James Day Preview: Ottawa hosts Boston in Somewhat Important Game

bruins

*please click before skimming*

It’s a James Day Miracle!

HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, my brothers and sisters or who knows what spice, a team I have consistently billed as “the most boring good team in the league” comes to town for their first of two matches in 10 days and it’s actually H_LLA worth watching!
Let’s be honest, what are your top 3 teams you cannot WAIT to see fall from goodness to the turlet? Boston’s got to be in that mix right? They’re not even close to pushovers yet but word is spreading of their decline. The fact that Ottawa has gone 2-1 with them this year instead of the usual 0-3 shows that the things they could be a-changin’. What better opportunity to prove that than tonight?

Sunday’s game against Calgary could have been last year’s soul destroying game against Edmonton (shout out to Alex Hentski wherever he may be).
Myself having been in attendance at the CTC Sunday night (holds for cheers of congratulations) I am happy to report that my therapy is progressing nicely and I am ready to watch Ottawa Senators hockey again without screaming and screaming and screaming.
Ugly a win as it was, I  can’t believe I am looking at the same team that I watched put up a combined 10 wins through November and December try to rack up as many in about 2 weeks. Wait…am I watching the same team?

The line up that brokered peace on twitter:

Hoffman-Zibanejad-Ryan
Michalek-Turris-Stone
Condra-Pageau-Lazar
Puempel-Legwand-Chiasson

Methot-Karlsson
Wiercioch-Ceci
Borowiecki-Gryba

What are we supposed to complain about? Power play goal leader David Legwand (lolz, eh? Look that shit up)? Bottom pairing defenseman Mark Borowiecki who even without scoring that goal probably just played the best game I’ve ever seen from him? Are we supposed to wholeheartedly cheer for these guys? What’s a fan to do? We must be strong and carry on and pick away at our team that hasn’t suffered a regulation loss in like half a month.

I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Dave Cameron’s success in his still early tenure as head coach has come in part due to player deployment. The line up he gets to ice, I think, has to do with two factors.

Lack of job security:
Cam’ron has been pretty hardbody about icing the players that he feels give him the best chance to win and he’s been steady winnin’ doing it. Maybe he has testiclads made of iron but I think it has more to do with not having a Jack Adams, a playoff round win against a high seed and a long term contract in his pocket (it’s a big pocket!). Dude’s playing for his NHL coaching career right now and has been making power moves. Case in point of late, tonight will mark the 5th game since Jared Cowen’s suspension was served in full and shit’s been MAD quiet for the gentle giant Seinfeld. If you’ve been out c’here arguing relentlessly through the season that it should be Cowen sitting regularly and not Weircioch, pour yourself a bit of that Ballentine, put on Boyz II Men 2 (I recommend “I’ll make love 2 u”) and enjoy it. You did it, Boo. To me, there have been few bolder moves by a Sens coach this season. The paint by numbers coach move against the “big bad” Bruins is to ice the G who just got hit with his 2nd suspension in just a 207 game career to bring the physical element. Instead Killa Cam goes with the far more skilled Patrick Wiercioch, which is quite the statement as he is softer than my new chinchilla hat. It’s a move I like but a bold one considering how things have gone most of the season. Often times MacLean seemed intent on sending messages to skilled players through punishing our…entertainment value with shit like Chris Phillips on the power play. Cameron don’t got the luxury of sending messages. Game recognize game. But also…

Injuries BEEN helping avoid deployment politics:
Of course, you gotta here both sides that coach Cam’ron has benefited from a few guys missing extended time. But before I get to that, the biggest gift the new boss has been given since taking over for Paul MacLean has been a healthy Marc Methot. I don’t think anyone can deny that Methot has gone from sliding into shorties DMs to sliding back into his top pairing role with equal smooveness. As a result, Karlsson has gone from looking like the best player on the team that has to play with a bottom pairing rookie or local business owner to looking like the best player on the team who gets to play with a proper top 4 shutdown partner.
In some ways, Cameron’s benefited from being forced to ice a younger, more skilled line up. Should be interesting to see what happens when Neil, Phillips (K.I.A.?), Smith, even MacArthur come back. But no matter what your allegiance is player-wise you must admit we’ve been treated to some pretty fun hockey during the past few weeks.Things are clicking.

Can’t talk player usage without a good ol’ Steamed Ham on the side.
I will now break my LEGENDARY silence on how I feel about Anderson starting:
It’s friggin’ fine. If this team’s going to make the playoff push we all hope so badly they do, Andy’s going to have to be a goalie the team can lean on in huge games too. The sooner he can get back to proving he’s still the fantastic goaltender he is, the better. With a couple of back to backs and just a general fuckload of games on the horizon, The Andrewburglar will still have plenty of time to be a hero by Brungling Hams or whatever the kids are saying on Chatsnaps™ these days.

Wwaavveeyy thoughts
Look I’ve brought up a couple of times that this rag tag bunch of Rory Calhouns(?) that could barely string together 3 wins all year hasn’t lost a regulation game in a couple of weeks. It’s crazy, exciting, stressful and I wont use the most buzz killing word in sports: Unsustainable…(did that just count? whtvr hear me out.) What I’m saying is I get it. We’re all cool. We’re a bunch of Ryan Gooselings chewin our gum and dental care toothpicks. But regardless of what happens tonight when the final buzzer goes remember: This team’s basically stunk for two seasons. Let’s smoke some of this amazing run they’ve been on while it lasts. It’s been the best time to be a Sens fan since May 2013.

Enjoy the game and beat nem Broonz!

6 thoughts on “James Day Preview: Ottawa hosts Boston in Somewhat Important Game

  1. Soo much fun these past few weeks. At very least it’s given us something to be excited about for next year.

    Really hoping that these games are a clear indicator that the team has taken a leap in terms of development. I think it’s time to officially change the guard, get Philly to retire, and same with Neil (or deal ’em)…but its gonna be hard to mess with chemistry when some of these injured guys come back..

    • That’s where I’m at for sure. I think it would great for team morale etc if they made the playoffs but I’ve been around the block enough times that they are so down to the wire in their push that they might not make it. The last few weeks have been amazing mostly because I’ve seen a team that can play like a legit playoff seed. There’s little doubt in my mind that if the Sens had Methot all year they would have a few more points right now. To me, Methot’s injury proved his importance to Karlsson and the team’s success. On the other side, I think Neil and Phillips’ extended leave has also shown that, like you’re saying, it’s time for a changing of the guard. I respect what they’ve done for the team in the past but I think its time to move on. Also, my heart is black after Alfie left…if we can endure that…well. Anyway, it’s been really cool to see Ryan and Turris wear the A’s and generally what a leader Bobby Ryan in particular is emerging as in has got me so pumped for the future.

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