Sunday, January 31, 2010
Interesting I would choose the day the Leafs traded for Dion Phaneuf and JS Giguere to talk about Nazem Kadri but he's awesome. Have a look at games played and penalty minutes. This kid is gonna be a beast.
No wonder Cryin' Bryan wanted him so bad.
Well, all that bashing Burkie has taken in the worst trade of the last year of the first decade of the 21st century seems to have lit a fire under his pompous ass.
We Senators fans bash him quite a bit (with good cause), but he is a risk taker. Hell, I'd almost say he's a maverick. But we all know about maverick's don't we?
A major overhaul of the Leaf squad, beginning with the trading away of the only good D-man they had - Ian White - for the most regularly under performing D-man Calgary had - Dion "Warwick" LePuff, and then dumping substantial salary to Anaheim by ditching "40-goal man" Blake and the only guy Muppet thought untouchable, Vesa Toskala for the career-declining J.S. Giguere (whom we all knew was headed here once Burke signed on.... tampering!!!).
This is definitely good for the BoO as Leaf fans will now have more delusional visions of Lord Stanley himself presenting their team captain - Minnesota Phil - the silver chalice. The change of scenery may make the Leafs a little more competitive, but we can still all look forward to Boston's pick this June.
Dion is the new Jason Blake.
(Don: where'd the blog header go? Did I hit a button the wrong way?)
Thomas Kaberle, Nick Hagman and Jamal Meyers.
Ok, at this point that's speculative, but with the comment "it's bigger than that" when a Leaf source was asked about Stajan and Hagman, you know Kaberle is in that pot.
Here's the poke-fun-at-/praise "The Trade" thread, folks.
Phaneuf, Sjostrom and Aulie ---- Stajan, Hagman, Mayers and White.
Toskala & Blake to Anaheim for Giguere.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
What a frikkin' game.
Kuba's tape-to-tape pass from the blue line to Kovalev on the right post for a tap in was just sweet, sweet sign of a helluva game.
On the longest winning streak by a modern day Senators team, let's have a look at three* of the major numbers that lead to such success:
- Kovalev has now managed a point in 8 of the last 9 games;
- Spezza with 6 goals in 6 games since returning from a knee injury;
- Elliott with a 1.14 GAA and 0.961 SV% in the last 8 games.
*Ok, only three for now as the g/f is calling to be picked up from the salon. Thank the unicorns that she didn't call during OT!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Nobody will argue that it's a rebuilding season and the team wasn't supposed to be great - but they weren't supposed to be this bad either. This kind of consistent losing could be creating an environment that will hurt this team for more than the duration of this particular season. It could be doing permanent and long term damage. The kind of taste that won't go away easily.
Wilson is a good coach. Or at least he was until two years ago. I can buy that he hasn't forgotten how to coach and that he's working with very little talent, but the reality is that any work Burke has done thus far and plans on doing this summer will be held back by the effects of such a negative vibe surrounding the team. Wilson, whether it was his fault or not, is the face behind two of the crappiest seasons in recent memory. This current trajectory could result in the worst finish in decades, and that will be attached to Wilson whether he likes it or not.
Unless things turn around and the Leafs can build some respect back in the dressing room, Ron Wilson has to be fired in the off-season. Whether Burke likes it or not.
Take the Sens as an example. After an incredible start in 2007/2008 Ottawa had a long stretch of horrible play which resulted in a dressing room meltdown. Before anybody could say "Afraidsson", the cup finalists were swept in four games and their personae as an elite team shattered - they haven't seen a playoff game since. Only after numerous management changes and multiple roster adjustments do the Sens seem to have rid themselves of the cancer created by that incredible fall from grace. The Sens are finally a different team. Eight wins will make anybody feel good, but they seem to me at least to have put the past behind them
Burke may also need to start fresh after the curtain falls on this season.
With this post, Muppet shows that the Leaf Nation sharks are beginning to circle!
