Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Momentous Announcement Of Mind Numbing Proportions

I've moved! Please adjust your fantasy blogger rosters accordingly. Hey, count yourself lucky I didn't ask to borrow your truck.

I told you it would be magnificent.

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's So Obvious Now! Somebody Must Have Pictures

Jason Spezza won't be going anywhere at Wednesday's trade deadline. Senators GM Bryan Murray said this morning he has heard all the rumours surrounding the Ottawa centre but hasn't had any calls regarding Spezza, who has a "no movement" clause that kicks in on July 1st. "Not one call about Jason so you can put that to bed," said Murray this morning. "I just want Jason to play well here."
Anyway, I'm still outraged.

Posting may be a little light this week (D-Day excluded...Bryan), so I'm apologizing in advance. You'll know why as soon as it happens. And it will be magnificent!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Leafs 4, Sens 3 (OT): I Am DONE With Jason Spezza

Take him. I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you offer us, just take him. I have had it.

Eight years...EIGHT...since you were drafted. Fifth year in the Bigs. Eight million a year. And you're still an idiotic, uncoachable, infuriating waste of ice time I wouldn't trust to look after my dog. Ever wonder why your name never comes up when people talk about the leaders on this team? Watch this tape. Then watch a tape from your rookie year. You remember that one, right? That was the year you bitched and whined because Jacques Martin said you were a boy playing in a man's league. What do you see? That's right. You see the same mistakes over and over and over again. EIGHT GODDAMN YEARS!!

So which is it, Princess? Do you just not care? Or is it because you're about as smart as a bag of fucking rocks? Are you lazy, or are you stupid? My money is on both.

We lost, and it's your fault. We lost to THE FUCKING LEAFS!! And it's all on you. Thanks for that. Not content with taking two lazy ass hooking penalties, the last of which cost us the tying goal, you have to go an put one IN OUR OWN FUCKING NET!! The HELL?!? We don't have enough problems, you have to go and score on your own guys??

Fuck you, Jason. Eat it. Eat it, and get the hell out. Bryan, trade this piece of crap for everything you can get. Time to lance this fucking boil.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sharks 2, Sens 1: I'm Shocked. Shocked I Tell You! didn't honestly think we would win, did you? Remember those halcyon days when the world was our oyster and the boys were ripping through the bottom feeders on the way to another Division/Conference/League regular season title? Remember how we would always seem to get the right bounce, the timely save or the big goal at exactly the right time, no matter how badly the team had played to that point? Welcome to the other shoe.

The Highs:
  • Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational...second line??? What?: Comrie, Fish, Shannon. It's enough to bring a tear to this cynical bastard's eye, especially this year. I can't remember the Sens ever having this much speed on one line, nor a smoother skater than Runaway Ryan. And neither can the Sharks. So I'm just going to come right out and say it. Please Mike, convince Hillary that Ottawa is Hollywood North (do you really think she'll notice?) and sign a long term deal here. We need you. Even if the flapping tie-down and the over sized helmet make you look like a Timbit.
  • We now reach out desperately for a stat that doesn't suck: A solid number fifteen on the Penalty Kill officially means that we aren't, at least in this category, in the bottom half of the League, right? Right. And if it weren't for The Captain's cold hands (they must be connected to his jaw somehow) and a Roto Ruutu post, we'd have had two shorties on top of that. Hey, you gotta take the gold where you can find it.
The Lows:
  • A lesson needs to be taught here: Hi Brian. I guess you probably figured I'd be talking to you, eh? Look, I'm not going to go all "newspaper sportswriter on deadline desperate for a hook" and blame it all on you. Not when you still have considerable moisture behind those mammoth ears of yours. But seriously, and this is something you'll learn...yes the original "hooking" call was crap. But Paul Devorski and Greg Kimmerly are two of the thinnest skinned, most inconsistent pieces of navel gazing fluff ever to don the zebra stripes (Trust me, I watched Kim come up through junior...I know). You are a rookie. Unless you have a letter on the front of your sweater, or another ten years under your belt...ZIP IT!! And put on some weight, will ya??
  • A special message to Filip Kuba: Are you still here? Go away.
The Creamy Middle:

With less than a minute left in the game, Beloved wandered into the Man Room to freshen up my drink (yet another reason she's the best that ever was) and asked "Are we winning?" "Nope", I answered. "Are we getting bitch slapped like you said we would this morning?", she asked again. " It hasn't been too bad", I said. "Well, that's something then" came the reply, and she left the room. In other words, Sens fans, it's all about the perspective. Thanks Beautiful.

