James Day Preview: Chiasson Spezza Returns

Jaden Spezza chats with his new line mate Jared Cowen. Thanks for reading.

Jaden Spezza chats with his new line mate Jared Cowen. Thanks for reading.

You know, it’s an IMPORTANT night. Of course all sportz nights are important ones but this one especially so. As if a game against the mediocre Dallas $tars couldn’t get more exciting, Ales Hemsky is back in town!
I kid, I kid, y’all know I’m a rascal. No one cares about him. No, the big noise is that tonight is the night when two become one marks the return of Jason Spezza to the Tires.com Arena.
Always a polarizing figure during his 11 seasons in the Capital, there has been a lot of interesting discussion leading up to the game over the decision of whether to boo or cheer Spezza. I’ve decided this is what I will be chanting tonight: CAN I HAZ WIN?
Honestly, true fans of -Norwegian Black Metal- the Sens know the cheer or boo Spezza debate has been raging since I DON’T KNOW the day he started playing here over a decade ago. But hey, Ima let our fanbase’s tradition of self-consciousness cook.

Story behind the story behind the riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in “In Flames” themed padding:
K, the real story for me tonight is how goalie of the future, Robin Aloysius Lehner performs.
Shorty has been tore DOWN for a minute. It is clear that Dave Cameron who is getting his first crack at NHL coaching, is not on team tank. Part of his controversial strategy of “trying to keep his job” is to win as many games as possible and not start Lehner, who of late has been, as the British say, “Shit, mate”.

Harsh? We’ll in his last 5 games his best performance has been an overtime loss TO THE BUFFALO SABRES where he surrendered 4 goals in 33 shots and posted an .879 save percentage.
Hi, my name’s James and I’d like to, again, point out that THAT WAS HIS BEST PERFORMANCE IN HIS LAST 5 GAMES.  

His worst of those last 5 you ask? Computer says that would be giving up 5 goals on 29 shots(!) good for an .838 save percentage…including a 4 goal 2nd period meltdown in a regulation loss against who? Oh, NBD, just against THESE SAME MEDIOCRE ASS DALLAS STARS.

 YOU GUYS I’M STARTING TO WORRY ABOUT ROBIN LEHNER.

Update: Oh GOOD Lehner’s starting because Craig Anderson’s hurt. Andrew Hammond has been recalled from Binghamton. *Looks at his AHL stat line for this year* 

As per me: 

Holy shit Hammond has been AWWWWWFUL in Binghamton. Homie has 7 wins in 25 starts this year and sports an only acceptable in the QMJHL goals against average of 3.51. fuh-kinnnng YIKES.

For a team that basically needs goaltenders to steal games for them on a near nightly basis I can only send this up toward Craig Anderson’s hospital room in heaven:

What else? HAHAHAHA…Who cares!

Life comes at one fast: David Legwand led the Detroit Red Wings in points less than a calendar year ago. He is a healthy scratch tonight…playing for the Sens…At least he has a career ahead of him playing henchmen/street toughs on various iterations of the CSI shows for the foreseeable future. Lookin’ more and more like a walking police sketch every day, Dave!

Alex Chiasson who was looking like the odd man out until recently gets a crack at his old club [again] tonight. G has to get on the board. I mean, after having had to endure an Ales Hemsky goal the last time these teams met, it’s the least he can do. C’mon accomodating Stars, do the kid a solid, we can’t bear all the weight of getting opposing players off the schneid(?). Chiasson’s line with Hoffman and Pageau looks pretty cool actually.
“Pageau dishes to Hoffman, Hoffman SHOOTS, Chiasson tries to get in the way but not TOO much in the way, [Ed. note: probably] SCORES!” – Hockey

HEY! Speaking of getting off the schneid (why do i keep using this phrase?) common law linemates Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur are “on a break” after nearly two years of happiness together. A lot’s been made of it but I think it’s the right move. They’re two of my favorite players and I haven’t even been mad at how they’ve been playing but they’ve been undeniably cold of late. If it doesn’t work, put them back together, they certainly haven’t been hurting the team. I’m not mad at this top 6 combo slated to start the game:

Michalek – Turris – Stone
MacArthur – Zibanejad – Ryan

Michalek has been pretty great lately as has Stone. Really, so have Zibanejad and especially Ryan who’s really becoming a force on this team…so…We’ll see how it goes.

Corporate slogan idea: Your Ottawa Senators: We’ll See How It Goes 

Defensive pairings look to shape up like this:
Methot – Karlsson
Who gives a damn – Ceci 
Who gives a damn – Who gives a damn 

Extra: Patrick Wiercioch has a thing with sleeping with coaches wives [Legal: ALLEGEDLY]. Mark Borowiecki is now available on Netflix.

Puck drop is at 7:30pm, cheering Spezza is scheduled for the first period and booing him will follow in the 2nd and 3rd or as soon as he scores a fucking goal.  Coverage is available on HAM radio or by Fax Machine.

Enjoy the game! OR WHATEVER, it’s your business!

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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!

James Day Preview: Ottawa Vs. Team Could Be Worse

So Who Even Plays for Philly These Days? *looks up roster* …OH, Everyone!
You know you’ve got an Island of Misfit Toys lookin ass roster when you start your season with Carlo Colaiacovo in the line up. Now there’s a player you could tell me was a periodic healthy scratch in the Italian League or a first pairing defender on the *yawwwn* Carolina Hurricanes and I’d believe you either way. Waat, they also have RJ Umberger? Wow, this team is chock full of guys who I’ve definitely heard of but could give 0.00 fucks about.

This Team Seems Oddly Phamillyar…
They have a well respected gamer of a captain who’s seemingly keeping this thing from becoming a complete shit show (Giroux), a washed up but once great 1000 point(ish) player getting way too much money on a bad contract (Lecavalier), sub-par goaltending tandem capable of frustratingly few flashes of greatness (Mason/Emery), an underappreciated dude racking up a ton of points (mostly assists) largely in losing efforts (Voracek), a solid, heart and soul assistant captain who’d be worth a ton in a trade (Simmonds), an aged veteran defensemen who despite nearing the end of his career is expected to be a linchpin and as a result can do no right in the fans eyes (Streit), and a talented but flawed young player that fans and management are just praying can take his development to the next level and help be a key to turn this thing around (Couturier (probably)). They also have a fairly inexperienced coach who after having a first full season behind the bench that saw a playoff birth, now seems a bit in over his head.  This year they boast a losing record and all the while under the watchful eye of a scrutinous media!

