Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! Your Ottawa Senators Resolutions

This past Sunday, as I sat waiting for Hydro One to get the FUCKING POWER RUNNING AGAIN YOU BASTARDS -- I'M MISSING ALL OF MY FOOTBALL GAMES!!!, I listened to the soothing sounds of 100mph wind gusts tear the shingles from my roof. And I have to admit, warmed only by the soft glow of roughly eleventy thousand candles I couldn't help but become a little introspective. Part of it was the time of year, but mostly because I had nothing better to do. Other than bail 240 litres of water out of my sump pit every 90 minutes. But I digress...

My rage over the Calgary Cock-Up, so thoroughly documented in my notebook as a series of elegant, if indecipherable scribbles and one huge ink blot caused when my pen snapped in half had dissipated somewhat. By the time the juice was flowing again and the magic box informed me that we had already been pummeled in Vancouver (the "highlights" later confirming the craptacular level of play I had already suspected and have come to expect), I was too physically drained to get worked up about it. As for last night, I can't get too worked up over that either, knowing, as I now do, that such a brilliant, hard working, finally-played-like-they-can (Jason) effort is unlikely to be repeated for another 10 games or so.

So I thought a little more. What, I wondered, would the New Year's resolutions of Your Ottawa Senators look like? As we prepare to show our own Annus Horribilus the door (but not before kicking it square in the nuts) here are a few. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Emperor Eugene resolves to think before speaking to a local sports media who would publish idiotic email exchanges masquerading as "journalism" mocking Mother Theresa's corpse if they thought it would get them an extra freebie at the Gasbag Grill and Buffet House.

The Bryan resolves to face the fact that blowing up the team in order to ensure a lottery pick (hello, Mr. Tavares) and missing the playoffs is far preferable to watching this underachieving bag of doorknobs squeak into the last spot only to be, once again, sodomized in four straight by Boston or Montreal.

Coach Craig resolves to go back to the only line combinations that seem to produce anything at all, no matter how anemic (see game file: Edmonton, Last Night) and, barring injury, illness or meteor strike just LEAVE THEM THE FUCK ALONE! That's as good as it gets Coach. Deal.

Giggles resolves to up his "play like I actually care about the game rather than being a lazy, loafing, petulant toddler on skates" quotient from every fifth game to every third. Barring that, he resolves to give back half of his salary so we can go get a real second liner.

Fish resolves to waive his No Movement Clause for the good of the team, my sanity and godless heathens everywhere.

Alexandre Picard resolves to accept the fact that he has no business calling himself an NHL caliber defenceman and quietly retires to open a floral shop in Joncquiere, Quebec.

Swiss Pastry resolves to visit an optometrist. No, seriously Martin. Get your eyes checked.

And finally...your humble scribe resolves to see the vortex of suck that is this season through to the end, comforted by the fact that no matter how bad it gets, it will never be worse than Year One ('92-'93), his inaugural year on the bandwagon. And booze. Lots and lots of booze.

Happy New Year everyone! Now go out and get plastered. You've earned it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

First Rule Of The Drug Dealer: Never Sample Your Own Wares

Photo: Jana Chytilova

It may be time for an intervention:

OTTAWA-He may be one of the few holdouts, but Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk insists his team doesn’t need a miracle to make the playoffs and contend for the Stanley Cup this season.

The Senators’ boss, who was in town to play host at a skating event for underprivileged children at Scotiabank Place on Sunday, told a Toronto radio station earlier this week he believed Ottawa will finish top four in the Eastern Conference. He stood by those words Sunday.

With all due respect, Your Imperial Omnipotence, while I understand that one of your most important duties (along with ribbon cuttings at new concession stands and the occasional blood sacrifice of a Leaf fan) is to act as Grand Poobah Cheerleader for your own team. I get it. But not even you can, with a straight face, honestly call us "contenders" in light of the unmitigated torrent of excrement we've witnessed over the last twelve months, can you? I mean, c', of all people, can't be that delusional, right?

"Watch this team. You're going to be very, very surprised. We have nine new players. We have a new coach. We have a new system. It's only 30 games into the season and we will be a Stanley Cup contender. Mark my words. You'll see. Just give them some time and that time is right now."

Oh, dear Lord. It's worse than we thought.

We Are All Senators! Whether You Like It Or Not!

According to a reliable source, the Vancouver Canucks have been running ads throughout their fair city in which they attempt to indoctrinate the general populace into the belief that they are "All Canucks!" Your Honour, I present Exhibit A:

Further examples of their Orwellian thought control can be found here.

As you would expect (if you've been paying attention) this set the OBC cat amongst the Senators' marketing pigeons. What would, we wondered collectively, a similar campaign look like amongst the denizens of Sens Nation? Something like mine, we would suspect:

Let us now trip gracefully through the intertubes, capturing the true OBC zeitgeist of this lost season, shall we?

The Universal Cynic

Scarlett Ice

Hockey Schlock

Sens At Land's End

If you have any you'd like to create/share/inflict upon an unsuspecting public, drop us a line. We'll post the best, and mock the rest.

Hey, what else are you going to do? Watch the games?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Devils 5, Sens 1: Seriously. What Do We Have To Lose?

Screw "tinkering" with the line up.

Bryan, listen to me. I want you to hit the airwaves tomorrow and declare that the entire roster has been sent down to Bingo. Then I want you to announce that the entire Bingo roster has been called up to play against the Stars.

Sure, we'll get creamed. But at least we'll get to watch a bunch of kids who actually care about the game.

If we're going to suck moose balls for the next four months, I demand that I be entertained in the process.

Hartsburg Rearranges Deck Chairs, Declares Team "Unsinkable"

Puck drop in ten minutes, so let us dispense with the buzzing noises, shall we?

"I want to see every line work," said a frustrated Hartsburg. "When we start to work every night, every shift and every line, then it will start to turn. We've got to spread those three guys around. Let's be a blue-collar team."

"We are just going to try to simplify the game and work hard," said Spezza. "The way we were doing it before, it hasn't worked consistently. You don't want to complicate things too much. (Ruutu and Neil) like to play a pretty simple game. It's up to me to adapt."

"I'm excited about it," said Fisher, who hasn't scored since Nov. 27. "Every line has got a bit of skill and has got some guys that can play physical. It's kind of a different look, which maybe we need."
Sing it with me, children! Blah...blah...blah.

7:00 p.m., SportsNet East or RDS, for those of you of the poutine and Pepsi persuasion.

Behind Enemy Lines: They were the first to say pretty things about your humble scribe way back in aught seven, so it's about time I show them the love. Please say hello to 2 Man Advantage. And maybe beg them for mercy while you're there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? A Lot Cheaper Than You'd Think

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. On behalf of Mr. Mousebat, I would like to welcome you to Mousebat, Follicle, Goosecreature, Ampersand, Spong, Wapcaplet, Looseliver, Vendetta and Prang Auction House and Bordello.

As stated on your invitation, we are here to dispose of the superfluous horseflesh of one Mr. E. Melnyk, entrepreneur, sportsman, equine enthusiast and general bon vivant. Upon satisfactory inspection of the individual lots, you will be invited to place your bids in the space provided below, subject, of course to the stated reserve price*.

Let's get on with it then, shall we? I'm sure we all have better things to do. Like DYI appendectomies, for instance.

Lot #5: Our first item is an exquisite example of the classical Bavarian workhorse. Note the strong thighs, robust upper body, and broad shoulders. Can be skittish if disgruntled, but a firm hand at the whip in combination with a rigidly repetitive training regimen (this particular breed is not noted for its intelligence) will produce a solid addition to any plow team.

Third round draft pick.

Lot #12: The only true thoroughbred among this evening's offerings, this gelding has speed to spare. Utterly loyal and completely fearless, his work ethic is beyond reproach and matched only by his baffling inability to accomplish anything despite his willingness to die in the attempt. While he has pulled up lame on occasion, he has never failed to recover...given enough time. All that is required to keep him content is an ample supply of good oats, and sufficient opportunity to distribute Gideon Bibles to inner city orphans.

