This is a weekly feature that takes an uncharitable look at the Senators’ upcoming opponents.
Wednesday, January 13 – Senators @ Ducks
If the Jason Spezza deal taught us anything, it’s that it’s really hard to trade a top-line, near-point-per-game forward for equivalent value, especially once he gets a little bit older and starts making serious money. Sure, you can find a buyer, but you’ll probably only get a disappointing 25-year-old forward, a struggling prospect or two, and a high-round pick. Bit of a rip-off, right? Ask the Ducks about their return on Bobby Ryan if you don’t believe me. Hey Silfverberg, at least Alex Chiasson only makes $1.2M a year to put up less than 10 points at the half.
The Ducks were expected to be good this year and they are Not, languishing near the bottom of the weakest division in the NHL having scored only 78 goals in 41 games. Long-time stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are starting to get up there in years, and it seems like half the cast around them at this point is just ex-Canucks and Oilers. One of them, Ryan Kesler, is signed to what may be the worst deal in hockey, as the Ducks will still be paying him almost $7M per season long after humanity has terraformed the moon. Bobby Ryan says he doesn’t miss the place, and I don’t blame him. What is he really missing, other than being able to play golf with retired people every day of the year?
PREDICTION: The city of Anaheim (motto: “A lot farther from Los Angeles than you thought”) is basically a roided-up Kanata with a Disneyland, so expect the Senators to feel right at home. Look for Curtis Lazar to do his post-game scrum wearing a pair of souvenir mouse ears, and for the league itself to step in and inform him that his adorableness is starting to get out of hand. Senators 5, Ducks 0.
Saturday, January 16 – Senators @ Kings
Isn’t it weird how Drew Doughty has never won a Norris Trophy for the silly reason that someone else is always better every year? It’s almost unfair, isn’t it? In truth, I have to laugh a little every time I read something championing Drew Doughty, or Shea Weber, or some other big-body guy who’s not in the top 10 of scoring at the position, as deserving of a Norris because they are “defense-first” defensemen. This is like insisting that only boring British period dramas should be eligible for Oscars.
I could talk at length about how morally and ethically dubious the Kings are, both as players and as a franchise – this team is so shady they made Mike Richards a sympathetic figure, after all – but you can get all of that information at your local library. Instead, let’s ask the tough questions, like, “Why is Dustin Brown’s captain patch so big?” Have you seen that thing? It looks like a doughnut with a bite out of it. It looks like the handle of a “#1 Underwhelming Captain” mug that someone’s about to dip a half-eaten doughnut into. Wait, now I get what he’s going for. It’s perfect.
PREDICTION: If you’re wondering why this game is starting at 1 PM local time on a Saturday, it’s because the Clippers play in the same building less than four hours after this game is over. Keep bringing up the rear in that LA sports pecking order, Kings. Hey, did you know two NFL teams are coming to town too? Look for Erik Karlsson to smuggle a stray basketball onto the ice and literally dunk on Drew Doughty at some point. Senators 5, Kings 0.