So what I’m saying is the Philadelphia Flyers are the 2010-11 Ottawa Senators *danger flutes*Good LUCK with that!

No seriously peep these understudies…OH and be sure to click the suggested background music as you read the list. Feel free to add your own players in the comment section!

Starring… As…
Claude Giroux Daniel Alfredsson
Vincent Lecavalier Alex Kovalev
Mason/Emery/Frozen Dinner LeClaire/Elliot/Frozen Dinner(s)
Jakub Voracek Jakub Spezza
Wayne Simmonds Mike Fisher
Mark Streit Sergei Gonchar
Sean Couturier I guess Erik Karlsson…whatver thx 4 reading
Jason Akeson Peter Regin (seriously one decent playoff round and ninja: VANISH for both these guys)
Brayden Schenn Nick Foligno
Michael Del Zotto Chris Campoli
And the rest! (remember Ryan Shannon and Marek Svatos?) Whew…look at the Flyers’ roster…this group is mostly “the rest.” Goddamn. Be thankful we only have one Colin Greening.

Like the Senators of 2010-11, here we have a team with a recentish enough Stanley Cup Final appearance and enough good pieces kicking around that management might still believe in them and fans are maybe still thirsty enough to get behind them. But be warned they appear to be on a decline of frightening proportions that could prove lengthy.

It’s not all bad Flyers fans who aren’t reading this, in fact, I have good news! I seened this movie before and I know how it ends: You’re off to the draft lottery! Which you’re going to lose to the fucking New Jersey Devils!
Being quite familiar with the 2010-11 Senators I can confidently say that tonight our beloved boys are facing an extremely beatable team that has the potential to surprise.

Bobby 4 Flyers Schmurda’er
I wonder if this is starting to become an obsessive thing with me but I’m going to write about it again and you’re going to float there and liste—WAIT WAIT WAIT DON’T CLOSE THE BROWSER I’LL BE QUICK, I PROMISE!

K, I am enamoured with the idea of players on our team becoming “[Insert team] Killers.”
It’s nice to have a bit of that swagger sauce going into another team’s building with the knowledge that one of your guys has a habit of tearing them up. You know, like how Johan Franzen must feel when having his pregame meal at Mucho Burrito at the Kanata Centrum (Voted Kanata’s worst designed Centrum every years running!). I suppose with the nail in the coffin goal in his last two games against Boston, that Bobby Ryan might be emerging as a bit of a Bruins killer…but having grown up a Flyers fan I’d love to see hi—

*Hologram version of me snatches microphone away, “Yo, me/you, Ima let me/you finish, I’m happy for me/you, Ima let me/you finish but Bobby Ryan emerging as an extremely effective player against a division rival that Ottawa’s struggled mightily against over the years like the Bruins is FAR more valuable to their playoff position of ALL TIME. OF ALL TIME.”*

As I was saying, considering that Bobby Ryan was a boyhood fan of the Flyers, it would be great to see him torch them in this season of weakness. No, seriously, they are worse than us. This is their first game on home ice in 19 days too. Hack the bone in front of friends and family, Bobby. HACK. THE. BONE.
Before I move on, while we’re still on this subject, all yall GTA born and raised ass guys on the Sens roster can become Leafs killers at ANY TIME NOW THANK YOU…which I guess…is just Mike Hoffman. Huh, well, I’m also counting you Clarke MacArthur*!

*You’re the best regardless tho, never leave us.

[Insert Weak Pageau-based Play On Words Here]
No secret around here but I’m a Pageau booster. Since a well earned call up Pager has been quiet but solid. In Sunday’s loss to the “Bolts” JGP was very, very good. He won 60% of his draws, took a team high 4 shots had 2 blocks and laid 5 hits, also a team high. Quiet about criticizing that hit stat before I rip up all your good Magic (tha gathering) cards and leave you with NOTHING but your mana pool. Nothing…but your stupid mana pool.
I for one don’t mind bottom 6 players who kill penalties taking the body. Most interesting of those numbers is that he led the team in shots. *tasteful pause for reflection* Yes, he had more shots than Erik Karlsson. Which I can’t tell if I’m happy about…because EK, who has 4, 564 shots in 38 games was outshot by an AHL call up who’s killing penalties.

Anyway, it’s tough to criticise Pageau in his 8 games so far. It can be hard to stand out in the bottom 6 where your job is being disciplined and structured. I think he’s exactly the kind of guy you want to call up in a jam. Such an upgrade from the Cody Bass days of yore. With a whole season sandwiched between his amazing playoff performance and now I suppose I am getting a bit worried that he might be falling into that Peter Regin (God bless the dead) place of making too strong a first impression and never being able to measure up as a result.
As a natural centre, he’s got time to make an impression as Zack Smith has just posted up on the top bunk of Marc Methot’s custom made hospital bed. Looking at last game’s numbers Pageau’s looking like he’s quietly trending in the right direction.

Giroux’s The Boss…and…he’s…not playing tonight. *pun: landed*
Something else I’ve harped on the past two season’s is how the Sens have a bit of a tough time taking advantage of fortunate circumstance. I think it’s great to watch them defeat a relatively healthy St. Louis Blues or Anaheim Ducks but don’t be afraid to throw in the odd win against a Claude Giroux-less Flyers. Sure, it’s on the road but hey, gotta win some of those road games too. Hahaha…ha…. seriously though, win the fucking game.

Anderson, who has a winning record (#blessed) gets his 25th start of the season (a season high for him!). He will square off against Frozen Dinner.

Enjoy the game. We have a 7pm start tonight so order your Bath Salts early!

