I have an announcement to make:
For the first time in my 56 years as an Ottawa Senators fan a goaltending controversy is abrewin and I am…really excited about it.
Before I get into why, let me preface this by saying, I think emotions are a little heightened surrounding this whole storyline as, yes, Robin Lehner has just won three games in a row and has looked superb in those wins, but two were against bottom dwelling teams (Columbus, Florida City) and one respectable team in Montreal (hand wanking motion).
Have I thought that Lehner has looked better than Anderson has this year? Yeah, I have. Still, it is so early….so goddamn early in the season. What if Anderson won his next 3 straight starts? After all he’s already won 3 straight starts this season (a string against Phoenix, New Jersey and Detroit last month). Oh, but that’s exactly what’s exciting about it. To say that less than one and a half months and fewer than 20 games of hockey has warranted a full blown goalie controversy is pretty excessive to me. Will that stop it from happening? From what I can tell on the Sensphere today, the wheels are in motion my friends and I actually welcome it.
Unlike Senators goaltending controversies of years past, this one features TWO REALLY GOOD GOALTENDERS! Nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. Anderson is getting the start tonight, he plays out of his mind the next little while and solidifies his position as no.1 starter fine with me. Lehner continues to shine in his opportunities and steals Andy’s job? Also works for me! As for the calls to trade Anderson, I wouldn’t count on it any time soon. I think Anderson’s recent injury, to say nothing of his injury last year that caused him to miss 18 games, does little more than legitimize the need to have two very good goaltenders. Especially if you have a team as prone to giving up shots as the Senators are this year. I mean we were just one successful Brendan (has anyone named their kid Brandon in the past 20 years btw) Gallagher goalie run away form Nathan Lawson starting in net for a team that can give up up to 50 shots to the New York Islanders.
I believe that Lehner is the future netminder of the organization but I believe for the time being the organization needs to take advantage of getting their two awesome goaltenders to duel over who is more awesome. Hoping Craig Anderson can start making it interesting tonight.
OH GOOOOOOOOOD Everyone’s Favorite Hockey Player Steve Downie Is Back!
Steven Aloysius Downie (.com) first captured the imagination of hockey fans everywhere when he led the OHL in number of teammate’s teeth knocked out after crosschecking an unsuspecting Akim Aliu who, again, was on his motherfucking team, in the face. Oh but that was during a practice. Not a game! Not a game. We sittin here talkin about practice. After making the All Mandatory Professional Counselling team, Downie showed what he was saving for a real PRE-SEASON game where he tried to give Dean McAmmond brain damage with a brutal hit to the head that knocked him unconscious, again, IN A FUCKING PRESEASON GAME. Downie’s heart and soul earned him the NHL’s prestigious L’il Sociopath Achievement Award which includes a 20 game suspension!
Listen, I want to keep going on this rant but his accomplishments would take up too much of this preview and I am just so excited to talk about what Steve Downie’s return could mean for Ottawa’s star player’s unsuspecting heads! There have been rumors that Downie has softened over the past couple of seasons. There is evidence to support this alarming trend in his game. Downie’s last suspension was only a pathetic one gamer, his last fine a measly $2,500! What’s worse is his torrid scoring streak of late (1G, 6A) does nothing but perpetuate his new identity as a finesse player. His 7 points are good for 4th on the Flyers (his fourth team in 6 seasons always a sign of a quality guy). Coming in HOTTT and straight into the fire of Philly’s scoring race, Downie sits jsut one point back from captain Claude Giroux and perennial All Star Vincent Lecavalier’s team leading 8 points, If Downie could apply his LEGENDARY focus he could potentially surpass Giroux and perhaps usurp his Olympic roster spot. One thing is for sure, Karma is on his side! Sorry that was all just a big set up to point out that the team lead for scoring on the Flyers is three way tie for 8 points. By the By, Kyle Turris has 9 points in his last 6 games because Salary Cap.
God, what else?
I still think Ottawa has only had a few truly dominant looking wins so far this year. I went to the Panthers game on the weekend…little more tentative a win than I’d have like to have seen against not just the Florida Panthers but the Florida Panthers that just sacked their entire coaching staff. Still a win’s a win and a win against Tim Thomas is the greatest love of all. Not so easy without Boston’s defense holding off all that socialized healthcare now eh Timmy?
Tonight’s a big game for Ottawa’s defense. With power play specialist / bottom pairing defenseman (normal hockey stuff) Chris Phillips sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Joe Corvo will draw into the lineup. After a benching in Saturday’s game Erik Karlsson will have a bit to prove to the coach in regard to his play in Ottawa’s zone. You’re not going to meet a bigger fan of EK than me and rescue dogs but his shift that lead to one of Florida’s goals was a real stinker. I acutally think Karlsson can defend quite well but so far this season he’s really lacked in that area. Anyway, I don’t mind Erik Karlsson with something to prove. Hoping for more solid play from call up Mark Borowiecki, who is also tied in scoring with Claude Giroux, who will see more time on the second pairing with Marc Methot.
Other welcome news is that Jason Spezza will start the game between Milan Michalek and Cory Conacher who both aren’t Chris Neil, which is nice. Also nice is that Flyers coach Craig Berube will likely mistake the Spezza line for the Sens top line and match his best players up against it. Would really love to see Conacher get a goal tonight! He’s been a good soldier so far this season and I hope he can take advantage of some increased ice time.
All joking aside the Flyers should not be taken lightly. As a cap team they have a number of quality players in their lineup and it could come together at any moment. What’s that? UGH, just when I type “all joking aside” I learn that Steve Mason is starting. That’s it, I can’t go on. Enjoy the game everyone…and seriously boys…beat the GD Flyers huh?