Countdown Clocks, Video Countdowns at WishAFriend.com
*Ron Wilson....sharks.... ha!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
When Brian Burke won a Stanley Cup in Anaheim, you told anybody who would listen that it was in fact your own GM Brian Murray who built the champion team when he boss in Anaheim two full years earlier. Now that Brian Burke has been GM of the Leafs for a calendar year, you tell anybody who will listen that the current woes are all Burke's fault and has NOTHING to do with previous GM's. If anybody tries to reason with you, stick fingers in ears and yell incoherently.
#2: USE THE MAYAN CALENDAR, OR JUST MAKE A NEW ONE UP!
Brian Burke comes in with a rebuilding plan that he says from day one won't happen overnight. You ignore this, and part way through his first full season in command you spend every waking moment criticizing the team on the ice for not matching what he has promised. When Leaf fans point this out, you change the subject multiple times per thread until your argument is so convoluted and ridiculous that people stop bothering all together.
#3: CAMP OUT ON ONE SIDE OF THE DRAFT PICK ARGUMENT AND HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE.
The Leafs do not have their top draft picks for the next two years, so you now blow the importance of these picks into borderline magical proportions. Unknown players years from being drafted are now demigods, while real 22 year-old star players are worthless. Stick with this at all costs ignoring facts, like the Tampa Bay Lightning who have had the #1 and #2 overall picks the last two years to add to their former #1 pick Lecalvier - resulting in 5 more wins than the Leafs.
#4: BRING UP THE KOMISAREK/LUCIC FIGHT TO DISPEL PUGNACITY.
Despite the fact that Chris Neil has had his face punched-in regularly over the years, call him a tough guy and praise his contributions. When talking about Mike Komisarek discount all the great things he does like hit and fight and block shots because last season he lost a fight against one of the toughest guys in the NHL. And don't worry, that argument only looks ridiculous to everybody in the world who lives outside the Ottawa valley. You're good.
So long, Truculence! See ya' 'round, Beligerence!
Is Burke's blueprint for the bleu et blanc beginning to brown? It sure looks that way.
Well, that's ok, because reinforcements are headed for Toronto to make the place more physical.
For those of you to lazy to click the link....
Olivia Newton-John is headed for Toronto to film a movie (a musical, a la Xanadu) about:
a budding teen hockey star who grapples with newfound fame and the pressure to fight on ice
It sounds like they're filming the Luke Schenn Story.
Anyway, it sounds like a film full of dainties-on-ice. I guess the NHL wouldn't grant a favorable licensing deal for use of the logo, but we'll all know the real team being parodied.
Well, it seems appropriate at this point to show you all this. Notice she's wearing a blue and white top. Mats Sundin makes a cameo.
Send me the bill for your eye bleach.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Winning 7 - hear that? 7 - in a row gives the Sens some nice space in the playoff race. The next four games before the BoO matchup on the 6th of Feb are interesting:
Thursday in Pit
Saturday host Mtl
Wednesday in Buf
Thursday host Van
As for the Leafs, they get to know Brodeur well as they play the Devils 3 of the next 4 games for some reason with Vancouver coming inbetween. I'm thinking the odds are pretty good.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Johan Hedberg, Jonus Hiller, Patrick Lalime, Manny Legace, Peter Budaj, Marty Turco, Alex Auld, Dan Ellis, Pekke Rinne, Martin Biron, Ray Emery, Michael Leighton, Evengi Nabakov, Chris Mason, Antero Nittmymaki, Jose Theodore, Josh Harding.
Nik Lidstrom, Andrew Ferencem Derek Morris, Pavel Kubina, Henrik Tallinder, Joe Corvo, Aaron Ward, Adam Foote, Rusian Salei, Jordan Leopold, Dennis Seidenberg, Kim Johnson, Marek Zidilcky, Paul Mara, Dan Hamhuis, Paul Martin, Andy Sutton, Anton Volchenkov, Adrian Aucoin, Mike Van Ryn, Sergei Gonchar, Mark Eaton, Jay McKee, Martin Skoula, Rob Blake, Carlo Caolaicovo, Willie Mitchell, Brad Lukowich, Brian Pothier.
Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Ilya Kovulchuk, Colby Armstrong, Maxim Afinigenov, Steve Begin, Mark Recchi, Mike Grier, Adam Mair, Ray Whitney, Matt Cullen, Scott Walker, Stephane Yelle, Oli Jokinen, Rene Bourke, Craig Conroy, John Madden, Fred Modin, Raffi Torres, Darcy Tucker, Marek Svatos, Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, Thomas Holmstrom, Todd Bertuzzi, Kirk Maltby, Jason Williams, Pisani Fernando, Mike Comrie, Dominic Moore, Alex Frolov, Owen Nolan, Eric Belanger, Petr Sykora, Thomas Plekanec, Glen Metropolit, Jordin Tootoo, Rob Niedermayer, Doug Weight, Chris Higgins, Vaclav Prospal, Arron Asham, Mathiew Lombardi, Robert Lang, Taylor Pyatt, Bill Guerin, Rusian Fedotenko, Matt Cooke, Patrick Marleau, Paul Kariya, Keith Tkatchuk, Alex Tanguay, Pavel Demitra, Brendan Morrisson.
Toronto have a lot of options as far as goaltenders. Some good back-ups and at this point quite a few #1 and #1B guys. Raycroft was also on that list. I couldn't bear to even type his name. Oh wait, I just did... Dammit.
Ottawa, if it's defenceman you're after it's actually a good menu to choose from. I do think Colaiacovo should become a Senator because "Giggles passes back to Coco Puffs" is just too awesome to pass up.
If the Leafs want a game-breaker out of the forward crop, they better work fast. Can Burke call Marleau's agent now and drop hints? Is that allowed?
Monday, January 25, 2010
It's a free country however, and the people can type whatever the hell they want. We welcome such thoughts from you Ottawa, no matter what part of your body they come from.
Today, lets change it up. Instead of speculating about the Phil Kessel deal and who won or lost, I thought I would dig up some of the deals the Leafs have made to ACQUIRE draft picks over the past two seasons. Partially out of curiosity to see what the Leafs got and what these players are up to, but also as a thinly veiled attempt to move the conversation towards something actually arguable.
Here they are:
Wade Belak to Florida for 5th round pick.
Who the Leafs drafted: Joel Champagne, C, 6’4” and 210 lbs. One of the Q’s top scorers with 53 pts in 46 games. He has size, grit and scoring touch beyond Wade Belak’s wildest dreams.
Hal Gill to Pittsburgh for a 2nd and 5th round pick.
Who the Leafs drafted: 2nd round: Jimmy Hayes, RW, 6’5”, 210 lbs. Playing in the NCAA for Boston, he’s already surpassed last years output with 16 points in 14 less games than 08/09. Key player on 2009 USA junior team as agitator.
Who the Leafs drafted: 5th round: Jerome Flaake. LW, 6’2” 187lbs. Hard to find recent stats on this guy, but he did score 80 points in 36 games two years ago in Germany.
Dominic Moore to Buffalo for Carolina’s 2nd round pick:
Who the Leafs drafted: Kenny Ryan, RW, 6’, 204 lbs. He left college part way through the season to join the Spitfires where he has 24 points in 33 games. Any relation to Bobby Ryan?
Nik Antropov to New York for 2nd round pick.
Who the Leafs drafted: Jesse Blacker, D, 6’1” 190lbs. Leafs best D prospect. After winning a Memorial Cup last year, now playing for Owen Sound – getting better as we speak w/ 24 points in 33 games.
Jiri Tlusty to Carolina for Phillipe Paradis.
Although this wasn’t a trade for picks, Paradids was the 27th overall draft pick in 2009, meaning the Leafs essentially had two first round choices this past summer. Paradis, who is 6’2” and weights close to 200lbs, has 32 points for Shawinigan of the QMJHL, and leads the team with 72 PIM’s.
Anton Stralman to Calgary for Primeau and a 2011 2nd round pick.
Obviously this has yet to bear fruit, but the Leafs do have this 2nd rounder plus their own in 2011.
Friday, January 22, 2010
So I'm guessing that 'Eklund' is the source of the Kovalchuk-to-Toronto rumour article posted by Muppet.
Which means the quote isn't real and there is zero chance of it ever happening. Burke wouldn't want the guy anyway; he's not truculent. Which means he'd probably fit right in.
Anyway.... it wasn't my own brilliance that led me to the answer, but the always must-read DownGoesBrown.
