James Day Preview: Ottawa takes their winning streak to the Mile High City

Ott vs Col JDP

Hi Everyone,

How about that Solar Vertex AAM I RIGGHT LADIESYGHtjbnlkgbja’dgg? Breaking News: Winter b WINTERY! Also, Womyn B shoppin (for Winter gear during winter, smart move womyn)!

It feels pretty surreal but the Sens are looking to extend a four game winning streak! Their longest of the year. I don’t know if that’s very good as far as the league goes (See: Fellow fugly ducklings Carolina currently riding a 4 game winning streak as well) but given how this season has been going, I have to admit I’m pretty over the moon about it.

The headline for the Sens going into tonight’s game is the potential of the return of captain Jason Spezza (651pts in 650 games, 52 pts in 56 playoff games, 2 time all star) hurting the team’s chemistry. We all know the old saying: you don’t go point per game for 10 seasons without making a few enemies!
While it’s been extremely welcome that Mika Zibanejad has continued to perform well in an increased role and Kyle Turris carrying on his glorious reign over the Republic of my Heart, you might want to find room in the lineup for your captain. The projected lines for tonight are:
Greening – Spezza – Stone
MacArthur – Turris – Ryan
Conacher – Zibanejad – Michalek
Kassian – Smith – Condra
Extras: Pageau, Neil.

While we’re on the subject of the first line I’d like to address a rumor. I have been romantically linked to Mark Stone’s goal on Carey Price. I’d like to say we are just friends at this time though this could change if he is willing to keep the door open to additional goals. Would love to see if Greening, who I’ve noticed has been far more physical of late, can create some space for Spezz and Stone to do the whole “getting points” thing. Now go out there and HAVE FUN (but seriously, produce immediately).
Fantastic that the Ziba line is kept together. What a difference a Neil injury makes. If Lil Z  can help to keep 9MM and 89CC going that’s a lot of fire power for an already offensively able forward group.
Interesting to learn that Pageau has been having sex with Paul MacLean’s wife as that’s the only reason I could see for him potentially being healthy scratched. Life Hack: JGP, stop having sex with your coach’s wife!!! Look, the air is thin in Denver and the Avalanche are a young team, naturally you want to ice your slowest skater and sit the player Luke Richardson has described as “not even out of breath at the end of a shift” because infidelity.

Colorado will be without character from the HBO prison drama Oz, Ryan O’Reilly. O’Reilly hurt his shoulder while hugging. An injury I have sadly never known *sad Charlie Brown Music*. Also missing the game is player I’ve never heard of Nate Guerin. Nathan MacKinnon is 18 years old and has 9 more points than Milan Michalek. The NHL is frustrating sometimes.

Projected defense the pairings had me all like: 
Cowen – Karlsson
Phillips – Ceci
Methot – Gryba
Wiercioch – Corvo

Is it just me or if Cowen can keep getting his shit together bit by bit that’s shaping up to be an alright 3 pairings? I don’t know. Complaints with Gryba have been pretty minimal. Phillips and Ceci have been quiet but steady. Pretty good. Wiercioch hasn’t even played 30 of the teams 44 games because THAT’s the way you start off a three year contract! Starting to get weird all the scratching.

La Vie En Goal
Craig Anderson gets the nod in goal for his 4th straight game. He’s 5-0-0 with a 1.99 GAA in his last 5 and has been a big part of all those victories. His game hasn’t been perfect and no player’s ever will, but he’s given the team a chance to win in those games which is pretty much all I really expected of him this year. Hooray for meeting expectations! No seriously, 4 straight wins is genuine hooray territory!

Much as it sucks for Robin Lehner to take the backseat to this degree, it is far more beneficial to see things stabilize in net. Things were getting a little “win and you’re in” for my liking. Lehner will now actually have to compete with a goalie who’s doing well to get more starts rather than one who makes far more money and has more experience. Andy’s improvement has for now stalled the awkward “So Robin, how does it feel to be markedly better than the starting goalie” kind of questions he was having to start to dodge game in and game out. That said, the biggest feather Lehner had in his cap up until a couple of days ago was that he had won a team high 3 straight games. Andy’s now won 4 straight, on the back of a pretty shaky Lehner performance to boot! C’est la vie d’un gardien de but. Hardest job in hockey. With the games spaced out how they are over the next few, could be late next week before Lehner gets another start. You have to love that he’ll have to make the most of it as coaches tend to have short memories when it comes to performance.
So what I’m saying here is congratulations Craig Anderson, you’ve played so well that I’ve spent most of this section talking about Robin Lehner. I hope Andy can bring it against his old team. The only other time he faced the Avalanche went…inelegantly.
Starting in goal tonight would be Patrick Roy if he had his way. Just kidding, alleged piece of shit Semyon Varlamov will get the start for the Avs.

