James Day Preview: The Ottawa Senators host Los Diablos del Nueva Yersey


3-2-1 Contact

Hi there. How are you feeling about YOUR Oddawa Sennerders? I have to say, personally, they’re about where I pegged them to be at 3-2-1. So far they’ve…

Won some winnable games: Heyyy turns out the Toronto Vape O’ Leafs are not that good!

Lost some v. losable games: Sorry but slow start or not a rested Penguins team desperate for their first win of the season playing Ottawa coming off a cozy victory on a road trip back to back has Sens loss written all over it.

Such and such: Outplaying a good team like Nashville at home, only ever leading for 5 minutes in the 2nd period, going down [again], then heroically tying the game late in the 3rd to ultimately lose in the shootout…basically sounds like 70% of the Sens games I’ve attended at the Tires.com arena.

Though the performances themselves have been all over the place so far in this Yung C-son, the Sens have shown the ability to win some of the games that were theirs to win. This is good. Sure blah dee dee blah parity and blah dee blah anything can happen but damn girl, 4 days off and a home game against Los Diablos del Nueva Yersey? You gotta hack that bone. Let’s have a brief look at the cavalcade of stars that will be rolling into Ottawa 2nite!

Press play on this before reading this next bit:

Jordin Tootoo (1pt, already been fined this season)

Mike Cammelleri (Congrats being a first line player on this team despite your washed AF status. Remember when this guy getting traded qualified as shocking news? What a world.)

Lee Stempniak (8th NHL team is a charm for this 32 year old who I definitely knew was still playing in North America! Heyyyyyy also a top 6 player here!)

Adam Larsson – Lottery pick well spent!

Kyle Palmieri – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Tuomo Ruutu – Injured!

Corey Schneider – Is he good? I can’t care!

Aaaaand the rest…A guy named Schlemko, a guy named Severson…both sound made up to me. No time to research, the game needs me. Let’s get to our major story lines:

Does Andrew Hammond play for this team still?
It’s a question I would have asked in a much less joking, more honest way in 2014. Seriously, I never thought I’d be rubbing my hands together like Birdman wondering “When’s ole hickory Hammond going to get a chance to start?” But it’s 2015 and 7 games into the season here we are.
After coming in Icy Hot™ with a groin strain suffered in training camp, the Hamburglar’s bathing suit area is all loosened up and he’s ready to follow up on a brief 26 game call up that went largely unnoticed last season.
Just a regular backup getting a regular first start of the year. No pressure little buddy! Just go out there and have some fun! Hahahahahaha…heh-heh…hmmm heh heh *sigh* [Seriously don’t fuck this up].

What? One of our best forwards AND best defenders have already suffered concussions? But it’s not even my birthday!
K, I feel like any fan when the team is missing some key players and looks like it needs a little boost from someone Young n’ Hungry™ n’ lookin to make an impression with the big club™. But now that we live in a Post #FreePrince and #FreeWideman paradigm, I think it’s starting to show that we’ve been a bit spoiled by instant impact debuts of the past like those of Mark Stone or Cody Ceci. Wideman and Prince have looked totally fine so far but have also shown that most call ups are going to be eased into an extended stay in the NHL instead of being expected to come in and lead. Which is smart. I mean, hey, don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not opposed to someone wrecking shop right away. Shane Prince if you want to come thru tonight and knock out a hattrick in the first period be my guest (I saw him do it with the 67s!). But Prince playing with Smith and Neil and Wideman being paired with Cowen t’aint the problem here.
What the Senators need to take it up a notch or two is for several players that we already know are good to start looking like themselves. Talking about Bobby Ryan, Mika Zibanejad, Milan Michalek and Patrick Wiercioch here people (I’m positive I’m the first person to bring this up). You know, the guys who’ve earned millions of space bux from proving they are good at the hockeys. Again, not even asking [is it asking or aksing?] for them to be their absolute best like Turris, Hoffman and Stone have been so far. No, I’m just asking for them to look like themselves. That’s how super #Chi11 I am.

