Sunday, April 30, 2006

On to round 2

A little suspense to finish that game last night.

Who would you like to see the Sens face next?

I'd prefer Montreal after a 7 gamer.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

First thought after the win

Is Tortorella going to put Burke in for game 5 or is he going to stick with the Grahame for two periods plan?

Game Four Notes

- Big thanks to Don Cherry and John Tortorella, the Sens seventh and eighth man, respectively, for the bulletin-board material. Much appreciated!

- Yikes. Heard Fisher would be questionable for tonight's game due to swelling around the eye. This would be a huge blow to the absolutely wicked Schaef/Mach 9 line.

- At least scoring isn't a problem. 11 goals in the past two games ties their output for the entire seven game series against the Leafs last year.

- I'm switching up the drink of choice tonight. Moosehead will be called up, a change from Game 2's Keith's. Bonus OT mix will be a volatile combination of Five Star and Diet Dr. Pepper. Take my word - this is actually quite delicious. Alternative tipple suggestions welcome in the comments.

- 3-1 Sens victory (with empty-netter). Back home on Saturday to polish off the Bolts in five.

Lighter fare

This Hour has 22 Minutes from ealier this year.

Tommy Turtle's cousin Tie Turtle

Another public service announcment..
Courtesy of this Devil's fan, Tie shows us how an honourable player acts after he has brutally elbowed one of the most skilled defencemen in the league - one of the most cowardly acts I've ever seen.

Also on the same site, there are some old classics of Leaf photoshopping.

UPDATE: I thought I better get some context so I went to and pulled up the description:
Nov 09, 2001 1pd 02:18
Comments: The two are waiting for the puck to be dropped and as soon as the puck drops, so do the gloves - but only of McKenzie. Domi immediately goes to the ice and turtles! McKenzie hits Domi 3 or 4 times while Domi is turtling on the ice. McKenzie is given 27 PIMs. Domi gets up and has some words for the Devils bench. Other Penalties: McKenzie received an instigator, misconduct and game misconduct. Tie Domi did not receive a fighting major.

Their only chance

Gary commenting over at Boltsmag during Tuesday's game:
I have made a Chara voodoo doll out of an empty beer can and some twine. I am currently jabbing at it furiously with the tip of a ball point pen.

He who sellth his soul for a win hath no honour - Don Cherry on Chris Neil

"He (Dingman) figures an honourable guy would go."
"He said he'd go. You and me next. Tommy Turtle's down there. You know that's really something"

Neil was talking to Burke on the bench - not Dingman.
McMurty discusses the incident.

PS: Don't stare at a young guy. Not a young guy, a smaller guy. If you keep looking at him you're acting like a hero. This public service announcement brought you by our public broadcaster.

PPS: You don't think Cherry's still mad at Marshall Johnston and is taking it out on two of the players he brought to the Sens do you?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Home Ice Advantage

Last night, Kelly Hrudey complained about the pre-game celebrations at the Ice Palace. I have to agree that the indoor fireworks, blowtorches, rapelling mascots, etc. are a bloody bore. It's not just that all the teams do the same thing, it's that no one actually takes it far enough to strike terror into the hearts of the visitors. Consider this suggestion from 'case' at Covered in Oil:
i wanna see a cow thrown onto the ice at rexall and then sacrificed with hockey sticks, apocolypse now style [sic]

Now that is just an outstanding idea. In fact, pretty much any scene from apocalypse would do the trick. Like I said, though, you've really got to get the crowd into it. Build on the above scenario by flinging chunks of the freshly slaughtered cow over the glass and encouraging folks to smear the blood on their faces as war paint.

In an era of cookie-cutter arenas why not bring back that once-cherished intimidation factor?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Demons are resilient

Ken Campbell after game one: "Senators at last slay post-season demons"

Ken Campbell after game two: "the Senators are once again staring their playoff demons right in the face"

Tune in tomorrow…

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Mid first thought

Have you heard of the saying 'Let sleeping dogs lie'? Apparently not in Florida.

Update: Mid second
Hey Tortorella, maybe if you play Boyle, Lecavalier, and St Louis 40 minutes a game you'll do better!

Update: Mid third
Hi, my name is Chris Dingman and I'm an idiot.

Update: End third
Chara threw three punches - all with his left. He could could have broken something on Lecavalier if he threw that last one with his right. His recently injured right hand or Vinny's nose.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dee-fence! Dee-fence!

