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?
As far as tonight’s game vs. Philadelphia .. Please be patient here ..
Somehow last year, Pittsburgh offered other teams the recipe to defeat Ottawa’s defense.
I see tonight’s loss as a continuation of the struggles against Pittsburgh and other teams.
Would a different coach have had a different result ?
I’ll admit I’m a bit confused by your comment. Do you get a sense of panic here? I accept that the team will get destroyed occasionally. It was admittedly a hard game to watch. It can be tough to sit there and know that the team is far, far better than the 5-0 (at home!) result indicates. Never the less, I try to think long term during these moments. Detroit suffered an even worse pounding at the hands of the Senators. I doubt there was a call for Babcock, Zetterberg or Jimmy Howard’s heads. The Senators strung together some wins and will continue to do so but not every night. No one wants to be battered by team as cruddy as the Flyers certainly no one wants to see an effort like last’s nights but from my perspective there’s no worse thing you can do but panic. Most I can hope is that tonight served as a bit of a wake up call. That game was no individual’s fault. That there was a full team loss. As fans, our hockey world is revolves around the team we love and I, like anyone else, can sometimes think these types of games only happen to us but just last night Los Angeles out shot the last place Sabres 45-15 and lost. Some nights things are going to go horribly wrong. Last night was one of those nights for more than just the Sens.
Thanks for stopping by Sam appreciate the comment!
I think Detroit and their everything get more leeway because of the playoff success they have had. We don’t have that here so we’re always on edge. We have an ingrained perception of Spezza (Exhibit A, some idjit on TSN1200 last night and this morning: “No heart, doesnt’ defence, was invisible, points in bunches, terrible leader”) that isn’t going away until he reaches Toews levels of two-way play and brings a Cup here.
Last year’s performance has set unrealistic expectations.
Thankfully, I am about to have the leftover club sandwich from last night with some strawberry tea, so all is well until Friday night.
Maybe, I don’t know, QQ. Sometimes I wonder if this is the most pessimistic I’ve seen Sens fans. They hate the owner, the new captain, get rid of this guy get rid of that guy, they don’t go to games…and this is for basically a .500 team. Maybe you’re right about those unrealistic expectations. Games like last night makes me wonder what’s next. I thought this season people would be pumped on the team fresh of another playoff appearance maybe it’s the opposite. They way some people are reacting you’d think Ottawa was as bad as Edmonton or Buffalo or something.
Let’s all just smoke our crack and and have our warm 40 of St. Ides….or club sandwich and strawberry tea or whatever and cool out!
What I am trying to say here is the the coaching staff have to work with the talent they have that’s all. I’d like to think that coaching matters.
Okay, so you think a coaching change is the answer? Did you have a problem with the coaching staff last season?
May be add a defensive assistant coach. don’t expect the same recipe to yield different results ..
Yes, my oldest son (8yrs old) is named Brandon. You got a problem with that?
Nothing wrong with healthy competition, the emphasis on healthy. It’s hard to gauge a player especially a goalie when they are injured. I think it’s a good problem to have right now and I’m sure most of this controversy stuff is coming from the media so they can splash their nonesense across the sports pages and whip the masses into a fury.
Hahaha NO! Quite the opposite. I am asking “What the hell happened to the name Brandon!?” I remember one day saying to someone “Nice to meet you Brandon” and they were all “Acutally it’s BRENDEN” and I swear I’ve never met anyone with the name Brandon since. Both are fine names but I’m glad to see you’re evening it out a little, Kevin. Also if you have another: A child named James would be a blessing on your house!
Agree with you about the healthy competition bit. I wouldn’t worry about it effecting the players too much. Lehner has been incredibly level headed (YES I CANT BELIEVE IM SAYING THAT TO DESCRIBE ROBIN LEHNER EITHER!) about the whole thing. He seems to know he will be the team’s number one goaltender soon enough and is using the meantime to make sure he is an elite net minder for when the time comes. If you have time I highly recommend checking out this video: http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=482799&catid=-6
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