but at least Carkner apparently lost his nineteenth fight against Orr in a row. Can someone else take over fighting that guy? Thanks to Spezza for breaking the shame of a shutout. Only many, many more of these to go! I didn’t even watch the ‘highlights ’ –save for Fisher punching Versteeg in the face.

Game the third:
So our THIRD…sorry I thought I typed third.. third?…no, says here…THIRD…okay then, THIRD line continues to shine. And why not? We only have several good players whose job is to score goals or just shoot pucks on net on this team. You know what? Third line wants to be the best line? That’s totally fine. Its great having a productive line that operates outside of its role. I really hope we re-sign Ruutu. Why? Oh just goal scoring. Weird. As has been pointed out on other Sens blogs it was an improved effort for sure and another wasted solid outing by Leclaire. Dude is going to get tired after a while. Great effort from Shannon. I…can’t believe you were the Sens X factor. So continued weirdness. For the record there’s been talk on the (inter)net of a weak goal in overtime…I only saw a weirdly timed, off the wrong foot smoking wrister from ALEXANDER OVECHKIN so…Leclaire gets a pass on that. Esp. After a game-saving, insane glove save off of him a minute earlier.

Smooth Jimmy’s Nacho Hat Fajita Salad Wrap up (.com):

Let’s breathe my beautiful babies…and one hi-yai-yai (exhale) and twoooooooo hi-yai-yaiiiiiiiiii (exhale).

Okay thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat sucked.

We had such huge boners for our prospects in the pre-season that these NHL guys haven’t really had much chance get their serious sea legs yet. *dodges garbage* You can see things are a little messy right now. Also, that loss to the leafs was the worst game since the last horrible loss to the leafs. Brightness: gotta LOVE Z. Smith’s effort. That guy is awesome!

Jump to conclusions mat unfurled:

– I miss hard hits. (Ps. Volchenkov and Sutton are both injured right now). Oh Andy Sutton we hardly knew thee…seriously we hardly fucking knew thee…yee were like 35 years old, not fast and played on our team from the trade deadline. We need a new hard hitting D. one with an untwistable stomach. Seriously, Bryan Murray…a shutdown defenseman has got to be findable on the market.

– We have a lot of old dudes on our team.

– Terrified at amount of injuries so far.

– Spezza/Michalek chemistry? Is this a thing like Sasquatch or his Eurasian cousin Yeti?

Rolling up the Jump to conclusions mat:

– Karlsson is apparently in the midst of a Hasn’t even played 80 NHL games yet and the season is 3 games old-more slump. Chiiiiiiiill Winston.

– Team has some flaws but not an unfixable write-off after 180 minutes of hockey.

– Gonchar is a good hockey player and just joined the team. I am not blaming him for the entire team not shooting.

– This team knows how to shoot. The alleged weakest link has been strong in net. If we can put up some threatening offense –which is the point of this team right? – and get the odd breakout performance (Ryan Shannon last night style) we could be back on a boat to happy blog island (which is actually a peninsula).

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