Up Next:

Marvelous. Hey, look! It's the Laughs! Tomorrow night at The Bank. You may not have noticed but they are now a full five points ahead of us in the Division. Sucking the teats off a goat for a season...I can handle. Not making the playoffs for the first (and ONLY) time in twelve years...I can handle...ish. Finishing behind Burke's Army of The Insufferably Obnoxious Undead?? Unacceptable. (7:00pm, Cee-Bee-Cee)

Behind Enemy Lines:

Down Goes Brown. If he wasn't a Leaf fan, I'd totally let him date my daughter...if I had one. No, really, he's that good. The originator of one of the pee-your-pants-funniest Twitter parodies you'll ever read. Spark plug behind the rejuvenation of one of the best interweb feuds of all time. Ultimate exposer of Eklund as the absolute joke and total embarrassment to hockey that he really is (see "End Notes"). Not bad for a week's work.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sens 4, Canes 2: Please Insert Demonic Laughter Here

It has come to this, friends. With no hope of our own salvation, we have little choice but to content ourselves in the hollow pleasures inherent in dragging our betters into the morass of irrelevance and futility in which we've wallowed since...well...forever, inflicting as much shame and self-loathing as we can along the way. Yes, that's right. The Ottawa Senators are the Catholic Church of the NHL. I for one, say...BRING IT ALTAR BOY!! Oooh! April 6th. Habs. That could be fun.

The Highs:
  • We've switched his regular goaltender with Dominic Hasek. Let's see if he notices: Forty-three shots. Spectacular performance Alex. I have absolutely zero faith in your ability to replicate it, but bravo nonetheless. It was so good in fact, that I won't even mention that if not for your channelling the forsaken spirit of Swiss Pastry (remember him?) on the Eaves goal and yet one more Filip Fuck-up (the alliteration pleases me) on the second, you would have had the shut-out. Oh wait. I just did mention it, didn't I? Sorry. My bad.
  • I had no idea you felt that way about us: Antoine, if your goal last night was to put on a rockin' audition for the panting meat inspectors scouts in attendance (who are no doubt pawing through your underwear drawer as we speak) in the hopes of getting traded off this shit hole, consider it met. Two assists, a short handed break, sprawling to block shots, a missed-by-the-width-of-a-pop-princess-pube almost tip in... Truly, a thing of beauty. But just out of curiosity, where was that five months ago?
  • Speaking of Hillary Duff: Welcome back Mister Comrie! And a hearty welcome to that wily and elusive concept known as "secondary scoring". I think we can all agree to simply forget your brief exile to the decrepit ruin that is Wang Island and pretend you never left. Of course, if that were true, we wouldn't be where we are...but no matter, to more important issues! is Hil coming to a game? And has she ever met Carrie? What?? Just askin'...
The Lows:
  • Oh, Captain, My Captain!: Um...Alfie? You do realize that when I call you Superman, I'm speaking allegorically, right? Five days after knee surgery, you're back. Three days after suffering a fractured're back. Please...and I mean this in the kindest possible way...please go away. Go away to heal. You haven't had a real "Alfie" game in weeks. Your speed through the neutral zone is, to put it mildly, pedestrian. Rather than dart in off the half-boards as usual, you dump it into the corner because you can't make the cut to the middle. I saw you bail on a play twice last night, rather than take a chance on a hit further busting the jaw. And I understand completely. So take some time off. It's not like we're going to need you for a playoff run. And I'd hate to see your number go to the rafters five years before it should because you blew yourself up for a worthless season.
  • The Meszaros trade is now officially a draw: Hello, Filip. Rumour has it you LOVE IT in Ottawa. Rumour has it you would like nothing more than to sign a deal here and be as snug as a pair of fluffy bunny slippers. Gosh. That's nice. Oh...but rumour also has it that you're refusing to waive your NMC in a misguided attempt to make that happen. Okay's the deal. Stop taking dumb-ass penalties because you're constantly caught out of position. Stop costing us goals because you always take the wrong guy on an odd man rush or fall for the cross over at the blue line. Stop getting muscled off the puck like a twelve year old girl along the boards or by an opposing forechecker. Stop playing like a stereotypical soft fucking Euro. Stop doing that, and you can stay. Don't stop doing that, and I will make it my mission in life to run you out of town on a rail.
Pithy Observations of Questionable Importance*:

If, like me, you never thought they could top "Nice try, Nogoalov!", I defy you not to shout out "From Russia with GLOVE SIDE!!" at your next meeting. But first a word of may not be as well received as you'd think. Trust me.

*I am not a corporate whore! Well, other than for monster corporations who put out funny commercials.

Up Next:

Oh sweet Jeebus. San Jose, tomorrow night, at The Bank. A local Ottawa radio station has been pimping this game with the tag line "Come see your Senators take a bite out of the Sharks!". Somebody should tell them that "taking a bite" out of a shark will only make it very, very angry. We're gonna need a bigger boat (7:30pm, SportsNet East with the local coverage).

Behind Enemy Lines:

Fear The Fin. Yep. That about covers it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just Throwin' It Out There...

First, a disclaimer: I'm just a fan, nothing more, nothing less. Unlike some fan sites (who shall now and forever remain nameless...and un-linked, at least in my sandbox) devoted to this team, I have never claimed, alluded, pretended or otherwise implied to be some kind of deep cover insider "plugged in" to the Sens front office through some nebulous "source" in order to give whatever crazy idea I happened to pull out of my ass that morning a false veneer of legitimacy.

With that out of the way, here is the crazy idea I totally pulled out of my ass this morning: Jason Spezza is as good as gone.

With no hope of doing anything this year, why bring in Comrie, who is unrestricted in July if not to re-sign him? Mike has said he wants to stay. The Bryan has said he wants to keep him. That will run $4 to $4.5 million a year. And where, pray, will that cap space come from? Just getting Pastry off the books (finally!!) ain't gonna do it. I'll give you a hint...or more to the point...eight million of them.

As much as everyone holds up Verms and Neiler as our prime trade bait, I submit to you we are in possession of a far shinier who will certainly bring a prospect or three along with a much improved first rounder over the 28th to 30th pick the Isles will now enjoy. One whose no-trade clause doesn't kick in until July. One who, after watching him loaf his leisurely ass around the ice yet one more time Saturday afternoon, I can say in all honesty has worn out even my considerable patience with incredibly gifted yet infuriatingly incorrigible giveaway machines.

Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves. But as you do, consider this: Chances are #89 won't demand a bonus if he's forced to break a sweat.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Habs 5, Sens 3: I See Your Clouston Effect, And Raise You The Suck

Let this be a lesson to you. No one man can possibly stand against a tide of 23 lazy, no skating, no hitting, USELESS bags of dicks determined to incite me to violence.

Hey! Who's up for a bag skate?!?!

Screw Family Day. Welcome To The Real February Holiday

The errands are done, the groceries unpacked, and the The fridge has been stocked full of Mr. Labatt's finest, the big screen is warmed up and the Hi Def is Hi Deffing.

Gird your loins, children, for twelve hours of wall-to-wall Ron MacLean, those damn Timbit commercials that choke me up every time and an all-Canadian triple header.

