Saturday, December 29, 2007

GAME DAY THREAD: Vacation Edition

I don't know about you guys, but I've completely lived up to my pre-holiday commitment to to sweet F all, get lots of sleep, and recharge for a new year. As I write this I'm in track pants and a wife beater, my only trip out of the house was for more food supplies, a pro-line, and a quick 45 minutes at the gym.
Life is good. Unless you're the Maple Leafs.

Offense sputtering, Toskala and McCabe injured, and Wellwood, Blake, Pony, Bell, Kilger and Antropov glorified pylons these days. Their game, like mine, seems to be in hibernation. Good for The Muppet - shitty for the Leafs.

Tonight the Rangers are in town, first home game since Dec 10th, but a shaky looking Raycroft gets the call while the team "takes no chances" with Toskala's lingering and seemingly annual groin strain.
Tough to call a loss, but I'm going with a 4-2 home ice defeat at the hands of Lundquist and the Blueshirts.

Ottawa continue their regular season domination of the NHL, playing at home against the Caps. Just the kind of bottom feeder to surprise with a good game. I took a tie in my proline so I'll mirror that here and say it goes to OT.

Weigh in, talk some shit, and blame me that it's 3-2 Sweden as I write this. I was the one who two days ago on BoO begged for some competition at this tourney. Seems it's arrived. My bad.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Godfather is in the building

I'm sure the Sens will put on a good show for Jay tonight. He'll be at the entrance to the main gate from 4:00 to 6:00 for those looking to get their picture with him.

I only hope the Sens have something left in the tank for Saturday's game as I'll be in attendance.

The Leafs are in Philly tonight as well - and flying in Carlo to save the day. Toskala is out again.

Check out those points from 3rd to 13th - 5 pts! It's going to be a dog fight for the next 3 months.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sens Holiday Thread

Between bruising end zone runs for last minute gifts and navigating the humiliating cattle chute that has become the modern airport, expect limited posting activity over the next week or so. I'll be flying in to YOW Christmas Eve, and expect to undertake a voluntarily embargo on computer access during the stay.

Here's an overview of what's ahead for the Mighty Sens:

Tonight - Hawks at Sens (Toews and Kane in for a rare visit)
Tomorrow - Sens at Rangers (Emery in tonight, Gerber tomorrow)
Boxing Day - Sens at Buffalo
December 27th - Islanders at Sens (yours truly will be in attendance - first game in ages)
December 29th, January 1st - home and home with the Capitals

What's on your gift list? I'd love to see Volchenkov back and blocking pucks, and of course a goalie for my listing BoOB squad wouldn't hurt either.

Sens 5, Hawks 3 - look for the return of the Big Line, Phillips makes Havlat's head bleed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Composite Sticks: Great Invention or Greatest Invention?

Quote of the night:
I remember someone saying during the playoffs that an exploding stick would cost someone a game one night. Well, there it was.
That was Leafs' coach Paul Maurice after watching Pavel Kubina's stick snap in half for the second time in the game right before the Lightning came down and scored in the last minute of the third period. Sure, these damn composites are giving every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the beer leagues a slapshot that can break your ankle but it's not all rainbows and lollipops.

Ask the goalies and those sticks are the main reason for their need for the massive equipment. There is no empirical evidence but I am going to accuse those tools of the devil with increasing the number of broken ankles, feet, and hands from blocking shots because the puck comes off the stick like a freaking bullet. No stats but they also have decreased shooting percentage since you never really know where those damn shots are going.

You can't feel that they are broken so NHLers are playing with broken sticks that are primed to snap as soon as they are ready to take a shot. Other players know this and hit the sticks in the middle (which is usually a penalty agaisnt the Leafs but never against anyone else and really should not be considered slashing) to soften them up. Even pricks in beer leagues do this which is why I use good old Canadian lumber.

They are also responsible for the most frustrating play in hockey, a Mats Sundin powerplay slapshot that misses the net and rings out of the zone. Actually, that's not fair. That play is mostly Bryan McCabe's fault for not realizing (after three years) that when The Captain is winding up he should inch closer to the boards just in case and especially since he's so damn slow.

Anyway, your thoughts on the glory of the composite stick are welcomed. When will a coach ban them on his team?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Game Day Thread - Expansion edition

Tonight the most famous and storied hockey team in the world and a trio of expansion teams fill out the BoO game night.

Ottawa at Atlanta 7pm
Toronto at Tampa Bay 7:30pm

Fire away!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bye Bye Bryan

McCabe, a +6 and playing the kind of hockey lately that fetched his lucrative 5 year deal some seasons ago, had successful surgery on his hand. 6-8 weeks. That's around mid-Feb for those keeping count.
Toronto will insert Anton Stralman into the line-up who, after stating he would rather play in Sweden than for the Marlies before training camp, now feels that his time in the AHL will have him better prepared for his second NHL stint.

"I definitely learned the game a little bit more; there's a big difference between this hockey and European hockey"

How much he has learned remains to be seen. He looked good in his 8 games with the Leafs earlier, moving the puck well and gave good value in the Toronto end of the ice, however the offence promised by admiring Swedish journalists wasn't evident. He'll get some 2nd PP time with Ian White, but otherwise will be the 3rd defensive pairing with Wozneiwski.

Kubina will get the lion's share of McCabe's minutes, now playing with Kaberle, his team Czech line-mate. They were great together before Kubina's 10 game injury layoff earlier in the year.


Colaiacovo skated hard yesterday but is still a few days from practicing with the team. Raise your hand if you've given up on the fact this guy will ever play a full season of NHL hockey.


Leafs at the Hurricanes, 7:30pm, Rogers Sportsnet. Staal and co. are 4-6 in their last ten, but are coming off a good win. They have allowed more goals this season than the Leafs AND have played more games. They are alone in doing this.

Toronto have had a few days off after back to back games in Atlanta and then Montreal. I predict a Leaf team with far more jump than the lethargic looking crew we witnessed Saturday. Leafs 4 Canes 2. This feels like a Steen/Stajan night.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The toggle is back to "love"

What can I say? Joe Corvo - on any given shift I either want to shoot him or hug him.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thrash at Sens - where have I seen this team before?

I figure PPP or Muppet will drop a Leafs-Habs GDT on my head at some point today, so I'll try and keep it short.

One that struck me while watching bits of the Thrashers-Leafs last night was how much the Thrashers remind me of the late 90s, early 00s Senators. You can pretty much find an analogy in every spot on the roster. Marian Hossa and Todd White are, of course, Marian Hossa and Todd White, respectively. Kovalchuk is the big, selfish Russian - Yashin. Their flaky, spirit-crushing goaltending is Patrick Lalime/Jani Hurme. Bobby Holik is a rich man's Radek Bonk. Garnet Exelby is Chris Phillips. Nick Havelid is Ricard Persson and the rusty Alexei Zhitnik has to be Igor Kravchuk. More than the roster though, it was amazing the way they'd get these crazy flurries of activity around the opposing team's net, a clutch of snipers in perfect position and somehow they just couldn't will the puck past an otherwise average goaltender. Sound familiar yet?

Ok, I'll leave you with that and demand a 5-2 Sens win. (Alfie x2, Heatley x2, Corvo). All goals will come on the man advantage as the Sens use Atlanta's third-worst penalty kill to increase the value of their powerplay from "not worth a crap" to "worth precisely one crap".

Friday, December 14, 2007

Leafs Hit the Road for Seven

It starts tonight:
Toronto at Atlanta

The last Toronto road trip of this obscene length was back in 1999. Toronto went 4-2 with a tie. Some of you may be too young to remember ties, so you'll have to take our word for it. They sucked to watch, but they weren't a circus like we have now.

If Toronto can come home with a similar record this time around, 4-2-1, that would be decent. I would prefer 5-1-1. The OT loss probably coming in Montreal, tomorrow, because it just seems to be the way it goes between us two.

Which brings up a good question. Who starts these games in net for Toronto? Toskala shouldn't play both, but maybe he could since he is coming off three full days of rest? I'm not sure if you want to risk it, health-wise. Personally I would give Raycroft tonight in Atlanta and save Toskala for the Bell Center. As soon as Maurice lets his intentions be known, we'll update it here.

First things first, Recchi gets zero points tonight and Antropov takes back his lead over Spezza in league scoring. You heard it here first.