James Day Preview: Cruddy Area Team Takes On Somehow Worse Team.

Showin off my new ink!

Showin off my new ink!

Hey there, hi there, ho there,

How’s everyone do- – *skips formalities b/c life’s 2 $hort and I ain’t got much thyme*

McCokedreams
K, so first off…I must address something here. Something I have coined “Connor Coke Dreams.”

Look, I’m not saying the Sens are just playing rope-a-dope and are poised to break out and suddenly be amazing but my G’s out there who are prepped to get hubristic 97s stitched onto their knockoff jerseys (IT HAPPENS) chill for minute.
A quick look at the standings shows there are currently NINE teams below Ottawa. Many by a small margin but still NINE. Les boys are coming off an extremely rough stretch of games where they played some of the league’s best teams and many of them on the road. Bad as they’ve been of late, they’ve still managed to collect 5 of  8 points in their last 4 games. Their 6 overtime losses also shows that even though they stink, they still manage to collect those Penske points that keep them in the mix in the toilet East. They’re down but I don’t know if they’re quite bottom 5 out just yet.
At times like this, you also have to show some respect the Shittiness GAWDS. You know where this is going…You think Ottawa’s got suck game? Edmonton has dropped 16 of their last 17 baby fella. Ima let that sink in. 16…of their last 17. They have almost half as many wins as Ottawa, almost twice as many losses and they play in the West where motherfuckers play for KEEPS. Context: The Sens next game is against the Devils…the Oilers get to play the Sharks IN San Jose tomorrow. God bless the dead.
Now, I’ve gotten some counter arguments about the Draft Lottery making McDavid pick a possiblity, but is that really what you want to pin your cokedreams to? The current 21st overall team hitting Draft Lottery and it’s not even the 2015 portion of the season yet? Plus draft lotteries are a form of snitching. Also, you know that shit’s rigged and Lord Bettman is going to make sure the Penguins or Blackhawks get the no. 1 pick so #staywoke!

HEYYYY Sens could definitely go in the turlet from here but that’s completely dismissing the possibility that they could play slightly better and string together a few wins and play themselves out of that top 10 between December 17th 2014 and draft day 2015.
You think I DON’T want Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel? I do, I do, 1000 times I do…but I’ma wait a few months before I start digging into the draft rankings (zzz) and I suggest you do too if you’re tempted to. It’s supposed to be a deep draft and if there’s one thing the Sens organization is good at (and it might actually only be one thing at the present moment) it’s drafting. Trust in our scouts and go easy on your soul. The Oilers have more than proven that they rule supreme at securing the no.1 draft spot. If you aim for the king, you best not miss. So until the Sens get on their dropping 16 of 17 grind, you gotta give up to the masters. Oh also, the Hurricaines are really, really, really fucking terrible as well.

Praise B 2 Jah Gabriel Pageau
A lot of Sens lineup fahntasies are coming true tonight. With the injuries to the lethargic Zack Smith and whatever Chris Neil is at this point…tonight we get to see some interesting changes to the lineup. I don’t know about you Eddy, and I don’t WISH injuries on anyone, but Zack Smith has not been himself this season and Neil I’ve just been watching for the past 25 years and just want to see him “bring grit to a contender” at this point in his career. I recognize he must have some INTENSE photos of someone on his phone and is unscratchable for it so I will take this as a great time to someone fill his fortress of a roster spot. I’m super excited for the chance to see some line up options we might not otherwise if both were healthy. Oh also, Greening is back in the pressbox, #blessed. He hasn’t been awful I guess but we already have Michalek who gets paid the big buxxx to fill the role “he hasn’t been awful I guess” thank you very much.

Coming off strong games from Stone, Chiasson and Courteous Lazar,  who btw showed that is even his Ned Flandesesque patience has its limits and he could no longer wait for Greening to score a goal before taking is turn and bagged his career first. Congrats to the Iron Toddler. Bless up.
We get to see more youth and, thankfully, speed injected into the lineup tonight with the debut of JG Pageau. After a blazing entry into the NHL, Pageau was quiet in his 28 game audition last season. I am literally first and only person who’s talked about this storyline thanks for reading. Seriously though, he’s one of my favourite prospects and I’m so pumped to get to see the little guy back, long overdue.  fldfksdfl;ksdjf

On the Real
I have been a proponent of the passing of the torch in Ottawa for more than a minute now. Seeing Turris and Ryan wearing letters has me thirsting for the futuristic year two thousand and please don’t give Neil and Phillips another contract but I’m so scared you will. Ryan especially has just been oozing leadership of late scoring opening goals, nailin’ ‘er shut (bud) in the shootout, flashing highlight reel biscuits and just generally being all over the ice; all the while playing with a busted finger. Good times, bad times, dude’s been such a gamer for the Sens and I commend the guy for it. Hope he can keep it going.

Getting’ Jiggy Unreasonable With It!
Lastly, tonight needs to be a big night for goaltending. Lehner and Anderson have been heaped with praise so far this season and rightly so. They were essentially mostly responsible for keeping Ottawa above .500 for the first couple months of the season. It was almost a situation where the more they were pelted with shots, they better they performed.
Toward the end of Paul MacLean’s tenure and so far under Dave Cam’Ron the team in front of them has managed to cut the shots down to a more reasonable amount but the wins just haven’t been there. Lights out goaltending’s got to put them over the edge if we want to see some W’s.
It almost seems unreasonable to ask more of the goaltenders but I’m an unreasonable person so let me cook. Anderson needs to go in there and straight up steal this one. We knew from game 1 it was going to have to be that kind of season and with Marc Methot now in officially in chryostasis, it remains so…more than ever. So, pretty please, with Splenda on top, steal his one, Andy.

Enjoy the game despite it starting at 7:00pm and being on the road against the Devils!

James Day Preview: The Ottawa Garfields take on the Buffalo Mondays

Normal Stuff.

Normal Stuff.

Hi,

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…

K

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*

*Angel dust.

