James Day Preview: Ottawa Lehnators Visit The Blerg Street Bullshitties

JDP ott vs phillie

WELCOME 2 ALL  that haven’t given up on the team!

Coming off another shart of an effort against the POWERHOUSE Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa heads off to the friendly confines of whatever soulless name of the arena the Flyers play in is…I’m going to guess…mmm.. Tushies.com Wet Wipes Centre.
As I’ve brought up before, the vibe surrounding the team is…grim.

When the NHL schedule was released and I saw that the Sens would start the majority of October not only on the road but on a Western swing I thought it was weird but that it could be worse. I don’t know if you noticed but Ottawa tends to do terribly on these trips.
I figured, “Might as well get it out of the way, work some kinks out away from home.” Well, much of the trip was admittedly ugly and it was under far more scrutiny than usual as they were the first games of this much anticipated season but I thought returning with a .500 record was actually likely a better result than they’d typically come back with.
When the team returned to the Acadian Tires Arena, I looked ahead on the schedule to see what games I might get tickets to and was alarmed to find out that the Senators would have matinee games every weekend they were home in November and well into December. “But James,” you might rudely cut in, “Aren’t a lot of those games against bottom feeder teams?”
Well, first off do not look me in the eyes..EVER, Secondly you are forbidden from addressing me by my Government Name and third, it doesn’t matter if the team is bad, Dear Reader, as, if you thought the Senators are bad on Western road trips you should see them play a matinee game. Am I making excuses? No. These are home games against a bunch of Tomato Can opponents, you have to win those! How you gonna tell me the goddamn Edmonton Oilers are going to travel here and play in the afternoon and steal away a win? The Stars too? Now the BJs? Terrible.
In my view, Ottawa has sharted away 3 of the 6 easier points in November that they will likely want in the Spring time. The loss to the Blue Jackets really punctuated their blown opportunities this season.
Tonight is no exception as an opportunity for victory as Ottawa faces off against the mindbendingly disappointing Philadelphia Flyers. Seriously, you think Ottawa is disappointing you? I can still catch myself talking about the Sens run to the cup final like it wasn’t the same year Celine Dion released her LEGENDARY album Taking Chances (Translation: it was a WHILE ago!). Look at these fucking guys they made the final just 3 seasons ago and in since time have:
– Released a handful of goalies (BTW one of whom is the reining Vezina winner, another merely won the Stanley Cup AND Jennings but at least they only have to pay Ilya Bryzgalov until the year 2020 for less than 100 games of service!),
-Have fired their coach
-Lost their Captain to career ending injury
– Replaced their captain with an exciting young player who is tied for scoring with Mark Borowiecki
– Made idiotic trades (James Van Riemsdyk for Magic Beans Luke Schenn)
– Seen top end prospects flop around (Sean Couturier 0G, 4A in in 19 games)
– Made some clumsy looking FA signings to supposedly core players (I’m looking at you offensive powerhouse Mark Streit – 0 goals, 6 assists AKA Chris Phillips stat line – but at least he’s only signed until he’s 39)
….Oh, and perhaps most important of all…they are spending to the cap while doing it.
I’m not going to throw glass in stone a;dfkljsdf; as some of these very problems have happened to the Senators since their cup run but at least Ottawa struggles as a budget team not yet finished their rebuild. They are actually supposed to be mediocre. Philadelphia are supposed to be contenders….and they are 2 points ahead of Florida.

WOW. Well we’ve had lots and lots and lots and lots of fun so far!

Good News: Robin Lehner is starting
Bad News: UFC 666 Lehner v. Emery Has Been Postponed. 
No disrespect to the rare unicorn that is defeating the Boston Bruins but after a bit of a steamrolling the boys could use the cold unforgiving stability that The Dark One provides in net. Maybe I’m reading too much into this (after promising not to! THANKS FOR READING!) but I’m a little concerned about the team playing differently in front of Lehner than Anderson. We’ve seen it before when the boys don’t trust one goalie as much as the other. But considering that Andy still has a .904 save percentage I think it’s more likely that goaltending isn’t straight up stealing the team wins constantly like it was last year. Still, with only 1 win and a 4.16 goal against average in his past 6 games Anderson is struggling pretty mightily of late. It will be up to Lehner tonight to continue to show the organization and more importantly the team that he is ready to step in and let them get away with all kinds of bologna so they can concentrate on just passing it to Bobby Ryan (key to victory).
Steve Mason starts for Philadelphia and has a .968 save percentage in his last two starts which ..is…nice for him. 

HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Colin Greening Has Zero Points In 14 Games! 
Oy vey. But at least he’s only signed for the next three years…starting next year. I’d accept that kind of production from Erik Condra (who’s back and good too!) but bro, you played on the first line a couple years ago! Chip one in here and there huh? I’m not trying to say he belongs up in the top six but this point drought is unacceptable no matter where you play (save for Kassian who plays Fruit Ninja on the bench). I think Murray bought a bit high on Greening after a beastly playoff performance. I don’t know about you Eddy, but I have no clue why this guy hasn’t found himself in Bruce Garrioch’s Twitter Blocking Lounge (Press Box) more.
On the subject of healthy scratches, another owner of a fresh new 3 year deal, Patrick Wiercioch finds himself taking a seat again. Whew. This is getting ugly. Bro looked amazing during preseason and I am ready to hand him the Brandon Bochenski Award for Biggest Preseason Tease! I’ve heard rumours that Bryan Murray is sniffing around for a puck moving defender…which is all kinds of insane considering the team has Erik Karlsson, Patrick Wiercioch and Joe Corvo. Well, that and they have been terrible defensively and would be better served by a puck stopping defenseman. Don’t listen to me though I’m just a garbage man from Garbage Island that’s maaaaade of garbage.
Cory Conacher will get another game on Spezza’s wing tonight. You seriously have to hope he’s going to put one up soon. Murray gave up a starting goaltender for him. You can do it CC!

A note on this Michalek-Havlat Trade Rumor (via RESPECTED NHL INSIDER Donii Brennan): 
I’m a Sens fan, I miss Martin Havlat six ways from Sunday (THATS OVER FIVE WAYS FROM SUNDAY!) but am I alone in thinking that it seems like all kinds of idiotic to say “Let’s get rid of the injury plagued Milan Michalek for Martin Havlat”? Say what you will about Milo’s robot knees but he’s played more than twice the games Havlat has this year.  Also Havlat’s been a healthy scratch this alreadt this season (albeit on a firing on all cylinders Sharks squad), oh and he has another year left on his deal. I think Havlat’s great and all but I would be very surprised to see it go down…stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiill…wouldn’t kick that trade out of bed as we’ve all seen what Havlat can do…buuuuuuuut…risky as fuck…ugh this thing is a roller coaster of emojis…plus it came from an Ottawa Sun writer so you KNOW it’s only a matter of time until it happens (JJJJJJJJ/////////////////////KKKKKKK)…thoughts?

What Reason are you going to tell us that this game is important THIS time James? 
Again, with the looking into my eyes and referring to me by my Government Name. Anyway, it’s important because even though Ottawa got a couple of monkeys off the old back both in beating Tim Thomas as well as beating the Boston Bruins but the fact remains that they’ve put up two of their worst games of the month in the past week. That’s a balance I think we’d all like to see stop A$AP. With a game tomorrow against Minnesota (Exciting news: Dany Heatley will have his number retired by the Wild this year … wait ‘retiring your number’ is when they team buys you out right?) and another back to back against Detroit and Carolina on the weekend, Ottawa could use two points of padding as well as some confidence going into a tough situation.  I think Lehner gives the team a great chance to win but again, he’s not the one who needs to improve.



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