The ravings of a rabid Sens fan on the Senators and all things hockey related.

Upcoming Games

  • Thu. October 18th - 7:30pm - Montreal Canadiens - A-Ch
  • Sat. October 20th - 7:00pm - Florida Panthers - CBC
  • Sat. October 27th - 7:00pm - at New Jersey Devils - No TV
  • Thu. November 1st - 7:30pm - Atlanta Thrashers - A-Ch
  • Sat. November 3rd - 7:00pm - Boston Bruins - CBC

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We may have Randy Robitaille.

We have signed Robitaille to a one year deal and now just have to wait for him to cleat waivers. If he does, Ottawa will have a decent depth signing. Robitaille's offensive numbers over the last few years are similar to Dean Mcammond, but he is apparently not the greatest defensive player.

I can't honestly say I know much about his game other than that he is a journeyman who has ended up in the RSL. Ottawa has had a good track record with these type's of players recently, so hopefully it turns out well.

The real question is what implication does this have on the team? Will Schubert go back to D? Is Richardson going to sit in the press box? Will Foligno be sent down? Or does this mean Dean won't be back for a while? Hopefully it is not an indicator of Mcammond's health, as he is a crucial part of this teams depth.

Leaf Update

The Leafs managed to blow three leads last night! THREE! The game winner went to McCabe, who blasted a shot into his own net with seconds left in OT. The amazing Mats Sundin was on for all 5 goals against.

Monday, October 15, 2007

If I don't blog about it, it didn't happen.

That is sound logic right? RIGHT?! So ignoring a game against the Hurricanes which may or may not have happened (why on earth does that team always stifle the past I mean....cause as far as I know this was no the case in the alleged game with supposedly took place at some point in time on the date of the 11th apparently), I will look instead at what was easily the most entertaining game of the year:

Senators vs Rangers - Round 2

Note: This picture is actually from Round 1.

Ah, what an entertaining game. It truly was a shame it wasn't on TV here in Ottawa. In lieu of listening on the radio, some friends and I decided to head down to Marshy's to take advantage of the projector, all you can eat wings, pool tables, bubble hockey, and great atmosphere (man, they should be paying me for this). As always, it was packed with tons of Sens fans decked out in team colours, there to cheer on the team as loudly as they can.

Once we got settled in and ordered our wings (I got stuck with honey garlic because my girlfriend wanted to have some - note to self: don't bring girlfriend to all you can eat wing night), the game began. First period was very exciting - constant end-to-end action - but it produced no goals. The team looked as good as the last game against the Rags, which was an encouraging sign.

After a quick game of pool (I won, just so you all know how great I am), it was on to period two. This is where the fun started. If you went to the bathroom for an extended noodle draining you would have missed it all. 3 goals in 52 seconds. A new franchise record. A thrilled crowd at Marshy's. More importantly a comfortable lead to go into the third period with.

Aside from the hockey being played, there were also two great fights in this game. One featured McGrattan and Orr, and the consensus at Marshy's seemed to be that the decision went to McGrattan. He started off slow, but definitely finished much stronger than Orr did.

But that isn't the fight everyone is talking about. No, that honour goes to Luke Richardson. He managed to KO Dubinsky in one punch. Richardson stood there taking a few glancing punches waiting for his time, and then WHAM, smacked him right on the jaw. Dubinsky had to be helped to his feet and then assisted off the ice.

The rest of the game can be summarized with two words: Gerber Clinic. Martin Gerber was a beast in this game. During an extended 5 on 3 he not only repeatedly stopped cross-crease one timers, he also managed to clear the puck himself by picking it up in his blocker hand and throwing it out of the end Favre style.

Gerber's shutout bid was ruined by a garbage goal which was the result of a huge scramble in the crease. Gerber was dragged out of position by Hossa and this allowed Jagr to poke the puck passed him. It was a shame that a goal that clearly was not good (hell, even the MSG announcers agreed) ruined what was a well earned shutout.

The Sens ended up with a 3-1 win and looked impressive throughout. I would go as far as saying their best performance of the year despite all their goals coming in less than a minute.

Gerber is really starting to turn heads, and this game helped significantly. The question of who will be the number one when Ray Emery comes back is getting pretty tricky. There are heated debates among fans and it is becoming a big story in the media. The question really comes down to do you value the present or the past? In the past Emery has been better for this team, in the present Gerber has. Granted, Emery hasn't gotten a start yet (aside from the pre-season where he played part of a game and didn't look too sharp) but that is hardly Gerber's fault.

To me, the clear answer is to ride Gerber until he falters. There is no reason to put in Emery if we are winning games with Gerber. While Emery has looked good in his AHL conditioning stint according to reports, he will still be coming back after a long break with virtually no NHL game experience. Gerber on the other hand has gone 20-1-1 in his last 22 starts and we know he is NHL ready at the moment.

Either way, this team is looking good in the crease, and an insurance policy is never a bad thing to have.

Looks like there won't be much Senators hockey for a while. After having the most compacted schedule to start the year, we will only have 3 games in 18 days. Don't worry, I'll find something to write about.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Once again, the Senators win.