James Day Preview: Ottawa Visits the Detroit Red Wheels

DET JDP

Hi, listen, shut up for a while so I can ask you about a stupid thing:
You know when you write a whole game preview and your computer just inexplicably fucking TURNS OFF and you lose everything you wrote and barely even remember what you were talking about in the first place? I know. Classic event. Story of both our lives. Hype jam? Sure thing!

That’s where I’m at. 

Tonight we see the return of Courteous Lazar to the line up after missing a couple of games with colic (Source: Lazar’s paediatrician). Colin Greening comes out as I am assuming the Sens brass wants him to focus on using that juicy chess club brain of his to rewrite his Wikipedia entry to convincingly show his history of being a first line centre complete with fake citations that can survive being corrected long enough for Craig MacTavish to see it doing some down-low research while he suddenly finds himself on the phone with Bryan Murray. Seriously its gunna be so sick watching Nail Yakupov playing on his off wing on a line with Chris Neil and Derek Grant on the penalty kill. HEYYYYYYYY let me be the first to talk about player usage!

Projected Lines 4 2nite:

MacArthur-Turris-Chiasson
Ryan-Legwand-Zibanejad
Michalek-Smith-Neil
Hoffman-Lazar-Stone

Should this game just be called “Prove us wrong David Legwand”? I really hope he can get something going tonight. I feel like duder owes us a bit of an awesome game. My expectations for him going into the season were pretty reasonable but the table’s set here. He’s not going to play with better linemates in Ottawa than those two…at least until he’s centring Turris and Karlsson if the Sens give up an early goal. He’s playing his childhood team and one that he actually led in points when he briefly played for them last season. Give us some of that quality Legwand that I’ve read so much about.
Anyway, I still like Chiasson on that top line. Not as much as I’d like Ryan up there but when you’ve got lethargic forwards like Leggy and up until recently Zibanejad I guess you have to use Ryan to get things going. Whatever keeps Turris – MacArthur together and Hoffman – Lazar – Stone intact. 2 out of 4 aint bad (Actually, sure it is now that I think about it).

What else? I don’t know… Clarke MacArthur has a 17.8 shooting percentage and its nearly December? Peace to the gawd.

Players to watch listen for: Justin Abdelkader
Expect to hear the name Justin Abdelkader a lot tonight. Is it because he is currently 2nd in team scoring for the Wings? Is it because Pavel Datsyuk is sitting out tonight and he’ll be relied on heavily? Nah, more just that Justin Abdelkader is seriously the most annoying sounding name. Ugh, its just this …sea of syllables. Every time we play the Wings its AbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkader. Enough with the Abdelkader. It’s fine at first but you’ll see after the 2nd intermission you’ll be muting your tv and will do your own commentary while the latest (greatest) Coke Boys mixtape is blasting in the background. What? Oh, like I’m the only one who does that. 

Update: They also have a guy called Tomas Tatar?

Other Update: They play together? Ugh. Can we just get this game over with?

Defense pairings? Only one we need to talk about.
Borowiecki – Karlsson. Borowiecki – Karlsson? I’m no expert coach but I’d have drawn it up a little more like this:

Freebasing Cocaine – Erik Karlsson.

I’d have even settled for:

Marc Methot’s bargaining leverage – Karlsson

The fact that Wiercioch has not been able to stay in the lineup let alone make a significant mark on this team has got me into “Who will we get from Edmonton for this guy?” territory. It sucks. There was a lot of potential for this guy but you when you see Methot miss months of time and Phillips get to play with Karlsson, uhhh, okay? I guess he’s very experienced? Then Phillips gets hurt and they pair him with Borowiecki over a much more experienced, left handed Wiercioch? That’s pretty damning. I dont care if they are both offensive defensemen. Wiercioch should straight up have more of the coach’s trust at this point in his development to fill in with EK over Borowiecki. Hell, even Cowen’s spent good time with the king. Well, not GOOD time but time. At this point I’m basically asking Patrick Wiercioch to bump his trade value for ALL OF OUR SAKES. Should this game just be called “Prove us wrong Patrick Wiercioch”?

Craig Anderson gets the start after a couple of solid performances from Robin Lehner. With four games this week on two sets of back to backs as always the result of the game will depend heavily on the performance of the goaltendi–.

I know, I know what youre thinking. James, first you talk about player usage and now how the goalies have to bail out the team’s tepid defense! I’m going broke having to replace all these burnt computer monitors from my sizzling hot takes.

Enjoy the game. Sorry about all this —

What’s that? I forgot to mention something-something Daniel Alfredsson retirement/emotions/retirementemotions?

MUST HAVE SLIPPED MY MIND THANKS 4 READING

Ottawa That 1st Period Against Detro Tho Vs. Minnesota City Wildernesses

First off, Lest We Forget…Tha Pass 

The most Swaggerless team in the West, the Minneapolis Wilds, snooze into town tonight. GET HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPED.
This team is so boring that not even Matt Cooke, a player who gruesomely sidelined our Captain for nearly a year, will be in the lineup to make things interesting.
Mild Rant: Take this moment as a pleasant reminder that you gotta hear both sides. Matt Cooke is a changed man. Oh, that Achilles laceration? Why he was just trying to neutralize the back of Karlsson’s ankle with the blade of his skate LIKE YOU DO in the game of ice hockey. It’s called Old Tyme Hockey. A throw back to the good old days, like the time that Bobby Clarke used the classic “use your stick to break the other team’s best player’s ankle” defense technique.  Good clean fun. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, WHATEVER FUCK!

Just Nudge Me if I Fall Asleep Writing About These Guys (or don’t, plz).
An item of “interest” for tonight is the Wild’s banged up roster. Zack Parise will not be in the lineup for tonight’s tilt after suffering a concussion. He is their best forward. He…is not playing. Matt Cooke is probably serving time in piece of shit jail and is also unavailable. So are some their other defensemen/who cares.
The Wild are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Penguins and are beginning a 3 game road trip. Can Ottawa take advantage of these things? I don’t know. They only seemed to do so against the Syracuse Crunch feat. Curtis McElhinny so far this season…but they also kind of just beat Detroit’s ass so should be interesting. If they can come out of the gate like they did last game I feel good but defenseman Ryan Suter is apparently amazing despite never getting written about and is no one’s favourite player. Oh, and Tomas “Gamblor” Vanek has one goal on the year which is hilarious. The sniper has one goal on the year so far. Let’s not be the #AccomodatingSens and keep him on the perimeter and …uhh…ON the schnide? Is that how you use that? *looks up Wickedpedia.org/schnide* Speaking of having trouble in the biscuit department…

Kyle Turris Please Stay Chain Fliffin’ and Don’t Get Snakebitten

HAAAAAAAAAAN 
Gunna be the flyest at the grade 7/8 dance with that chain! Still needs a turtleneck but I still see you shinin’ my T.

Gotta feel for Turris after that Detroit game. He had what must have been quite a frustrating outing against a particularly sharp Jiminy Howard. First, he had a goal waved off for some reason (WTYKY is sad to report that Mr. Howard has since passed away from his injuries on the play. Please donate to his memorial fund here). Then after, that he springs free on a shorthanded breakaway and all the way from the Intensive Care Unit at the General Hospital, Howard manages to flash the leather and rob him…k..THEN AFTER THAT Turris is closing in on a two on one break (did I mention how awesome the Sens played against Detroit?) and who else but old Selke Trophy McGee, Pavel Datsyuk is the one backchecking on the play and makes an impossible takeaway on a goalmouth tap in. He even had other great chances on top of these! With 2 goals on the year and only one that counts, I really hope he can put one in tonight otherwise it could start getting in his head and no one wants that. He’s playing pretty well (though some more face off wins would be grrrrreaaaaat) and I would hate to see this slump go on. Considering he once went a month without one he’s capable of some Schnide Time but you know what? He’s a Platinum Angel who plays with Perfect Hockey Player Clarke MacArthur and Robby Bryan, I think he can get it done. This game will likely be decided by offense because as Sir Mix A Lot would say, things are lookin’ paltry on the back end.

And they said we were FOOLS for carrying 37 defensemen!
So on a D corps already so fragile that we had to turn to 36 year old Chris Phillips who was on the 3rd pairing last year to play with Erik Karlsson, we are now short one Big Rig. As a result we are going to see Karl play with a rotating cast of every left handed defender on the team. I am reaaaaaaaaally hoping that coming off a good game Wiercioch can actually run with the ball and kind of calm the shuffling down. Why? Oh just because Mark Borowiecki who has only played 29 career games is slated to start with Karlsson and this makes me … how you say…uneasy. Actually you know what? I bet Karlsson plays both left and right tonight and ends up paired with everyone at some point. Play along with Karlsson Pairing Bingo at home or on your Newton™ mobile device! The outcome of this game relies heavily on otherworldly play from Karlsson. So, business as usual, I guess.

Marc Methot Health Status Update: Still need to confirm but hearing from a couple of sources that Methot was seen gingerly doing the Shmoney Dance. Progress!

Craig Anderson gets a well deserved second consecutive start after one of his best performances of the year on Tuesday. Despite being a fan of his I can give him a pretty hard time for his inability to stop the first 10 shots of the game but he rose up to meet an big challenge that night. After facing only 2 shots in the first period (one real and one of the ‘trying to get one on net to pump the stats up in hopes the coach will be less mad at us at intermission’ variety) he stood tall and looked absolutely incredible as the Wings mounted quite the charge for the next two periods. Crazy hard to be thinking about Madagascar for a whole period then suddenly having to face like 30 shots in the next two.
Musings: I think this set goaltending tandem thing has really made Anderson up his game to prove that ain’t nobody gonna hold him down from being no.1. I hope he can stay hot but he’s going to need a lot of help from the forwards as…you know…dat D. Speaking of stepping up…

Non-Condraversy
Finally, I don’t know how long our boy is for this team (thanks untradeable Colin Greening Contract!) but I wanted to give some due to E. Hondra. This is a guy who is coming out of stays in the press box and playing consistently very well. That’s gotta be a pretty tough task. If I were him and I was only getting the odd game after being an steady roster regular for the past couple of seasons I’d be so distracted trying not to fuck up that I’d be playing like…Colin Greening. With Marc Methot’s impending return in mid-2015 (don’t hold me to that bold prediction!)  I worry that Condra’s useful skill set and reasonable contract will make him the odd man out when the Senators are forced to make a move. In the meantime, couldn’t ask for a better guy to insert into the lineup in a pinch. Shouts to you Conrdra.

Anyway, let’s go smoke behind the Quickie before the game.

The Ottawa Shot Differential Vs. Blue Columbia Jackets

See what we did there?

See what we did there?

*Looks up from filling Bronson Ave Petro Canada bathroom sink with hot water to warm up pack of Ramen noodles I found*

Huh? Oh! Hello haters.*hides noodles in hat*  I didn’t see you there. Welcome to this web-site.

So I guess you heard about the game tonight huh? And you want me to talk about it..Let me just comb through these post it notes that I’ve been using as napkins (want not waste isn’t!). While I do that,  enjoy today’s HYYYYYYYYYYPE jam:

Sorry I’ll find a song where someone’s a little more fired up next time. Still worth checking out if only for his interesting takes on doing what you love and the importance of having extendos. *invests in company that makes tattoo removal equipment*

So the last game is an interesting example of the thin line the Sens have been walking so far and the season we might be in for. Recap: They gave up a ton of shots, took a bunch of penalties and great goaltending plus solid penalty killing kept the game flatteringly close. An impressive push in the third period almost saw Bobby Ryan net his now trademark late tying goal but here’s the thing: He t’aint gonna be able to do that every time. It’s amazing he’s already done it twice this year but it’s too much to expect on a regular basis.
If he puts that feed from Karlsson in, they probably come away with at least a point. In this case, he comes up short and they lose. I’m not the first to point this out but this is the great risk we are in for with the return of the Penske Sens (Penske: Official Moving Truck of WTYKY, visit Penske.net to book yours today!).
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out over time. The Sens losing 2-1 on the end of a back to back on the road to a team as good as Chicago? I can deal with that. Losing at home to average at best New Jersey who were themselves on a back to back playing their backup goaltender in a game that the Sens should have been fired up as FUCK to play? That smells a little too much like last year’s inability to get up for very winnable games to make me comfortable. Ottawa has struggled to put up the points to put teams away lately and I present to you a big reason why…

