Is hockey stupid or great? It’s a question that’s baffled anthropaleontobotonists for centauries. I mean, I certainly don’t know. Maybe I don’t want to know. Frankly, it’s a debate that we, as living people, can probably do without…also, I’m high on Angel Dust. Let’s talk about THE GAME…but first, allow me to talk at length about something OTHER….than the game:
We’ve had lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of fun so far After a quite a lackluster first quarter of the season, for better or worse or samsies, we are already bearing witness to a new chapter in Sens history: The Dave Cameron Era (dot net). I suppose I have been quiet about the whole Paul MacLean firing thing and since no one gives a good goddamn about what I think (MOM AND DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD) I will now briefly address it:
I was a big fan of Paul MacLean as a coach and a person. From his first press conference on, Paul was like a breath of fresh air for the organization. I remember thinking from the start that if the Sens were going to be mediocre at best , still developing team, at least the scrums would be entertaining. He took some pretty whatevs rosters to the playoffs two out of three times and gave us something we had been thirsting for since the fateful summer of ’07, a playoff win. A. Decisive. Playoff. Win. Against a rival with some of the most humble fans in the world, no less.
Now, to call the time that followed that glorious playoff victory “disappointing” would be…yeah, that would be accurate. Seeing our beloved team go from looking poised to take the next step and maybe just maybe be a threat in the east to what I’d call consistently lethargic was tough on the soul.
This is season was supposed to be a fresh start to get away from all that but things were starting to feel similar to last year and frighteningly early.
There was a lot of criticism of MacLean’s player usage among fans and at first I defended it. “Hey its not his fault that he feels obligated to shake things up in an attempt to get lethargic players going.” I must admit though, after a while, it felt like PMac was being flat out stubborn and at some points his decisions seemed bizarre.
“Paul,” I would say to my Dream Journal, “I get that you can’t fix Methot’s injury. And it’s clear that you don’t like Patrick Wiercioch and, fam I feel you, he hasn’t been tremendous, but has he be been ‘scratch him like 10 straight games bad?’”
My dude would shake the forward corps up beyond belief (I’ll get to that) but Phillips spent weeks as the team’s worst defender by quite a margin and would still get a boat load of minutes and, worse, not so much as a sniff for Wiercioch. Weird Choix.
As for the forward lines, if you follow me on twitter (thx 4 muting!), you know what my breaking point was with Paul MacLean. A little hot jazz number called, “MacArthur – Turris – Condra.” Like the Borowiecki – Karlsson pairing before it, this is not necessarily an indictment of Condra. Anyone who follows the team closely knows Condra is a great player…A GREAT FOURTH LINE PLAYER. Seeing shit like 16-7-22 whilst mired in a lengthy losing streak just had me throwing my hands in the air like I very much gave a fucking care. It was that one line combo in particular that just made me think, “What am I even looking at anymore?” Like, yeah, I’m a Cyber Badboy but I’m no coach (spoiler!) but maybex given the chance to unfuck things I would try something crazy like giving Bobby Ryan, a player who gets paid over 7 million dollareedoos a year to score goals, one full game on a line with two players that he was on pace to score over 40 goals with at one point last year. Yeah, I’m crazy. I’d try that. But you know, one blogger shitheel’s perennial 30 goal scorer is another coach’s 28 year old 4th liner who’s career high is 8 goals. CLEARLY I DON’T UNDERSTAND COACHING. I’m a let your strategy cook while dip this cigarette in some Sherm. It makes you feel good.
We’ve seen 2 games of Dave Cameron and so far we’ve witnessed one win and one loss both solid efforts but I’ma keep my expectations level. He still has the same flawed roster to work with and will face the same challenges (RIP Marc Methot) but I just hope if he does one thing that he calms things down a bit. Just play to the teams strengths and keep a semblance of a reasonable top 6 and I’m good for the balance of the season. Also, I think scratching Phillips took some guts.