Prospect not born in Russia AND second round draft pick.

Lot #20: Like all Lippenzaners, he is beautiful (note the rippling chest and impressive leg definiton), and highly trainable, given the proper voltage. He is also somewhat delicate. Smaller than most specimens of his breed, his lack of relative size is more than made up for by the grace of his canter. While it is unlikely he will ever fulfill his considerable potential, he would be a fine addition to any stable, if for no other reason than his ability to excite brooding mares.

Second round draft pick.

Lot #25: While perhaps not the most magnificent of creatures, this cross breed will surprise and delight any prospective owner. Combining the strength and persistence of the Clydesdale with the stubborness of the North American Jackass, he will require a firm hand to ensure proper behaviour and the patience to instill obedience. A new master must be prepared to repeat training sessions as often as necessary if any behaviour modification is to be achieved. And I mean often. Like, a lot. With much yelling.

Third round draft pick AND a younger, less expensive but above all, smarter horse of similar mien and temperment.

Lot #29: Free to a good home.

Um...some pucks would be nice. Maybe some tape. OH! And cookies...peanut butter, preferably.

Lots #17 & #45: Our last, and only combined lot of the evening. Whether through some comical miscommunication or gross misrepresentation on the part of the original seller, these two swayback mares were acquired by the Head Groomsman completely by accident. We'll let these two go on the cheap.

Please take them. Pretty please?
*All transactions must be finalized no later than March 4th, 2009. Cash, or certified cheque only please. No returns, exchanges or refunds. All sales final.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thrashers 4, Sens 1: Time To Blow It The Fuck Up

What happens when the fourth best PK lets the worst power play in the League beat you for two goals? What happens when your three best players, including the guy wearing the "C" and holding the express pass to the rafters can't seem to give a shit and are your biggest defensive liability? What happens when you can't beat a bottom feeding franchise that shouldn't even exist? What happens when a certain blogger has totally given up hope of anything good happening this season? You curse, you drink a lot, punch a few nuns, accept the inevitable and hang out the "For Sale" sign, that's what. Come back tomorrow for the fire sale. And believe me, everything must go.

There ain't no 2007-esque Miracle Turnaround coming for this team. Not this year. Blow it up Bryan.

Fuck, I hate this game.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hawks 2, Sens 0: Excrement

The effort I've put into this post is in direct proportion to the effort I witnessed on the ice.

And we shall never speak of it again.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Panthers 4, Sens 3 (OT): This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

The hell? Here we were, thinking that you had finally figured it out. Everybody thought so. Four wins in five games meant that all was well, the corner had been well and truly turned and the rest of the year would be filled with sunshine, rainbows and lollipops. Then you go and shit the bed. Once more. With feeling. Don't make me sit you down again, boys.

The High:
  • They'll LOVE 'em in Zimbabwe: Do you know what happens to all of the "Championship!" hats and t-shirts that get produced before the team they're produced for loses said "Championship!"? They end up in some God forsaken corner of the world where countries change their name at the whim of comically dressed strongmen, and the locals are too busy chasing cockroaches for food to worry about the fashion faux-pas inherent in their "19-0! Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots!" commemorative wife-beaters. Now that the "Back In Black" good luck charm is done, I fully expect to see an entire village somewhere in Buttfuck, Tanzania matching their (very) gently used "SENS" jerseys to their 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Ottawa Senators beanies. Make it happen, UNICEF.
The Lowest of the Lows:
  • Viva Kuba Lib--Oh bloody hell...: I'm trying, Filip. I really am. Yes, the points are nice, and we certainly need them. So thanks for that. I've also come to reconcile myself to the fact that, despite your rather impressive dimensions, you will never make physical contact with an opposing forward. Ever. Fine. But do you know what else will make it exceedingly hard for me to ever like you? Jackass, dumb-as-a-bag-of-fucking-rocks, blind backhand neutral zone passes to nobody IN FUCKING OVERTIME! We have Jason for that.
  • Great, now the OBC's gonna have m'a legs broke: Hi Cody. C'mon over here Roto. There seems to have been some misunderstanding. It was quite evident to me, as I watched Keith Ballard go coast-to-coast, over, around and through both of you before taking the shot that led directly to Michal Repik first ever NHL goal (also nice of you to let Master Repik stand around in the crease) that perhaps you didn't quite understand your roles. Here's a clue...HIT SOMEBODY!
  • Surprise! The sucking will start......NOW!: On the upside, you all seem to be breaking the inevitable "oh, we don't feel like playing" portions of the game into manageable chunks. Ten minutes in the first, here...fifteen in the second over there... How very considerate of you. And a welcome variation for we home viewers, let me tell you. Watching you suck the hind end from a goat for entire periods at a time was getting pretty monotonous.
The Creamy Middle:

If this were any other season, I would happily write off the screw ups in this game...the three (THREE!) blown leads, the forwards' bewildering inability to adjust to the Panthers D jumping into the play (hey, that Bouwmeester dude is pretty good! We might want to keep an eye on him!), Kuba's brain fart in cite but a just that, aberrant screw ups that are inevitable over the course of a long season. But this is NOT any other season. This crap has been going on for damn near a year. Not sure if you've noticed, gentlemen, but we're currently out of a playoff spot. Now I still have faith that we're better than that, but giving away points to the very teams who will be scratching and clawing for the 8th spot come March is a shitty way to prove me wrong.

Pithy Observations of Questionable Importance:
  • The friend of my enemy is also...Wait. How does that go again?: Somebody want to explain to me why we're booing Bryan McCabe? For what? Not being flexible enough? Sure, he "played" for the Laughs. So did a lot of guys. But really, compared to Domi, Belfour, Tucker or Gary Fucking Roberts, hating McCabe is like screaming at the poor minimum wage bastard who has to answer the phone at a call centre. Sure, it may be satisfying, but he has nothing to do with the fact that you have been, and are likely still being, sodomized by Bell Canada.
  • Thank goodness! I thought we were playing Jai Alai: Upon video review of K-Rock's goal to open the scoring, Head Zebra Dude Tom Kowal (who??) played to the crowd for a bit, and then deigned to announce over the mike that, since Jesse had been pushed into the goalie, Chris' tally was in fact a "good hockey goal". Oscar worthy dramatic pointing to centre ice thus ensued. Gee, Skippy, thanks for clearing that up. Here I was wondering what had happened to the base paths.
  • Yeah, Sparky? I need eleventeen cases of toilet paper: We live in a world where devices the size of a matchbook can hold eight billion songs. Where I can sit almost anywhere in the world, plug a four inch stick into my laptop and download pictures of Britanny Spears flashing her woo-hoo to an adoring populace. So why is it that an NHL official can't talk to the video replay booth without donning gear that looks like it needs to be hand cranked by Radar O'Reilly or some Dickensian street urchin? "Review that goal for ya, Gov'nah?"
Up Next:

Tomorrow night, off to the souless edifice that is the United Centre, for a date against Marty Havlat (provided he doesn't hurt himself between now and then) and the Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m., TSN2...for those lucky actually get it). harken back to those heady days of John Muckler, Brandon Bochensky and Tyler Arneson! On the upside, Bill Wirtz won't be around to yell at you for actually watching on that new fangled tee-vee instead of getting your sorry ass to the rink. Bonus? Pastry with the start! WEEE!

Behind Enemy Lines:

It's been so long that the Sens have graced the Windy City that I needed something special to mark the occasion. Please welcome Second City Hockey. You may leave your polyester wrapped tributes to Gilda Radner and Eugene Levy with the bouncers.

Enjoy the game, everybody. Well, as much as you can, anyway.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sens 3, Pens 2: In Which We Compare And Contrast "Shits" And "Giggles"

Here's a hint. Giggles had the hat trick.