Will the real Michael Zibanejad please stand up score points.
For a guy who’s played in every game so far this season, my G’s stat line is looking similar to a few dudes who get scratched regularly…or, you know, worse. I wrote in the off season how I think to expect in one season for Zibanejad to jump from a 33 point promising young player to 50+ point solid second line stud is a bit much. Now, notice in the bold print I said points not even goals necessarily. To shuffler extraordinaire Paul MacLean’s credit, he’s been giving Mika steady time on the second line. Yes, Mika’s had the tough task of a lot of defensive zone starts (43% or 43.2% if you want to be a dick about it) but approaching the 10 game mark? I was expecting an assist or two. He’s played the majority of his games with Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson. So for their combined 8 points Mika doesn’t even have so much as a secondary helper?
*Mark Borowiecki puts on his Mr. Assisty Assist 2014-15 sash*
No bigs right? After all, as the greatish Alex Kovalev once said, “Comes ze shootingz, comes Z goals.” Well perhaps most concerning of all is Mika’s lack of shots. He currently has 7 in 7 games and 0 in his last 2. That’s good for 13th on the team behind snipers like Chris Phillips and Zack Smith.

“But James, sometimes Zibanejazz is all about listening for the shots he’s NOT taking.”
– Michael Jordan, Gambler, Probably Bad Father, Rayovac Renewal Rechargable Batteries Pitchman.

Shut the fuck up, Mike Jordans. For the amount of ice time he’s been getting and quality of players he’s been skating with, not to mention power play opportunity he’s had, 0 points and 7 shots is pretty unacceptable. He’s been doing well at the face off dot but goddamn if crappy old garbage me expects more from a second line centre, I’d imagine the coach does as well. What I’m worried most about here is that if this continues, it could lead to a confidence destroying trip to the pressbox. Seems crazy but if you think MacLeezy wont something tells me the coach wishes a motherfucker would. Remember they sent him to Binghamton just one year ago.
In all, I think Zibs can erase this panic pretty quickly by getting a few pucks on net because as a fan of his, I would say his greatest attribute is his shot. Homie can get the puck off his stick in a hurry. Channel your inner Lazar, Mika. Yeah that’s right I went there. So Pretty please with sugar on top…take some shots, score some goals or else the coach could get psychedelic with your ice time and no one wants less stability in this lineup. And…

This is the part where I talk about Jarrod Cowens
Aight. It’s already challenging as a fan to be patient with this whole new world/new exciting point of view that is the musical chairs of who gets scratched and who plays.
Sarcastic Aside: This is BELOVED by people who try to write game previews in a timely fashion!
The bad news for the foreseeable future is that four of the most frequent healthy scratches, Cowen, Wiercioch, Greening and Erik Condra make a combined $9, 000, 000.00 or to put it in yeoman’s terms, roughly 16% of the team’s overall  payroll. You can just simply throw “Best Players Play” out the window until scientists find a cure for whatever Marc Methot died of.
With the exception of maybe Condra’s $1.25 million, sitting these guys hasn’t exactly been putting Joe Corvo and his $900K in the pressbox indefinitely. Just to add some “fun” irony, the relatively cheap Condra has been the best off the bench performer of these four guys. Cowen who’s been sat the most makes the most too at 3.1 million. Couple in the fact that he’s still in that “Be patient, maybe he just needs a wake up call” phase of his career you can expect to see him more as the season goes on regardless of how he plays. Pains us all, probably MacLean most of all, but with an owner as spend averse as Melnyk, a player who makes that much is going to get some games. So here we are, this is one of them. You can probably thank the Sens hot start for giving MacLean enough wiggle room to sit Cowen as much as he has up to this point. Two losses in a row and here he comes. Perhaps most disappointing in this whole affair is that Patrick Wiercioch has not exactly made the strongest case to permanently bump him from the line up. A pretty big opportunity blown. Why have one disappointing young defender who’s failing to live up to what they were projected to be when you can have two?
At any rate, Cowen has been bad so far but I’d like to think he’s still capable of A good game. Is that crazy to ask? ONE good game from a guy who has over 150 under his belt? Columbus is playing the notoriously tough first game back home after a West Coast road trip. They’ve lost two straight and are playing their 4th game in 6 nights. Catch a sleepy Columbus forward in the trolley tracks. HACK THE BONE JERRY COWEN. Make a couple of nice passes or something. Just help make us all be less mad at you.

Lehner’d Skyn…nyrd….whatever, thanks for reading.
Coming off an extremely strong outing where Anderson graciously allowed only 2 goals on 45 shots (an insane 34 in the first 2 periods alone) Craig will get the night off. Incredible Hulk protégé Robin Lehner gets the start (a-doi). With the upcoming schedule busy as it is (HEYYYYYY would you look at that Ottawa gets to play Chicago AGAIN later this week #blessed), it’s good to be able to rest your starter and have another good goaltender play in their stead. ISN’T THAT RIGHT TEAMS WHO’VE BEEN PLAYING THEIR BACKUPS AGAINST US AND WINNING? Dare 2 Dreeme.
Ugh.
Anyway, I don’t have much negative to say about Lehner’s play so far this season. I think Anderson’s been far more positionally sound but you can’t teach Lehner’s brand of Highlander jazz.
The Lehner has given the team just as much of a chance to win as Anderson. To his credit, Lehner doesn’t even have one of those 3 goals on 6 shots in the first period nightmares like Andy does, so that’s nice(?).
I know it’s their team identity, and this is going to sound cray-zay, but to me, the big key to victory is for the team in front of the goalie to actually show up and play some defense in the second period.  Yes, I’m being unreasonable but in Lehner’s last start, New Jersey was limited to 7 shots in the first. Period ends, zero goals against. In the second, NJ’s shot count doubled to 14. The result? 2 goals, a lead going into the 3rd  and a serious momentum shift in the game  caused by bad babysitting which all ties into that whole thing about we can’t expect Ryan to tie things up with the saving of the bacon game after game.

Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovski was added to Columbus’ already hefty injured reserve list today. Fresh off the IR himself, Curtis McElhinney gets the start for the Jean Jackets. I’m not actually counting this as much of an opportunity as our beloved Sens have been unable to take advantage of this type of thing in a couple of recent games. Need to stop making backups and third stringers (ahhhh my liiiife) look good.

Lastly, a get well soon to Nick Foligno who was injured on a very scary collision in LA two nights ago. Glad it wasn’t more serious. We’re sending our healing vibewaves to you, homie. Here’s to making a full recovery, Nicky.

K, enjoy the game, eat your fries, eat em.

James Day Preview: Ottawa Vengaboys host the Colorado City Snow Hurricanes

Whaaat is the deal with my compete level of late!?

Whaaat is the deal with my compete level of late!?

First, let’s get HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPED: 

(seriously unlistenable after like 1 minute…and I LOVE terrible music)


Recap Re: Crap
Kind of a crazy terrible looking game against the city of  Florida. Thrilled to get the win but man that was a character building experience to sit through. Look, I know I’m coming in hotroversial here but I really think the arena crew down in Sunwater, Florida could stand to cut back to at least half the sand they are using in their slush/sand/ice mixture. The ice was pretty bad in Tampa too as evidenced by Steven Stojko losing the puck on his shootout attempt (salut les hateurs!).
I am very excited to watch the Senators play ON GOOD CANADIAN ICE (thumbs up) and complete more than four or five passes during the course of the game praise be to Jah, Lion of Judah for he makes all things possible *Takes huge hit of eucalyptus flavoured chemical mist from Vapegun™*

Phillips still in the game like Jack Lalanne (that’s an old guy, I know, it’s a terrific reference! Gracias quatro el reading!)
I’m just as concerned as the next “Joe Water Bottle Full of Silent Sam Vodka in My Desk Drawer at Work” about Chris Phillips getting over 25 minutes a night. Not only is it unsustainable but there should be I don’t know…SEVERAL guys who should be getting this assignment ahead of him but you know what? He’s looked great the past couple of games. He looks like the Phillips who just a handful of years ago you’d put out to neutralize players like Alex Ovechkin and could actually handle that assignment. Get well soon Marc Methot but pretty crazy that Phillips has been able to step in during this time of need. He will be in for quite a test against the speedy Avalanches but remember one thing my G…just pass it to Karlsson and if Karlsson’s not open, pass it to him anyway and Karlsson will figure it out…with his miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiindlegs. I’m just kidding around Phillips doesn’t need to be told that. He would never try to carry the puck for more than 3 feet. Seriously, have fun watching for this tonight. It’s a game within the game (within the game within the game).

T’aint Misbehavin’
I know I’m jinxing this but Chris Neil has ZERO penalty minutes in three games. I gotta take my hat off to the guy. If the Sens are going to improve this year, staying out of the box is going to be right up there with the need for otherworldly goaltending and I think the former greatly helps to allow for the latter. Ottawa’s goaltending wasn’t stellar last season and it certainly didn’t  do Craiger and Robbie (peep the super duper casual first name basis) any favors that they had one less person helping them out constantly and often (that’s right C&O).
Don’t get it twisted, I still think Neil has some serrrrious flaws with his game that are worsening with age but, hey, I can get into Chris Neil keeping his nose clean. My expectations DONE been managed considering he once racked up a team-helping 144 PIMs in just 48 games the year of the lockout. Whatever fuck. The point is last year Chris Neil had his highest penalty minute total since his rookie season which HEYYYYYYYYYYYY was over a decade ago. You cant teach singlehandedly putting your team on the PK for an average of almost 3 minutes per game, that’s why they give you a letter. This ain’t fahntasy hockey. PIMs don’t help. Penalties happen, they’re always going to happen but on a team with as delicate a structure for success as this one you gotta avoid them. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’ white boy.

Wow, props to Christophers Phillips and Neil. Bizzarro season in full effect.

Craig Anderson gets the start in net. That’s right I’m saying it. I will no longer be a slave to the tyranny of Paul MacLean announcing the starting goaltender during the national anthem. I’m calling it. Babygirl has been the starter for years now and is coming off a shutout win. It’s gunna be Andy in goal tonight for the home opener and you know what– What’s that? The Coach announced that Anderson is the starter hours ago? Well looks like I was right. Hmph.

Craig will square off against Sam Varlamov who’s allowed 10 goals in 3 games to start the season so maybe Anderson will face him and Reto Berra. Reto Berra is definitely a player that we’ve both heard of. Also, the name Reto. Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetooooooooo.

Light a Mupdate (3:41pm): Varlarlmalarlov is a James Time decision. He hurt his dumb groin being stupid (probably)

Anything else about the Avalanche? They are a perfect 0% on the power play.

OH NO Greening and Cowen are healthy scratches! What are we supposed to complain about?
Oh good, Mike Hoffman is scratched too. That was close. Resume complaining but complain amongst yourselves if you don’t like it because I think it’s the right move. With over 600 players currently on the roster we are going to see dozens of people sit night in and night out. I thought Condra looked great against the Panthers.. He looked more dangerous than Hoffman did in the previous two games. Don’t hate Hoffy’s game or anything but Condra was a presence in his shot and I’m glad to see him rewarded for a strong game.
Courteous Lazar draws in to the line up on hat trick I MEAN hat trick I mean….managed expecthattricks.

Should be an exciting game as neither team plays defence.  Enjoy!

Don’t forget to tag all of your tweets Sens related or otherwise #DANGERFLUTES Not part of DANGERFLUTENATION but want to joint the movement? Learn more here.

James Day Preview: Ottawa Karlssons vs. Trashville Predadirts

legwand

Please to be clicking on this before you start reading:

*waits less than patiently for 5 seconds of Toyota Venza ad to pass* 

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Let me be the first to formally say iBienvenidos a sus años del Carlosson! 