Click here for the latest from DGB on the Kovalchuk rumour. Avoid electrical appliance operation whilst reading the Habs rationale as the LOLZ!!1! will produce enough tears of laughter to flood the Canal many times over.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Every now and then, I get a hate-on for a Leaf player. John Mitchell is one of those players.
Ok hate is a bit strong. I just dislike him substantially.
I dislike his sub-mediocre scoring touch. I dislike his allergic reaction to physical play. I dislike that I can almost skate better than him. I dislike that he's a poster boy for this team of useless 3rd liners. Mostly though, I dislike his fricken terrible play through the neutral zone and I'm guessing that since he's a healthy scratch tonight that Ron Wilson finally agrees with that last one. Maybe it was Mitchell's giveaway in the neutral zone that lead to the go-ahead goal in Atlanta that finally broke Wilson's will with this kid? I just hope we don't have to see him again for a while, if ever.
In the line-up comes Wayne Primeau, who, unlike Mitchell is a 3rd liner not because he's mediocre in every way, but because he's mediocre in every way except killing penalties and taking defensive faceoffs in the Leafs zone. That makes him better, in my books.
Gustavsson is also back in. He won his last game in Nashville and all we can ask from him is to not allow innocent shots from the blue line to rattle through his equipment as if he were a Happy Days pinball machine. They end up in the net and you Vesa Toskala end up on the bench.
I'll still call a Leafs win. Only because Tampa suck just a bit less than us and Toronto actually had a day off yesterday during this ridiculous January schedule.
Sens preview after the jump...
St Louis at Ottawa, 7pm, SNE
The Sens are 5-5 in their last 10 games, but since the most recent 4 are wins, it's all puppy dogs and rainbows again for Sens fans.
THM, if you want to write in something here be my guest. I don't have anything to say about this game other than I guess the Blues have a bunch of ex-Leafs on the team and I don't think I can handle the candy apple mood around here tomorrow if the Sens win 5 straight, so lets call this one 4-1 for the Blues. Colaiacovo has potted a pair before you can say Coco Puffs.
From the Ottawa Sun today
"The Senators’ search for a goalie coach is about to officially begin. GM Bryan Murray has spent the last couple of days meeting with Gs Pascal Leclaire and Brian Elliott to get an idea of what they’d like to see in a replacement for Eli Wilson, who was fired following last week’s 6-1 loss to the Thrashers in Atlanta. “I spoke with Brian and I talked at length with Pascal (Tuesday) to get their input on what kind of situation they’d like to see for a replacement,” said Murray. “I’ll begin speaking with people in the next few days, but I wanted to speak to both goalies first.” Leclaire has worked with former Columbus coach Clint Malarchuk in the past and there’s talk the Senators have been doing homework on him. He has been out of hockey since suffering a gunshot wound in October 2008."
Hiring a guy who got his neck sliced by a skate and then got shot to coach a guy who got H1N1, put on the IR for one month because of a puck to the face while on the bench and out for a week with a concussion for taking a puck on the noggin in practice.
2012 is right around the corner, but these guys are getting a head start.
Kovalchuk heading to Toronto?
I had a long discussion with a person who has been around the NHL for 30 plus years. I asked him what he thought of this season's finest drama, "The Ilya Kovalchuk Story." This person, who convenes and communicates with maybe more scouts, players, coaches, GMs and owners than anyone I know, was very matter or fact. I love talking to tried-and-true-old-time hockey guys. They say it exactly as they see it.
"Burkie will get him," my source replied to my question. "With all that is going on in Toronto, with Burkie and Willy headed up team USA, and the pressure from the teachers, they will get him. It's also what Kovalchuk wants. The Spotlight. To be on the big stage."
"Is it?" I asked, "I thought Ilya was ok being out of the limelight to a degree."
"Oh No," my source replied, " Russians, and he in particular, they want to be 'the Guy.' They want the stage....and the Leafs have the money. They have been saving it for this. The Leafs don't have 'the guy' yet and they need one immediately. It is coming from above Burkie."
"What about Kessel, can't he be the guy?"