Not every arena can be the Bell Centre, where the crowd starts buzzing about a Habs odd-man rush two shifts before it happens, but tonight's Montreal-Carolina tilt tonight from the RBC Center features the most bizarre crowd noise I've ever heard. There's the usual three-second delay after a goal before the celebration, the passionate booing after every stoppage and rapid shift to jubilation when it turns out to be a Habs penalty or to silence when it's an offside call. But there's just this random, fluctuating din, too. It's like every patron is watching the same very important football game on a portable television, each having been dragged to see this silly ice-based sport by a weird Canadaphilic friend.

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Alfie where art thou?

Yes, there are some easy things to point out about yesterday's loss. Volchenkov made a beautiful feed to Prospal who in turn set up the midget's first goal and yes Chara looked like a member of the Canadian women's figure skating team being on his rear when Richard's scored his nice goal.

But in my opinion, the biggest reason this series is now tied is that Alfredsson has not been the player Ottawa needs him to be. He has been losing one on one battles. He had 0 shots on net. He had 1 hit and one takeaway according to the stats and had one giveaway and was called for hooking Sydor in the offensive zone. These are not Alfredsson numbers for 22 shifts.

And quoting from Don Brennan's column (he can't mess up simple stats can he?):
Often is the case that, as Alfredsson goes, so goes the Senators.
The opposite is also true.
Alfredsson had no shots on goal all night -- or 14 less than Daniel Briere had for the Sabres on Saturday night vs. Philly -- only the fifth time that has happened all season.
The Senators have now lost four of those five games.
I said in my post on Saturday that he needed to be moved to a different line if his production from Friday continued. Murray finally made some adjustments in the third but it was too late - perhaps more from necessity when Kelly went down.

I hope they start Tuesday's game with Alfredsson lining up beside Heatley and Spezza (who combined for only 3 shots themselves compared to Richards and Lecavalier's 10 shots).

So, while I could probably have gone with the 'your best players have to be your best players' line, it's Alfredsson who has been the catalyst all year. He needs to be that guy on Tuesday.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


A while back I noted how amazing I find it that non-Torontonians think the Toronto media mollycoddles Leafs players. No, no, no, said the commenters. People just think that the Toronto media is Leafs-obsessed.

The increasingly unhinged Mark Spector to my rescue (subscribers only):

And it [the Leafs] includes a group of players so adored by the fans and caressed by the Toronto media, because of the uniform on their backs, that they inevitably fall prey to the belief that they are as good as everyone tells them they are.

Absolutely ridiculous.

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Just sobering up

First off, let me repeat what Tom Barasso said about pucks off the crossbar - does he have to stop the misses too?

For tomorrows game I'm going to be watching for Alfredsson to make a bigger impact. I didn't hear his name mentioned very often and if the same happens tomorrow then look for some line changes to get him going.

God it was great to be back in the playoffs.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Get In The Ring

No TEEVEE for me tonight, as CBC is going with Wings/Oil in my viewing region.

Regardless of how his debut turns out, you gotta love Emery's attitude. Word is he's busting out a George Chuvalo mask for Game 2.

Does Ray take fan gossip to heart? While googling around for a pic, I found this comment by 'Mr. Bryde' on a long shuttered Your Call thread:
I think there are a few things Ottawa should do in the coming months, either before the break, or before the March trade deadline: 1) Trade Emery. The guy has played horrrrible in his last 4 starts. The Mike Tyson thing, that just makes me upset...Chose a REAL hero to put on your mask...Has he ever heard of Muhammed Ali? To add to that, if he is a big fan of boxing, then put George Chuvalo on his helmet...Razor should take a lesson from George and learn about overcoming adversity.


My bookmarked Sens fansites for the playoff run:

Hockey Country: CBC and the Star have wisely picked up Chris McMurtry's indispensible commentary.

The Universal Cynic: Jungle legend / Sun Media columnist Erin Nicks brings the noise.

My Sen City: Has a sweet design and a fun "you be JFJ" game for visitors.

Sens Underground: iPodders will enjoy this show. Don't miss their clips section on the main page which includes the heroic Andrew Peters golf swing.

Hockey Will Tear Us Apart and The Smarting Senators

Finally, how did any inter-fan communication occur prior to the advent of Hockey Fan Boards? Ottawa forum is here. Image Hosted by

Come one, come all

I just wanted to extend a hand to all Canadians to come and cheer for the Senators. Why struggle for one or maybe two rounds cheering for the talentless Oilers or Habs or the offensively challenged Flames when you can root for the best team Canada has had to offer in over a decade for the distance.

