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.