The Highs:
  • This? 'Tis but a scratch!: Sure, the natural hat trick was nice. Congrats on that, Jason. So is your continued ability to make the Penguins your personal whores (27 points in 20 games). But do you really want to know how to make the mouth breathers who normally howl "we gotta trade his ass!" during the call-in shows check themselves? Get up laughing after taking the biggest hit of your career and proceed to send the opponents a giant SUCK IT! by scoring a goal. Again. That would be perfect.
  • Your mission, should you choose to accept it...: Okay folks, we need a better nick name for the Big Line than either "pizza" or (ugh!) "CASH". They turned Atlanta into gooey piles of despair (but that was Atlanta) and followed that up by fashioning Julien's little boy toys into pylons while being among the toughest hombres on the ice (bonus points to The Captain for walking off a bullet to the top of his foot). I'm thinking "Two-Four". As in: If we're playing on Victoria Day weekend, it's because of this line.
  • Screw secondary scoring. You boys just keep on keepin' on: We would be remiss if we didn't mention the contributions from the supporting cast. The Winch, Little Nicky and Chris "K-Rock" Kelly keeping the Pens hemmed in their own end most of the time while being general pains in the ass...Roto Ruutu and his sneaky little elbows (somewhere Gordie Howe smiles...and asks for more tapioca). Then there's our boy C-Bass. Did you know he was playing with a broken toe? Neither did I. He laces on a pair of skates and spends three hours catching 100mph slapshots with his feet. Me? I'm lying on the couch, popping vicodin like candy while Beloved starts looking for a divorce lawyer.
The Lows (only two of which deal with the Cee Bee Cee):
  • Next time, just shoot the hostage: That was one hell of a dilemma, wasn't it Brendan? It certainly looked that way. How else to explain why, after watching your "pass" go squirting onto the stick of Jordan Staal like some palsy stricken wombat, you stood there, flummoxed, while Evgeni Freakin Malkin went streaking by you three feet to your right? Malkin's ensuing short handed goal to pull Pittsburgh within one with ten minutes to go in the game probably gave you a clue as to how to handle that particular situation in the future, yes? Look around, dumbass.
  • HURRY HARD! And get the HELL off my t.v.!: Mother Corp has been broadcasting curling for many, many years. I should know. For as long as I can remember (which is quite a few more years than I'd care to admit), there have been many a time when I have been lulled into blissful slumber on a Sunday afternoon by the dulcet tones of Don Wittman (R.I.P). So with all that experience, you'd think the pinheads that run the CBC would know how long the average curling match will run, and schedule the remainder of their programming accordingly, right? Right? Wouldn't you think? Yeah, I'd have thought so too, until I missed the first three minutes of this game for the semi finals of something called the The Capital One Grand Slam Of Curling. Dear CBC: If it doesn't say "Brier" or "Scotties" on the trophy, move it to Country Canada or Bold or whatever the hell you're calling your crap cable channel this week, and give me my fucking hockey game.
  • You're looking particularly amorphous this evening, Mr. Galley: I am the proud owner of a 56" High Definition television. Ma Bell extorts me to the tune of $110 a month for the privilege of beaming High Definition satellite signals into my home. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has an annual, taxpayer funded operating budget somewhere north of one billion dollars. HD cameras cost much, much less than that. So why did this game look like it was being broadcast from the bottom of a swimming pool?
Pithy Observation of Questionable Importance:

We are now 4-0 when wearing those hideous third jerseys. Now I don't generally subscribe to superstition (unless my lucky Redskins socks are involved) but if someone tells me the I'm going to die the Senators are going to lose unless I keep a bowling pin jammed up my ass they keep wearing that jersey...I'd have to think long and hard about it.

Creamy Middle:

Not as dominant as they were against Atlanta (but again...that was Atlanta) and there were times in the early going where it looked like the boys had slipped back into their evil ways of sloth, apathy and general crapitude AND Coach Craig's recurring habit of jamming on the brakes by throwing the trap onto the ice late in a close game still drives me batshit (safe is DEATH, Coach), but still a quality win. If the boys are on, as they were through a large portion of this game and as they were for the entire Thrashers game, it's obvious we can play with anybody. Sooner or later, they're going to start believing that. I hope.

Next Up:

The barrel of yuks that is Jacques Martin brings his Florida Panthers to The Bank on Monday night (7:30pm, Sportnet East or...RDS for you coalition types). Remember how Now Florida Head Coach but Then Nobody Peter DeBoer jerked The Bryan around for a month last summer before The Bryan finally said "fuck it" and signed Hartsburg? Yeah, me neither.

And hey! We finally get to see that Bowmeester kid! Don Brennan should have him traded to Ottawa for Jason Spezza, Dany Heatly, Daniel Alfredsson, the athletic staff and a small block of cheddar by the end of the first period.

Behind Enemy Lines:

Well, lah-di-dah, look who's made the big time! A scant six weeks after being mentioned on this very site, The Litter Box has been drafted into Mirtle's SB Nation army of hockey blogger brilliance. Coincidence? I think not. Congrats, Whale. Well deserved, indeed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

You're Next Sidney -- Fear The 'Stache!

Personally, I'd prefer the entire team follow Gator's lead and rock the badass Fu Manchu (except you Fish. Jeebus, you look like my prom picture...minus the mullet), but this works too. Think about it Neiler! It's like a codpiece! For your face!

I feel it. Can you? It's coming back. The mojo, I mean. The "Oh hells, we are SO better than this" feeling. We beat the Rangers. We beat the Leafs. Throw the last Islanders game out the window as the final lesson on how not to play a hockey game, a lesson well and truly learned. And we made Atlanta cry.

The Big Line is scorin'. Fish, The Winch, Gator and A-Train are rockin'. Oh, and before I forget, Roto, Neiler and C-Bass are a knockin':
Neil will likely skate on a line with Jarrko Ruutu and Cody Bass to see if they can create some energy against the Penguins.
So, Sidney. Y'all ready for this?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In Other News...Thrashers And Talons And Live Blogs, Oh My!

Yes. Well. With that wee bit of messy unpleasantness safely behind us (drunken midnight rantin' can be very cathartic, if a little hard on the laptop...personally, I blame Lloyd Robertson), we turn our attention to the next cellar dweller to kick our asses...the Atlanta Thrashers (Tomorrow, 7:00pm, on TSN in all of McGuire's screamy goodness).

The last time my rather well cushioned posterior (I prefer "Rubenesque", thank you very much) came into contact with an SBP seat, Atlanta was in town. As my reward for miraculously making it through yet another 365 days without a cardiac event of any kind, my Dad snagged us a couple of 100 level seats for my birthday. Ten rows up, just off one of the corners, they were sweet indeed.

And that night, so close to the ice, I gained an entirely new appreciation of just how stupidly, insanely good Ilya Kovalchuck can be when he wants to. You can't see it sitting in the rafters, and television will never do it justice. The one image indelibly burned into my memory is the sight of his taking a pass just inside his own blue line, not thirty feet away from me, and within two strides hitting full speed as he blew past all of our forwards. Seriously, the entire section made a kind of awed *ooof* noise, as we watched the hot dog wrappers get sucked into the vortex he left behind. Oh, and we lost the game.

My point? We're screwed.

Behind Enemy Lines:

As improbable as it may sound for a last place (until tomorrow...WEEE!) team that draws slightly smaller crowds than the local IHOP, the Thrashers are blessed with quite a number of quality bloggers. I'll highlight Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons here, but only because I love the name. But do yourself a favour and peruse the others in The Falconer's roll. Who says the South can't do hockey? Now that' enough out of you, Winnipeg...

Doin' it up, Cover It Live style:

Because we're suckers for punishment the OBC, led by our intrepid emailing machine, Dany Heatly Speedwagon, will once again be polluting the tubes with half formed opinion, off topic tangents about various foodstuffs and lots of ampersands cleverly disguised as curse words. Join us, won't you? If for nothing else than the inherent joy in slap-typing OH JUST STFU PIERRE!!! over and over again.

You Disgust Me

Note: The following has absolutely nothing to do with the Ottawa Senators, hockey or even sports. But it does have everything to do with my unending rage with what is going on with my Government. This is the only platform I have with which to make my views known. If you look up at my banner, it states "Combining Senators hockey with contempt of the human condition". This post is all about that contempt. If you're here for the funny, my apologies. Check back in tomorrow.

To Mister Stephane Dion, Mister Jack Layton and Monsieur Gilles Duceppe:

You disgust me.

I am a Civil Servant. The oath I swore upon joining the public service was to uphold, to the best of my ability, in an absolutely impartial fashion, the policies of the Government of the day, duly elected by the people of Canada. It is a duty I take very, very seriously. It is my job to respect and administer, regardless of my own personal politics, the wishes of Cabinet as expressed by the mandate given to it by the Canadian electorate. You, gentlemen, in your seedy, underhanded scheming grab for power, deserve no such respect.

All of this was brought about by the Tories' move to cut public subsidies to political parties, a subsidy I happen to support if only to keep the grasping influence of well funded special interest groups out of federal politics. But...

You have no mandate. Six weeks ago, the Canadian people voted for a minority government headed by Stephen Harper. Now, you three are telling the roughly eleven million people who cast ballots in that election, that we all made a terrible mistake and that you know better than the rest of us. Perhaps I haven't made myself sufficiently clear...WE DIDN'T FUCKING VOTE FOR YOU!!!! You disgust me.

Your "coalition" depends upon the support of a political party whose stated aim, it's very raison d'être, remains the secession of Quebec and the destruction of my country. You disgust me.

Your purported Prime Minister, Stephane Dion, leader of the Liberal party, the man rejected by the electorate, yet the man who you tell us is the best man to lead us out of the economic crisis gripping the planet, the man you say is best suited to navigate the quagmire that is Afghanistan, at the cost of 97 Canadian lives so far, will be replaced next May, barely six months into your eighteen month agreement, by a new leader. That leader will also become Prime Minister without even the slightest hint of any kind of mandate save the three thousand or so Liberal delegates at the convention. You disgust me.

This is nothing less than a political party making a deal with the devil in order to remain "entitled to its entitlements". This is nothing less than a group of vainglorious, pissant little cockroaches who have deluded themselves into thinking that they know better about what this country wants, whether we know it or not. This is nothing less than a naked grasp for power, for power's sake. This is nothing less than a Coup D'Etat.

You disgust me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Isles 4, Sens 2 : We Officially Welcome You To The John Tavares Sweepstakes And Cooking Show!

AHA! I'm on to your little game, Bryan. Oh yes I am.

You thought you could fool me, didn't you? You clever, clever boy!! You made sure all of those press conferences were peppered with all of the right words like "concern" and "disappointment". You tsk-ed and tsk-ed and tsk-ed. TEEHEE!! And when the losing just keeps on keepin' on, you even throw out the possibility of a trade to keep it fresh! To keep me on my toes! Oh heavens, but you did have the players in a twist! My stars! HA-HA!! But I'm onto you now Bryan. Oh yes I am. You can't fool me anymore, you naughty, naughty man.

It's odd, really. No, not ME, silly. It's odd that I didn't catch on sooner. All of the signs were there. The little twinkle in your eye every time somebody asks you "what's wrong with this team??" Trading for Picard and Kuba. Somehow convincing Verms and Fish not to score any goals. Transplanting Jason's brain into Alfie's body...all the better to ensure that two-thirds of our top line make the same dumbass mistakes with the puck. And of course, there's the ice that everyone has been bitch-- *GASP!* That was you too, wasn't it?!?! My GAWD man!

But don't worry Bryan. This will be our little secret. I won't tell a SOUL. Honest. Honest and for true! HEE-HEE!! And just in case any of those nasty wasty prying peepers try to get it out of me...again...I'll be wearing one of these. Want one? Really. Go ahead. That lottery pick will be TOTALLY worth it!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sens 2, Leafs 1 (SO): The Burke Era Begins As Swimingly As One Would Expect

Photograph by : Wayne Cuddington, The Ottawa Citizen

Yes, I realize I had promised to post this yesterday. But in order to give my title any kind of credence, I had to wait for the Conclave to finally release the white smoke from the chimneys of the ACC. Anybody else fairly certain that Richard Peddie goes commando under those cardinal's robes?

The Highs:
  • Holy crap! So THAT's how it works: It's been so long since we've seen it that I had completely forgotten the fact that, through what I'm sure is some crazy oversight by the Rules Committee, it is technically possible for the Ottawa Senators to garner a second point by way of the shootout. Something else that had slipped my mind: It's only a gimmick if you lose.
  • Maybe we'll hold off on the boots and hand bag idea: Something SALE said to me in the live blog gave me pause. "Oh SLC, I'm glad you have something good to say about Smith again." Now, I'll admit, perhaps my expectations were rather high following the Smith signing. But what I hadn't expected (nor have I enjoyed) were the six weeks of relative invisibility to start the season. So when I see glimpses of the Gator I thought we were getting, I definitely feel the need to point them out here. If only for Meaghan's sake.
  • Gerber WHO?: I have no idea how long he'll be able to pull it off (mostly because he's never managed it before), but The Auldinator reminds us what it's like to have a money goalie protecting a one goal lead. I found the lack of anxiety induced heart palpitations, normally associated with every opposing forward's rush up ice from the middle of the second period on, rather comforting.
  • Well, at least it wasn't a backup: I'd be remiss if I didn't give a brief, albeit extremely grudging, shout out to Vesa Toskala. Without him, this game is over by the end of the second and our live blog is dead in the water as Leafs Nation stampedes for the exits. But if I could ask one small favour Toska...the next time you want to follow six weeks of suck by channelling the spirit of Johnny Bower, would you mind not doing it against us?
The Low:
  • This should never be seen in print anywhere, ever again: From the Citizen's game story..."Just 59 seconds later, Mikhail Grabovski outmuscled Chris Phillips, skated out on the right side of the Ottawa net and passed across the crease to Kulemin, who was heading toward the left post. He had no problem. Room service." 'Nuff said.
The Creamy Middle:

Say it with me, kids. Every. Point. Counts. So there's that.

I don't know if it was the lack of animosity between two rivals on the ice (Roto Ruutu's welcomed efforts to the contrary notwithstanding), the fact that I've been more concerned with our own team's problems than I have been with poking a detestable arch-enemy in the eye, or if the surprising level of civility in a live blog involving both Sens and Leaf fans caught me off guard, but I wasn't as emotional about this chapter of the Battle of Ontario as I normally would be. Seriously. I didn't get to swing the Ban Hammer even once during the entire game. Where's the fun in that? C'mon Laffers. You can do better. See you on the 9th.

Pithy Observation of Some As Yet Undetermined Importance:

This has nothing to do with this game in particular, but everything to do with those of us who are passionate about The Game in general. It seems Wrap Around Curl, damn fine writer and friend of FFS, is having some difficulties with the pencil necked corporate cockroaches who run the Spokane Chiefs, defending Memorial Cup champs and the object of WAC's delightfully obsessive affection.

Putting aside the usual and extremely tedious "MSM vs. Blog/Internet/New Media" cock fight, I ask the question: why on God's green earth would a junior hockey team play the heavy and wave the lawyer card in the name of "image control" at a blog that gives that same team more exposure to more people across the entire continent, and no cost to them I should add, than a thousand marketing monkeys could ever hope to do in a thousand years? And more important, what happens to sites like hers, or mine, or any of the thousands of fan-generated blogs across all sports should the Chiefs get away with it? I feel a Sunday Soapbox coming on.

