Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pizza 4ever

As read on Black Aces, the Sens will be going with the Pizza line to start the season. Bad news for those with Winchester in their pools - eh Jay!

I don't know what I think about it. Vermette and Fisher will likely be the ones to determine how long it lasts.

I'm going to be interested to see how the icetime is distributed. Any sign of Paddock style coaching where Alfie is seeing 25+ min at the start of the season will be a major cause for concern.

Use the force

It's still preseason so I can go easy on the Leafs, right?

Nice of Wilson to give Schenn the shootout opportunity and great to see the young guy win it.

Video at TSN.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A season to remember

Mirtle pointed out a great quote by Ron Wilson:
“We're not going to win the Stanley Cup this year. There's a news flash for you.”

The passion that unites us.

Oops, the tagline this year is 'Spirit is Everything'. Everything?

Maybe we can help improve this tagline...
Ensuring a lottery pick is Everything
Creating cap space for Burke is Everything

Saturday, September 27, 2008

More cuts, preseason action

Sens cut Brendan Bell, Brad Isbister and Matt Carkner, along with Peter Regin and Greg Mauldin.

While Winchester is keeping up on the top line, the lack of punch on the power play is almost as disconcerting as the expected weakness in their own end. 1 for 19 so far with Schubert, Kuba and Lee drawing much of the man advantage time for defensemen.

For the Blue Man Group, Meatriarchy provides some first impressions.

On the eve of the BoOB draft Sens host the Habs (7 PM EST, TSN2) looking to atone for a sloppy 5-0 loss, while the leafs take on the Sabres.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Getting there

Based on James Gordon's observations of yesterday morning practice, it looks like the top three lines are closer to resembling their regular season format (for better or worse):

Sc1: Heatley/Spezza/Winchester (gawd help us if Spezza can't take the next step forward and Winchester can't keep up)
Sc2: Kelly/Vermette/Alfredsson (probably the most robust and responsible line available)
Chk1: Foligno/Fisher/Neil (a.k.a. energy/pain line 1)
Chk2: is uh, Smith-Mauldin-Carkner (?!)

Zubov, Hennessy, Shannon and Nikulin were all cut, so the fourth line will likely be Ruutu/Bass/Donovan (a.k.a. energy/pain line 2). Of course, since Mike Fisher will probably miss half the season with assorted ailments, I'd like to see Bass get a chance on line 3, with Deano centering line 4.

As for the defense, beyond Phillchenkov your guess is as good as mine.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hell Yeah

Aesthetics can't mask lousy performance, but at least Gerbs looks to finally be buying in to the Vader theme:

[Sun pic]

On the other hand, the "SNES" rumored third jersey could cancel out all kinds of coolness.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Game Day

Leafs line-up for tonight.

Goalies: Curtis Joseph, Justin Pogge

Defence: Luke Schenn, Jeff Finger, Ian White, Carlo Colaiacovo, Mike Van Ryn, Staffan Kronwall

Forwards: Jiri Tlusty, Matt Stajan, Dominic Moore, Boyd Devereaux, Ben Ondrus, Mark Bell, John Mitchell, Nikolai Kulemin, Ryan Hollweg, Darryl Boyce, Robbie Earl, Jason Blake

Pogge will play the 2nd and 3rd.

Keep an eye on Kulemin and Mitchell tonight, two young guys gunning for a roster spot. Game's on Sportsnet Ontario, and there's a tailgate going on at ACC right now. The Watchmen are playing at 6pm, and the Leafs alumni are playing a ball hockey game against the fans.
They're also giving away 100 tickets at the tailgate if you want to try your luck.

Leafs win this one by a goal.
Sens suck.

Hands up

Who thinks Ruutu topples Redarse the first chance he gets? Who will cheer when he finally does it?

Above: a familiar sight, Redden's "I've lost my contacts" puck-fetching technique.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Shallow Chart

Couple of charts I've been fooling around with to see where this edition of Your Ottawa Senators stands.

1. Last year's overall points by roster position (Tampa Bay, Ottawa, Detroit)

2. Last year's 5v5 points per 60 minutes of ice time by position (same benchmarks, data from Behind the Net)

3. Same as 1., but with the 2008-2009 adjustments to the Senators lineup (Ruutu's et.al.'s stats in place of Stillman et.al.)

4. Same as 2., but with the 2008-2009 adjustments the the Senators lineup

Sobering thoughts:

a) Detroit adds Marian Hossa to the depth chart and uh, they also still have Nick Lidstrom.
b)Tampa Bay signed like two or three dozen forwards in the off season, so the third and fourth line vacuum is less of an issue.
c) Ottawa? Two of their defensemen and one forward had no even strength NHL points last year. While that's obviously going to change and the chart is an overly negative representation, putting up Meszaros/Redden/Corvo or even Stillman numbers could be a stretch.

Ah well, chin up and let's have a look at what comes out of training camp.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Something to snack on

After losing their 2nd game in the rookie tournament, this time letting in 7 goals to the Sens after giving the Penguins rookies 5, it looks like Schenn has got the Leaf attitude down pat already:
But despite his team dropping a 7-5 contest to the Ottawa Senators at the three-team rookie tournament yesterday, Maple Leafs' first-round draft pick Luke Schenn looked much happier last night than he did following Toronto's 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
"I felt better," said Schenn, who was selected fifth overall in this year's draft by the Leafs. "As the game went on (Saturday) I was a little bit nervous and just kind of getting adjusted to the speed, but I felt better (yesterday)."
If only Raycroft and McCabe were still there to nurture this 'me first' attitude to its full potential.
A summary from the Sens perspective here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Battle Rages On...

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the 08-09 edition of the BATTLE OF ONTARIO BATTLE is ready to roll. With a click of the button, I can reactivate the settings from last year's league (I think it's only fair if we're going to compare year to year performance and retain bragging rights, the rules and point structure have to stay the same). Although no one claimed the Bryan McCabe memorial award last year, expect me to dig up some similar prizes for first overall, biggest second half point change and last overall.

I'm going to send an email blast to all of last year's managers to give them first dibs at getting back in. After that, I'll have an open invite to fill empty slots.

Right now, what I need is some candidate dates and times for the live draft, which will be of a similar format to last year (if you can't attend, don't worry you can set autopick to fill your roster as the draft proceeds). Until the draft date is set, the league won't activate.

Let me know what y'all think. Sept 29 is the first day of the regular season and the weekends are the 13/14th, 21/22nd, and 27/28th.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Long weekend deals

Plenty of Ontario - Florida movement in the works as the Leafs swap Bryan McCabe and for Mike van Ryn and a pick and the Sens deal Andrej Meszaros for Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard and a badly needed '09 first round pick.

Like many Sens fans, I'm happy to see some more new faces given the truly toxic atmosphere around the club last season. But we can't forget Meszaros' incredible rookie year and the upside yet to come. He seemed to lack a stabilizing mentor on the blueline and missed a great opportunity for a bounce back season with all that went on. Kuba, on the other hand has quietly put together several decent seasons with Minnesota and Tampa, consistently averaging just under a half-point per game.

In other news, Jacques Martin's ex-leaf fetish just keeps getting creepier and creepier.