Hey, Varada *holds for 2 full minutes of applause* I don’t know if you noticed but this season has been an absolute whirl of wind for the team that we like, the Ottawa Senators (.com). Heh heh heh ahhhh…just…sharing the laughter and love, you know? And by laughter and love I mean, I actually found myself getting a warm feeling deep inside when I read a tweet from Wayne Scanlan saying how Erik Karlsson was seen limping around SBP with TWO shoes on instead of one shoe and one cast. I caught myself feeling so happy that I immediately took a personal inventory in an attempt to find out what personal void I am filling with all this hockey stu—I mean, I was regular, emotionally stable person amount of happy…moving forward…
What I’m saying is the NHL season just to start with on paper is upside down. 40 odd games, something like 60 points and you’re in the playoffs, day is night and vegetables are poison.
Factor in the Sens and it gets no less weird. Let’s do a quick test, which of these things made you more excited as a fan this season: That Ottawa went on a perfect five game homestand or the news that Craig Anderson’s ankle injury wasn’t as severe as it first appeared? Jakob Silfverberg going 3 for 3 in his first 3 shootout attempts or news that Jason Spezza’s return could be as few as 2 to 3 weeks from now? I’d compare something to hearing word that Erik Karlsson will make a full recovery from his injury but I know how we all feel about that one.
The point I’m trying to make is, as last year was defined greatly by the career years a healthy line up helped afford, this year is defined by the injuries that have clouded what expectations for a team like this should be.
Up until recently Ottawa has had rookie Eric Gryba playing on the top defensive pairing. I know right? That prospect so hyped that he was called up after Beniot, Wiercioch and Borowiecki had all been given a shot. I’m not trying to put Gyba down here I’m just trying to illustrate how when you look up the team’s player stats and see that Gryba’s got the second lowest plus/minus rating on the team (-5) it’s hard not to react like, “Yeah, well they are playing Eric Gryba for over 20 minutes a game so…”
Watching a team’s top line blow a guy who at this point has 12 NHL games under his belt doesn’t make me angry as a fan so much as the fact that that situation is even happening illuminates how deep over their head the team is in it this year.
Although icing a 3rd of a lineup made up of rookies is pretty unprecedented for this club it’s not that simple when it comes to judging it though. It’s not like this team doesn’t have its share of experienced NHLers making up the other two thirds of the line up.
Where do you fall on this whole thing? Are you a “Go easy on Turris, he’s playing in a role he’s not ready and/or cut out for” kind of guy or “Bro you didn’t score a goal for like 2 goddamn months, I’ve had it with you!” kind of guy? Let’s talk: Are you throwing the patio furniture you call a living room through the window when the Sens cant muster a goal on the powerplay or are you just blown away that its almost mid-March and they are not in last place / actually in the hunt?
Well, anyway I cut it, I can’t be disappointed with the 2013 Ottawa Senators (RIP fall 2012, which never happened in my books). You know how much more money the Philadelphia Flyers are spending on players right now when you take into account Spezza, Karlsson, Anderson and Michalek injuries? Almost FORTY MILLION DOLLARS. That’s a whole other low budget hockey team. That’s the equivalent of taking Ottawa and then saying, “here’s St. Louis, think you could use them?” It’s not only making me so proud of this team’s work ethic (how crushed would you or I have been to have lost the way they lost against Toronto last week? Not these guys. Up and at them), it’s making me rethink my whole attitude toward player motivation and development.