Monday, January 30, 2012

Trade Rumors...

It's been 5 days since a real hockey game has been played and I just can't help myself.  Bill Watters tweeted the following hockey trade rumor between the Jackets and the Leafs:

Jackets trade to Toronto: Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius 
Leafs trade to Columbus: Luke Schenn, Mikhail Grabovski, Mike Komisarek and Nazem Kadri.

What's interesting about this trade is that the salaries actually match up. Around $12M from each team, according to Mike Augello. At first glance, the Leafs get the best player in the deal in Rick Nash. That has been a trend in Burke's dealings, which gives this some chance of being credible. Toronto would lose two of their past four first round draft picks in Schenn and Kadri, and Grabovski who is on his way to his second 30 goal season. Komisarek and his $4.5M salary go the other way too.

My take: I love Rick Nash, and moving to Toronto would re-unite Nash with his favorite hockey team growing up, and give the Leafs the size and skill up front they are looking for. Huselius is injured reserve for a few more weeks, but he could be a valuable guy and at 6'2" also brings some size. 

Toronto give up a lot in Schenn and Kadri, as far as controllable and reasonably priced talent. Komisarek I don't think anybody would think about ever again, and if Grabovski is truly seeking the $5M salary that rumors say his agent has kicked off negotiations with, then he might be gone this June anyway. 

If Burke came to me and said "your call, you can make or not make the trade but you have to decide right now, I say make the deal. Rick Nash would look good in a Leafs jersey and he's 27 years old and locked up for 6 more seasons. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Two months doesn't make a tenure...

In this writers opinion, Ottawa's GM and Coach still have work to do before being considered anything but a struggling franchise with a couple of wins lately.

Leafs ranked 8th and Ottawa 20th.

Thanks to the fine folks at PPP for the link, whom I agree with that the Leafs seem ranked a little high.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All star Battle

The All-Star festivities kick off tomorrow evening with the draft.  The Battle of Ontario has 7.5 participants in this year's edition.

On the undeserving side are Leaf Captain and the leagues most overrated player as voted by his peers, Dion Phaneuf and alleged distributor of hooker DNA Joffrey  Lupul.  There's also some short guy with a fancy car.

On the ridiculously under-represented side, we have:
Underappreciated Milan Michalek and his dashing good looks,
The guy who should have been picked after Jake Gardiner,
The number 1 active PPG centremen over 500 GPs  in Jason Spezza,
Rookie of the Year candidate Nazem Kadri Colin Greening.

In case you are doing the math, that list is missing one name.  But that's ok.  That all-star is Captain, he is omniprescent, he is around us, he is one with us, he is the leader of all things hockey, and hair, and moustaches.  He is what George Lucas based "The Force" upon.  You know who he is.

How will each of these players perform?  Well, amongst all of the other distractions and  political issues  likely to see some airtime, it will be interesting to see how Kessel and Lupul do on a team with more than just two average hockey players.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lupul named* assistant captain at all-star game

*not via ballot stuffing or home rink politics. Actually rewarded for his play, which has been sensational.
Well done Joffrey.

Friday, January 20, 2012


With Greening's two goals yesterday, he moves to a tie for 5th in rookie scoring. Cowen is 1pt behind Larsson for rookie D. Note that Cowen and Greening are 1st and 4th in Hits for rookies too - just another part of the reason the Sens are doing better than expected. Nobody pencilled in that kind of production from these two players.
Leaf fans, you can see Gardiner and Frattin lower down on the page on the NHL site - just ahead of Daugavins.

THM Addition
(sorry Don - didn't want to over-post so I figured it'd be kosher to add to your youngin' post)

In another thread, Muppet commented that Kadri has a higher PPG than Turris.  Over several seasons Turris is running at 0.385 (.39).  Kadri is at 0.4.

What about this season, though, the only one that presently counts?  Let's have a look at a category-by-category breakdown (Phoenix numbers removed for Turris):

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SJ perspective

SJ Mercury:
Michalek has helped the Senators to a 26-16-6 record and will be playing in the All-Star game on Jan. 29. And thanks to his development, it sure looks as if Ottawa ultimately got the better of the blockbuster trade for Dany Heatley in 2009.
Hat-tip to SensTown tweet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Condensed game highlights

All you need to watch is the first 22 seconds to understand how soft the Leafs are.  Z.Smith wasn't even aware someone ran into him.

LfTOFX on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is Dion Phaneuf the Worst Captain in Maple Leaf History?


Okay, worst in the last 40 years or so? Don't know much about Jimmy Thomson or Sid Smith.

Hey, Ronnie:

Big BoO

Or as it will be known - the BBOO.

