2011.11.28: In which we spend a Friday night the only way a Friday night can be spent: AHL hockey.

Conrad to Peter

We should do a double post. The first subject will be how we spent a Friday night in Kanata watching an AHL game in which the visitors won 1-0 and how that wasn’t at all regrettable (read: totally regrettable). The second was how casually Kovalev can dominate when he’s motivated, and how friggin pretty those two Fisher goals were last night.

Biggest Surprises (AHL edition!)

Bobby Butler, he of, what, seven goals in four games? dictated the flow of the game Friday, but didn’t put up a point. Weircoch also looked pretty good. All in all, the BSens played sound positional hockey and outshot their opponents, but a series of bad decisions kept them from ever finishing. D. Smith and Kinrade didn’t look terribly good. And Roman Wick is a penalty-taking machine who I doubt gets his shot in the N this season (meaning ever). All in all, nothing to pissed off about unless it’s the first Binghamton game you’ve ever seen, and you have no investment in their performance, and you just want to see some decent hockey, which is the case for me. Still, sitting three rows from the glass for about twenty bones is pretty cool.

Biggest Surprises (NHL edition!)

Does Elliott’s shutout win throw this team back into goaltending controversy mode? Who do you play next game?

Peter to Conrad

I just want to start out by saying I never thought I knew happiness until I met a stranger who said they liked our blog. I didn’t think it would have such a profound effect on my self esteem, but yeah that was pretty cool.

AHL edition:
Holy man, what a friggin letdown that game was. The whole “Showcase our young talent to possible season ticket holders” initiative blew up in everybody’s faces with that snooze fest. While it was one for the old school, sound fundamentals crowd, I didn’t see too many of those individuals checking their fake blackberries. Goddamnit, why is Pizza Pizza so delish at SBP and not anywhere else on the planet?

Despite the dearth of offensive chances, I had a really good time. Never forget hockey is a game best enjoyed in the company of others. A great bonding experience for the CCFR crew.

NHL edition:
Wow, the Leafs are awful. All of the replays for the sens goals showed heinous, blood curdling defensive miscues by the buds. On Kovalev’s goal to get things started, both leaf defencemen were standing in front of their net looking for the puck while Fisher and Kovalev were banging away at it. On Fisher’s second the replay showed him shedding Grabovski in the neutral zone like he was the itchy wool sweater grandma knit and going right for the net, like he was strolling down the aisle at the Country Music Awards. (Aaaaand the award for the best unholy marriage betwixt two similes goes to…)

I think at one point Regin actually pulled the “tap your stick on the ice to confuse an opponent” thus convincing Luke Schenn that he was open. That’s rec league bullshit and I loved it. (Btw, how glad am I that we’re not leaf fans thus being forced to debate the glacial paced development of a top 5 draft pick, ouch)

I figured it out with Kovalev, he’s that guy on your rec team that’s better than everybody but has serious commitment issues. Like you spend every moment leading up to game time wondering if he’s going to show, then at the last minute his camaro screetches into the parking lot and you all breathe easy. Until the middle of the game when you start wondering “When’s dude going to take over? Why is he surfing ebay on the bench?” So you go on to lose and you start wondering if it would have been more fun without him. Then the process repeats itself next game but he scores three time and says your new haircut looks cool. (blushing!)

On the goaltending front, I thought they should have started Leclaire. He was razor sharp against the Pens and got nothing to show for it, he should have had a chance to look good against arguably the league’s worst team. I’m fairly certain this whole goalie controversy has a lot to do with the fact the Clouston probably likes Elliott better as a person, not just a hockey player. If he’s going to start alternating them, I think we’re in trouble. As a disclaimer I have no concrete evidence to back that up, Clouston’s about as closed a book as there is so we’re still unsure if his stance on oxygen and puppies.

That’s not a complaint, a shutout is a shutout but the Leafs were so bad that any number of secondary Simpsons characters could have got the W (Bee Guy, Dr. Marvin Monroe, that really tall dude)

Conrad to Peter

I definitely think that Clouston prefers his lunchpail, low-paid players (who he used to coach in Binghamton) to the high-priced “he’s got a lot of promise!” guys, hence his preference for Elliott, Shannon, the millions of chances Foligno gets, etc. I wonder how much dialogue goes on between Murray and Clouston. When they signed Gonchar it seemed like both guys were psyched, and had been collaborating on a Valentine to Serge for years. But when Murray brings in the much-vaunted, high draft pick goalie who just hasn’t found his stride yet and Clouston clearly likes Elliott, you wonder…

I also feel really, really bad for Leafs fans. They were SO close to a rebuild. Then they bring in Burke, pay him more than any other GM in the history of the sport (which in itself is ridiculous) and just like that the rebuild is over. Schenn and Kadri, that’s all you get. You really have to wonder with all they money they have in the front office – Burke, Nonis, Fletcher, et al – how they could make such bad decisions. Like signing Lebda (!). Boggles the mind.

Still, having said how bad they are, one has to congratulate the Sens just for winning on Hockey Night in Canada for once in a goddamned while.

So now I get to type the weirdest sentence in the world: “Sens are just two points back of Atlanta for the eighth seed.”

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