Go Buds.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Game Day: Sens at Pens

The Sens appear to be back on track, but according to these frank and enlightening comments by Paddock the other day, their powerplay still ain't "worth a crap"

"I think our power-play percentage is better than it deserves to be," said Paddock. "I looked at the stats a couple of weeks ago and our power-play percentage is higher than (it was) at this time last year and it's higher than we finished at in the regular season last year.

"But it really hasn't been worth a crap. In saying that, it has scored a lot of key goals in the third period. It got the winner (Friday) night in Dallas, but for most of the game it wasn't that good. I would say we have five- or six-game winning goals in the third period."


"We don't put enough constant pressure on the opposition's penalty killing," said Paddock. "It's for different reasons: We don't outwork the penalty killers. Joe Corvo shoots the puck as hard as anybody from the point, but he doesn't always want to shoot it. He gets sucked in by some of these skill guys wanting it on the side and wanting (the puck) to go through them. When he does shoot it, there isn't always someone in front.

"(The power play) can be substantially better and, at least, give us some momentum. It's not right and it's not good enough, that's for sure."


"We need to include everybody on it. Spezza doesn't have to always look for (Heatley)," said Paddock. "Wade and Joe need to move their feet across the blue line. There's lots of things that can be better."

Well, then! In last night's shelling of the Canes, all 6 goals were scored at even strength, although the Sens only had three defined opportunities with the man advantage. I fully concur that a 14th place PP is inconsistent with a Conference-leading team, particularly one with a perplexing inability to convert 5-on-3's into clutch goals. Sweet individual even-strength efforts like Vermette's on Friday or Spezza's on Wednesday may get the job done against lightly penalized teams, however, certain memorable foes are going to key in on the fact that they can gangster it up and not have to pay a price.

Here's to a 5-4 NON SHOOTOUT, REGULATION TIME victory for the Ottawa Sens. Penguins will come out fired up after the debacle in Philly, but 07-08's most over-hyped team will be no match for their now alert and awake opponent.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Emery KO'd?

Impromptu GDT - Sens up 2-0...and Emery leaves the ice!

Apparently hurt something in practice, let's hope its not too serious and Gerbs can follow through with a win over his old squad.


Emery's new mask made me do a little search to see some of the alltime greats. Here's a list of the top ten compiled by Going Five Hole this fall and SI has a gallery of 36 current masks.

Monday, December 10, 2007

As we endure another interminable wait for a Sens game...

There's no better hockey blog filler than to scratch out your lines for Vancouver 2010. Hey, we're almost halfway there!

Game Day: Leafs v. Lightning

Head over here for the real Game Day Thread. In the meantime, as a change from those well embarrassing pictures of the Captain being a member of the community unlike that weasel character that probably will steal Cindy-Lou-Who's presents, consider the Lightning's 2-10-1 road record...and fear it.

Why? Because they are due. And the Leafs are nothing if not good brothers in the NHL and they will want to reward the Lightning for their efforts with two points. So Leafs: DON'T F*&$ING DO IT!

Leafs 5
Lightning 1
Go Leafs Go!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Game Night in Big D - Sens at Stars

Think the Sens are looking to see how they measure up against a tight-checking Western Conference poster children? I'm certainly curious. The ridiculous post-lockup schedule really doesn't allow for much inter-conference assessment, although given the long layoff they had before the Final beat-down at the hands of the Ducks, you have to think they reviewed the tape of at least a few of those late-night Pacific games.

Anecdotally (and perhaps statistically) the East is considered the weaker conference, although the otherwise mediocre Penguins have shredded the Northwest and Pacific divisions, going 6-1-0 in their hyped-up contests so far.

Sens in the last two and a quarter seasons against the West:

07-08: 0-1-0 (visit Pacific, host Central)
06-07: 4-5-1 (visit Central, host Northwest)
05-06: 5-2-3 (visit Northwest, host Pacific)

Note that the 05-06 swings had Poppy McGroin between the pipes, so a middling 9-8-4 record perhaps could have been worse.

Sens 3, Stars 1 (Alfie, Fisher, Vermette).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Game Day Thread - Hangover Edition

Generally, a 3 game win streak would mean tonight's line-up could be photocopied from the previous one. You would never jinx a win streak when you've been having the kind of season Toronto has. If it ain't broke, put down the wrench. And all that.
But tonight the Leafs will tempt fate as the newly healed Pavel Kubina is in and Staffan Kronwall is out. Before he got hurt 10 games back Kubina was earning every penny of that $5M contract. Perhaps it's a bit much to expect him to be at this level after such a hiatus, but the PP2 back end will have, at the very least, a little more venom. We could use it.

Tlusty joined Kronwall on the boat headed back to Marlieworld, temporarily ending by far the most bizarre call-up in recent memory. According to Maurice it's best Tlusty heads to the AHL where he can play some well endowed minutes. Perhaps he will help erect a few digits into the teams already impressive win total? So long as he's not too cocky now that he's been an NHL player. If you drink and drive, you're a Dick.

Overall, Leaf fans are feeling pretty good. We're playing well, we're almost healthy (what is the 10-20 on Colaiacovo anyway?), Antropov is finally playing like a 10th overall draft pick, and our number one goaltender looks like a number one goaltender. The warm fuzzy feelings at the ACC were such that fans felt inclined to give birth to official Vesa Toskala chants on Tuesday night. Deservedly so. He's been terrific.

Speaking of which, to all the Sens fans who mouthed off about the Leafs extending Toskala's contract, it will officially come back to haunt you in about 2 seconds:

RAY EMERY: .891 - 2.82
VESA TOSKALA: .903 - 2.56

Damn straight.

Let the good feelings roll.
Leafs 2 Rangers 1 (OT)

Do you concur?

I do not. Erin's post after the Tampa game included these points:
You don't encourage players with a previous history of swinging their stick to take hacks at the opposition for the hell of it -- that's indefensible and ridiculous.
The Sens are barely clinging to the last shreds of goodwill that they've earned with this city.
On the first point, the swing was not for the hell of it. Darche did interfere with Ray and more importantly, if your goalie feels he needs to take a swing at a guy it should fire up the team - it should embarass the team. The play of the team after that was evidence enough, no? Erin asks: "what would have happened if Ray had made contact -- one-handed or not?" Surely no more than a game unless Darche was injured - it wasn't at the head.

On the second, I don't see it. I don't feel the team was close at all to losing the city. I didn't really hear it on the Team. Your experience?

Unbeaten in 2

Okay, maybe not the 76-77 Habs....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Game Day: Sens at Panthers (surely we can still get two points out of Jack Martin and co?)

The Sens look set to go with their "battler", Ray Emery to help get the team off of Skid Row.

In this dark and desolate stretch of the season, the list of Bumfights candidates is quite comprehensive, including:

1. Antoine Vermette: 2 points, -8 in the last month.
2. Randy Robitaille: scored 2 goals playing with Heatley and Spezza, passed out in an alley somewhere?
3. Chris Kelly: similar to his linemate, 2 points, -6 in the last month.
4. Mike Fisher (he's got the beard to go with this part of town): Goose eggs, -8 since the loss to TO.
5. Dean McAmmond: I hate to pick on a guy whose bell's still ringing, but nary a goal in 16 games back.

So who will pull themselves up by their bootstraps tonight? Can those who are unable to make a valuable contribution on the ice be reassigned to other make-work duties such as picking up pop bottles out of 417 drainage ditches, or updating the player blog?

Sens 6, Panthers 0. Alfie x3, Fisher, McAmmond, Robitaille. Vermette / Kelly aces on the penalty kill. Foligno drops the mitts with Nathan Horton after cranking up "Youth Gone Wild" on his pregame iPod shuffle.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Game Day: Leafs v. Predators

The Leafs host the Predators tonight and you can try out your guessing skills at Leaf Nation's official game day thread.

If you want to bicker with sens fans and haven't gotten enough since Sunday and Monday were pretty tame then stick around here and laugh with glee as the Leafs stretch their winning streak to 3 games and cut the sens' lead atop the division to 6 points. Sure, there are games in hand involved but like sens fans like to point out; games in hand are not necessarily wins in hand. Especially when your team is reeling on the back of SIX STRAIGHT LOSSES.

Here's my question: why didn't they lose 4 straight to open the playoffs and save us all of the grief last Spring. After all, the Leafs did their part.

Anyway, the Predators are still very good despite having lost some stars - Paul Kariya, Peter Forsberg, Tomas Vokoun, Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen- because, shock of all shocks, they work hard. How successful has the adoption of the hard-work ethos been? Radek Bonk is the team's leading scorer. Yes, the Radek Bonk that was absolutely useless as anything else than a checker for the Habs.