When a team is in the midst of their longest winning streak of the year (even if it is a modest one) it’s tough to expect the victories to keep coming. That said, a win tonight according to friend of the blog and friend of statistics Travis Yost:

“Victory in Colorado on Wednesday puts Ottawa into a points-tie with Toronto”

So that would be pretty awesome if only for the the fact that they are a divisional rival who are ahead of us in the standings. Okay and that they have a load of dickhead fans in Ottawa who’s sad makes me happy. IT’S CALLED ME BEING “M-A-T-U-R-E” LOOK IT UP IT’S IN A BOOK CALLED “SPELLING WITH SPEZZA” BY BOBBY RYAN (Forward by Toni Morrison, available from G.P. Putnam and Sons a division of Penguin Publishing).

A late start to this one (9:30ishhh pm EST) THANKS A LOT LEGALIZED MARIJUANA. If you’re looking for something to fill your time inbetween I highly recommend this:

GO SENS GO! ENJOY THE GAME! 

4 thoughts on “James Day Preview: Ottawa takes their winning streak to the Mile High City

    • Hi Sam,

      Didn’t really feel Tim Murray seeking a GM job elsewhere fit the game preview…yet, I still found time to talk about the Polar Vortex. Circle of Life I guess. As far as T, Murray leaving, I’m not thrilled about it but I’m not on the ledge of a building either. Alfie leaving sucked and losing TM isn’t great but I don’t know if I would qualify it as a mass exodus. I hope as much as anyone that one doesn’t start though of course. The team granted him permission to talk to Buffalo so all’s fair. Important to remember that Ottawa’s not the only team that this happens to. Every time a GM spot opens up a field of candidates made up mostly of other team’s Assistant GMs (in this case Ottawa, Toronto and Pittsburgh) is put together. We’ll see it again soon with Jay Feaster’s long overdue firing in Calgary. Anyway, Tim’s obviously good at his job if he’s won it so yes that sucks. Maybe Bryan Murray isn’t as close to retirement as we think he is. Which is fine by me. It does muck up the vision of the future we all had planned which was based pretty much solely on the fact that Bryan is Tim’s uncle.
      One has to think Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee are about to move up the ladder and I feel good about that.
      I suppose I find it hard to be shocked that Tim’s left as I don’t really have much to base his slam-dunk status as Bry-Bry’s successor on other than them being related. Lastly, the Assistant GM world is a mysterious world. to me. I don’t really know how to make an appraisal of the job he did outside of interviews on Team 1200, AHL FA signings he’s made for Binghamton and that amazing youtube video of him selecting the highest draft pick Ottawa’s had since Jason Spezza like it was next ticket in line at busy deli on a Saturday afternoon. Admittedly his gruff personality sometimes made me uneasy when thinking about him taking over for Ottawa (see also: Burke, Brian) though he apprenticed under the tutelage of a good General Manager.
      In conclusion, since he’s taking over a division rival (weird) I hope he does a terrible, terrible job.

  1. yes .. let’s hope TM sucks 🙂 BM will retire (he is 71 now). TM would have been a safe choice. Can you imagine what a disastrous choice would mean ? Imagine Jay Feaster and havoc in Tampa Bay and Calgary. In Calgary’s case it took ownership 4 year to realize who they hired.

    Before the Murray era .. the last good manager was Marshal Johnston (how did disappear and fade mysteriously ?). Then Muckler stayed on and depleted the system to unsustainable oblivion.

    A wrong GM choice is a serious problem for the team and fans alike. Letting the “safe” choice walk means uncertainty. That said I am with you that letting Tim Murray go and not offering the promotion is not the end of the world provided we don’t see this exodus trend continue.

    I wonder who the real mind behind some of the brilliant moves is (Kyle Turris, Clarke MacArthur). Will Anders Forsberg be hired again ?

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