The Ottawa Shot Differential Vs. Blue Columbia Jackets

See what we did there?

See what we did there?

*Looks up from filling Bronson Ave Petro Canada bathroom sink with hot water to warm up pack of Ramen noodles I found*

Huh? Oh! Hello haters.*hides noodles in hat*  I didn’t see you there. Welcome to this web-site.

So I guess you heard about the game tonight huh? And you want me to talk about it..Let me just comb through these post it notes that I’ve been using as napkins (want not waste isn’t!). While I do that,  enjoy today’s HYYYYYYYYYYPE jam:

Sorry I’ll find a song where someone’s a little more fired up next time. Still worth checking out if only for his interesting takes on doing what you love and the importance of having extendos. *invests in company that makes tattoo removal equipment*

So the last game is an interesting example of the thin line the Sens have been walking so far and the season we might be in for. Recap: They gave up a ton of shots, took a bunch of penalties and great goaltending plus solid penalty killing kept the game flatteringly close. An impressive push in the third period almost saw Bobby Ryan net his now trademark late tying goal but here’s the thing: He t’aint gonna be able to do that every time. It’s amazing he’s already done it twice this year but it’s too much to expect on a regular basis.
If he puts that feed from Karlsson in, they probably come away with at least a point. In this case, he comes up short and they lose. I’m not the first to point this out but this is the great risk we are in for with the return of the Penske Sens (Penske: Official Moving Truck of WTYKY, visit Penske.net to book yours today!).
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out over time. The Sens losing 2-1 on the end of a back to back on the road to a team as good as Chicago? I can deal with that. Losing at home to average at best New Jersey who were themselves on a back to back playing their backup goaltender in a game that the Sens should have been fired up as FUCK to play? That smells a little too much like last year’s inability to get up for very winnable games to make me comfortable. Ottawa has struggled to put up the points to put teams away lately and I present to you a big reason why…

Will the real Michael Zibanejad please stand up score points.
For a guy who’s played in every game so far this season, my G’s stat line is looking similar to a few dudes who get scratched regularly…or, you know, worse. I wrote in the off season how I think to expect in one season for Zibanejad to jump from a 33 point promising young player to 50+ point solid second line stud is a bit much. Now, notice in the bold print I said points not even goals necessarily. To shuffler extraordinaire Paul MacLean’s credit, he’s been giving Mika steady time on the second line. Yes, Mika’s had the tough task of a lot of defensive zone starts (43% or 43.2% if you want to be a dick about it) but approaching the 10 game mark? I was expecting an assist or two. He’s played the majority of his games with Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson. So for their combined 8 points Mika doesn’t even have so much as a secondary helper?
*Mark Borowiecki puts on his Mr. Assisty Assist 2014-15 sash*
No bigs right? After all, as the greatish Alex Kovalev once said, “Comes ze shootingz, comes Z goals.” Well perhaps most concerning of all is Mika’s lack of shots. He currently has 7 in 7 games and 0 in his last 2. That’s good for 13th on the team behind snipers like Chris Phillips and Zack Smith.

“But James, sometimes Zibanejazz is all about listening for the shots he’s NOT taking.”
– Michael Jordan, Gambler, Probably Bad Father, Rayovac Renewal Rechargable Batteries Pitchman.

Shut the fuck up, Mike Jordans. For the amount of ice time he’s been getting and quality of players he’s been skating with, not to mention power play opportunity he’s had, 0 points and 7 shots is pretty unacceptable. He’s been doing well at the face off dot but goddamn if crappy old garbage me expects more from a second line centre, I’d imagine the coach does as well. What I’m worried most about here is that if this continues, it could lead to a confidence destroying trip to the pressbox. Seems crazy but if you think MacLeezy wont something tells me the coach wishes a motherfucker would. Remember they sent him to Binghamton just one year ago.
In all, I think Zibs can erase this panic pretty quickly by getting a few pucks on net because as a fan of his, I would say his greatest attribute is his shot. Homie can get the puck off his stick in a hurry. Channel your inner Lazar, Mika. Yeah that’s right I went there. So Pretty please with sugar on top…take some shots, score some goals or else the coach could get psychedelic with your ice time and no one wants less stability in this lineup. And…

