Photo courtesy of – who else? – Icethletics
So, after another improbably comeback – this time against Atlanta, to force OT – the Sens are third last in the league, four points up on Colorado for the 2nd overall pick, only one point back of Florida and four points back of the 5th-place Islanders.
I’m all for cheering the odd win – and it has to be said, it’s great to see 18.5k people make it to the game against Washington last week, even with the home team nowhere near the playoffs and Ovechkin sitting. But this winning is starting to get strange. Sens are making huge comebacks, and holding legitimate contenders off the board completely. It’s good to see, and I’m feeling optimistic for next year. But my question is – are we kind of fucking ourselves here a little? There’s six games left; why not sit Spezza and Anderson for a couple of those?
It looks like the only game-changers in the upcoming draft are Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, potentially an offensive star, and Adam Larssen, a blue chip defenseman. After them come a couple of solid two-way players with a lot of size in Gabriel Landeskog and Sean Couturier – good players, but not franchise quality. After that the quality falls off again, with good players like Brandon Saad, Ryan Strome and Ryan Murphy still up for grabs, but none of them are the type you can build around. I’ll be happy to have any of them, but it would be a shame to have suffered through so much mediocrity only to sabotage it when the games are meaningless.
There’s a big difference between tanking it for a whole season and tanking it for a few games. As one who was never a big subscriber to the whole “culture of winning” argument – or, who thinks lacking a culture of winning is outweighed by having good players on your team – these next few games could effect the franchise for years to come.
All very good points. I don’t think that management sees a player in this draft class worth tanking for. I doubt that at this time of year there are new points to add to any junior player’s scouting report. I say this full knowing that Murray told the media at the press conference following the Kelly trade that they’re targeting an NHL ready player with the first round pick. Kinda mixed messages if you ask me.
The other part is that there are quite a few guys who are playing for spots in the sens lineup. No one is really interested in laying down if they think it could be the difference between riding the bus and flying on Meknyk’s margarita-ville 1. Not to mention Clouston coaching for his life.
Discussion points worth chewing on:
1. Pundits believe Murray may have saved his job with his deft stickhandling around the deadline. I understand that during the dark parts of this season a scapegoat had to be anointed and flogged. Now things are kinda looking up. We’re 5 points away from blaming the season on injuries and shaky goaltending instead of using the “rebuild” term.
2. Marek Svatos: Keep or toss?
I’ve always kind of liked Svatos, and heard that the organization was interested in him when he was disappointing people in Colorado. Which is to say, good on them for finally getting to take a look and not having to part with anything to do it. But unless he’s willing to play here for a “prove yourself” contract I can’t see him sticking around. He’s only got about 4 points since the Sens claimed him off waivers, and during a period when he couldn’t possibly get more ice time. I think he finds a home next year, but I don’t know if it’s here.
As for Murray’s future, it’s looking more and more likely that he sticks around in some capacity. I mean, the guy just spent about $20M of Melnyk’s money on Anderson and Phillips. I think Tim Murray takes over next year with Brian in an advisory role. Could be worse, I guess. The Murrays are no Sather.
It seems like we’ve pretty much torched our draft position. It’s strange to have spent the entire season complaining how the team couldn’t win a game to save their lives, and now being slightly disappointed when I check the scores. It is pretty amazing that we stopped super hot teams like the Rangers and the Capitals, but if we win the majority of our remaining games (there are only 6 games left, but even winning 3 of them is more points than we want), this entire terrible season really will be a write off.
Reading that Alfie is thinking of playing again, you have to wonder what they are doing. I agree that it would be a good idea to sit Spezza and Anderson for some of the remaining games, and it’s definitely not worth the risk to Alfie to have him playing in what are now more than meaningless games. Let’s have him rest and be back at 100% for next year. I realize we can’t sit too many people, otherwise we have to start stealing players from Bingo again, but maybe it’s also times to sit Karlsson who has consistently been playing 30+ minutes a game.
I don’t really see Marek Svatos sticking around for pretty much exactly the reasons Conrad said. It’s another case like with Cheechoo: sure Svatos can score 30 goals when he is on top of his game, but with 4 pts since he’s arrived, everything points to him not being on top of his game. I’m sure he would like to play somewhere where he is a legitimate top 6 forward, and with how much he is being outplayed even by the Bingo kids, that doesn’t seem likely with the Sens.
So when are they unveiling the new jerseys?