Also, Scott Nichol is suspended for cross-checking Patrice Brisebois in the face. I know Nichol is no logician but you generally want to hurt the opposition's good defencemen and not guys nicknamed Breeze-by. Or at least wait until you play the Leafs to take out the bottom rung defenceman.


Leafs 6
Predators 1

Poni x2, Sundin x2, Antropov, Kaberle - Sundin also fights Tootoo after the runt tries to elbow him in the end and glides off of the ice with 22's head clutched by the hair as his body twitches in the corner.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Someone poisoned the water at the ACC

I figured it out.

When they went to play the Leafs at the ACC on Nov 17 something happened. I've pulled the stats of the games before and after that game.

After that game the team started missing more shots, giving the puck away more, not taking the puck away as much, and losing more faceoffs.


Obviously something happened that night in Toronto. McCabe got the 1st star that night too!?!

Voodoo perhaps? We need to know!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Game Day Thread (The Main Event): Leafs-Pens

Well, Thursday's harangue worked wonders so here's another edition. The Leafs are 1-6-1 after wins which just underlines how frustratingly inconsistent they can be. Lately these matchups have featured lots of goals, momentum swings, and Leaf losses in OT/SO. Hopefully things will change for the better. Muppet, feel free to add to this because I tossed this together quickly (can you tell?) and just to ensure that something pushed Jay's down.

Here are the highlights from the last time these two teams met. In one of the team's best performances of the year Jiri Tlusty burst onto the scene with two goals including one off of his ass prompting a Giggles-like quotation about how he felt it a little bit in his behind and then it was in the net.

Predictions: Leafs 5 - Pens 3 Bell with his first as a Leaf, Sundin, Antropov, Tucker, Wellwood.

Game Day (the early edition): Rangers at Sens

What better way to kick off the weekend than to start drinking at 11:00 AM? The Rangers are in to the bank for one of those goofy matinee games (CBC, Coast2Coast).

The Sens will need to accept the fact that at least 5 or 6 more decent shots are going to find their way to the net with 0.5 of their shut down pairing dispatched to tend to matters on planet Volchen. As such, throwing everything plus the kitchen sink at Lundquist is what will be required to overcome Yaminy's damage. Neither team's powerplay is particularly scary right now, so don't be afraid to take a run at certain pests if you get the urge. I'd think each of Heatley, Spezza, Alfie and Redzaros will crack the 25 minute ice time mark easily.

Prediction: 7-2 Sens. Alfie scores natural hat trick, screams I AM BEOWULF, tears Avery's arm from his body at the shoulder before running to his home in the marshes to die.

Although Muppet retains control of the BoOB and technically gets to pick the Saturday night pump-up music, I'd like to take the opportunity to dedicate some old skool Tom Green (unlike Jason Spezza, a product of the Ottawa education system) to all the SenzHataz from Jane & Finch!

I'm taking an old university acquaintance on tour today and will likely be firing up the Molson Jet Pack at some point, so you may find me unreachable by the time the Pens take on the Leafs.

Happy hockey night, everyone.

Friday, November 30, 2007

From The Mouth of Children

Or child-like adults at least. After watching the Leafs' triumph over the Thrashers I sat down to watch Sportsdesk (yes, I still call it Sportsdesk) to catch the highlights. After a comprehensive review the show moved on to the senators highlights and I got to see one of the better finishes I could have hoped to see.

Now, the show shifted to the interviews and a forlorn looking Giggles was asked about the game. He tried to speak with the appropriate demeanour and you could almost see the giggle-muscles twitching but he blew it once he spoke (this is paraphrased except for the last line which is word for unbelievable word):
That's not like us. We don't give up six goals. We don't make giveaways like that. It's out of our characteristic.
I swear on all that is holy that those words came out of that empty-headed twit's mouth.

I needed that

Something to cheer you up...
Slam Sports

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Game Day: Preds at Sens

The great internet time machine helps to provide us all with perspective. Despite a four game losing streak (the longest since...last year at this time), a couple of injuries and a rather tedious performance against one of their regular patsies, the Sens have built up enough of a first quarter cushion that they continue to sit atop the conference standings. If there's a time and place to rust up a bit and be forced to look at things from a different perspective, it's definitely now.

I don't actually sense any panic in the Capital City blogs or media, it's just another one of those butt-dragging segments of the NHL's regular season. Much like the yearly ISO audit anal probe at the office - something that you'd like to bypass altogether or fast forward, but you've just got to bite down hard and get it over with.

In case any newbies are actually panicking, I'd like you to consider the entries on BoO's November 2006 front page:

November 8th, 2006: The Panic Button thumbnail makes its appearance.

November 15th, 2006: Iron Mike an option?

November 15th, 2006 (later): Eugene's lawyer friend takes in a nice, relaxing hockey game in Buffalo.

November 16th, 2006: The economic case for stapling Marty Gerber to the bench!

November 24th, 2006: A must-win against the Panthers?!

See? No sweat, we pulled out of that smoking tailspin after Christmas and despite some other turbulent encounters in the closing games, went on to unprecedented modern era success.

Sens 4, Preds 2 - Kelly, Fisher, Alfie, Redden. Radek Clunk erases any remaining doubt that his 70 point season with the Sens was the exception rather than the rule.

P.S.: While browsing the archives, I realized it's the one-year anniversaire of bringing Muppet and PPP on board. It's paper this year, right?

Game Day: Leafs at Thrashers

IT ALL STARTS NOW! GO LEAFS GO! Time to rally around the coach and get that bunker mentality because it's you against the world (The Star/Sun/Globe/Assembled anti-Leaf forces) and they are not taking any prisoners. Man up boys and show the league that slow starts don't kill teams, cornered teams kill teams. These are the Thrashers. They used to be your bitches.

Remember that game? It had a good old fashioned brawl because those dirty Stars and Bars bastards couldn't handle having the score run up on them. Well, time to remind them about how shitty that makes you feel. Hartley is gone but that bum Exelby is still pretending to be an NHLer. Get the job done Belly (the good ol' Canadian boy not Emery's faux rap star buddy). Just don't end a period trailing:
here is your scary stat of the night: The Thrashers have winning percentages of 1.000 and .857 when leading after 1 and 2 periods respectively while the Leafs have winning percentages of .182 and .143 when trailing after those same intervals. If the horn sounds to end a period and the Thrashers have a lead then odds are that the Leafs are done.
So get on them early and often like a Georgia Bulldog on his sister. GO LEAFS GO!!! WOOO-HOOOO!

Why Hot Starts Matter

sens' last 6 games:
20 GA
3.24 GAA

Leafs' last 6 games:
12 GF
20 GA
3.29 GAA

Sure six games is arbitrary but I could have started at five games and still included the Leafs' 3-0 blanking of the senators. What happened 6 games ago to make the sens want to get their GM and Coach fired? Was it the return of Ray "Do As I Wish" Emery? Tough times in The City That Fun Forgot.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Can't we just carry on making fun of the leafs instead?

Another tardy GDT is filed as the Sens find themselves down 1-0 on a goal by Vasicek. TSN is bringing it to us Coast 2 Coast.

Sens 2, Isles 1 (Spezza and Heatley save the team's bacon, Corvo and Richardson are placed on northerly ice floes, leaving them to perish).

Too Easy

James Gordon has apparently heard about our attempted initiative here and is just teasing us:

Lynn Proulx of Ottawa and another fan named Jessica wanted to know who Heatley’s roommate is on the road.

Chris Phillips.

JG: How is he as a roommate?

DH: Perfect. He’s pretty low-key. Same schedule. No problems at all. He’s the boss. He’s the veteran, so he’s the boss in there. don' just means that Chris Phillips does the best Tony Danza impression...with women. Phew. That was tough.

It's About Time

Glove tap to Godd Till and Kim Jorn for unearthing the next logical step in the season's progression:
In other news, someone has started a "Fire JFJ" site. I'm torn on this one. While it's nice to see Larry Tanenbaum using technology to reach out to the fans, it's troubling that he can't spell "cheering" properly. I'm sure he's got no problems with "boo," however.
They chime in on the whole situation with the sort of elegance that puts the effete intellectuals at HabsBlog to shame. Seriously, they quote MacBeth.

In other news, here's a fill-in the blank script for future Leafs-Habs matchups:

The Leafs dominated the Habs last night, outshooting them (insert big number) to (insert significantly smaller number) but (insert Habs' goalie's name) stood tall in the face of the onslaught to help (get the game to overtime/a shootout/keep the game close).

The Habs' powerplay was the difference as they went (insert big number) for (insert slightly larger number). On the other side the Leafs' (struggling/anemic) powerplay went 0 for (some painful number).

In the end it was (goaltending/shootout/defensive lapses) that cost the Leafs a chance at two points as the Habs once again stole a pair of points that they had no business picking up.

At least we still have our 2008 first rounder!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

D-Day Thread: Hello Habs

Geez, what a great night to play the Habs. The Leafs never have difficult games against the Habs when they are in dire straits. Never.

Number one reason this game will be interesting? One team can't win when leading (.182 and .143 after 1 and 2 periods respectively) and the other can't win when trailing (.000 and .000 after 1 and 2 periods respectively). Something will probably give tonight.

Don't forget the great special teams battle. The Habs top ranked unit (ie their entire offence) takes on the 15th ranked Leafs PK (something they do at least acceptably well) while the Leafs 27th ranked powerplay will be made to look stupid by the 18th ranked PK of the Habs.

Who will win? Whoever gets to play their game. If there are lots of penalties the Habs will sneak out a win. Lots of 5 on 5 play and the Habs players will be asking which of the Leafs' backups is playing.

Predictions? Make 'em at the real Game Day Thread.

But here's mine anyway: Leafs 6 - Habs 1 - Damien Cox writes article wondering What's the Big Deal?

Peddie should be the first to go

Here's some advice for MLSE. Your biggest problem is your team president. You let him hire the Raptor's GM Babcock and learned your mistake and went over his head to bring in Colangelo and make him president and GM of the Raptors. You let him hire JFJ.

You don't even need to fire him - you need to remove him from being the president of the Leafs.

Ya think being the president of MLSE is a little big of a job for one guy perhaps? Can you expect him to run Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Marlies, Toronto F.C., Leafs TV, Raptors NBA TV and the Air Canada Centre? MLSE also operates BMO Field, Ricoh Coliseum and General Motors Centre in Oshawa, Ontario.

Perhaps instead of the senior advisor you were looking for to 'help' JFJ this summer you should be hiring a Toronto Maple Leafs team president with some hockey background instead of leaving Peddie in this situation.

Actually, you had that structure when Dryden was in charge starting in '97 but you let internal politics ruin what became in the late 90s and early 00's the best run by the Leafs since the 60s.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New GM?

Reports have JFJ on life support. Who's gonna get the job if it happens?

Haptip to Black Aces who links to Cox's blog where he lists some candidates:

FORMER PLAYERS: Steve Yzerman, Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Al MacInnis, Doug Gilmour, Glenn Healy, Tom Kurvers, Steve Larmer, Kris King.

AGENTS: Don Meehan, Brian Lawton, Mike Liut.

COACHES: Randy Cunneyworth, Greg Gilbert, Bob Hartley, Mike Kitchen, Don Lever, Barry Melrose, Pat Burns, Pierre Maguire, Brian Sutter, Craig Hartsburg.

EXECUTIVES: Neil Smith, Mike Murphy, Colin Campbell, John Muckler, Scotty Bowman, Mike Milbury, Bob Murray, Mike Barnett, Doug Armstrong, Jim Nill.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Is there something wrong with the Sens?

I'm not going to say the team isn't in a slump as they obviously have been playing poorly relatively speaking. But, the question I'm asking myself is this:

Is there something wrong with the Sens?

Last fall there were definite problems with defensive pairings and Gerber's play.
Is there something that you think is the issue over the past couple of weeks?

If you think there is something, then knowing the 'root cause' of the losses is good to know but doesn't mean it can be fixed quickly or easily. Just ask JFJ who's burning up the phone lines and wondering when to play the Fire the Coach card.
On the flip side, deciding that there isn't a specific root cause to address may be comforting as you'll feel that it's just a matter of bounces and the wins will start flowing again or, to some who need something to point and aim at, it may cause frustration.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday night

I bet on Proline today for the first time in a long time. I've got the Coyotes beating the Raycroft backed Leafs, Columbus upsetting the Wings, Washington winning for their new coach, Buffalo continuing their resurgence with a back to back win over Montreal and then saying Naslund will get more points than Kane in the Chi-Van matchup at Vancouver tomorrow. Wish me well.

Another big giveaway by the Blue team's blueline last night gave Dallas the lead. They go into the desert to face the suddenly hot Coyotes with Bryz going for his 4th straight win.

The Sens host the Flyers (on CBC) without Alfie. All eyes will of course be on Nikulin. Gerber's in net.

Music for tonight? No Durst today. Guitar. Drums. Pure gold.

Predator Alert!

I know Fisher is looked at as the kindly next door neighbour kind of guy who's friendship with Elgin Fraser melted women's hearts across the country but this kind of logic does not fly:
Fisher is also interested in tying the knot at some point, though he's not quite ready to call his shot. "Thirty is the new 20, eh?" he said. "And I'm 27, so that means I'm only 17."
Be cautious Ottawa area high schools and be on the lookout for this individual:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And for God's sake if he's wearing a trenchcoat run away!
[glove tap to paul for the find - Note, this is satirical. Mike Fisher, if he is anything like his cousin that I went to school with is a superb human being. Sneaky-dirty hockey player but great person.]

Friday, November 23, 2007

Look at me! I'm doin' stuff!

We may not break the league record for points?

That's it!

What's Russian for "Pond Hockey"?

Rough debut for lovesick call-up Alex Nikulin:

5:48 TOI, 8 Shifts, -2

He's got a new entry up on the mothersite, awaiting ThirtyFive's translation.

UPDATE: November 23rd - "Don’t even feel like talking about it."

Huge thanks as always to ThirtyFive for the translations.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gameday: Pacific Standard Time Edition

Despite being stuck at work, with no hope of catching the game on TEEVEE, I will attempt to use my SENSes and mentally project what is occurring as it unfolds.

[closes eyes and imagines a 1-0 lead on a Vermette shorty before clicking on Team1200]

Well whaddya know - tied at 2?

UPDATE: For some reason, I also did not foresee a Laraque-McGratts tilt this early in the game. 5-4 Sens in the Shootout. Two losses in a row is unthinkable.

That Makes At Least Three of Us

It's Turkey time in the United States and Earl Sleek touches on something for which 95% of the province of Ontario gave thanks a month ago:
Suffice to say that there are a lot of stretches over 2007 where the Senators would have killed last year's Ducks in a seven-game series; fortunately May 28 - June 6 wasn't one of them. Outside of the Ducks (who did it twice in five games), the Sens haven't suffered consecutive regulation losses this entire calendar year.
26% of Canada thanks the Ducks for saving us from God-knows how many years of suffering. Who will be this year's heroes?

The BoO Quarterly Report Card

The season is around 1/4 finished and by now we've had a chance to see what our teams are made of. I thought it was time for us to assess.

If you so desire, give your team (or both teams) a letter grade in the following categories. Or make up new categories. Whatever.

1) Goaltending
2) Defence
3) Offence
4) Coaching
5) Management
6) Overall

Here is my stab at it for Toronto:


Both tenders have shown flashes, but when an opposition player gets a chance in the Toronto zone I'm praying the shot doesn't make it to the net. Not exactly the confidence one would hope for.
Most goals against in the NHL and most of those thanks to defensive zone breakdowns. If it weren't for the offence's share in all this this would easily be a big F. Can you give an F-?
Yes, Toronto have scored goals. Lots of them. Mats is on fire, and the PP is starting to click thanks to the return of Wellwood. It would be an A+, except these guys don't want to come back and help their D very much.
Sorry Paul. You give a great interview and I suspect you could actually be a genius and I even think you have a system in your head that would win a Stanley Cup. Only problem is, a coach also needs to get his players to actually fulfill his systematic needs. Get these fucking guys on the same page or try something else.
This score will surprise a few. However I think I "get" where JFJ is going with this team and in a NOW NOW NOW market we all have to be a little more patient. On paper the team is getting better and the prospect pool and farm system is getting better and taking this team from high paid veterans with no prospects to what we have now is an accomplishment. The Rask deal, as silly as it looked Tuesday, cannot possibly be weighed until the kid has played a season or two. Show me a goaltender who won his first NHL game and I'll show you a bunch of tenders you've never heard of since.
What other score can you give to a team skating circles in the Eastern Conference neutral zone? In every sense of the word, it has been an average season.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sens Gameday: Speaking of Predicaments

Hi. I'm Ray Emery. You may remember me from such off-ice antics as "That $500 Roach-Eating Bet I Won With Alfie" and "The Time I Gave Snoop Dogg The 187 Jersey" or "Some Old Fart On The Queensway - What A Scare He Got!". People used to really appreciate my laid back style and happy-go-lucky attitude. At least when we were ripping through the Eastern Conference playoffs like wet toilet paper. By the time we got around to being lit up by those dudes from Anaheim, well, the act was maybe wearing a little thin.

Anyhow, people have mostly forgotten about me and that's partly a good thing. I've been nursing a back strain from a beer league game a few weeks back. You know, me and the boys like to throw the rock around on my days off. No big deal, Marty's had things under control, but I suppose I should make an appearance in one of my favourite road cities and work on that 3.00 GAA and sub .900 save percentage.

Make it a 5-2 Sens victory tonight (TSN, 7:30 PM EST, Coast to Coast). It'll be a throwback to the Bingo days - Volchie, Kells, Gratts and Antoine'll score, and my old roomie Spezz may get an empty-netter. Hope Andrew Peters stays out of my crease, I hear these Reebok Edge deals are a bitch to hold onto when you're taking punches.

See y'all on the Chippewa Strip after the game.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Paddock's Predicament

We all know that the Pizza Line can be recombinated as necessary late in games or during slumps to boost the offense (the stinker in Toronto the other night is the exception that sort of proves the rule). The trouble is, rely on it too much as a default setting and your opponents will adjust.

Last night saw Heatley and Spezza clicking along with Kelly and Neil on the wing.

Alfredsson played with everyone and their dog in just under 23 minutes, seeing time with Fisher, Vermette, Kelly and McAmmond at even strength and Eaves on the powerplay. He also spent time with Fisher killing penalties.

Comparing the forward's goal distribution from the 20 playoff games of 06-07 and the first 19 games of 07-08, the Sens are already looking a little less top heavy:

Looking back at last spring, Paddock knows how a desperation shuffle to avoid the Checking Line From Hell came far too late. His mission this season is to find a reliable one-two punch that withstand several rounds of playoff checking. Now is the perfect time to experiment - the team is rolling into the second quarter with a healthy divisional lead and a healthy lineup.

The alternative is to wait for Bryan Murray deliver a $3.5 million surprise at the trade deadline.

Tuesday Night Thread

Boston at Toronto, 7pm.

What is it that motivates teams to leverage players against their former teams anyway? Does Rask have something to prove? Does he harbour some venomous anger at JFJ and Leaf Nation that will spur him on to play the game of his life?

You will have to tune in to find out.

In the meantime throw down your predictions and thoughts.

Some props

Can the site admins get some love for what we've done in the BoOB?

4 of the top 5 spots? Sick.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Game on TV?

I thought the Sens game was on going to be on Sportsnet but it seems it's not available for us in Ottawa. Strange.

So, I'm going to get my 8 year old who's in immersion to stay up and translate RDS for me.

UPDATE: Whoops, turns out it was just delayed. Galley and Dean Brown with the call.

Hello Mr. Jekyll. Stick Around A While.

Pity the senators. While other teams have come into the ACC and found a compliant bunch of hockey players the team from the nation's capital ran into the team that us poor optimistic bastards keep telling you guys about.

The goaltending was steady throughout and spectacular when needed, the defence was stingy with scoring chances and kept the shots against down, the forwards backchecked and forechecked with equal vigour, and the effort was not only at its peak but consistent throughout the 60 minutes. What does it all mean?
It was like a flashback to some long ago playoff game. The Ottawa Senators arrived in town, chock full of confidence and talent, remarkable talent, as the league's gold-standard franchise. The Maple Leafs, muddling along at about .500, seemed too slow, bloated and overpaid to stand much of a chance. Surprise, surprise, there's life in the Battle of Ontario, and in the Leafs, again.
Paul Hunter and all Leaf fans will be looking at this game as proof of the potential on paper we have seen since the summer. Whether it is ever met consistently (there is that word again) is another matter. For now, according to the theory behind this site, the Leafs are the best team in the league. Discuss.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Battle Game Night: Coming up on the quarter mark

A tale of two teams as we go into Round 4 of the 07-08 BoO. The Leafs remain in the league's top three in terms of Goals For, whereas the Sens are the league's stingiest, averaging only two goals allowed per game.

While projecing trends from a limited sample size is always risky business, both teams feature players of varying ages having career years. Noteably for the Sens, the 120 point pace of Alfredsson (who's feeler 'better than ever' about his game), a 70 point campaign by Mike Fisher (if he stays healthy) and a 55 point campaign by Antoine Vermette. The man formerly known as the Gerbatross is only three wins away from eclipsing last year's total and, is well on pace for a career highs in wins, goals against and save %. Since last year at this time, he's gone 24-2-2, which is pretty sick.

For the Leafs, Antropov is on a 74 point pace...and, uhm

The Captain continues to provide inspirational blog posts to match his inspirational play, and the Alfie-approved comments show that Sens Nation is on board and Kool-aided up for another long run in the post season.

Meanwhile, in fantasyland the A's continue to light up the board in the BoOB, prompting the GM to watch the max games played closely. My general theory is to run them ragged, cashing in on hot players knowing injuries may be right around the corner. I've also got to watch my back, with Muppets and Puppets closing in on the top five and BoO alums / admins patiently clawing their way into the top ten. Unfortunately, as I'm at the top of the heap you're going to be subject to yet another round of cheeseball metal, apropros of the A's and the Sen's tremendous starts, let's keep on rollin' with Fred Durst and the boys. Question of the night: In another 15 years or so, will rapmetal look more or less ridiculous to us as hairmetal does today?

Happy drinking!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Battle Warm-up

Let's get the predictions out of the way in this post.

Have to assume we'll see Gerber and Toskala in nets, no?

I'll start it up...

Sens 4
Leafs 2



I'd like to write more about how he's just taken leaps and bounds as a player and captain over the past 5 years.

Feel free to add your thoughts below. How much longer does he need to play at this level before we'd see the first modern Senator in the Hall of Fame? Can he win the Richard trophy this year? The Hart? The Art Ross? The Conn Smythe? All of them? Should the city include in the current budget forecast the money to build a huge statue of Alfie?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


7pm Toronto at Boston

It's reported Raycroft will get the start, while Tim Thomas will be in net for Boston.
Kilger will replace Battaglia marking the only line-up change from Tuesday when Toronto put 40 shots against Montreal and lost in OT.

7:30pm Buffalo at Ottawa

Spezza will be back in the line-up to face the Sabres who put 45 shots on Tim Thomas their last game and still lost 2-1.

Give us your thoughts, predictions and trash talk.

Finally, they get it in TO

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


For Leaf fans, this must be a welcome headline when compared to what we could discuss on the ice.
Toronto Maple Leafs rookie centre 19-year-old Jiri Tlusty has issued a statement expressing regret that nude photos of him have been circulating on the Internet.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Who plays baseball anyway?

From TSN Ice Chips:
While the team began doing some hard skating drills 50 minutes into practice, Ray Emery left the ice due to back spasms, he did it while playing baseball on Sunday.

Basketball I could see.

As if he needs another thing from getting starts. Gerber's playing great (1st in W, 6th in GAA, 4th in SV%) but starting Thursday the team has a busy schedule where they play 6 games in 10 days and Emery would surely start a number of them. If he's unable to get in there due to back issues and Gerber keeps playing like he is, we may have a number 1 goalie much earlier than Paddock planned.

Kubina Hurt: Please leave your message after the beep.

This image is from CityNews, October 11th 2006.
Another year. Same story.

If Colaiacovo could have made it back before Saturday, Toronto would have had a full line-up for the first time in over a year. Instead, Leaf fans who purchased those "Man Game" calculators last season will get their money's worth.

As a result, Toronto will call up either Anton Stralman, Staffan Kronwall, or, in a surprising twist Derrick Walser (Derrick who?), who was named player of the week in the AHL and has 6 goals and 6 assists in 12 games. I dug up his line on
"Has a wealth of offensive flair. Understands his role on the power play and displays good hockey sense. Flaws: Is undersized for the defense position in the NHL and lacks defensive acumen."

Ok then. Stralman it is.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hall of Fame Game!

Leafs vs Rangers
Starting right now.

How fitting that the hall of fame game is in Toronto, where the shoo-in Mats Sundin will lead his squad against the shoo-in Jaromir Jagr.

Go Buds.

Quick and Dirty Matinee GDT

Despite our lapses in Game Day posting leading to the only Senators losses this season, the boys remain on track to pull even with the Habs of 76/77, with Gerber in the role of Ken Dryden and Emery as Michel "Bunny" Larocque. As the East-leading Sens take on the surprising Habs, who are tied for second in Conference points, their 6th best PK will need to contain the Habs league-leading PP.

I'm calling a 4-3 shootout victory, a special teams focussed affair, with powerplay goals from Fisher, Alfredsson and Corvo. The shootout will of course be decided in spectacular fashion by the dizzying stickhandling of Antoine Vermette.

No Giggles this afternoon, but Volchenkov will draw in again after leaving Thursday's game early. Marty G. is expected to be back between the pipes after Ray's horrid stick side was exposed to the world once again.

As the A's continue to sit atop the BoOB standings (I bag skated 'em after losing the lead to the Ice Worms and they've responded well) and in light of today's opponent, the pre-game music selection shall include plenty of cheeziness, with a dash of Euro-flair, perhaps something you might encounter while partaking in a gentleman's club (or so I've heard).

It's the FINAL COUNTDOWN! Flick those bics and let's crank it up.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Leafs @ Sabres

These two teams have much in common these days. In fact, you can hardly tell them apart so far in this 2006/2007 season:

No team identity
Riddled with injuries
An utter lack of confidence

I'm not sure if one game will turn it around for either club, however rest assured one team will walk away with a differentiating factor come 10pm tonight:

a 7th win.

This is what it's come down to.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sorry guys

I'll take the blame for this one.

No gameday post!?! The guys didn't stand a chance.

Not wanting to make the same mistake, let's get started for Saturday's tilt....
I guess I get to watch Gerber against Montreal? Oh, yeah, that's right lads and lasses! Donnie's gonna kick some Habitant arse on Saturday afternoon. I'm up in the drinking, er, standing room area.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cap and exchange rate

Interesting, no?
Click on the picture for a bigger look.

Team Loyalty

As I went to read Cox's take on the game last night, I came across this:

If brand loyalty is the measure by which sports fans show their love, a new study suggests Toronto's teams might want to send their supporters flowers. Or they could just win a few more games.


21. Ottawa Senators
38. Vancouver Canucks
45. Calgary Flames
60. Edmonton Oilers
74. Montreal Canadiens
76. Toronto Raptors
83. Toronto Maple Leafs
86. Toronto Blue Jays

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

30 games in 30 nights

In addition to Jay's post, be sure to read the view from Steve Williamson who is in the middle of his 30 games in 30 nights roadie. He was at Scotiabank Place tonight.

PPP Update: I just wanted to highlight the most topical part of his post.
The dirtiest player in the NHL, Chris Neil, had his own 2-on-1, although the puck was nowhere around. Late in the game, he got into a tussle with Mark Bell, and Bell started throwing punches. Neil, as usual, turtled (for the less than hard-core fan, turtling is when you cover your head and let the other guy hit you to try to draw a penalty), but as soon as another Senator grabbed Bell, only then did Neil began hitting him back. Hitting an defenseless opponent is a typical Chris Neil play, can you tell I don't like him!
Sign him up as a contributor!

Post Game Wrap-Up

When words fail, there's always a youtube video to help articulate your thoughts. A little ditty to serenade the leafs and their drink-sotted fans on their long bus ride down the 416:

The BoO Pre-Game Show!

GAME #3.

Toronto (6-6-3) at Ottawa (12-1-0)
7:30pm, Sportsnet (Ontario and East).

Damien Cox kicks it off with a blast at Sens fans:

"Now, we media types in the GTA have hammered the locals early and often this season, but at a certain point the burgeoning arrogance of the hockey faithful in Bytown – many of whom have clearly mastered email – starts to grate.

One might think they'd wait until the first Stanley Cup banner goes up at the place-your-corporate-name-here rink before losing their humble demeanour, but that's not the case."

ANY HOO... The Leafs will dress Mark Bell and Kyle Wellwood for the first time this season. They will play on the 4th line with John Pohl. Wellwood should get some PP time, Bell will get some PK time.

Jason Spezza won't be in the line-up tonight. Leaf fans would probably prefer if Heatley was the one on the IR right now since he's been a Leaf killer ever since he arrived in Kanata.

Cancel those dates, clear that work off your desk - this ought to be a good one.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Right then, let's all move along shall we? Forsberg's return takes a turn for the worse

According to the Globe and Mail, Forsberg left the ice at Sweden's national team practice on Monday after an hour, saying his ankle wasn't holding up.

"It's extremely tough and I know that everyone can understand how I feel," he told a Swedish television station.

"It doesn't feel good, I always try to stay positive, but today is a very dark day."

[emphasis mine]

I don't mean to trivialize a guy's career ending injury - even if that translation's a little sketchy, you can certainly sense his devastation - but I am relieved that this happened while Murray was still eagerly kicking the tires and not after he had turned up in Finland to drive this lemon off the lot.

Another Hasek debauchle is the last thing this team needed going forward.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

For those not watching The Game

Bruins get another crack at the Sens tonight at 7:00 PM EST, 4:00 PM PST (A Channel). Last night's late-breaking kerfuffle involving Andrei Meszaros, Marc Savard and Denis Wideman, provided at least a bit of hope that there could develop some sort of passionate hosility between the two clubs. It's been all too easy to overlook Boston as the quiet cellar-dwellers of the division, particulary since dispatching Joe Thorton out west. The other four Northeast siblings have a reliable hate-on for each other, but in spite of their original six creds, Boston's been left out of the loop.

Look for Nick Foligno to be scratched again, as Brian McGratton's icy, mildly psychotic glare will be called to duty. Sens were 50/50 on powerplay opportunities and Mike Fisher's presence in front of the net was greatly appreciated, as were Joe Corvo's three assists. Early fisticuffs could lead to a blowout score and vice versa.

I'll call it a 6-2 Sens romp (Vermette, Kelly, Alfie x2, Heatley x2)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I'll take Muppets, Anarchy and Territorial Capitals for $500, Alex

[as the commish thrusts crotch in general direction of the league]

Not too shabby considering I have two guys on the day-to-day and have made zero transactions (although, truth be told I was tempted by the Wolves offering of surplus tenders).

Should be a decent hockey night tonight - Leafs will apparently 'dismantle' their atrocious powerplay in preparation for a visit to the league leaders in the genre, Bruins/Sens kick off a home and home at the Bank, and Canucks escape GM place to visit the Avalanche. I'm waiting to see if the VPD are going to break out the "hats n' bats" the next time Luongo lets in a softie.

Sens fans will get another visit from their perennial boardman and Orlando Bloom doppelganger, Peter Schaefer. In other alumni reunions, the man who once had a slot on the Pizza Line returns to the lineup, called up to replace the injured Patrice Bergeron. Look for more Randiness than the Bruins can handle and a 3-1 Sens victory.(Robitaille, Alfredsson, Vermette, Chara).

Tonight's pump up music - a little Megadeth cover for y'all. Video is equal parts lazy ripoff of The Wall and Clockwork Orange. Who cares, let's see those head banging.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Leafs v. Devils

Check out Pension Plan Puppets for all you need to know about the game tonight and stick around and chat. I'll actually be there tonight (damn intertubes). Get there before the puck drops and leave your predictions.

"Myth" Confirmed As Fact

Before I was side-tracked by Giggles' contract extension I meant to highlight a new site about the Toronto Media Cox Bloc (now in the sidebar) which has quickly become a daily stop to read their latest deconstruction of the prose offered by the inept Steve Simmons, the bitter Damien Cox, or the completely biased and out to lunch Richard Griffin (the Jays' beat writer for those who care about baseball).

Today (err last night but I was out) they highlighted a competition being run by the Team 1200 (the contest is at the bottom for our regular visitors and former Leafs/Habs fans) that seeks to find the sens best bandwagon jumper. Godd Till and I are both a little perplexed about why they would want to reinforce the stereotype that has plagued the franchise for it's entire reincarnation. There's an existential explanation for why sens nation secretly wears blue and white underneath their red, gold, and black but of France's three contributions to the world I am more interested in the third.

Till's conclusion is probably the scariest and I pity the city. Or I would if I cared about it. Or considered it the capital of Canada.
But that's not the scariest part, dear reader. This sad stunt is yet another reminder that, as much as reading Simmons or listening to Watters makes us long for the sweet relief of a nailgun pressed to the temple and fired, they are role models to the Ottawa media. They're where the Ottawa guys want to be. So take some pity on the sad sacks in the nation's capital, and give them a break or two. The Leafs always do - in the regular season, anyways.

Somebody get Mats a Blogger account

"Tuesday night, Toronto is here and I expect the Leaf fans in the crowd will still be booing me whenever I touch the puck. But it doesn’t bother me. It’s something that started a few years back and just continued. We do have a really good rivalry with Toronto, and that’s kind of part of it. I don’t have a problem with it. It means I’m doing something good, I guess."

-Guess Who

Predictions Shattered

Thanks to Indrew for the heads up but Jason Spezza has signed a $49M extension to remain in the regular season hockey capital of Canada for the next seven years. There was some speculation that the senators' brass might have to make a choice between the two snipers assuming that they would show some loyalty to a captain that guided them through the team's almost bankruptcy which included a period when the players were not even being paid.

Turns out the choice might be between Spezza, Heatley, and Alfie and the little weasel appears to have lost out unless he is willing to exercise his options for the 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012 seasons when he stands to make $3.8M per annum.

The senators now have the following players signed for next season at a total cap hit of $42.238993M:

Forwards - Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher, Chris Neil, Dean McAmmond, Nick Foligno

Defencemen - Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov, Joe Corvo, Christoph Schubert

Goalies - Martin Gerber, Ray Emery

By my count that's 5 forwards and 2 defencemen that need to be signed with somewhere between $8M and $15M. The following sens will be RFAs/UFAs: Wade Redden, Chris Kelly, Antoine Vermette, Andrej Meszaros, Patrick Eaves, Shean Donovan, Brian McGrattan, Luke Richardson. Out of that list I would guess that Grats, Richardson, and Redden are good bets to be let go/traded.

But let's here your thoughts in the comments. Who gets replaced by prospects (do the sens even have those or are they all in Russia?), who goes unsigned, and who gets traded?

Did someone say Kool-Aid? Spezza signs extension. 7 yrs, $7M per cap hit.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who's Serving The Kool-Aid?

While the Toronto media is rightly (for the most part) lambasting everything to do with the Leafs (except the bloggers because we are awesome) the ottawa media is doing peyote and knocking out absolutely ridiculous articles.

Hat-tip to Greg at AOL's NHL FanHouse for finding the acid-induced ravings of Wayne Scanlan who appears to have taken classes at the Steve Simmons School of Shooting Heroin and Writing for a Crappy Newspaper.

The Senators have won nine of their first 10 games to open the 2007-08 season. All they have to do is maintain this pace the rest of the way to more or less match the 1976-77 Canadiens. We could run daily comparison boxes in the newspaper to see how the Senators are faring against a true NHL dynasty. A little early to hold Ottawa up to such a high standard, you say?

Maybe, but think of the attention this would garner. The Senators want to be noticed. They want the Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza line to be known as the greatest in the game, so why shouldn't they be encouraged to go for it.

Yeah, why wouldn't we hold up the senators to such lofty heights? I mean, it's not like the senators have been dominant regular season performers before this year with all of the attendant pressures right? How did things work out the last few times they were this heavily favoured? Oh yeah, I remember...

2005-2006 113 pts, 1st Eastern Conference

2002-2003 113 pts, President's Trophy Winners

2000-2001, 109 pts. 1st Northeast

Well, there's the kiss of death. Thanks Wayne! Have a safe and Happy Hallowe'en and I hope those videos don't give anyone any nightmares.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trust in agents

The Sun had an article stating that Spezza's agent has been talking to Murray.

What I find most interesting about the process is how hands off the players are with these things. From the article...

While Spezza isn't sure where the talks stand, it's believed Curran is seeking a long-term extension...

"The team wants to get something done. I want try to get something done. But, to be honest, it hasn't gotten to the point where (a contract) has come to me just yet," said Spezza.
I brought up a somewhat similiar issue with the Heatley talks. Maybe it's somewhat posturing -the player doesn't divulge his intentions or knowledge to the media so he's not hounded on the day to day updates - that would make some sense. If it's not that though the player must actually trusts his agent to understand all the intangibles that come into making the contract choices more than I could ever.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Caps @ Leafs, 7:30pm, LEAFSTV

I'll call this one 4-1 Toronto.
Sundin continues his domination at the ACC, and this time his teammates come along for the ride.

Help a brother out

Our blogging friend Alex Nikulin of the Binghamton Senators writes that his girlfriend is having problems getting over to the US.

Surely this should be one of the perks of playing in the Ottawa organization - getting government contacts to pull some strings - maybe for some tickets and a signed jersey or two??

Read on Milk's blog - a new daily read for me.

BoOB Standings

Ok. Be honest. How many of you paid the $10 for the real time stats?


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Are the Leafs the Best Team in the NHL?

Two straight wins. 1.50 goals against. 9 more goals.
Will anything stop the Toronto Maple Leafs now that they are in a groove? And with Wellwood, Bell, Tucker (that would be a 2nd line on 90% of NHL teams) and McCabe and Colaiacovo (a #1 Pairing on most teams) all coming back, one has to wonder if this is the greatest NHL team ever assembled?

And what about the Sens? Fluking their way to an NHL best 9-1, running into teams who are slumping PLUS getting 5 day rests between games? We are left to wonder... will they even make the playoffs?

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hockey's Back...again

After a dominant 2007.1 campaign, the Sens return from a long and grueling off-season training regimen in Deliverance, Ontario, ready to open up the 2007.9 season on the road in New Jersey.

Despite now having games in hand to the league leaders in Detroit and Minnesota, the Sens remain near the top of categories such as win percentage, goals allowed per game, and penalty killing percentage.

All the hints are that Paddock will carry on with the Heatley/Spezza/Alfie trio up front, not only to remind the "Hockeytown" faithful of another candidate for best line in the league, but to get the team's top guns rolling along at full speed prior to (one can only hope) experimenting with a more distributed attack that can prove more resilient over a long playoff run.

Other than that, it should be back to business as usual for the Sens. Vermette is nursing a tweaked back, McAmmond is having shoulder problems, Emery will look to work his way back into the starter's block, and to my persistent irritation, people will continue to yammer about bringing Peter Forsberg to Ottawa.

Let's go for a 4-3 Ottawa win in the shootout. Spezza (x2 incl. SO winner), Neil (step it up, guy!), Eaves. Zach Parise, under intense pressure from his general manager to secure the lead in the Battle of Ontario Battle, scores all three Devils goals.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jiri Tlusty Come On Down!

Jiri Tlusty and Staffan Kronwall are making the trip to Pittsburgh with the former guaranteed a spot in the lineup (have a seat Wade) and the former possibly playing in lieu of an injured Bryan McCabe. Somehow Wozniewski is back in the lineup and that can only be because he has comprimising pictures of JFJ.

Since the season is officially over it's a good chance for the kids to get more ice-time. Then again, it could work out like the 2006 Hurricanes or the 1986 Canadiens where super-duper rookies led veteran-laden squads to Stanley Cup Glory. In fact, that is my prediction. Sorry sens fans, hope you enjoyed making the finals last year because in the words of Matt Hasselbeck - We are going and we're gonna win!*

*Completely ignore how that particular prediction worked out for the balding QB.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


7:30pm, Sportsnet Ontario.

Lets do the math here:

Toronto: highest scoring team in the NHL with 33 goals.
Atlanta: 4th lowest, scoring only 16.

Toronto: most goals against in the NHL with 37.
Atlanta: 4-way tie for 2nd worst, allowing 36 thus far.

What does it all mean? That statistically speaking, the Leafs should win this one 4-2 and Sundin should get at least one goal.

Of course, if things worked out like statistics say they should, Ottawa would have beat Toronto at least once in the playoffs. So throw all that out the window and give your predictions.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tucker Out Indefintely


This is no good. Wellwood is still a ways away and Bell won't be back for a few more weeks. Which means farm hands are on the way. I say pick the guy with the best +/- on the Marlies. Please.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Toronto have Raycroft in net, and Ottawa will see Emery for the first time this year.
Last minute predictions and in-game commenting here.

I took a proline and have Toronto and Florida to win. I have Jokinen in my BoO pool.
Lets make it a good night for The Muppet.

JAYUPDATE: Lalime will make his return to the ACC! A goose egg for Patty could well qualify for the feel-good story of the season.