"Kessel is a great player, but he is an American...The Leafs have never done that and Kessel is good to great, but not enough. The Leafs do have a history of Europeans and Russians being big players for them..but it is different for Americans."
"Isn't there a great irony with Burkie being the GM of the Maple Leafs at such a critical time in Canadian Hockey, while also being GM of the Americans?"
"It would be a problem for 90% of GMs. But Burkie doesn't care. He adores that juxtaposition. Yet he knows that he must get Kovalchuk tied up long term. And what better way to soften the blow going into the Olympics...The fact that there are no Leafs on Team Canada, while there are two Leafs (Kessel and Komisarek) on Team USA, as well as Brian and Ron...Brian knows the Leafs need to make the splash going into these games.. They will get him. I would almost call it a given."
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
There is no equal to this save, nor will there be for a long, long, long time. TSN should just give the guy in charge of the top 10 saves of the year a severance package now. They'll be paying him to pick his ass for the rest of the season.
Sens beat the league's best. Leafs choke up some sartorium after an impressive lead. Life has its good moments.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Hawks at Sens.
We don't want to hear any excuses from Sens fans about back to back games either. The Leafs play back to back four times in January while the Sens only get two such white gloves across the face from the schedule makers in the same 30 days. Who the hell creates these schedules anyway? Is it Kerry Fraser?
Anyway, I've been thinking about the win/loss the Leafs need to accumulate in order to make the playoffs, as revealed by Mirtle via Don earlier. 23-9 as it stands right now. I figure I might as well embrace that statistic and stay on top of it. That way I'll know where the Leafs stand as the season winds down, or, more likely, the exact day in February I can give up on this team.
Whatever comes first.
Tonight I smell a Leafs win 5-2, and a Sens loss 3-2.
That's not even me being hateful. Who the hell would bet against Chicago?
Monday, January 18, 2010
Can you find it in the quote below?
"It took a while to get going," Primeau said of his skate. "But once I got up to speed it was good."
Komisarek skated with rookie Chris DiDomenico after the Leafs wrapped up Sunday's practice, and is expected to join the team when it wraps up its trip at the end of week in Florida."
Friday, January 15, 2010
After last night's heralded performance by Mike Brodeur, at least one or two Sens fans must be wondering if maybe Murray jumped the gun firing Eli Wilson two days ago? In fact, has any NHL GM fired as many staff as Bryan Murray these last couple of seasons? Murray's assistant ought to hit the Office Depot and stock up on pink slips for his boss because the playoffs are coming and if the Sens don't make the cut surely the equipment manager along with the guy who monitors the PH level in the Sens locker-room hot tub will be looking for work?
Lost in the various warm and fuzzy Tyler Bozak stories this morning, is the impact that Jay Rosehill had on the game last night. He set the tone for the game with a blistering forecheck (yes, this scrapper can also skate like the wind), a giant hit, and a goal within the first 55 seconds of the game. Sure the goal was called back (what ever happened to the hand of God?), but before any Leaf forward not named Mayers, Rosehill or Orr had stepped on the ice the tone has been set. It was infectious. The Leafs with a mix of skill and hard-nosed play from their tough guys looked the team Brian Burke promised us from that point on. Hey, for one night at least.
IS IT BOZAK OR PROZAK?
Speaking of #42, in three games this season he has an impressive 4 points. Last night he looked like an all-star out there with Kessel and Kulemin. This is Toronto, so if you're eavesdropping on the water cooler this morning you already know that Bozak is the guy who will be the first line center when the Leafs win the Cup in three years. Personally, I'm going to try and hold back my glee until I see more games.
In the meantime I'll go out on a limb and wonder out loud what next season might hold if this newly minted first line sticks and Nazem Kadri centers the second. Directions: Take pill, swallow and enjoy!
I have nothing really to say other than he got a shutout and nowhere around any water cooler will you hear any praise for him. It's kind of like patting Hitler on the back because he donated $100 to the Haiti disaster relief fund.
GUNNARSSON HAS THE WORD GUN IN IT.