Lineups from Mirtle:
Leafs projected lineup
Lupul - Bozak - Kessel
MacArthur - Grabovski - Kulemin
Lombardi - Connolly - Crabb
Rosehill - Steckel - Brown
Aulie - Phaneuf
Gunnarsson - Schenn
Gardiner - Franson

Sens projected lineup
Michalek - Spezza - Greening
Condra - Turris - Alfredsson
Foligno - Smith - Neil
Butler - Konopka - Daugavins
Kuba - Karlsson
Cowen - Gonchar
Phillips - Carkner

The Leafs dumped Kadri for this game for Rosehill - a guy that last played Dec 19 - a whole 3:33 of ice on that agaim (again from Mirtle).
Scared about getting pushed around in their own building?

I'm thinking the first goal is an important one in this game - especially if the Sens get one early and get Reimer off to a questionable start.

Man - should just have copied Mirtle's whole Leafs Beat column...
There was a ton of talk about the revival of the Battle of Ontario at the rink, with both teams potentially set to make the playoffs in the same year for the first time since they met in Round 1 of 2004.
No Leafs players are left from those days, while the Sens have Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Chris Phillips and Chris Neil. Only Sens coach Paul MacLean seemed to feel the rivalry was still going strong. (Joffrey Lupul said he didn't even remember watching any of their previous playoff meetings.)

Doesn't seem right! Bring back Darcy!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jets overlooked?

With tomorrow's BoO in Toronto looming, the Sens come home from a very successful road trip playing a beat up Jets team on a slump.

Anderson gets the start again tonight with a few questions popping up on whether the Sens will go to Auld tomorrow against Toronto's pop-gun offense. The Leafs are expecting to start the 2nd leading All-star Goalie vote getter - he must be having a great year!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ottawa takes advantage of soft schedule

First step is defeating the league #1 New York Rangers in a 3-0 shutout with all goals from the non-worthy All Star selections and assists from not-as-good-as-Jake-Gardiner, a.k.a. Karlsson.

But Ottawa's not a good team right Muppet?

If you were a pre-season gambler and bet on the Senator's midseason rank...

...then you could possibly be very rich off a $5 bet.

Ottawa has joined the top 10 power rankings of SB Nation while Toronto sits in 14th.

TSN has Toronto and Ottawa at 13th and 14th place, up from 18th and 17th, respectively.

Finally, Sportsnet ranks the BoO participants closer to SBN with Ottawa rising 6 spots to take 10th and Toronto jumping from 21 to 17th. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ladies, gentlemen and Leaf fans....

Introducing your SportsIllustrated/CNN most overrated player in the NHL according to active NHL players, for the 2nd year running, it's Mister......

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome to the top 30, Monster.

Normally this wouldn't be cause for celebration, but his 2nd shutout in a week deserves a glove tap. The best BoO save %: Jonus Gustavsson. Who would have thunk it?

Monday, January 09, 2012

The biggest BoO in years

A couple of months ago I didn't think the January 17th game between our teams would have the significance that it appears it will have next week.

The game at Toronto (a rested Leaf team against a Sens team who will have played the night before) will be a good one if the two teams continue to play as they have since the holiday break.

The win last night by the Sens was just another day at the office - 4th time the Sens have come back from 2 or more deficit in the 3rd period this year. Crazy.

This stretch of road games will likely set the tone for the rest of the year. The Sens are 8-7-5 away from home while 14-8-1 at Scotiabank Place.

Friday, January 06, 2012


What a game winner by Zibanejad in the WJC Gold Medal game last night. The guy had a great tournament and Sens fans are so excited to see him and Stone do everything that we had hoped they would do.

Love the tweets by Sens players for Mika too:
Craig Anderson: Congrats to #prospect Mika Zibanejad on his GWG for the #wjc12 gold medal.
Mark Borowiecki: @MikaZibanejad congrats on the goal buddy!
Shane Prince: @MikaZibanejad great goal! Congrats on gold!
Robin Lehner: Miikkkaaa ur awesome!!!!!!!!! (His tweet before that one was "Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhghg!!!!!!!!!")

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Sens fans push Kessel out!

Big push by Sens fans in the last days pushed Kessel out of the starting lineup thankfully!

Here are your starters...

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Colton Orr waived

Can we say this is the final nail in the 'pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence' coffin?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2800 days!

2800 days? Wow - that's a long, long time, isn't it!

Something happened 2800 days ago today that hasn't happened since. Wonder what it was?

Check it out!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

Turns out Santa came late!
The Leafs held out longer than I thought they would and it took the last night of 2011 for the Sens to overtake the lowly sad sacked blue team. Boy, and with Stone and Zibanejad shining in Alberta as well I think we Sens fans must have been good this year!
The Wilson extension is like the Leaf fans getting a lump of coal in their stockings!