Zero-Chill Korner: Ima get a little controversial considering he’s over a point per game right now but am I the only one who thinks aside from that Columbus game we’ve not yet seen close to the Erik Karlsson we’ve grown to know and love and name unpopular blogs after? Not saying he’s been bad or even mediocre…no, just waiting for him put on that extra “we are witnessing one of the best players of his generation” sauce. Yes, I know he’s had a 4 point game. Yes, I am aware I’m an asshole. Let’s move on…
So, what I’m saying here is with MacArthur and Methot out and the team with a DEEC but not sterling record, it’s not up Prince and Wideman to just slide in and be top six or top 4 players, it’s up to the guys who basically already are that to you know…BE that. So I propose THIS powerful hashtag that is bound to influence Dave Cameron’s decisions:


Join the movement!

Ahh, it’s working already! Borowiecki will stay paired with Karlsson.
Update: Turns out crackpipe will be paired with my lips until Methot returns.

Gentle Advice for Borowiecki: Just fuckiiiiiiiiiiiiin hold it down, skate as fast as you caaaaan and pass to Karlsson and kill anyone who goes near Karlsson. Get well Marc Methot we want you to get weeeeeeeeeeeeeeell but also don’t ruuuuushhh back from your heaaaad injuryyyyy.

The Importance of Hearing Both Sides   

Ahem, (spotlight please):

Tonight marks Chris Neil’s 900th career game, each of them performed in front of a live studio audience in an Ottawa Senators uniform. We’ve seen Neil morph over the past few years from Fan Favourite to a Fan Favourite / Maybe Most Divisive Player on Entire Team (I’ve admittedly been part of that!). But for a moment I invite you to join me and put whatever bad feelings you may have for him aside and recognize that tonight’s milestone is quite the accomplishment.

A complete afterthought at the 1998 draft, taken in the 6th round at 161st overall, Neil made the Sens by turning heads at training camp in 2001 despite that his highest pro point total up to then was 36 in the IHL. Even if you are not a fan of his hard hitting, face punching, roof raising style consider the amount of high end prospects, 1st round picks, basically more talented players who had a better shot who have exited the NHL in a fraction of the time that Neil has managed to stay employed.

He’s an enforcer, sure, there’s no denying that but if I credit Neiler (nickname I just came up with) with one thing is that he is precursor to what will become Toughguy 2.0 in the Hover Hockey League of the fantastic year 25, 000, 000. Neil has been a guy who’s built his identity as someone who will drop the gloves but he has always been able to take a shift as well. He even put up 16 goals and 33 points in his best season. Pretty damn solid numbers for a fourth line goon. Long gone are the mostly healthy scratched, 1 lucky point a year Matt Kassian enforcers of the world. Chris Neil still has a job at 36 and don’t rule out one more short deal either whether in Ottawa or elsewhere. Coming into camp 12 pounds lighter with zero PIMs so far the man’s certainly gunning for it.
Toughness will always exist in hockey and if taking punches as well as shifts is the new wave, I like to think Neil was a bit ahead of his time in this respect.

Even though it has admittedly felt that it’s been time to pass the torch in Ottawa for a while now; and we’ve been a little bit thirsty to move on from some of our older legacy players…..named Christopher, congratulations to a guy who was never supposed to make it on his 900th game. He went from Flesherton, Ontario (?) to seeing his bulldog face on banners, wearing a letter and has been a community ambassador to the city of Ottawa. Not to mention being a h_ck of a pitchman for express motor oil changes as well as a host of other automotive services as well. Hats off to a guy who’s been around for more than half of the Senators modern history. That’s a lot of our Sens memories. Here a few of my favorite Chris Neil moments:

Ugly, grimy OT playoff goal against  handsome, sparkly goaltender:

Stoner takes a huge hit (I am so, so sorry)

Hands of…Neil:

I couldn’t find that awesome break away goal from 2005 where he hung onto the crossbar after so you’ll have to settle for this:


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