Seriously, we've taken your taxes for so many years to keep our museums plentiful and cheap, our parks clean, our canal skating rink cleared, and our employment/real estate stable via the massive federal government you fund that the least we can do is take on a few more fans.

Heck, we'll even accept some Leaf fans - it will help them get up that last step on the evolutionary ladder.

"the Senators player"

Seriously, who's wife at CBC did Eugene Melnyk or Daniel Alfredsson sleep with? Did some Sens fan beat up one of their kids at school?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Perils of Pick 'Em

Man, is it ever dead out here on the West Coast. No car flags, no silly slogans, no mayor's bets - just the solemn CSI-style picking and prodding of the graying Canucks corpse. Meanwhile back east (everywhere east of the Rockies), conditions in playoff cities are about 10 degrees warmer and a heck of a lot sunnier. I am already a bit worried about my playoff karma. The time change will certainly throw me off stride - depending on the intensity of my workload, I may be stuck listening in during the critical 4:00 to 6:00 PM pacific time frame - though with Cole and Millen calling the play, I may have to throw on Schreibs and Gordo from the Team just to drown them out.

I suppose you're interested in my playoff picks? Well, I'll preface them with a recap of my regular season foresight and an amusing story of a guy I used to know - let's call him "Al" - to serve as a stern warning to those inclined to gamble with fools and to disabuse anyone of the notion that I have any idea what I'm talking about. In fact, if you must bet, you might want to put money on the exact opposite of whatever I recommend.

So, my season started out here at the BoA round table. Roenick's bombing, Hasek's mind-body split and Spezza's 90 points weren't particularly daring predictions, although I did warn everyone the inter-divisional reruns were bound to get boring! I called a Vancouver-Ottawa final with Ottawa legitimately securing the cup only if they dispatched the Leafs first. [shrug] Maybe next year, you never know. The season ended with a perfectly average 10th place finish over at the Yahoo! Blog Hockey League. Note that the Ancapistan A's were in tough against many net notables including several of the BoO co-bloggers. Not a half bad record though, eh?

Well, when there's money on the line, it's an even worse situation. A bunch of the engineers at UofO (including frequent BoO commenter geeiwonder) used to do the hockey pool thing. Al was the guy bold enough to just throw his $20 into the kitty without any prior hockey knowledge whatsoever. The 97-98 draft, made in the dark confines of the now gutted Nox pub, confirmed our initial assessment of his GM skills. His voice boomed with confidence as he announced his coveted first pick - Mario Lemieux! Only slightly humbled, and politely directed to the non-retired, non-cancer-ridden players, Al later thought he hit the jackpot with a juicy pick that had been left lying on the table - "Konstantinov!" he blurted out to a roar of laughter. After boredom set in midway through the season, he attempted an outrageous trade whereby he sent half his team (including Ed Belfour) to a front runner in exchange for a case of beer. At least one pool member would not be laughing at these antics by the end of the season, however. Yours truly finished dead last - Al having edged me by one single point in the final weekend of the season (you'll never guess who went on to make - and win - an almost impossible bet that the Senators would pull off a first round upset of the Devils).

With all that said, I believe the final four will be all Red Teams. That's right - you're going to see more black and red flags this June than the Spanish Civil War. I've got Calgary coming out of the West, I can't jinx them...uh, another team with black and red in their jerseys. Why yes, my pool is indeed full of Buffalo guys. Not because Chris Drury is such a clutch dude or anything, but merely to ensure I run the table should Buffalo get to be this year's Holy Shit How Did This Team End Up In The Final team.

There you go - you have all been warned!