Up Next:

Once again, our travelling circus of panic and frustration takes us to Long Island for a date with the Islanders. Television coverage? Zippo. Nothing. Not a sausage...Bugger all. Am I at all disappointed with this? Considering the way we've played against them so far this year, not in the absolute fucking slightest.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And The Earth Takes One Small Step Toward Axial Equilibrium -- Sens 2, Laffs 1 (SO)

Holy crap that sucked. Holy crap that was sweet. Live blogging is hard. Brian Burke is now officially second guessing himself. And who's the bag of dicks who told Toskala he's a real goalie?!?!

Creamy Middle to follow tomorrow. For now, let us just revel in the sweet, sweet taste of no longer being the worst team in the Northeast.

I Can See No Possible Way In Which This Can End Badly

Just a reminder bloggin' the Battle of Ontario!

Please join us for an evening of enlightened discourse as members of the OBC and charter members of the Barilkosphere debate the relative merits of their chosen hockey teams in the spirit of mutual respect. Revel in the gracefully civilized point-counterpoint of well reasoned argument. And all this in real time!

God Save The Queen at 7:15. Puck drop at 7:30. First "Fuck the Leafs! Cock!" at 7:32

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

TSN Bravely Refuses To Believe Burke's Soul Still For Sale

I'm sorry, did I miss something?

The last time I looked (or had Pierre McGuire yell at me about it), MLSE's latest foray into the land of Cantankerous Irishmen Not Named Pat Quinn has yet to yield any real results. But fear not stout, albeit delusional, blue and white clad yeomen, a quick perusal of TSN's home page assures you all is well:
  • OTR brings us Bobby Clarke, waxing rhapsodic with "words of praise for Brian Burke...admitting he was a fan of his work as a general manager. But while he thought Burke would do a good job for the Maple Leafs, he expressed some concerns". My guess is those "concerns" centre largely around no longer being the biggest egomaniacal blowhard in the Eastern Conference.
  • And finally, Bob McKenzie sets aside his onion belt as he struggles to remember that dusty old saw about actually confirming something before reporting it as fact (sooooo 1985!) and offers us, in his usual gripping fashion, that "The Brian Burke-Toronto Maple Leafs saga is close to reaching its logical conclusion." Settle down there, Bob.
For those keeping score at home, that's three items on the main page of Canada's self proclaimed sports leader about a story that hasn't even happened yet. And they wonder why the rest of the country presumes that the "T" in "TSN" stands for "Toronto".

For the record, my guess as to why Burke hasn't yet surrendered to the Dark Side signed with MLSE? Neither camp can agree on who has to water Cliff Fletcher twice a week.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sens 4, Rangers 1: Ontario Hydro Assures Me The First Half Was Quite Entertaining

At ten minutes of three o'clock, I was all set. The chores had been finished. The groceries packed away. The dog suitably distracted by his Darcy Tucker chew toy. And with my first wobbly-pop of the day freshly opened, I settled in for some live-bloggy goodness and the Great Cash Grab Unveiling of 2008. Then everything...blacked out. And this time, it wasn't the booze. My house was a dark and powerless as an MLSE board room.

Three minutes spent flicking the light switches on and off (useless, I know, but it's encoded into my male DNA. I also push the up button multiple times on the off chance that this time it will work and the elevator will get there faster) followed by a panicked scramble to the basement...nope, the breaker panel looked fine. At two minutes before puck drop, I called the Ontario Hydro (sorry...Hydro One!) emergency hot line whereupon a friendly, and not a little un-sexy computerized voice informed me that "a power outage has already been reported in your area. Service should be restored by...four...forty...five...p.m." Gimme that chew toy, dog.

The Highs (or at least those I actually saw):
  • It's official. Bring on the Apocalypse!: One of the few things that actually made it into my notepad reads thusly: "19...hard in the corners?!?!". Mine eyes did not deceive me, for our boy Giggles did indeed battle along the boards, with two particularly memorable occasions late in the second where, on the same shift, he physically separated the D-man from the puck on the forecheck. Sure, it was Wade Redden...but still! Fantastic job, Jason! Now let's see you do it against a real defenceman.
  • Long Sault is erecting a statue as we speak: Most rookies get their first few goals on the cheap. A weird bounce, an empty net, a seeing-eye shot from the beer stand...whatever. Not our boy Jesse. He busts his ass straight down the middle with somebody hanging off his back and lifts a one-handed backhander over the goalie's shoulder for his second goal of his career. If you drink enough, and squint a little while watching the replay, you'd swear it was that other number 18.
  • My pants are erecting a statue as we speak: Imagine how distracted the Rangers would have been had Jarks actually done something illegal. If anyone needs a reminder why we're paying Roto Ruutu...well, let's just say no one on a vanquished opponent ever said this about Vaclav Varada (glove tap to Al at Hockeyshlock for capturing the sweet bitterness). Take it away, Mr. Mara!
So, we can’t let guys take liberties on our teammate like that and he did and he didn’t answer the bell. …it’s something I had to do for the team. It’s too bad that they did score the power play goal and got us in a hole. I guess he won the battle, because they did score on the power play.
The only Low I want to talk about:

So, how many is that now, Roy? Eight? Nine? I'm pretty sure it's nine. We've been in the League for 16 years, and we've had nine different jerseys. Look, I understand how you want to milk us for everything we have...after all, "fan" is short for "fanatic" and those skull waxes ain't going to pay for themselves. But could you at least pretend you're putting a little effort into it? Your latest bit of marketing "genius", following hard on the footsteps of our friend Spartacus and (blech) "A Force United!" looks like it was cobbled together by very enthusiastic yet slightly delayed preschoolers.

Upon setting eyes on your new creation for the first time, non-hockey fan Beloved asked me "Sens? Isn't 'Sens' just a nickname? Why is it on the sweater?" And there's the rub. You don't see any other Canadian team producing lame-ass third jerseys festooned with colloquialisms, do you? Can you, in your wildest delusion fueled dreams envision Montreal coming out with "Habs" emblazoned on their chest, or Toronto's big blue leaf replaced by "Perpetually Hopeless"? Of course you can't.

We had the chance. We once had a logo that would have stood the test of time and become as iconic as the "CH" and the Winged Wheel. It was this one. But you couldn't leave well enough alone, could you? You had to let the marketing "experts" slither and crawl their way into your consciousness, like cockroaches after breadcrumbs, with meaningless MBA created buzzwords like "rebranding" and "revenue streams" and "synergy".

So here's the thing, Roy. Buzzwords are the sign of uncreative minds and even weaker intellects. And so is your jersey. We aren't some desparate franchise looking to get noticed in a crowded non-hockey market. We are the Ottawa Fucking Senators. And it will be a cold, cold day in Hell before I buy something that tells people otherwise.

Pithy Observation Of Questionable Importance:

Here's what I wrote following the (first) loss against the Islanders:
Joe ("Joe"? Really? "JOE?") MacDonald. Michael Leighton. Mike Smith. Jonas Hiller. Craig Anderson. Brent Johnson. Patrick Lalime (Jesus wept...). What do these names have in common? They're all backup goaltenders. They're all backup goaltenders who have started against the Senators this year. Sixteen games played; seven backups have started against us. And the first five listed herein? Totally kicked our ass. Make of this information what you will.
This is from Ottawa Citizen sports dude Wayne Scanlan:
It has more to do with circumstance than any lack of respect, but the opposition continues to pitch backup goaltenders at Ottawa. Washington started Brent Johnson in place of José Theodore, Florida used Craig Anderson instead of Tomas Vokoun, Anaheim went with Jonas Hiller (the Ducks saved J.S. Giguère for a game in Montreal the next night), Buffalo went with Patrick Lalime (a former Senator) and not Ryan Miller and the Islanders started Joey MacDonald with Rick DiPietro out injured. Philadelphia came in here with Antero Niittymaki and not starter Martin Biron. And yesterday, the Rangers rested their ace goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who stoned the Senators on Monday, in favour of Steve Valiquette.
Want to know why newspapers are dying? I wrote mine a week ago. Wayne wrote his last night. And he got paid for it.

