James Day Preview: Ottawa West hosts Dallas East

Photo Courtesy of Spezza Family Collection

Photo Courtesy of Spezza Family Library and Archives

More like…Ales……*sigh* I don’t fuckin’ know……..Whatevsky. No wait I have a better one: Thanksforreadingsky
Super bummed out that Alex Hemsky recently broke out of the Jared Cowen scoring race…and has entered…the Ales Chiasson (no points in 100 games!) strata of production. Sure, it’s still pretty funny but it’s not Chris Neil/Jared Cowen funny. It is with a heavy heart that I hereby retire this joke (until further notice, Chris Neil gunna be back soon and will bribe his way back on that power play and come for the crown, babyfella).
On the real tho, it’s crazy to think about watching a guy who could not have looked more perfect playing with Jason Spezza, skip town to play for the same team as him, get bumped out of being on a line with him, and end up a healthy scratch for putting up Shutdown Defenseman-like numbers. LIfe comes at you fast. He has enjoyed a recent slight uptick. It should be noted that “recent slight uptick” took place nearly halfway through the season.
Hemsky has throughout his career been one of those players whose talent no one denies but doesn’t carry that same respect fellow high flying finesse players seem to enjoy. The criticism of Hemsky is in some cases unfair, “Gets hurt a lot” but others jabs are starting to make sense to me like, “talented but not really a difference maker.” This was the impression I got when I talked to a friend of mine who’s from Edmonton and a big Oilers fan (I am happy to report that as of the time of this writing he still has the strength to get out of bed in the morning!) when the trade happened. He wasn’t thrilled about it but seemed comfortable that if the Oilers were going to deal one of their more talented forwards, that Hemsky would have been his pick as well.
Now that the dust has settled on the off season, I must admit, I feel the same way. I was as salty as anyone when the Sens kept Milan Michalek for the exact same deal Hemsky got to play in Dallas alongside Spezza. But that was when I was having nightmares about Hemsky putting like 30+ goals, 70+ points in Texa$. To see him have a comparable season to Milo almost feels like an accidental little victory by the organization. I guess we got 1 Hemsky instead of 2? And our Hemsky has a respectable 2 way game and can kill penalties? Like I said, LITTLE victory. He’ll be playing on a line with Spezza tonight…which is kind of hilarious to think of as a special event not even a calendar year after they tore it up together here. Lost a Hemsky Retained a Michalek
Rating: Shrugging Emoticon Guy Made of Faberge Egg.

Matt Spezza & Associate
I wont spend too long on this because it’s been done to death but tonight we see the much anticipated(?) first clash with Matt Spezza’s brother. You know, I was not thrilled that Spezza was dealt but I was at peace with it by the time it went down. His trade was perhaps the centrepiece of a particularly rough off season. He’s one of the best players the Sens have ever had but it made sense to move him out. He was just never going to win over his detractors and be loved here. He wanted a change of scenery (y u accept captaincy then?) and was due for a new contract and we had just watched him miss an entire year due to an injury he has publicly admitted he will have for the rest of his playing career. I was okay with our penny pinching team not paying him big bux to stick around into his late 30s. Yes, I know that Dallas has resigned him to his mid-30s, but I think Spezza’s going to be a player who ages quickly. Also, that 4 year contract is something I strongly doubt a sentimental, career club in Ottawa could have pulled off. Especially with him serving as a newly minted captain. Without him on the payroll I think it left Bryan Murray with some rare money laying around to give Bobby Ryan his raise with some left over to use to keep our glut of pending RFA’s around. I’m still all in on the Sens passing the torch. Dealing Spezza was the cost of getting there. The rise of prospect Nick Paul who also came over as part of the trade helps ease the blow. Onward and……….you know, very much onward.

Basically, in the end, I’m feeling a touch #blessed with this whole mess because it’s afforded me the perfect hater-ass situation. We lose Spezza who didn’t want to be here and as such weren’t  pressured to re-sign him saving our broke ass team money. On top of this I get to be Mr. Cool Calm and Collected Guy Who Toooooooooootally has a healthy relationship to Professional Sports and be all, “I’m glad he’s doing well in Dallas!” then on some silky shit under my breath mumble “…but he’s not doing that good.” Plus he plays on a team that is basically Ottawa West. Grass remains yellow on both sides. Adequate luck in future endeavors, Jason.
“No jealousy required” – Phil Collins.

HEYYYYYYYY Sens are playing in another time zone so I have virtually no information about tonight’s lineup!
Sens are coming off a big win but you’d never know by the vibe among fans right now.
Hey, maybe it’s the -24 weather talking but it’s the halfway point and when you sit 8 points out of even a wild card birth it’s tough to watch a team that’s been .500ish all season long and be super hopeful.
On the converse, it’s just my opinion and you can take it or leave it but as Edmonton shoots for an all-time franchise worst 13th straight road loss tonight against the Blues and meanwhile the Hurricanes are becoming the street cred Sabres, I for one am doubtful for a lotto pick. Sorry, but Ottawa’s goaltending is just too good for a fall that far down the standings. Plus I don’t see the Sens getting worse with Marc Methot back in the lineup. Besides we all know the fix is in and the Las Vegas Panthers will get the no.1 ball in the lottery. For the balance of the season I recommend you take a page from our very own beloved Varada with his guide to the 2015 portion of things.

Update: Oy, story of my friggin’ life. I was just about to wrap things up and practice lines get released. Ugh, via TSM’s Bort Wallace:

MacArthur – Turris – Chiasson

Hoffman – Zibanejad – Ryan

Condra – Pageau – Lazar

Michaelek – Legwand – Stone

Warm Take:
Well, pretty cool of Cameron to give Chiasson a chance to get off the schnide against his former club. He’s our li’l Hemsky! Hopefully he can capitalize on Lehtonen’s weaknesses he’s learned from shooting on him in all those practices…uh…more than Spezza does on Lehner.

If you’re looking for a nickname for this Condra – Pageau – Lazar line I think the “Responsibility Trio” is still available. Could be interesting. These three look like they’d be equipped to cause a turnover or two and take advantage of it with their speed. I could see this combo sticking. Looking forward to seeing them play together.

And the rest! Seriously, shout out to Mark Stone. Good team player giving up his top line digs to slum it with these dudes. Stone might actually be the fastest dude on his line for once. So he’s got that going for him!

I don’t have time to wait around for the Defensive pairings.
Here’s all you need to know: Methot’s back, Borowiecki’s eating solid foods again, Phillips is playing like a shaky call up despite having over 1000 games experience, I’ve given up on waiting for Wiercioch to impress me, Gryba and Ceci are quietly decent and Karlsson is king.

Matt Spezza will start in goal for both teams.

Remember it’s a 2:45AM start tonight. Enjoy the game my little night owls!

3 thoughts on “James Day Preview: Ottawa West hosts Dallas East

  1. I know this game is already over (praise/damn the heavens??) but just gotta make a note on “Whatevsky” and “babyfella” (BABYFELLA) and also stick up for Hemsky just a little. DISCLAIMER, this is coming from the yo who painted themselves a “Hemmer” hoodie, but from what I’ve heard from a few Stars fans is that dear Ales has been poorly handled/managed in the line-up, and hasn’t been given enough chances to stick with a consistent line. Obvs we saw this game that he can… you know… score… so IDK. He isn’t terrible! I’m still hoping he comes back to us, don’t laugh.
    Also, PS: CST is only one hour behind EST *thumbs-up*!

    • hahaha “I still be hatin’ on Hemsky till the day that i diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie” – Snoopy Dogg Dogg.
      I know its mean but i gotta make fun of people. It’s….what I do. I’m sorry but if you’re putting up Jared Cowen-like numbers half the year I’ma pounce on that.
      You’re absolutely right, he’s NOT terrible that’s why I’m doing it.
      Trust me YC, one hour makes a big difference when you’re trying to write up a game preview in a timely fashion AND meet your parole officer on time.
      Thanks for reading and commenting as always! The game needs you 🙂

  2. BM looking for a top-6 forward .. Isn’t that Hemsky ? Low balled in the off-season .
    Very happy with the loss. I mean come ‘on, can’t skimp this much on payroll and expect to win again and again. At least now , the temptation to add a player like Hemsky is gone and draft picks are spared. Want to win , you need to open that wallet.

    For the record .. the answer is no .. No to tax payer’s dollars to fund a downtown arena unless EM pays rent. No community contribution tyvm. Want better attendance .. lower the prices or even better, spend the windfall from the TV deals on players and operations.

    Just sayin’

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