The reason why Ottawa will steamroll Tampa Bay

Because these defencemen:

Player GP G A P +/- PIM
ZDENO CHARA 71 16 27 43 17 135
WADE REDDEN 65 10 40 50 35 63
CHRIS PHILLIPS 69 1 18 19 19 90
ANDREJ MESZAROS 82 10 29 39 34 61
ANTON VOLCHENKOV 75 4 13 17 21 53
BRIAN POTHIER 77 5 30 35 29 59
Tampa Bay

DAN BOYLE 79 15 38 53 -8 38
PAVEL KUBINA 76 5 33 38 -12 96
DARRYL SYDOR 80 4 19 23 -18 30
CORY SARICH 82 1 14 15 -2 79
NOLAN PRATT 82 0 9 9 7 60
PAUL RANGER 76 1 17 18 5 58

Face these lines:

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Chris Kelly Jason Spezza Dany Heatley
Peter Schaefer Mike Fisher Martin Havlat
Patrick Eaves Bryan Smolinski Daniel Alfredsson
Vaclav Varada Antoine Vermette Chris Neil

Fredrik Modin Brad Richards Martin St. Louis
Vaclav Prospal Vincent Lecavalier Ruslan Fedotenko
Evgeny Artyukhin Tim Taylor Ryan Craig
Dimitry Afanasenkov Martin Cibak Rob DiMaio

Tampa Bay can simply not match up against Ottawa. The Senators can put out Chara/Phillips and Redden/Meszaros tandems against the Tampa top two lines leaving them with the top point getters on the 3rd and 4th lines - 28pts (Craig) and 17pts (Artyukhin).

So, unless Ottawa takes a ton of stupid penalties, AND the 23rd rank PP can suddenly utilize the talent they have, AND the 4th ranked PK team tanks it, this is going to be a short series.

Mirtle slags BoO site

I could come up with some reponse to this post and it's associated comment however I think the first thing that is on his sidebar explains a lot....

Name:James Mirtle
Location:Toronto, Canada

PS: As if it's a question...
77 gm, 5 g, 11a, 109pim, 7fm, $1,250,000
79 gm, 16g, 17a, 204pim, 9fm, $585,200

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

He knows what he hates

Bryan McCabe finished the season with 19 goals. In the dying seconds of the Leafs' win over the Pens tonight he took two shots at number 20 from behind his own goal line, on an empty net, both resulting in icing calls. After the second attempt, TSN's camera zoomed way in on Pat Quinn.

Quoth the dinosaur: "For fuck's sake."

As much as he's gotta be fired, I do like the guy.

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Heater's 50th

Just now over the radio broadcast.

Sens are all over the Rangers, Fisher apparently scored a gorgeous shorthanded goal and Marty Havlat has been "flying".

Hope everyone's enjoying their Blue Jays game!

UPDATE: Get those brackets filled out. Ottawa, Carolina and Philly Jersey are going to be seeded 1,2,3.

UPDATE 2: Whoa. Where the hell did the Devils come from?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Can This Man Lead Ottawa To The Cup?

Still no Hasek, folks. According to Steve Lloyd at the Team 1200, in today's practice he was still struggling with his lateral movement and did not even attempt to go down. Face it: Ray's going to be the man.

(UPDATE) The TSN screenshot includes a summary of recent ghastliness. Razor doesn't seem to be too worked up about it.

Here's how he's fared against potential first round opponents:

I see no reason why they can't bust through the first round, but if his hip wonks out, our hopes are in Mayor Quimby's hands.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

So fired

I have never agreed with Damien Cox more, nor do I ever expect to again, than when he wrote the following:
Let's be clear. Ferguson and Quinn didn't fix this team in the final three weeks of the season.

Injuries fixed it for them, essentially reversing their poor decisions.

Ferguson didn't believe it was sensible to buy out Ed Belfour last summer and create useful salary cap room, and Quinn blithely ignored the veteran goalie's obvious inability to carry the load of a No. 1 goalie until Belfour's season was ended by back problems.

These hockey men, understand, had younger, faster players at their disposal all season long, but instead preferred to go with an older, slower lineup featuring a broken-down goalie.

When there were personnel choices to be made, they made all the wrong ones.
Dead on. Mikael Tellqvist had his two worst games of the season against Montreal and didn't play again until tonight, which is fair enough — "stick with the hot hand" is a pretty unimpeachable strategy. If Pat Quinn had employed it throughout the season and played Tellqvist instead of Ed Belfour, the Leafs might well be getting ready for the first round of the playoffs right now. He has to go.

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Chokerz 4Ever

Seems the Sens just could not (and most likely will not, ever) deliver that final roundhouse kick to the head of the Maple Leafs. Instead, they had to rely on their expansion cousins to pull off the feat (at the cost of allowing the Canes to regain top spot in the East). I was going to compare the first forty or fifty minutes of last night's game with the hollow and unthreatening stretches of play during the '04 series. Then I realized the Sens at least outshot the Leafs but were unable to 'solve' a suddenly Sawchuckian Ed Belfour. What was the most disgraceful scene, exactly? Tucker pounding on Alfredsson? The imposter skating around wearing Havlat's #9? Chris Neil chasing after Domi like a teenage girl desparate for attention?