Creamy Middle:

Holy crap! We actually won the game! I have no idea what to do with this information.

Up Next:

Mark your calendar kids. Not only do the aforementioned Perpetually Hopeless roll into the Bank on Thursday night (no word on whether they'll be hauling a vaguely Burke shaped duffel bag with them), but it will also mark the Ottawa Blogger Collective's second foray into the wild and wooley world of the Live Blog (7:30 p.m., SportsNet East). Expletive filled hilarity will no doubt ensue.

Behind Enemy Lines:

As much as it pains me to admit it, the Laffs are blessed with (if quite undeserving of) one of the best fan blogger bases in the entire League. Second only to ours of course, and possibly the Habs. Today's featured Barilkospheric (TM-PPP) contributor is Loser Domi, and her Wonderful World. Come to our Live Blog, LD! We'll have such fun. And bring the LOLeafs.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Habs 3, Sens 2 (SO) -- I Too Have Been Violated By The Cold Cold Finger Of Injustice

Seriously, Don. Would it have killed you to use just a little? The chafing is killing me.

The Highs:
  • You shall know him by Stereolepis gigas. And you shall fear him: And that is why we love you, Cody. An absolute animal on the boards, drawing penalties, and no matter what anyone tells you, Begin got lucky. If you don't fall down in that fight, little Stevie is still picking up his teeth out of the ice. Keep it up and not only will you stick with the big club, but someone, someday, may come along and produce extremely stylish, yet highly practical collectible day wear in your honour.
  • B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O! And BINGO's where they played-OH!: I can't decide if the fact that Bass-Foligno-Zubov for the most part out-performed everybody else (including Heatzzasson...a little energy, if you please gentlemen) is a sign that perhaps Mucks didn't rape and pillage our farm system to the extent that I had previously thought, and that the future is indeed bright, or if it's a relative indication of how brutally craptacular the rest of the team has been. Little Nicky's goal leaves me further conflicted, and not a little bit vexed. I need help.
  • Excuse me, but I'd like to see more of that team, if you don't mind: The first fifteen minutes of this game were pretty sweet. White jerseys flying every which way, left, right and through the air, as they scrambled around in their own end, beaten to every puck, unsure or unwilling to deal with the hornets' nest buzzing around them while shots rained down upon them from all directions as if hurled from the finger tips of an angry god. Holy crap, I miss last November.
The Lows (easy...I'll get to it in a minute):
  • did that team go?: From the fifteen minute mark of the first, it was as if somebody had flipped the switch to "off". The hustle disappeared, the forecheck evaporated, and all of a sudden, we were sending one man in deep while everyone else stood still at the blue line. Had it been any other opponent (i.e.: not a team playing as putridly as our own), we would have been out of it by the end of the second. Now, whomever could have orchestrated that? Who, when things were going so well, could have persuaded the boys to adopt such a defensive posture with a scant one goal lead? I haven't a clue! But whoever it was Craig, he had better pull his head out of his ass and make sure the team learns something. Namely, you don't EVER get off the gas.
  • We have now officially "lost" the Meszaros trade: Between Filip Kuba's repeated one hundred foot passes through the neutral zone to the guys in the different coloured sweaters and Alex Picard's baffling inability to be in anything like the proper position to defend anything, it will truly be a wonder if my television survives the season.
  • And now...the moment you've all been waiting for: In the NFL, if the officials blow a call that changes the outcome of a game, Emperor Goodell will at the very least apologize to the team so affected. Somehow that makes things a little easier to bear for the mutinous fan base. It doesn't change the result or the fact that they were outright robbed, but it does provide a small salve to the outraged multitude. The League knows it fucked up and will try to get it right the next time. Not so in Gary's brave new NHL. No, all we get are platitudes about how "quick the game is" or "we leave it up to the discretion of the referee". Or worse, not a fucking word. So in light of that, I'd like to offer an apology. I'm sorry Don. I've misspoken. Please allow me to amend my comments from last night:
If it were up to me Don, you would be waking up in your hotel room, roughly four hours hence, with a rabid porcupine ripping your, shrunken pus filled ballsack to pieces with its bloody, slavering teeth. And if we miss the playoffs by a point, I will make it my mission in life to ensure that actually happens while you are simultaneously being violated by an engorged elk.
I hate drunken enraged shoddy composition.

Creamy Middle:

Any coach looking to maintain his salary will tell you that an official can't affect the outcome of a game. If a call goes against you, the logic goes, than it's up to you, as professionals, to overcome it and make sure that it becomes a non-factor in the final result. To which I say BULLSHIT! If A-Train's goal counts, as everyone but the most myopic Sens hater and a certain incompetent, pride filled fuckstick agrees it should have, then we go up by two goals with a little over a period left to play. The Montreal D would have had no choice but to cheat in an effort to generate more offence, leaving them open to the odd-man rush going the other way. God knows we Sens fans have seen that scenario often enough.

You don't think, given how desperate both teams were for the win, we wouldn't have been able to score the insurance marker? Or at the very least, would have more easily kept the pressure in the Habs' end instead of ours, therefore rendering their second and "tying goal" moot? Setting aside the bloody "non-visible" injury that should have given us a four minute power play going into the five minute overtime, the verdict is as clear as the guilt and embarrassment in Don Van Massenhoven's conscience. We were royally fucked.

Up Next:

And the hits just keep on comin'. The New York Rangers roll into the Bank tomorrow afternoon for a matinee. And we all know how well we do in those. Not sure who gets the start between the pipes for this one. Then again, I'm no longer sure it matters. On the "upside" (if you're a marketing cockroach type) the team is unveiling it's newest cash mean third jersey. Please God, don't let it be this one.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Special Message To Don Van Massenhoven

What...the...FUCK! Were you sick the day they taught you the Possession Rule on delayed penalties? Or were you too distracted, stroking that porn-stache while reminiscing on your days as an alter boy? JESUS. JUMPED. UP. CHRIST!!

There are bad calls. They happen all the time. There are even bad calls that cost goals. Scrambles around the crease, or maybe a close off sides that gets missed. I can understand that. But THAT?!? That was a fucking embarrassment.


UPDATE: We lose 3-2 in a shootout. Of course, this game should never have gone to overtime, let alone a shootout, isn't that right Don? Yes. That's right. And it wasn't just the A-Train GOAL was it? No, it wasn't. We should have started the OT with a four minute powerplay instead of two. But apparently, to you, you incompetent bag of scrotum sweat, "blood" does not equal "visible sign of injury".

If it were up to me Don, you would be waking up in your hotel room, roughly four hours from now, with a rabid porcupine ripping out your ballsack with its bloody, slavering teeth. And if we miss the playoffs by a point, I will make it my mission that that actually happens.

Creamy Middle to follow tomorrow. I need to calm down.

Geez...I Thought WE Were A Tough Crowd

The Montreal Canadiens are 10-5-2. The prohibitive favourite to win the Northeast Division, and touted as one of the teams to come out of the East and go to the Finals. Their goaltender, despite an alarming lack of facial hair (or puberty, for that matter) shows all the signs of being the real deal. And they have three forward lines fast enough to make me (and our defence) break out into a cold sweat.

But they have hit a bit of a rough patch, of late, winning only one in their last four. So what to do? The answer is obvious. This is November. The playoffs are a scant five months away. You pull up your socks. You work harder. You get back to the things that made you great!

Or...just fire the coach.

The wheels, they wobble and there's blood in the water. This pleases me. I always mangle my metaphors when I'm happy.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Huzzah! The wayward and prodigal son of the OBC makes his triumphant return to Capital City! Happiness and shirty hilarity ensues! Cody "I'm prettier than Georges Laraques" Bass has been called up from Bingo. Playing the part of the fatted calf...Martin Gerber.