This is the part where I talk about Jarrod Cowens
Aight. It’s already challenging as a fan to be patient with this whole new world/new exciting point of view that is the musical chairs of who gets scratched and who plays.
Sarcastic Aside: This is BELOVED by people who try to write game previews in a timely fashion!
The bad news for the foreseeable future is that four of the most frequent healthy scratches, Cowen, Wiercioch, Greening and Erik Condra make a combined $9, 000, 000.00 or to put it in yeoman’s terms, roughly 16% of the team’s overall  payroll. You can just simply throw “Best Players Play” out the window until scientists find a cure for whatever Marc Methot died of.
With the exception of maybe Condra’s $1.25 million, sitting these guys hasn’t exactly been putting Joe Corvo and his $900K in the pressbox indefinitely. Just to add some “fun” irony, the relatively cheap Condra has been the best off the bench performer of these four guys. Cowen who’s been sat the most makes the most too at 3.1 million. Couple in the fact that he’s still in that “Be patient, maybe he just needs a wake up call” phase of his career you can expect to see him more as the season goes on regardless of how he plays. Pains us all, probably MacLean most of all, but with an owner as spend averse as Melnyk, a player who makes that much is going to get some games. So here we are, this is one of them. You can probably thank the Sens hot start for giving MacLean enough wiggle room to sit Cowen as much as he has up to this point. Two losses in a row and here he comes. Perhaps most disappointing in this whole affair is that Patrick Wiercioch has not exactly made the strongest case to permanently bump him from the line up. A pretty big opportunity blown. Why have one disappointing young defender who’s failing to live up to what they were projected to be when you can have two?
At any rate, Cowen has been bad so far but I’d like to think he’s still capable of A good game. Is that crazy to ask? ONE good game from a guy who has over 150 under his belt? Columbus is playing the notoriously tough first game back home after a West Coast road trip. They’ve lost two straight and are playing their 4th game in 6 nights. Catch a sleepy Columbus forward in the trolley tracks. HACK THE BONE JERRY COWEN. Make a couple of nice passes or something. Just help make us all be less mad at you.

Lehner’d Skyn…nyrd….whatever, thanks for reading.
Coming off an extremely strong outing where Anderson graciously allowed only 2 goals on 45 shots (an insane 34 in the first 2 periods alone) Craig will get the night off. Incredible Hulk protégé Robin Lehner gets the start (a-doi). With the upcoming schedule busy as it is (HEYYYYYY would you look at that Ottawa gets to play Chicago AGAIN later this week #blessed), it’s good to be able to rest your starter and have another good goaltender play in their stead. ISN’T THAT RIGHT TEAMS WHO’VE BEEN PLAYING THEIR BACKUPS AGAINST US AND WINNING? Dare 2 Dreeme.
Ugh.
Anyway, I don’t have much negative to say about Lehner’s play so far this season. I think Anderson’s been far more positionally sound but you can’t teach Lehner’s brand of Highlander jazz.
The Lehner has given the team just as much of a chance to win as Anderson. To his credit, Lehner doesn’t even have one of those 3 goals on 6 shots in the first period nightmares like Andy does, so that’s nice(?).
I know it’s their team identity, and this is going to sound cray-zay, but to me, the big key to victory is for the team in front of the goalie to actually show up and play some defense in the second period.  Yes, I’m being unreasonable but in Lehner’s last start, New Jersey was limited to 7 shots in the first. Period ends, zero goals against. In the second, NJ’s shot count doubled to 14. The result? 2 goals, a lead going into the 3rd  and a serious momentum shift in the game  caused by bad babysitting which all ties into that whole thing about we can’t expect Ryan to tie things up with the saving of the bacon game after game.

Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovski was added to Columbus’ already hefty injured reserve list today. Fresh off the IR himself, Curtis McElhinney gets the start for the Jean Jackets. I’m not actually counting this as much of an opportunity as our beloved Sens have been unable to take advantage of this type of thing in a couple of recent games. Need to stop making backups and third stringers (ahhhh my liiiife) look good.

Lastly, a get well soon to Nick Foligno who was injured on a very scary collision in LA two nights ago. Glad it wasn’t more serious. We’re sending our healing vibewaves to you, homie. Here’s to making a full recovery, Nicky.

K, enjoy the game, eat your fries, eat em.

2 thoughts on “The Ottawa Shot Differential Vs. Blue Columbia Jackets

    • Yeah I hope so. I mean, with those dismal stats, you’d have to just think that a player as talented as Mika is due to make a bit of noise. Would be great to see him be the hero tonight. Thanks for the pump up jam. I love The Fall…well, most of the albums I’ve heard. I mean, there is only so much time in this work a day world to dig into their catalog of 4000+ LPs. I paticularly love “Extricate” tho.

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