For the first time in 11 years the Ottawa Senators will not be lacing them up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It is an odd feeling I must admit. Around this time of year for the past ten years or so I spend my time trash talking and staking bold claims. When the Sens first started qualifying for the post season I wasn’t making too many outlandish predictions but as the years rolled on and the boys got stronger it was not unusual for me to expect glory.
This year is a bit different. No anxiety, no heartburn, no screaming at the television and no running out the house down the street and yelling “we are going to the finals!”
I want to thank every player, coach, trainer, and GM that was involved in the last 11 years of making me a proud fan and I look forward to what is in store for next season.
Until then I hope to enjoy a playoff full of no expectations and the guarantee of no heart breaks.
Ok so the Sens would literally have to win their remaining 13 games to guarantee a spot in the playoffs. To many and myself included this seems damn near impossible but with the rate they are going at right now it’s closer to improbable.
What looked like a team that could be in the crapper for years to come had they continued their losing ways has miraculously turned into a competitive near elite team with edge and yes wait for it… CHARACTER!
We all knew that they had it in them but couldn’t understand what was hindering them. I have to admit I was skeptical to the notion it was Hartsburg’s fault, but holy Moses have they ever turned it around since Clouston took the helm going 13-6-3 post coaching change.
I never lost faith in Bryan Murray and still feel he can further impress me and the rest of the sens faithful by July 1st.
It is glorious to see the team producing all the way down the roster and not stopping past “line one” like they have for the last year and a bit.
Kudos go to Brian Elliot for breaking the record for most consecutive wins (7) by a Senators rookie goaltender, surpassing Jani Hurme and Ray Emery. It is a reassuring feeling knowing that what is potentially our back up next year can hang with the big boys!
Lastly I would just like to revel in the fact that Habs fans are getting what they deserve after all their gloating and bragging since the beginning of the year. Your team is going nowhere, firing Carbonneau was dumb, Gainey is done and Carey Price is more like Lazarus then Jesus Christ right now.
Ah yes, the sun has been shining in Vancouver of late and so has my smile. The Senators have decided to play like the team we all knew they were in the past couple weeks and my wife will attest to my better humour.
First off I must send a very big thank you card to Mr. Cory Clouston for his tremendous results in whipping the lazy Sens back into competitive form. His ability to motivate the players into a fore checking, hard hitting, trap proof winning machine has impressed all of us in the hockey community.
Dominating on the road has been virtually unheard of this season for Ottawa but recently managed to dismantle five teams in its past six games obtaining 11 of a possible 12 points in that stretch.
I have not been as pleased with this group since…. well I can’t remember.
I find myself wearing my jersey around town again and don’t give two you know what’s if people still send the odd off colour comment my way.
So keep up the good work boys and lets see what Mr. Murray comes up with 13 days from now. 🙂
From the get go there was the Mats Sundin saga in which we all stood by for 9 months awaiting the decision of the 37 year old former leaf captain. We all know what happened there, we read dumb article after dumb article and tried in our best hockey knowledge to guess where he would sign and when. Days turned to weeks and weeks into painful months of brutal media hype. Now Sundin has taken his place back in the NHL and apparently got on the horn to all the retirement villas in the hockey world.
Yes. it is the year of the returning “retired” star.
Claude Lemieux was well into his retirement when he decided he still had the desire to play, so he laced them up in Worchester in hopes of being called up to their affiliate the San Jose Sharks who just happen to be playing the best damn hockey of their existence. Well that vision has become a reality and the big club called up the old wiley veteran yesterday in hopes of him giving the Sharks that tough edge Claude has been known for in the past. And by past I mean like 1980’s.
Then we come to Peter Forsberg. Ok so he has not really officially retired but he has been on the shelf indefinitely for the last few seasons. Nagging injuries have sidelined him for the majority of the past few years subsiding long enough to claim 2/3 into a schedule that he is wanting to return and sign with anyone. Any team would be happy to have Forsberg but the problem here is there is a reason he is not playing the whole year, he simply can not. Like Claude, he has a burning passion to win that rages on within him ,but unfortunately doesn’t really get to make it happen as big as everyone anticipates. The coming days will most likely reveal if Foppa shall find his way back.
Last but not least there is Mr. Brendan Shanahan a true warrior and natural point scorer. Shanny was not even resigned after becoming a free agent last year in New York. The club sort of just forgot about him and after months of no signing I started to wonder if he would ever skate again. It made no sense he was still good for just under a point a game last season. So why no takers? Well finally almost 5 months into the 09 schedule the New Jersey Devils took a chance and signed the Wheaties champion for a mere $800,000. A steal in my opinion and hey guess what? He scored in his first game.
It will be very interesting to see at the end of the year which old man has had the biggest impact in their not so triumphant return.
Tonni Tuiste and I recently purchased tickets to see the Ottawa Senators when they come to town(yes, I live in Vancouver) to take on the new look Canucks. By new look of course I mean the Sundin led Canucks! Mats will be eligible to play for Van City as early as the 27th when the holiday roster freeze ends. As cool as it would be for him to be playing by then I kind of hope the Sens killer is not in the line up 😉
Ok! I’m starting to get nervous. I will admit it now. For the first few weeks of this season I kept my cool. Playing down the first signs of last years woes spilling over into ’09, I calmly said “Don’t count us out yet!”
It’s now November 17th and Ottawa currently sits in 28th spot in the league with the second least amount of goals for and seem to be gunning for that #1 draft pick in Tavares.
The real question everyone wants to know is not what happened but rather what is going to be done about it.
Last year the Senators troubles were pinned on the tail of ex-sen goalie Ray Emery and his supposed cancer on the Ottawa locker room. Coach John Paddock was also dismissed from his duties as there was word circling that he was not favoured by the teams star players.
Now those distractions have been banished and we are left with just as much uncertainty if not more.
I hereby put it on General Manager Bryan Murray to step up and declare whether or not this is a team that is missing a few key pieces or is simply REBUILDING.
There is no time to coast through the season and take a gamble on a couple of guys at the trade deadline in hopes of getting the cup in O-town. BECAUSE THERE WILL BE NO PLAYOFFS FOR OTTAWA THIS YEAR!!
There I said it if Bryan Murray does not act now and acquire and trade for players that can make this team the effective force it has been for the past ten years; Ottawa will find itself in the basement until it can successfully draft its way out of hell like in the early nineties.
There are several options out there in my opinion that can really help Ottawa in its time of darkness so lets just see how far they can take this thing before it all comes crashing down.
Here is a list of players I have compiled to help point Mr. Murray in the right direction: