Saturday, September 29, 2007

Your 2007/2008 Ottawa Senators?

Without Rogers 22 handy, I'm afraid I haven't caught a ton of pre-season action. With that caveat up front, I've roughed out a tentative depth chart and points forecast. Consider the following as a potential mid-season status quo, after any early season experiments have been abandoned.


Scoring 1: Heatley / Spezza / Eaves

Heatley and Spezza's contract year will be something to behold indeed. I'll wager 55 goals and 50 assists for Heater. As for Spezza, if he avoids the usual injury blips, look for a nice round 100 points. Should Eaves reserve his seat on this gravy train, I think just under a point a game seems entirely reasonable - I'll lowball 80 points (think Jonathan Cheechoo after the arrival of Joe Thorton).

Scoring 2: Vermette / Fisher / Alfredsson

Fisher is bound to miss between 10 and 20 games, however, he's good for up to 60 points when off the IR. I've already succumbed to a Vermettian man-crush, so the 75 points projection has to stand, assuming he gets time on the second PP unit. On the right side, Alfie should put up around 85 points.

Checking 3: Donovan / Kelly / Neil

I'll assign between 20 to 30 points each for this line.

Energy 4: Foligno / McAmmond / McGratton

10 to 20 points each, dependant on a successful McAmmond return and whether McGratton will be limited to chipping in icy glares from the bench / press box.

Possible Call Ups / Fill-ins: Hamel / Hennessy / Bois

Hamel and Bois are likely typecast as AHL journeymen, while Hennessy needs to make the most of his replacement opportunities.


Shut Down: Phillips / Volchenkov

Points are less important than closing the door on the opposing team's offensive threats. 10 to 20 points each. They were in peak form during the first few rounds of the playoffs last season and the bar has now been set quite high.

Offense 1: Corvo / Schubert

40 to 50 points from these guys if they receive significant PP time. Corvo loves to pinch and Schubert has that long-coveted boomer from the point. I am anxious to have Schubert's position set permanently to D, as he brings some much needed size and roughness. Up front, he had a tendency to draw inopportune penalties in the offensive zone.

Offense 2: Redden / Meszaros

20 to 30 points each. This season will bring clarity to the roles of the default third defensive pairing. Did Meszaros simply suffer from the soph jinx or did Redden experience a sudden, disastrous and irreversible drop in his level of performance? Is it possible that both had a coincidentally sucky season in 06/07 or can we isolate one or the other as the boat anchor that weighed down what on paper ought to have been an enviable couple of D-men?

Scratches / Call Ups: Nycholat / Richardson

With the deep cup run and a captain entering his 11th year of play, I'm not sure "veteran leadership" is what's lacking on this team anymore. Having Richardson on deck sure beats a kick in the pants, though.


Gerber / Emery

Sens fans are lovin' the G-man's preseason swagger - the black mask, the improved positioning, and the 1.97 / 0.947 numbers despite a ragged looking defensive effort in front of him. All of this should help to keep Emery shoulder checking both on and off the road. Neither has learned to control their rebounds worth a damn, but expect to see a more even distribution of starts and wins this year. Let's go with 23 and 30 wins, respectively.

Overall: 53-23-6, 112 points, 2nd in the East behind Pittsburgh.

Game Day Threads

This is your forum to discuss the senators v. the habs. Keep in mind that Habsblog could always use a visit on these occassions.

To chat about the Leafs and Red Wings head over to the game day thread at Pension Plan Puppets.

As always, the games are available through both the sens' and Leafs' video portals for free. It's the last gratis game before you have to pay so take advantage of it.

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's...

The Gerbatross! He'll be getting the start in the senators season opener against the Leafs as Emery's wrist still isn't up to snuff. In a confusing move for non-sens fans, Jeff Glass won't be the backup. Isn't he the goalie of the future? Must be a waivers thing.

Leaf fans will remember the Gerbatross from the hours of enjoyment his play and his contract gave us over the past year. He'll be wearing his black, not a statement in any way, helmet but he'll still be the same frightened goalie playing deep in his net once the puck drops.

As for the Leafs, they are getting close to their opening night lineups and Ninja and I have some thoughts.

In other news, the season has actually started and the Kings are beating the Ducks 3-0 behind the solid play of rookie goaltender Johnathan Bernier. Poor Kings fans, 8 more games and then it's back to LaBarbera, Cloutier, and Aubin.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Shameless Promotion

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All you need to register is a valid e-mail address. All the cool kids are doing it.*


*cool kids may or may not be doing it. They are definitely doing IT and drugs though.**

** This site in no way condones either one. Except for the former. We encourage it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Get 'er done

TSN says Melnyk met with J.P. Barry and Stacey McAlpline for 5 hours today and they came out with "we will take some time over the next week to consider each other's position".

I would hope that Dany was there too. If Eugene comes to talk, instead of Murray, shouldn't the player be there?

Dreger in the article says that Melnyk was talking 7 while they were talking 8.5. Can I make some coin out of this by purposing 7.75?

Thornton's 3 yr extension at 7.2 is a good comparison. So, if you want to go a 5 year deal you've got to up the per year value, right? Heatley is 2 yrs younger than Thornton for those that care.

What would this do the Sens payroll situation?

DJ's comment from a few days ago is required reading.

Easy side of the net sweep-in

Lance Hornby:
Mike Myers wanted actors masquerading as hockey players last night and he came to the right place.

The Scarborough-born star brought a full team of would-be Maple Leafs out for intermission filming of his The Love Guru movie, while those actually trying to define roles on the club bombed terribly in a 7-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Derek Roy was a one-man wrecking crew for the visitors, with six points and a natural hat trick, scored even-strength, power-play and short-handed no less.

Hey, they all count right Lance?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Toronto go again tonight.
In an interview last night Maurice expressed there are still decisions to be made on defence. Stralman and Kronwall get the nod tonight meaning they've at least made it to the final table.

Here's the line-up, game on Leafs TV at 7:30.

Toskala (start)

McCabe - Stralman
Kubina - Kaberle
Kronwall - Gill

Antropov - Sundin - Blake
Tlusty - Kilger - Tucker
Steen - Stajan - Devereaux
Belak - Pohl - Battaglia

I haven't bothered to look for Buffalo's roster. Maybe later today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Post-game thoughts

Most importantly, let's hope McAmmond's alright.

Sens win again. 5-0
Who picked Eaves in the pool? That guy's on fire.

Also, all your thoughts on Salzburg's showing against LA can go here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pre-Season BoO Game Thread

It's finally here. 7:30pm tonight.
Rosters have been announced:

Raycroft, Toskala
McCabe, Kaberle, Kubina, Wozniewski, Gill, White
FORWARD: Blake, Sundin, Steen, Ponikarovsky, Stajan, Tlusty, Ondrus, Pohl, Gamache, Battaglia, Perrott, Newbury

Gerber, Elliott
Richardson, Phillips, Schubert, Meszaros, Volchenkov, Lee
FORWARDS: Alfredsson, Heatley, Spezza, Vermette, Kelly, Neil, Nikulin, Eaves, Mapletoft, Bois, Zubov, Foligno

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Ottawa reminds me of Yaroslavl"

Shean Donovan punched in the first entry on the Sens in-house blog, but I've been much more fascinated by young Alex Nikulin's thoughts on "making the team", translated by ThirtyFive at HFBoards.

Here is a panorama of Yaroslavl to judge for yourself. Are those the Soviet-era analogues to the Chaudiere Towers in the background?

Who is Anton Stralman?

Back in 1998, a lanky kid with a unibrow who spoke next to no English arrived at the Leafs training camp on whatever realm lies two stops past the peripheral. Drafted 206th overall with no hoopla following him into town this young Czech came out of nowhere demonstrating incredible poise, slick skating and a vision of the ice usually reserved for guys drafted 200 or so spots ahead of him. His name was Thomas Kaberle.

When Anton Stralman was drafted in 2005 at 216th overall, it's doubtful JFJ and his cronies believed they had landed another such fortuitous find. However in the months preceding camp word out of Sweden was that this kid was the next big thing. So far, last night especially, there is reason to believe they may have been on to something when they called him the next Lidstrom.

This week the Leafs will face NHL caliber rosters and if given the chance to play, we'll find out if Stralman can play like he did yesterday against tougher opposition. If he comes out shiny on the other end my guess is this kid makes the team.

BAD NEWS: Wellwood is out indefinitely. We'll know in the next 3-4 days what that actually means. This is bad news for the team, but good news for a handful of youngsters and journeymen who have proven they should get a few more looks for a fill in.

Friday, September 21, 2007

BoOB draft day

Free Image Hosting at

For those that plan on participating in the live draft, the latest Yahoo will let me push the draft time is 1 PM Pacific, 4 PM Eastern (24 hrs before the season starts). Another alternative would be to have it this weekend, when no one's crippled by corporate / government firewalls.

Let me know ASAP in the comments if you can handle a draft this weekend sometime or if next Friday evening / another time during the week is acceptable.

UPDATE: LIVE DRAFT SET FOR THIS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 12:30 PM Pacific, 3:30 PM Eastern, 4:30 PM Atlantic. For those not logging in, set your lineups accordingly (I've left all the leafs in the exclude bin, so fans can have their pick of the litter!)

Sun rises in the East, Sens win, Leafs lose

My favourite line in the Leafs game recap:
A handful of spectators booed the 30-year-old Finn.

Welcome to the ACC.

Steve Warne on the Team1200 had a good line this morning - called him Gerboskola.

Up here, the Sens beat the Caps 5-4. Foligno had a beauty.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Capital Cup

Sens vs Caps tonight at 7pm on Rogers cable 22. 'Lineups' here.

Cash is getting the start but will just shut out the Caps for the first 30 minutes or so before Elliott will step in.

New Line: Good so far


Blake scored a beauty on a typical Sundin-from-behind-the net-with-two-players-hanging-off-him pass. They were buzzing all night, Antropov doing great work along the boards and laying some big hits too.

Gamache! This guy landed the open-ice hit of the pre-season and skates his ass off. He's practically willing himself into the lineup. Could be a good depth guy.

The PK is still shite. Absolute crap. That's three (or is it four?) goals in two nights. Unacceptable.

PHOENIX @ TORONTO, 7:30PM. Maurice mentioned a younger lineup for tonight, so we'll see Stralman/Lidstrom finally and I imagine Tlusty will be out there too. Toskala will backstop the kids.
I'll post full lineup when it's made public this afternoon.

PPP Update: Here is the lineup for tonight's game


Alexei Ponikarovsky - Alex Steen - Darcy Tucker
Jiri Tlusty - Matt Stajan - Tony Slamaleinen
Bates Battaglia - John Pohl - John Mitchell
Collin Murphy Kris Newbury - Wade Belak


Bryan McCabe - Carlo Colaiacovo
Tomas Kaberle - Ian White
Staffan Krownwall - Anton Stralman


Vesa Toskala - Starting
Scott Clemensen

Stevenson stirring the pot

On his blog yesterday:
Funny how a 52-save shutout by Martin Gerber helped speed up the recover of Ray Emery' sore wrist, huh?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Return of Luongo

Nope, not Roberto but every sens' fans favourite Sabres' blogger! Frequenters of the BoO will recognize him from last year's ECF when he set himself up for a big fall. It was all in good fun and hopefully the rivalry continues although the loss last year cost the Sabres their membership in the 100% Playoff Series Wins club.

Tom is part of the AOL FanHouse team putting together the season previews and today was Ottawa's turn. Unfortunately, the vitriol that made his pre-ECF post so wonderful is lacking probably because he has to be 'objective' and 'accurate' but he does take a jab at everyone's favourite gangsta:
Ray Emery is a known quantity in net, his strengths and weaknesses are as well-documented as his inability to navigate his Hummer through downtown Ottawa.
But no mention of the Gerbatross! All in all a pretty accurate look at the sens. Or maybe you disagree?


Game #2 of the pre-season tonight, 8:30pm @ Phoenix.
Raycroft starts and Sundin/Antropov/Blake will as dressed as well. No clue who Gretzky is putting out there.

Still no Stralman on defense for Toronto? MIKE ULMER has seen him practice while traveling with the team for his blog and had this to say in last nights entry:

"The boys in the cube next door are on me about Anton Stralman. I saw him in one scrimmage, watched his nimble feet and positioning and have posited him as the next big thing to anyone who will listen. Better than Lidstrom and Salming put together, just you wait."

Phoa! If this is true, you better get Fisher on the prayer beads before Oct 3.

The Man in Black

Mr Ca$h grabbed a shutout with 52 - repeat 52 - saves.
Keep that black mask on.
In other news, the Leafs suck.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sens gameday thread

For those in Ottawa area, Rogers Cable will be showing the Sens-Flyers game starting at 7pm. Gerber's scheduled to play the whole game - should be interesting to see his play and the revamped team from Philly.

Move down half-naked guy!

The Leafs visit the Edmonton Oilers to kick off the pre-season schedule. Pogge will suit up in net for the Buds, and here is the rest of the line-up in case you have LEAFS TV and want to tune in:


Darcy Tucker - Kyle Wellwood - Alexei Ponikarovsky
Jeremy Williams - Matt Stajan - Simon Gamache
Tony Salmelainen - Chad Kilger - Jiri Tlusty
Wade Belak - Kris Newbury - Ben Ondrus
Bryan McCabe - Carlo Colaiacovo
Tomas Kaberle - Bryan Muir
Jay Harrison - Derek Walser

I'm disappointed Stralman isn't on the blue line, but glad Tlusty is. And the Belak/Newbury/Ondrus should spark a scrap at some point. Even I want to punch Ondrus in the beak.

Game starts at 9:30pm.

(Hopefully this post is long enough so that I'm not greeted by a half naked Vermette every time I open the blog page. I think co-workers are starting to wonder...)

Less Than 15 Sleeps To Go!

So y'all want a live draft? I'm happy to oblige. As Anshu pointed out, you can still pre-rank your picks if you can't make the draft.

The current available dates for a Yahoo live draft are from Wednesday, September 19th to Friday, September 28th (regular season starts with the Kings / Ducks on September 29th).

A few more tweaks I was thinking of making were to allow trades to occur without a league vote, and to allow unowned players to be free agents following the draft. Let me know what you think in the comments and I shall adjust the God Toggle accordingly.

Also, take note of the "exclude player" bin if you are shaken by the thought of being saddled with any one, or all of, an immanent retiree, felon, surgery candidate or Toronto Maple Leaf roster member.

Now, to think a suitable prize for first...and last place.

Special Battle Beefcake Edition

Gaze upon his sculpted manflesh and try to tell me this dude doesn't look primed for a career year:

[Sun pic.]

While still looking to secure his top six billing, signs are pointing to big year for number 20. It's his fourth full season in the big league, some slots have opened up with the departure of Schaefer and Comrie and the new head coach is looking to pick up where Bryan Murray left off: finding that elusive second line combination that can build some redundancy into the scoring department. Vermette has had a reputation for stretching out his shifts in the past, perhaps crying out for a bigger offensive role to supplement his penalty killing niche. He'll get all the minutes he can handle this year, and will be a useful swing man to fill in for the inevitable Fisher and Spezza injuries. Prior to getting himself jacked up over the summer, Vermette put the punctuation mark on what was otherwise a fairly feeble flail at the Ducks. CFP is still nursing the separated shoulder dished out to him in Game 5.

Seeing as it's also a contract year, look for a few more of these, a little of this and some more of that in your forthcoming highlight reels.

Prediction: 30 goals, 45 assists playing on a line with Alfie and Fisher/Kelly. Trust me, I'm as comfortable with those projections as I am in my own masculinity.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fish signs a 5 year deal

You all know already of course...

Fisher has signed a five-year, $21 million extension with the Ottawa Senators.

Pretty good contract in my view.

It's funny how it's so close to this one given during the summer:
Toronto Maple Leafs sign forward Jason Blake (2006-07: New York Islanders) to a five-year, $20 million contract.

Who'd you rather have?

Also, Erin bagged the number pretty well in her column:
Keep in mind that the Senators already have their backs creeping against the wall before the season has begun, with similar players such as Scott Hartnell landing a six-year, $25.2-million (all terms US) contract with Philadelphia. It's a safe bet to assume that many GMs would willingly cough up a Hartnell-type salary --an average of $4.2 million per season -- for one of Ottawa's greatest assets. In fact, several would probably consider that number as a starting point.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Promises Promises

Last year Paul Maurice said that Toronto would be in a dogfight for a playoff spot. Turns out he was right. This year he has a different prediction. Click here to read what it is, or click here to watch it via

My thinking is that after Afraidsson's failed guarantee we should all learn to keep our mouths shut.

**Clubber Lang weighs in on the prediction here.

If Only!

How this escaped our attention is beyond me but Erin posted pictures of the new Bingo jerseys.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wow. I would have killed for those to be the big club's uniforms.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Death of the BoO ottawa Road Trip

In order to move focus from the Mark Bell discussion which is basically down to semantics (everyone here hates drunk driving and would like to see much harsher penalties) let's move from to another tragedy.

No BoO dates work for a trip to ottawa.

Monday, February 25, 2008, Tuesday, November 6, 2007, and Thursday, October 4, 2007 don't work because of that pesky need to work every weekday while the only Saturday matchup (March 22, 2008) occurs during the most important holiday weekend on the Christian calendar (Easter, for the fallen). Easter won't fall on March 23rd again until 2160.

That will please the senators since it makes it more likely that they will actually have 41 home games instead of the usual 37.

Chiming in on Bell.

This video captures a wide range of reaction to Bell's 15 game suspension. There are some interesting opinions, and we hear from the suspended winger himself.

Sean McCormick also gives his opinion here which is worth a read.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday in the News

Gilmour a coach?, Neidermayer suspended?
The Leafs are going to win the northeast?

It's all true!

UPDATE: Mark Bell got 15 games.

UPDATE 2: The New Jerseys are out and I have a poll. Feel free to sign up an account and comment. Do not comment here. We know you come here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ah Yeah! We're getting close.


The Battle of Ontario will start off with an underclass bout. The rookie camp opens tomorrow in Kitchener and the Leafs and Sens play on Saturday night.
Details here for the Sens. Again, no info found on the Leafs site. (PPP's Note: It was up in August.)

Murrays throws a jab at the Leafs:
"I look at their depth and the Leafs having a goalie now will make a huge difference."

Emery's recovery is proceeding. Working out the hands.

Last two links via HFBoards.

Trade request?

Did I miss Gerber making a trade request?

I'm actually not a real Gerber hater. A team like the Sens - a team that's one of a handful of inked in contenders for the cup - needs an adequate backup should an injury happen to the starter and Gerber fits the bill for me.

I'm looking forward to see what he'll do during the preseason as Emery finishes his recovery.

The Kids Are Alright.

Toronto have an interesting problem going into camp September 13th. There are simply too many defenseman vying for too few jobs. Yes, as the saying goes, this is a good problem to have, but when does it become wasteful having $5M defenseman in your top three spots with a plethora of cost-efficient and very talented youngsters waiting in the wings?

Camp will shed some light on just how ready some of these guys are, but the possibility of moving out a big ticket defensemam and freeing up $5M or so to make some other moves has to be on JFJ's mind. With players like Rick Nash maybe available from Columbus and Peter Forsberg considering playing at some point this year, there certainly are opportunities to add some punch if the cap room is there.

Oh, and according to Blogger, this is the Battle of Ontario's 1000th posting!
That's quite a milestone.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to use it for the good guys.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Best EVER!!!:)

It's stolen from the great new 'Nucks unis but kudos to the Habs for not being afraid to shake things up...

Monday, September 03, 2007