The weekly wrap up

I think Muppet and Duff are emerging as the Mad Mikes of the BoOB, although in the former's case it appears to have been reasonably successful in breaking into the Sens-fan dominated top five.

Rumours that continue to disturb my sleep

I know it's old, and there are now far more desperate teams in the running for his services, but can someone please put the "Murray has 3 million for Forsberg" to bed for me?

And I'd also like to correct the rumour to read "Murray has 3 million for Forsberg and a severe case of amnesia regarding the last injury-vexed superstar with an incentive-laden contract to be tacked onto the lineup card".

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Better late than never

Game day post.

As I type this the Sens are up 1-0 on the Habs and the Leafs down 1-0 to F-L-A.

Make that 2-0 Panthers - 4 saves so far for Toskola. Vokoun not playing because of an injury.

Gerber and Price between the pipes in Kanata.

Talkin with Bryan

McCabe finally spoke up yesterday about his lack of popularity with fans. Not unlike a schoolyard kid who embarrassed himself in front of class mates, there's an underlying sense of deflection and stilted bravado in his words.

Here is how the interview might have went had I been in the room.

"It's not like it was the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals."
"How the hell would you know? We haven't made the playoffs in two friggen years, last year because of one measly point in the standings. One point?? EVERY point counts, tomato can.
"I'm one of the higher-paid guys on the team and they expect the world out of you. But I can't turn water into wine every night."
"Buddy. You're not even making moonshine out there. Body-checked by a net? Scoring on your own goal? Running around in your own end? I don't even know what to call that drink. Something with bitters.
"Obviously, you'd like to get cheered, not booed, at home. It's nothing I can control."
"You can control it by playing well. How about that? Jesus Christ, can't you take any responsibility for your actions? I would just prefer you apologized to the fans for your lack of production and its inherent effect on the team and promise to be better. Enjoy the boo's tonight.

Read the rest of his colourful quotes here:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An Apology

Sorry Leafs fans. How I could have let sens' fans mirth last all day without posting their own recent defensive blunder is beyond me. Thankfully TSN reminded me of that (2nd) most beautiful of Stanley Cup winning goals. If you told me that Chris Phillips had scored it I would have assumed that it meant that Armageddon was around the corner. Not quite :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The people want to talk about it....


So when they said they wanted a replacement for McAmmond do you think they were looking for a guy that's played for as many franchises? Robitaille is now with his 9th NHL club. I guess that's more than even McAmmond has as he went to Chicago and Calgary twice.

Hope he fits in just as well too if he clears waivers.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Marty Gerber is mad as hell and he's not gonna take it anymore

The 5 on 3 sequence every Sens fan was raving about the other night:

When the Pissed Swiss hurls the puck out of the zone, you can almost read it as a statement issued to the club's notorious job-stealing pugilist.

"Do not mess with Marty tha G."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Take a breather

The Sens definitely weathered the early season storm of games with Emery gone.

What's fun is that we Sens fans get to admit that maybe our previous attitude towards Gerber was wrong. It's a really a no lose situation from a fans perspective.

For Leaf fans and their goalies - not so much.

Also, what's not fun is commenters who could have been an addition to the site become a detriment. If you want back in to play, mail me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Game Day Thread

Piitsburgh @ Toronto 7pm, CBC
Ottawa @ New York Rangers, 7pm, MSG

Standings as of today:

Syd doesn't have a goal yet, which is a scary proposition because he's going to wake up sooner than later. He has three goals and nine assists in eight games against the Buds. From the kid:
"I am tired of comparing last year to this year, to be honest," said Crosby. "Nothing we did last year means anything now."

I couldn't agree more.

The Rangers are fresh off a win last night in Washington. Will Lundquist get back to back games? I hope so, he's in my pool. Ottawa have allowed the 4th most goals against in conference, but scored the most. The Rangers have yet to really break out offensively, but have allowed less than 2 goals a game on average. This one is tough to call, but I'll take the Rangers with Shanahan scoring two. (he's also in my pool, go figure).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sens take on Canes

I guess we should put up a post here for game thoughts.

See if we can hold this team to less than 7.

Speaking of scoring 6 or more goals....
Via Black Aces - looks like the Pizza Line name has gotten around...
...on Atlanta television, the announcers were calling them the Pizza line and even had their side reporter explain the meaning behind the moniker...


The Leafs have a chance to even up their 1-2-1 record.
Game starts at 7:30pm on Leafs TV, the Islanders in town after beating the Rangers 2-1 last night at home.

Ponikorovsky got hurt in practice yesterday which means the Gamanche will take his place. Raycroft gets the twine. No word on any defensive changes for Toronto, both Stralman and Kronwall are available.

Leafs Game Day!

WOOOO!! Time for redemption and to get the season back on track against the surprising Islanders (Does the NHL view that decade of Ted Nolan-free coaching as a crime?). A win tonight will lower blood pressure levels across the country and put the Leafs right back in the playoff hunt. Wait, it's just the fifth game of the season? That gives thing a bit of perspective. Maybe I won't lose my shit if the Leafs lose but I'd rather not find out.

The Islanders are coming off of a win last night against the Rangers and the Leafs have apparently made some interesting changes. Whether those changes make a difference is a whole other matter but, yes DC, once again the Leafs are looking towards 4th liners and rookies to give the team a boost.

This is the fourth of eight home games in the season's first 10 games. The Leafs are 1-1-1 which is just barely acceptable especially for a club that used to regularly dominate on home ice. Maybe we need more Saturday night games.

Anyway, during the game you can stick around here and be bombarded with sens fans and their comments or come to the warm embracing arms of the Leafs'-only game thread.

Action Required

Sens fans need to help out with this one....
Hat-tip to Mirtle.

The obvious question....

With Toskalime playing like he is after getting a 2yr extension before he'd played a game as a starter, the contracts of McCabe and Kubina sticking out like they are, and Maurice seeming to be safe....

Ell-i-ot Ell-i-ot

Sens Army officially going off the deepend in our discussions on the Sens goaltending 'depth' today but what the heck - it's a waaaaay better feeling than 12 months ago!

Gerber - 0.949 SV%
Elliot - 0.966 SV%

Toskalime - 0.865 SV%
Dullcroft - 0.867 SV%

Also - the only guy picked later than Elliot in the 2003 draft is....
Arseny Bondarev

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

sens gameday

The sens look to continue their reversion to form (hot regular season, terrible playoffs) with a 5th consecutive victory against the Thrashers tonight. Luckily for them Hossa is out. Their PK is 'perfect' and their top line is 'untouchable' and their goaltending is 'amazing'. Yeah, sounds just like every regular season not including last year. And what did all of those years include? A playoff failure long before the final. You have 78 games to prepare yourselves for the inevitable failure. Like true government employees you'll procrastinate while the Type-As in TO get a head start.

So enjoy your regular season sens fans. Seriously, enjoy it. You live in ottawa, hockey should at least distract you from that. You just wish you had a player like Belak to lift you to the next level.

TV: Sportsnet East
Radio: A what now?
Online: Sens TV Portal

Sweet Widgety Goodness

Check out the new NHL Dashboard widgets from Kelly Phillips at It even has special BoA/O/C/NY/P functionality (see Andy's screenshots here).

Only works for us Mac snobs at the moment, but a Yahoo! version is forthcoming.

PPP Update: Andy Grabia of The Battle of Alberta sent along these instructions for anyone that has a Mac and wants to add the widget which is supposed to be awesome. I have to wait for the PC version...dammit.

1) Make sure they are using a Mac. This version won't work on a PC. A PC version is coming soon, but it ain't ready yet.

2) Go to this page:

3) Click on the "Download Dashboard" button at the bottom of that page.

4) It will download to your desktop, open, and then ask if you want to install. You say, "yes."

5) The widget should pop up. It will have the score for the season so far.

6) Click on the options button at the top.

7) Scroll down until you find the Battle of Ontario options. You can either look at the feed, or at the matchups.

8) All done.

9) There are tons of other options, and preferences they can choose from. They should play around and see what they like.

10) If there are questions, I would suggest two ways of attempting to answer them. Within the Options section of the widget itself, there is a "Help & FAQ" section. Scroll to the bottom of the widget options to find it. If that doesn't answer the question, post your query here for Kelly to answer.

JAYUPDATE: Yahoo version has been released.

No Hoss

Hossa hurt his groin in a skating drill at the end of practice Monday and Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said the club isn't going to risk playing him until he's 100 percent.

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

Your faithful, despondent correspondent at last night's game.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Those 1000 words consist of about 75% profanities.