Two days ago I was making fun of Leaf Nation for counting down of the days before Carl Gunnarsson - a guy with a whole 8 games under his belt - returned to the Leafs line-up. Then in his first game back he made smart quick play after smart quick play with the poise of a veteran 10 years his senior and it hit me: maybe I'm not cut out to be an NHL scout? Too bad, because I hear Bryan Murray is just about to fire one of his.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Ok, so I'm the one making that claim, but if you look to my comment in the previous thread I scooped the media.
Thank you, Bryan Murray, for reading the BoO and taking my advice. Now put Neil on the top line and start winning some games.
Maybe Burkie will follow Murray's lead and my December 6th post and dump F.A.
I suppose when the team is this bad, media and fans alike will grasp at any sign of hope, warranted or not.
Lost in the fictitious world of hope and make belief, there is one player who is definitely being missed from the roster. Mike Komisarek. I just had a quick peak through the Leafs results since November with and without him in the line-up and it's pretty obvious that in a real way Komisarek is missed badly when he is gone.
Consider that after Komisarek got hurt November 10th the Leafs spiraled immediately, going 0-5-1 in their next 6 games. Once he returned November 30th? They went 6-3 in their next 9 games.
Since Komisarek got hurt January 2nd to kick off the new decade, Toronto has went 1-4.
The bad news is that he's still a week to 10 away from rejoining the team, so I wouldn't bet against Don that Toronto will be in 30th by the Olympic break if this Komisarek factor continues.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Thank goodness we didn't get the worst of the bad weather though. It's really dark a few hours southwest. 28th in the league with Carolina and Edmonton with games in hand. What's the odds the Leafs are in 30th by the Olympic break?
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Great month for me. Doesn't look like it's been very good for the Leafs, or, injury-wise, for the Sens. Anybody left on that team?
Anyway, I had an incredible time these last 31 days and a depleted bank account and tanned face to show for it, but this whole 34C to -14C in a day isn't easy. If the Leafs had somehow actually made up some ground while I was gone maybe it would have helped ease the pain. Can't have it all, I suppose.
So lets hope that my return somehow sparks the Leafs and they beat the Pens tonight. For some reason Toronto has their number lately, so if Kessel and co can pull one off I won't take ALL the credit. It would warm things up for me a little though.
Now, better go out and chip the ice off my walkway and sidewalk before some douchebag sues me for slipping in front of my house. God I miss the beach. Almost as much as I missed hockey while I was away!
Good to be back.
PENGUINS @ LEAFS
PANTHERS @ SENATORS
Have at 'er!
Friday, January 08, 2010
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Ok, so it's been pretty quiet around here these past several days. In recognition of this, I give you the following video for your blogging pleasure with more after the jump:
Now then, let's relate that video to the BoO, shall we?
Two singers, two teams. Paul Simon is to Art Garfunkle as the Ottawa Senators are to the Toronto Maple Leafs; Paul Simon being the much more successful of the two over the years, staying generally consistent with a few lapses and a few great successes. And then there's Art Garfunkle: lacking the talent of Simon, flashier hair, much whineyer voice, self inflating and perpetually sucking Simon's left (and hairiest) testicle, but eventually forgotten by the music industry, yet terrifically supported by the dedicated cult that forms his fan base.
On to Leafs/Sens things:
Starting it up is always classy Leaf top prospect Kadr whom, after having menaced CH with a throat-slash gesture, refused to shake hands with the defeated opponent in the next meetup. Some guys'll never get it. USA 5-4 with Kadri -5 for punishment. (Fuck you if you think that's anti-patriotic, but the US is just flat out way, way better this year and I'm sick of the entitlement bullshit coming out of the West).
Tonight the 'big club', sans two more "top 6 forwards" (stifled guffaws) will face the Panthers at home while the Senators host Sens-killer Thomas, though the Bruins are without Bergeron whom may have, with a wrist injury, granted an Olympic spot to our dear top centreman Mike Fisher (whom, when lined up with Kovalev in the Wii NHL 2k10, kicks some major ass, btw!)
Ok, enough rambling. Good luck to both fan groups except those of you who sport the blue and white. May your personal lives be fruitful this year but your AHL club masquerading as an NHL franchise continue to suck it.
P.S., I won't be very regular on main postings here for a while as, to be quite frank and anti-Happy New Year, we're waiting out the approaching expiry date of a family member.