I'm not sure what a 10 minute post-game airing of grievances can accomplish (do they expect to collectively locate a giant switch and place it in the "on" position?). I mean, if you can't get up for an opportunity like the one that presented itself last night, what will it take? The threat of another first round exit? Does anyone think the Flames or Oilers would have let their rivals off the hook so easily?

Round 1 Habs vs. Sens will likely begin Friday night. Judging by last night's pre-season level of intensity and the potential (Huet-Emery) goaltending differential I am not optimistic.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Miami sound machine

Every time Gary Roberts opens his mouth I like him less:
"I never thought I wouldn't stay a Maple Leaf," Roberts said yesterday before the 39-year-old forward hit the ice against the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. "I believed up to the last minute that I would be, but unfortunately [Leafs GM] John [Ferguson Jr.] never gave me the opportunity.
Well he offered you a contract, Gary. Where I come from, that's called an opportunity. But the Injured One prattles on:
"He [Ferguson] played the `Gary'll-always-want- to-be-a-Maple-Leaf' card too long.

"By the time he decided to change his mind Florida had already offered me a two-year deal, so it was too late."
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the word "offer". Do those protein shakes kill brain cells?

I wouldn't have any hard feelings with Roberts if he'd just admit that he left for more dough and now regrets it. But instead he seems to want to outsource the blame for his Floridian ennui:
"You can't compare the environment in Florida and the environment in Toronto," he said. "I miss that part of walking into the Air Canada Centre, and you know it's game day.

"In Florida, it's not like that. I have a tough time getting in that rink unless I have ID. I get stopped at the door without my pass, and they are like, 'Who are you?' "
That must be nice for Panthers fans to read, eh? Two-and-a-quarter million for 13-or-so goals in 50-odd games from a 39-year-old, and the promise of two-and-a-quarter million more for the same from the 40-year-old version of the same player — and he's not even happy to be there.

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Give That Man-Beast A Heaping Pile O' Cash

Mutant superhero "Z" pulls a wrapper on Tim Thomas in OT and gives Sens fans a much needed emotional lift heading into the playoffs.

Now if he can refrain from breaking his fist on someone's face in what will surely be a raucous next-to-last regular season game against the Leafs, we'll have the pleasure of watching him clear out Ray Emery's doorstep all the way through to the Stanley Cup Finals if need be.

Where have I seen that move before? Ah yes, the tying goal of last season's Game 6 thrilla (although on that one he actually brought the puck to his forehand before shoveling it past a stunned Ed Belfour). This archived Mike Fisher quote really sums it up:
"A guy like Chara gets angry and it's contagious. We turned around after that. It was a huge play."

PS: Thanks to the co-bloggers for not posting anything in the past week and otherwise distracting the audience from my humiliating stumble through the shadowy world of deception that is basic html coding.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Please Stand By

Trying to install the TheirSay! commenting system, which will allow a bypass of the annoying spam filter and track recent comments in the sidebar.

So far no dice. Can anyone view the source code and tell me what I've screwed up?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Hard to believe

To follow up Jay's post below, I thought this piece from Hockey Country was worth highlighting here:
Martin Gerber for Carolina, Ryan Miller (and plan B Martin Biron) for Buffalo, Antero Nittymaki for Philadelphia, Henrik Tellqvist for the NY Rangers, and Cristobol Huet for Montreal all have the exact number of NHL playoff games under their belt as Ray Emery: 0.

Good point. And if Lehtonen and the Thrashers catch Tampa that would leave Brodeur with 108 playoff games - the rest of the East combined: 0

Should've Had My Guard Up

Don Brennan pretty much pw3ned everyone with his April 1st bomb, including Sens brass:

CANOE -- SLAM! Sports - Hockey NHL - Ottawa: Dom's not done: Sens
"This story is totally untrue," said Muckler. "We said when Dominik Hasek was injured that we had a plan that he wasn't going to come back until he's 100%.

"When he's 100%, he will be back and he's going to play in the playoffs. We hope that he's able to play some regular-season games and we're confident that he's going to play for us in the playoffs."

Hehe. Good one, Don.

Public Service Announcement

(Hat-tip BBG)