After one of the most exhilarating and optimistic off seasons in team herstory, we emerge from under a pile of melted plastic lawn furniture to cheer OUR Ottawa Senators and their actual playing of games! Now we’ll have some filler to enjoy betwixt arguing about the use or non-use of advanced stats, why we’re upset over Patrick Wiercioch’s lack of playing time or Marc Methot’s contract negotiations (Ed note: Hey dickhead, sign that goddamn contract, you’re being offered years of riding shotgun with one of the world’s best players who’ll probably help you get your next contract too…so, pretty please, STFU and go make millions of dollars already) and get down to some NHL Hockey: The Most SENSUAL Game On Earth’s Ice™. I really like the new slogan the league is going with.

Tonight we officially(?) enter a new era of the team. With Spezza having split, Karlsson at the kontrols, and a cornucopia of kidz on the roster, only one thing is certain going forward: That I remain committed to terrible and insufferable game previews.
COME AWAY WITH ME:

The Kids Are …on the team Alright.
I for one have been waiting for the torch to be passed to a new generation for quite some time now. I’d say since about the trade deadline in 2011 to be exact. It has been a less than smooth ride so far but here we are.
With greenhorns Courteous Lazar, Mark Stone, Alex Chiasson, Mika Zibanejad, Mike Hoffman, Cody Ceci and Mark Borowiecki making up about 40% of the starting lineup I am really getting what I wished for…and more (Borowiecki)
As exciting as new blood is, I am practicing the ancient art of managed expectations. Why? A few reasons:
– Despite making a serious bid for team captain, Lazar has never played an NHL game. There could be a few nerves under that steel.
– For all of our top 6 wishes and coke caviar dreams, Mark Stone will be playing only his 24th career regular season match tonight.
–  Mike Hoffman is a dynamic young player…who has 6 career NHL points btw.
WAIT WAIT COME BACK! I’M NOT TRYING TO BUM YOU OUT I’M TRYING TO LIGHT A FIRE UNDER YOU!
I actually love how the coach is handling this.
Lazar and Hoffman will start the game under the responsible and disciplined eye of Chris Neil on the fourth line. Meanwhile, Stone will play under the nurturing bosom (sorry, weird of me) of veterinarian center David Legwand (who I sincerely hope scores a goal tonight) and workhorse/clotheshorse Zachariah Smith.
Lazar and Hoffman get the chance to be a little creative while Neil creates penalties space and Stone gets to play shotmaker with a couple of hard working, rugged guys. If Smith and Legwand can crash and bang and get some pucks loose around the front of the net, hopefully Stone can do some of the precise garbage collecting that he’s made a name for himself with.

Gabbin About Tha Gawdz: Top Six Talk
The Platinum Angel express line of MacArthur – Turris – Ryan needs no introduction. Is anyone still adjusting to Clarke MacArthur being one of their favorite players? Me neither. Let’s move on.

The second line of Michalek – Zibanejad – Chiasson is the most intriguing to me. Zibanejad goes into this season with perhaps the most pressure on his Swedish shoulders of Persian-Finnish decent. Coach MacLean has spoken many times of the need to remove the adjective “young” when talking about certain players and he feels at just 120 games and 21 years of age that Zibanejad falls into that Boyz II Men crowd.
As a second line centre he’ll have to put up around 20 more points than he did last season to be considered a success. It’s a steep increase but if he gets the steady ice time that a 2nd line centre should and can play very consistently in that time, it’s possible. However if MacLean gets into his “Everyday I’m shufflin'” business, well, let’s try to keep in mind that he’s 21 and not be too mad at him. Patience. That’s what Legwands R 4.
Milan Michalek is a speedy, defensively sound top 6 winger who puts up around 20 goals or better per season. Lots of fans hate him because something-something injuries. I honestly can’t hate this guy. He’s not the flashiest player in the world but he’s certainly not a liability and has great potential if he can stay healthy. And before you pelt me for sticking up for him, let she/he/they/zhe who is without complaint that Ales Hemsky did not re-sign here cast the first rotten tomato.
Lastly, Alex Chiasson makes his debut to refreshingly little fanfare. I am not going to fan the hype flames either. I want to just let him rock and see what he can do. He is known for coming in…I forget how that goes, but he tends to start the season scoring goals which is exciting because we need those. Apparently Alex had a disappointing season last year by finishing with 33 points. That’s as many points as Zibanejad had to earn him a top 6 spot to start the season so…Either Dallas’ standards are high, the Sens are low or THIS.
I hope these guys can gel quickly because that is a fast, big line to have coming at you.

Cowen is on the first pairing. 
Lets pretend this isn’t happening! *takes 10 Zoloft* Ahhh. If there’s one player on the team who can possibly carry this guy it’s Erik Karlsson. God speed to BOTH OF YOU.

Phillips – Ceci…Over the hill old man balances out inexperienced rookie to make one awesome middle pairing defenseman? *freebases crack cocaine until further notice* 

Gryba – Borowiecki … Go out there, have fun, and don’t get suspended. Seriously, don’t get fucking suspended.

I have little to say about the defense tonight other than this will be a goddamn psychedelic rock ride. Good luck to each and every last one of us.

Greg Anderton gets the start in net, naturally. He currently sports a 1000 save percentage and 0.00 goals against average. Let’s hope he can maintain those numbers (past the first 10 shots of the game, which will likely come in the first 4 mins b/c see above). What else? His new mask is a different version of his old mask. Oh and his cat’s breath carries a hint of cat food smell.

Oh right about Nashville…lots of new faces here. Human jack-o-lantern Oli Jokinen, the NHL’s first half man – half Chihuahua Mike Ribeiro, Ottawa’s own Derek Roy, and the rest (James Neal, Anton Volchenkov). Damn these guys got up to some stuff in the off season. I’m basically hoping that they need a bit of time to adjust to each other and that our boys can take advantage of that. Olive Garden menu stalwart Pekka Rinne gets the start in net.

ENJOY THE GAME AND GO SENS GO!!!