Anyway, if the alternative was more of what we were getting from MacLean, I don’t see how this is worse entertainment wise. Lastly, if Cam’Ron can ease some of the tensions that apparently were festering with the star players and MacLean that would be fantastic. I don’t care about any of this coach killer talk. With the exodus of talent that we’ve been forced through as fans, excuse me if I side with making the players happy. If we’re going to be a mediocre, developing team for the next while, I still want to have a couple of players with the talent to keep butts in the seats thanks very much. Remember, MacLean wasn’t John Paddock or anything. He was in his fourth season as coach. Plenty of time for things to go sideways. Going into this season, as a fan, I was told that he would do two things. 1. Repair bruised relationships with players. 2. Keep the lines consistent. A quarter of the way into another lackluster season he’d done neither. I thank him for a lot of good memories and wish him luck in the future. We’ll always have May 2013, old friend.
End Rant. Thx for reading….
…………….OH RIGHT THE GAME.
*straightens noose being used as tie*
Ahhh, the Sens get their long awaited chance to pad their place in the standings by playing the lowly Buffalo Sabres OH GOOD NOW THAT WE GET PLAY THEM THEY’RE ONE OF THE HOTTEST TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE.
December 15th, 2014: The Buffalo Sabres are one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League because whatever fuck #BLESSED
Oh and also, Jonas Enroth is leading the team with stellar goaltending. Cool, well I guess the blogging gods just want to give me nothing to make fun of.
I suppose the Sens called up Pageau to park himself in the crease and cast a shadow over him…there. *Dusts hands*
Oh and whats this? Tyler Ennis was just named 1st star of the week. Cool, cool, very cool. I don’t know what else to say about Buffalo because until recently, they’ve been Buffalo. So…
Whatever tho, they’re still the Buffalo Sabres. In their last three games, we’ve seen Ottawa storm back from a 3 goal deficit against the Canucks, hold it down and not get run over by the Kings and beat Boston…in an afternoon game. I can’t hate the Sens chances against the GD Sabres. In fact, if we see a comparable effort to their last two games we should be in for a h_ck of a match.
Pa………..oh, you know how that ‘geau.
After making a strong case as the best player in this year’s training camp, and receiving heaps of praise from Binghamton coach Luke Richardson, Jean Gabriel Pageau was called up from the AHL…to get Chris Phillips a fresh beer when he needs one in the press box. Well, if I have to wait to watch Pageau in exchange for a second straight game not watching Phillips, I suppose I have to take that as a victory. Plus we get to watch the most electrifying player on Earf and Milford Academy player of the year Milan Michalek!
POSITIVES: Going into this game a lot of the right players are heating up. Ryan and Zibanejad have been playing some fantastic hockey of late and with Mike Hoffman as their third, that line could go from heating up to downright dangerous. There must have been some magic in that old white fedora they found because Ziba’s been nothing short of the player we’d all been hoping for when he was drafted. Ryan? Well, this is how my dude can play with a broken finger. Probably broke it pointing it into the chests of haters.
*Skips over Michalek – Legwand – Greening line because I’ve already put you through enough*
Wait…#actually, Legwand’s been doing pretty well lately…no one cares? We all agree, no one cares. Moving on:
Whoa now, Condra – Lazar – Chiasson? Now that’s what I call a forth line. A great possession/defensive player, an exciting rookie with a solid all around game and a big body net crasher who’s been playing against much tougher competition this season. Honestly can’t wait to check this out.
Your 2014-15 Ottawa Senators: Area Man Excited About 4th Line of Our 7th Place Team and How It Matches Up Against the 8th Place Team.
Lehner gets his second consecutive start. Should out to Lehner’s shootout performance. He’s really grown that part of his game. He only let in Marchand’s in-sane deke…srsly, check out that deke…. It’s mad stressful. I don’t know who the hell would out wait that. Anyway, love him getting to build on a great win against a shitty rival who I hate.
Enjoy the game and remember: Iz just Sabres…and if the Sens lose? Blame it on the rain*