H/T to the boys at Sens Army for the clue in.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rangers 2, Sens 1(SO) -- Maybe That Nice British Feller Was On To Something

Photo: Ottawa's own, the incomparable Yousuf Karsh, 1941

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning -- Sir Winston Churchill

The Highs:
  • My CPU is a neural net processor, a learning computer. The more contact I have with humans, the more I learn: He is coldly efficient. He is emotionless. He is implacable. While not flawless, the search for those flaws will drive mortal men mad. He has been sent from Cold Lake, Alberta a strange and distant place to save us. He is...The Auldinator.
  • Reunited and it feels sucky: Kudos to Coach Craig for finally coming to grips with a reality that had forever eluded John Paddock. Namely, no matter how much you might wish it weren't so, sometimes putting all of your eggs in one big, bad-ass basket, isn't so bad after all. At the very least, putting the Big Line back together might allow we fans to actually cheer a goal every once in a while.
  • Not bad, Brendan. Now go stand over there and don't touch anything: I have to say, based on what I saw in training camp, I had zero confidence in your ability to do anything but totally crater an already abysmal defence. Now, I'm man enough to admit when I've made a mistake, so I'll state it here, and for the record: I was only half-wrong. Keep not screwing anything up too badly, and maybe figure out how to get a pass onto a stick blade rather than into somebody's skates or five feet wide, and we can reassess. Oh, and #9? Really? Well, I'll give you points for your ambition, if not for your self-awareness.
  • So...any chance you've figured it out yet?: Easily the hardest we've seen you boys work since the second game of the season. That funny tingling sensation you may be feeling this morning is called "an epiphany". Embrace it. Do what it tells you to do. Follow it unto death, for it will lead you to the Promised Land. In other words, and I reiterate for those of you who may have some difficulty with subtlety...WORK YOUR ASSES OFF! Not sure if you've grasped this little factoid, but it's the only way we're making the playoffs.
The Lows:
  • Dammit! What did I just say?: Seven minutes, by my count. They took seven minutes off in the third. During those seven minutes, the Rangers beat us to every loose puck, drilled everything in white, and pretty much set up a camp site in our zone, complete with binder twine kitchen, Kum-Bay-Ya and a latrine. The result was as inevitable as it was lexically impossible...Sjostrom's tying goal. Here's hoping his grateful teammates thought to give him that missing vowel.
  • So, Coach. About that shootout...: Giggles. Roto Ruutu. Verms. Jarks, I can almost understand. He's surprisingly good at this kind of thing. But Jason? The same Jason whose last goal came before a black man was elected President? Or Antoine, who, you may have noticed, had already been stoned on a breakaway not twenty minutes before? Just a thought, but you might want to try somebody else in such circumstances. Here's a hint. He wears #11.
Creamy Middle:

That single point was well and truly earned. But more important were the small...incredibly small signs of hope. The hard work (those Nixonian missing seven minutes notwithstanding). The passes that actually went tape-to-tape instead of tape-to-zamboni driver. And if Coach can resist the itch to over engineer the lines and keeps HeatZzaSson together, the second and third lines may actually build on the infinitesimal iota of chemistry they've started to create (I'm looking at you numbers 20, 22 and 18). As my fellow OBC and co-Scarlett Ice scribbler DHS posits, there may indeed be a dim light at the end of the tunnel. If we're lucky, it isn't an oncoming train.

Pithy Observation of Questionable Importance:

As Gary Galley reminded us (early and often), it's tradition for a player, when facing a former team for the first time, to "pin some cash to the bulletin board" to serve as some kind of reminder to his teammates that this particular game is of special importance. Putting aside how cute Gary looks in his onion festooned belt, I couldn't help but wonder how Reds' fellow Rangers felt as Tom Renney stapled Wade's lazy, stick-checking ass to the bench for most of the third period. My cash-on-the-bulletin-board says it was something like "Holy crap. No wonder they didn't try to re-sign him."

Up Next:

Maxim "Ow! My pretty, pretty face!" Lapierre and his fellow (and suddenly shaky...2-1 Canes final as I type this) Montreal Canadiens roll into the Bank two nights hence, attempting, as is their wont, to exact perverse revenge on Roto Ruutu's elbow (7:30pm, SportsNet East). Far be it for me to tell The Bryan how to do his job, but with Fish and Neiler both doubtful, and Carbo's minions no doubt feeling a tad ornery, it might be a good time to call up a certain Mr. Bass. Seriously Bryan. Do it. If not for me, then for shirtless children all over the Third World.

Behind Enemy Lines:

FHF for the game thread (...oh, HF29, why can't I quit you?!?) and stripper pics (of course), but I'd also like to introduce you to The Notwithstanding Clause, a relatively new and totally worthy addition to the Habs corner of the interwebs. Anyone who consistently calls out the troglodytes who troll the message boards, is definitely a friend of mine.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rangers 2, Sens 1 (SO) -- I Know What I Hate. And I Didn't Hate This

Well, at least we didn't suck...the first eight minutes of the third notwithstanding.

Alex needs a new nickname (Alex The Great? The Auldinator? Help me out folks). Reds owes his coach an apology...and his teammates a crapload of cash. A few words on Kitty-Bar-the-door. Craig? About that shootout line up...

Creamy Middle to follow. See you tomorrow kids. And remember, you can only take one shot on a shootout, so play nice.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Isles 3, Sens 2 -- We Now Pause For A Dash Of Much Needed Perspective (Even For Me)

Coming off yet another embarrassing loss to the Montreal Canadiens, the Senators saw their record drop to four games below .500. Sitting dead last in the Northeast division for the first time since expansion, the Ottawa media pulled out all the stops and gleefully fanned the flames of a growing fan revolt.

"FIRE THE COACH!!", everyone screamed. "BUNCH A NO GOOD BUMS!", came the cry. "TRADE ALFIE!" "LYNCH SPEZZA!" And, most oft heard of all..."WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS TEAM?!?"

They couldn't buy a goal. The second and third lines had pretty much vanished. The defence was too old, too slow and absolutely, unequivocally, brutally soft in their own end. To top it off, both goalies were sucking the hair off of giant moose testicles.

Yes, there was revolution in the air, and metaphorical blood in the streets. Clearly, the panic stricken hordes would tell anyone who would listen, the time had come to just blow the whole damn thing up and start over. We weren't going to win a damn thing with this lazy, clueless, underachieving, uncaring bunch of losers and their new Head Coach who obviously didn't have a clue what he was doing.

The Sens record at the time? 6-10-1. The date? November 17th, 2006.
The Sens record today? 6-9-1. The date? November 16th, 2008.

Kinda freaky, huh? If memory serves, that season ended pretty well.

In other words...Lighten up Francis.

Up Next:

Tomorrow night, on the road, against the New York Rangers (7:00pm, SportsNet East). So here's the plan, Fish. Get to the blueline, fire it deep, and go after it as if your ass is on fire. It's not like you have to worry about this guy going into the corner with you.

Behind Enemy Lines:

One thing you quickly realize while touring the Rangers' corner of the hockeysphere, is that a frightening majority of Rangers' blogs take themselves very, very seriously. Not so with our guest, Scotty Hockey. Insight? Check. Analysis? Check. Solid? Check and check. "Everything I say is important" pomposity? Not a trace. I like that.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Isles 3, Sens 1 -- It's Getting A Little Pitchforky In Here

Please form an orderly line at the registration desk. Note, torches will only be issued upon presentation of valid Standard First Aid and Level C CPR Certification. Also, punch and pie will be served following the burning. Thank you, FFS Management.