Nice try, he still scored.

The Sens once again won and are now a perfect 5-0-0. Despite this, I can still complain. Never pleased? Maybe. But I think it has more to do with the fact that this team just isn’t playing their best hockey. I can’t really say they are playing bad hockey – I just know they can play better. There are times where it just seems they aren’t trying and then they will turn it on for 5 minutes and get 2 goals.

Brian Elliott was awesome. In to give Gerber some relief the rookie kept Atlanta to just one goal. He made some big saves on the doorstep and looked very technically sound. It was nice to have a goalie in there that doesn’t give out a big juicy rebound.

Elliott in his other starring role.

For those who did not see the game (it was available on Sopcast), here is a summary:

  • Chris Kelly gets an early goal on a partial break. Shoots from the circle and gets it underneatKL’s blocker.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: Offside Ottawa.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: Icing Atlanta.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: Offside Atlanta.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: High stick Ottawa.
  • Kovalchuk gets the puck off of a bad turnover and roofs it. In off the post from the slot…no hope.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: Offside Ottawa.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: Offside Atlanta.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: Offside Atlanta.
  • Vermette gets a super long “pass” from Phillips and takes a slapper from the circle. Top shelf far side. Beauty.
  • Whistle* Announcement: Icing Ottawa.
  • Joe Corvo takes the weakest point shot I have ever seen on a PP and it somehow goes in.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: Offside Atlanta.
  • *Whistle* Announcement: Offside Ottawa.

Alright – I have a confession. This entire summary was all a clever ploy to show you all just how much I hated the Atlanta arena announcer/announcements. Like honestly….I half expected to hear “Just so you all know, you are currently at a hockey game”, or “The city you are located in is called Atlanta”. Thanks for holding my hand mommy. I guess Atlanta is going for the NBC approach.

Overall, can’t really complain much. Not the best outing by the Sens, but a good one. They won the game. Go us.

Leaf Update

Despite a valiant effort, the Leafs lost 7 FREAKIN 1 to the Canes.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Senators top Devils, remain unbeaten

Getty Images

A 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Thanksgiving kept Ottawa undefeated. We are now 4-0, a much better start than last year. But man oh man this team better pick it up. We dominated most of the first and then it seems everyone started thinking about that turkey waiting at home.

Heatley - Spezza - Alfredsson were amazing again, combining for 8 points and scoring 2 of Ottawa's 4 goals. The other two came from Kelly and Redden. We almost let the game slip away though. They just could not get the puck out of their end in the 3rd period, and it cost them a goal. With the Devils within one and pressing hard, Heatley made a beast play to get it out and allow Alfie to score on the open net. He literally bowled over the defencemen on the point and took the puck with him.

Gerber was solid again. Neither goal can really be put on him. The first was a defensive collapse, allowing Asham to walk right out and sweep it around Gerber. The second was an exhibition of perfect hand eye coordination as Parise knocked the puck out of mid air on a rebound.

Other than that the game was mildly entertaining, which is more than you usually expect from a Devils game.

The best news of all? Gerber has a new mask. It is finally here, though he didn't wear it today. At least we know for sure now that this isn't some form of silent protest. Even though he wants out, Gerber is still a team guy.

Sens face Devils undefeated

Today the Senators host the New Jersey Devils in a special Thanksgiving matinée at 3pm. The Senators come into the match undefeated having beaten the Maple Leafs twice and the powerful New York Rangers.

On our side we have Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson who have been red hot to start the year. Alfie looks like he is in 05-06 offensive form, when he got 43 goals and 103 points. Heatley is once again scoring goals and setting up his line mates. If Heatley gets 49 goals and 99 points it's considered a disappointing season - how awesome is it to have a player like that?

Martin Gerber is having a great start filling in for injured Ray Emery. Gerber has gone 3-0 to start the season, but if you go into the pre-season, and even into last year, he hasn't lost a game in regulation in forever. This may not be the most popular opinion - but I am a big fan of Gerber. Always have been actually. I would be fine with having him as our starter. He got such a bad wrap last year when the entire team was playing horribly in front of him.

The other advantage to keeping Gerber as our starter is that Ray Emery's trade value is through the roof right now. There may not be a market for Gerber, but I'm sure there is one for Emery. With all that being said, I would rather keep both for this season. Having two starting goalies is a great problem to have.

Jason Spezza really needs to pick up his play for this game. He looked so dominant in the pre-season and has disappeared now that the games matter. I wonder if it's a case of confidence, which seems ludicrous talking about Spezza - often perceived as a cocky individual - but it seems like he is afraid to carry it like he did in the pre-season. Instead he is back to rushing impossible passes.

Chris Phillips looked better last game, which is great news because we badly need him to be in top form if we want to have a successful season. I've said it for years, but this guy is the foundation on our back end - always has been. He may not be the most skilled player back there, but he has always been the most important in my opinion. I wouldn't trade him for Chara or Redden.

Hoping for a good game today. The Senators exposed Martin Brodeur last year in the playoffs by shooting high glove side. I would be shocked if we don't see more of that today.