I think they’re doing the new jerseys in the offseason. It would be cool to see them give one to our top five pick on draft day 🙂
Not to overanalyze what is just a screen shot, but, uh….it looks a little like the black SNES jersey. Now we know it will definitely have the ‘O’ on it, and, unfortunately, will also have the draw strings at the neck. And it will be black and red again.
How the snap does a post about a possible 3rd jersey get 150 comments and we can’t get 150 comments total? Someone get me a bottle of bourbon and a RIF account cuz I’ve suddenly become my father and no longer understand the Internet.
Hi Brosephs and Brosephines,
I think it’s a sticky toilet of fish with the whole Tank for Tavares thing. Tanking in my opinion, can be a loose if seldom admitted strategy of a club but ultimately is more of a fan concept a lot of the time. I mean Pittsburgh is great (barf) now but almost lost their franchise in the process of getting some #1s. Do we want that, THAT bad? I’m still smarting over almost losing the team once. I mean look no further than the Kansas City Islanders for a more current example. Curious how the rebuild concept is quietly being challenged by the Chicago Blackhawks right now. Were awful for years and then picked up some amazing young players – and even speedily won the cup with a whateeeeeevs rookie goalie and one season later might miss the playoffs. NHL 2.0 is a weeeird world. Maybe Im stretching with the Blackhawks thing as I think they are still a pretty scary team with awful goaltending and have had a lot of baaad injury luck. Like it was aptly pointed out earlier, people in the organization are playing for jobs on next season’s roster and in some cases careers out there and could probably give a Ryan “Ted” Nugent-“Sir Anthony” Hopkins about draft positioning. People are talking a gaaaang of shit about this years draft but I looked at the top 5 picks and I think they are all worth picking. I mean if we get “stuck” with Sean Coutourierererer Im not crying. Hopefully, it might look in the end like “screwing” yourself into having to pick Jordan Eberle. No matter what the pick, you might get Brian Lee’s pencil neck and Anze Kopitar’s broken ankle. Hang on folks its going to be a bumpy dfahsdfkljdfasdfablackeyespeassong.
Back to my point about fan perspective, as a fan of course I am a bit bummed to see this never say die brand of good play come this late in the season. Where was this whole shutting out the Caps mess when I went to games this whole season? – I think I saw ONE win this year at SBP(.wordpress.com). Either way, there seems to be no catching Colorado and Edmonton who have the draft time – luxury/ rest of the time-curse of being terrible but in the West. Anyway, yes, it is very bitter sweet to watch the team’s (couldn’t be) late(r) in the season surge coupled with the Florida implosion. Sooo….?….barfy barf barf?
Personally, I must also say that when Anderson came in and decided that he was going to let in fewer than 6 goals per game I knew that the Sens wouldn’t be going on anymore of those 10 game losing streak soul crushing hell rides and that Elliot would now make the Avs his new Viking Death Ship – Hey, Ells, hows that whole “Playing the Sedins on a regular basis thing going? Working out or not working out? He says “Depends on how you look at it.” Good point, McCain Ellio’s Pizza Pockets.
It does depend on how one looks at it. I am choosing to look at it as a more or less guaranteed top FIVE pick and a non-terrible goaltender (which is huge) moving forward. In addition, some very exciting draft picks (picked outside the top five) that have already been picked heading into camp for 2011-2012 – and BTW current “just lost his position in team scoring leader to a forward that makes SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS PER – Erik Karlsson was picked 15th so you know…all is not lost. It has been a frustrating year and I concede that watching all that MFing losing and not getting a top 3 picks is rough. Lets just move forward with new steady goaltender, exciting young defenders, US college signings who seem to be working out decently, maybe a forward signing in the off season? Why? Well, you have no choice for starters. Theres still excitement, maybe Murray will package some crud for your more coveted Landeskog (before time) type pick.
Speaking of moving forward, about Svatos? more like Dumpos. I’m pretty indifferent toward his play soooooooo I think we have enough of those dudes. Word on the street (internet) is that Svatos is to shoulder injury what Cheechoo is to sports hernia. So, lets use that cap space to buy Michalek robot knees and take a look at another prospect or whatever.
Before one accuses me over being overly optimistic HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY im not feeling good about that new third jersey so far. Which third jersey am I talking about? I understand your confusion because IT ALREADY LOOKS SO MUCH LIKE THE THIRD JERSEY THAT NO ONE (ESPEEEECIALLLLLLLLY ME) LIKES. Cyril Leeder is my candidate for contract buyout / everything garbageout.