The High:
  • Please remain on the line. We'll get to you when we're damn good and ready: As I settled into the Man Room and flipped on the tee-vee, I discovered something rather unsettling. Apparently, ExpressVu's satellite had taken it upon itself to scramble my subscription package such that half of my regular channels were either red and locked out (Bell-speak for "You want this channel? Give us more money, bitch!") or, as was the case with three of the four SportsNet channels, had evaporated completely. After thirty-five minutes on hold and another fifteen spent with a very helpful (and LOCAL!!) if somewhat frazzled techie (please, for "Alex"'s sake and the sake of her sanity...switch out your Smart Cards people!), we were back in business. The upshot being, by that point I had missed the first twelve minutes of the first period and therefore remained blissfully ignorant of the general crapitude taking place on the ice.
The Lows (Royal Sampler Edition):
  • Whew! Good thing we got rid of that Euro-Soft D-man, eh?: Mister Kuba, I watched Mister Meszaros. I swore at Mister Meszaros. And you sir, with your paltry +3 despite your 15 points and the way Trent Hunter beat you like a dead hooker while a foot away from your own crease to score the winner, are exactly like Mister Meszaros.
  • How dost thou kill me? Let me count the ways: Now The Bryan tells us that we pick on Giggles because it's "fashionable". Let me give you a run down on a few other things which, in some circles, are considered "fashionable". Not making a blind back pass from behind the offensive red line into the slot, when your only supporting player is standing two feet away...also behind the net. Not attempting, while on the power play, to make a pass from behind the offensive red line to the far point...through four defensive sticks. Not taking a hooking call in a tie game, because, as usual, you were caught flat footed by an onrushing forward. But above all, it is most certainly not considered "fashionable" to allow yourself to be beaten to a loose puck, deep in your own zone, when your goalie has been pulled and you have a 6-on-freaking-3 man advantage! In fact, in some circles, that's considered grounds for a public stoning.
  • Not sure about you guys, but I'd be getting mighty offended: Joe ("Joe"? Really? "JOE?") MacDonald. Michael Leighton. Mike Smith. Jonas Hiller. Craig Anderson. Brent Johnson. Patrick Lalime (Jesus wept...). What do these names have in common? They're all backup goaltenders. They're all backup goaltenders who have started against the Senators this year. Sixteen games played; seven backups have started against us. And the first five listed herein? Totally kicked our ass. Make of this information what you will.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the role of Icarus will be played this evening by...: Ryan Shannon. I feel genuinely sorry for Ryan. Brought up from Bingo, his first assignment with the Big Club consisted of trying to decipher the alchemic stylings of that swirling, unpredictable beast known as Danon Heatzza. Only Danon Heatzza is at war with itself and last night, was in no mood to truck with the naive aspirations of a minor leaguer. Then to top it off, Icarus got smoked.
  • Whew! Good thing we have Cody to...I'm sorry. WHAT??: Other than the inability to score a goal, the butter soft defence and the general fucknuttery that has characterized this train wreck of a season thus far, the one thing that has stood out is our continued, and baffling, habit of having our collective asses handed to us when the going gets dirty. So how does The Bryan address this now that he has a new hole to fill due to Young Master Ryan's unfortunate condition? He calls up...Illya Zubov. Somewhere in the wilds of upstate New York, Cody Bass chews the heads off live trout.
Pithy Observation of Questionable Importance:
  • You don't know what you got, 'till the Second Assistant To The Third Associate Producer pushes the wrong button: Just as I was reconnected to civilization, that nifty little graphic bar at the top of the screen disappeared for about five minutes. It was just...gone. Over the years, it's become such a natural part of my sports viewing experience that I've long taken it for granted, like screaming at Dan Marouelli or surfing for porn between periods. Its complete absence left me totally discombobulated. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know anything. What's the score?!? How much time is left in the period?!? Where's the out of town scoreboard?!?! For the love of God, SOMEBODY TELL ME WHO IS SPONSORING THE PENALTY KILL?!?!
The Creamy Middle:

I am at a complete and utter loss. Just out of curiosity, if we lose to the worst professional hockey team on the face of not only Mother Earth, but also thirty-seven percent of all theoretical planets orbiting Alpha Centauri does that make us?

Up Next:

For the first time in recorded history, I'm thankful for HNIC's monopolization of Saturday nights. Tomorrow night, we're off on the road to Rhode Long Island for Suck Bowl II, but thankfully, there is no local television for this one. Beloved will be happy to hear that. I may have frightened her a tad last night, you see.

Who knew you could chew straight through a mattress, box spring, carpet and most of a floorboard and never wake up once?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Habs 4, Wankers 0 -- Seriously. WTF Was That??

Ten games. That's how long I've managed to hold on to my vow of being a kinder, gentler, pink and squishy, "Oh the boys are young and need positive reinforcement instead of nasty words" kind of blogger. Ten games. Then you go and cock it all up by letting Chris Higgins (CHRIS HIGGINS!!) make you his prison bitch. Ten. Fucking. Games.

The One, Infinitesimal High:
  • Of lipstick wearing pigs: In a shocking turn of events, never before seen in Ottawa, our boys actually turned the usual platitudes ("We just have to work hard!", "We have to be accountable!", "No one is happy about the way we played!", "I LIKE SOUP!") into honest to God results on the ice. Personally, I was astounded. My astonishment would have turned to outright flabbergast had it lasted for more than the middle ten minutes of the first period.
The Lows:
  • Speaking of which: Hell of a start you got off to, there Jason. Yep, one hell of a start. Nice to see Coach Craig calling you out in public could have an effect. Hard in the corners, threw some hits...even took a run at Koivu. Nice. So tell me, Jason. Did your testicles shrink, or did you just figure you had fulfilled your Man-Up quota for the evening and shut it down for the last two periods? Just curious.
  • You will feel shame. You will feel shame and beg his forgiveness: Alex Auld played his balls off. Alex Auld single handedly kept this game from becoming an even bigger embarrassment than it eventually was. So maybe, just maybe, you guys can help him out a bit. By that, I mean, your assistance would be appreciated. To further illustrate my point, I shall restate it thusly: GETTING TORCHED ON FEWER THAN FOUR BREAKAWAYS WOULD BE OF SOME FUCKING ASSISTANCE!!
  • Bus to Binghamton, now departing Gate 1: When that alcohol induced aneurysm, which I have no doubt lies buried deep within my cerebral cortex finally pops like an ass pimple some time around the 21st of February (hey look, we're playing the Habs!), and I droop dead where I sit, the coroner will have no choice but to enter "Alexandre Picard" under Cause Of Death.
  • If only we had a trio of offensively gifted forwards with which to spark some hope!: Ten minutes to go in the game, down by three. CASH line nowhere to be found. You picked one hell of a game to make a point, Coach.
  • Somebody needs to stick a cock in his mouth: Shut up, McGuire. Really. Just shut the fuck up. Yes, Jarkko throwing the elbow was dirty. Yes, it was dirty, even though it was on Maxim Lapierre, who ranks just above Darcy Tucker on the International Scale of People Who Should Be Sodomized With A Buick. And, yes, it was deserving of a suspension (which was duly administered). But spending the next five minutes screaming as if we had just witnessed Roto Ruutu tearing the heads from live kittens at centre ice, just makes me want to slam your skull into the glass until the noise stops. So quit it.
  • The Captain cries because you suck: You made Alfie do this. If I were the rest of you, I'd be thankful it was a pane of plexiglass, and not my neck.
Creamy Middle:

Everything you need to know about this game, is perfectly encapsulated in the following:
I heard the names Spezza, Heatley, Alfie, Fisher, and Neil last night. I may have heard "Winchester" once, and Foligno was mentioned when he fell down on the third goal. That's seven forwards. Most teams dress 12. It's not a good sign when almost half of your attackers are invisible. I think Spezza and Fisher each played 45 minutes last night.
The authors of such perfect insight? Four Habs Fans. You know...the opponent.

Up Next:

Tomorrow night, the first in a home-and-home set against the Islanders (7:30pm, SportsNet East). How far have we fallen? Both Gord Miller and his loyal sidekick, Zippy Wondernuts attempted to put our mind at ease by assuring us that the Isles would provide "a more evenly matched test". C'mon guys. That's just mean.