Habs/Sens drops in about 45 minutes. Stop by and say Hi to those fine lawerly gentlemen at Four Habs Fans, won't you? Then take a quick tour through Dennis Kane's Excellent Montreal Canadiens Blog. Hubris? Maybe, but the title doth speak the truth. In either case, if a large man wearing a silk suit, gold chains and a pinkie ring starts following you around, don't worry about it. He's just looking for the Kostitsyn brothers.

Then the travelling circus that is the Toronto Maple leafs welcomes their former ring master, now overpaid Canucklehead back to the ACC with, I'm sure, all of the well-bred, rational decorum for which Leafs Nation is so renowned.

After that, wrap it up with the Battle of Alberta, brought to you by...The Battle of Alberta. Take heart, Sens fans! While their Bud Selig-ified standings have the Sens 17 games back of the Eastern Conference lead, they are but a scant 5 1/2 games from a playoff spot. Hell, the Mets choke up a lead that size before breakfast.

Finally, what better way to end a day like this, this most perfect of days, but to tuck your tired and beer bloated body into a comfy bed and dream of nothing but Fish, Comrie and who would prevail in a Hillary Duff/Carrie Underwood foxy boxing match. In Mazola oil. Naked.

Buckle up, my pretties. It's Hockey Day In Canada!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sens 2, Preds 0: I Wish To Register A Complaint!

Excuse me, miss?? Not sure if you're aware of this, but you have been declared dead. Ya hear me? DEAD! Dead and buried! Passed on! This team is no more! You have ceased to be! You've expired and gone to meet The Bryan! This is a late hockey club! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If we hadn't nailed you to the ice, you would be pushing up the daisies! Your metabolic processes are of interest only to historians! You've hopped the twig! You've shuffled off this mortal coil! You've run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible! This.... is an EX-PLAYOFF TEAM! And run off five in a row?!?! Bloody hell.

The Highs:
  • No no, h-he's not dead, he's, he's restin'!: You finally got your shut out, Alex! Bravo! And for your just reward, you get the start tonight in Denver. I'm happy for you, really. know how you tend to be a to put this gently..."streaky"? A tad inconsistent? Yeah, sure you do. So, with that in mind...any chance you can give us a heads up before your next trip to the Suck Barn? Could ya? That would be great.
  • Remarkable bird, the Canadian Fisher, isn't it, eh? Beautiful plumage!: Fantastic game, Mike. No goals (natch), but your sweet pass to Furbligno (tm TUC), and the stupid speed that generated the (missed...natch) breakaway, coupled with your usual tentiness (tm...ME) inducing crash and bang more than made up for it. Pity you didn't have anyone special with whom to share it, eh? What? Why is everybody looking at me??
The Lows:
  • Well, he's... he's, ah... probably pining for the fjords!: Sorry Alfie, but nobody gets a free pass around these here parts, no matter how close he may be to a Living God. When you look out onto the ice and see SheanDon skating on a line with Heater and Giggles, you know you're having a bad night. And you were.
  • And now for something completely...the same: Note to the starched shirts at TSN: Please have P-Mag tested for a bi-polar disorder. Last week, the only thing that kept him from burying the Sens completely was his preoccupation with the genitalia of a certain Boston Bruin defenceman. Last night, we were the greatest thing ever to don the blades. Either he's very, very ill, or a complete fucking idiot. Your call. Oh...and one more thing. The next time Torts holds himself up as a paragon of communication and people management should be taken as a sign of the impending Apocalypse. Feast on the goo inside each other's skulls accordingly.
The Creamy Middle:

Okay, now your just being a bunch of cock teases. I'll let you in on a little secret. A buddy of mine (FFS-lurker-under-suitably-obscure-user-name and fellow cube dweller) came to me today to expound on his theory that you will in fact make the playoffs. When I opined that that was rather unlikely considering the (now) 22-5 streak it would take to get you there, he ponied up a crisp green Queen to prove me wrong (for the benefit of any American readers, that's a twenty dollar bill and not a seasick Ryan Seacrest...just so we're clear). I took the bet.

Pithy Observation Of Questionable Importance:

OMG!! hes cute! U thnk so 2?? Hes SO cute! ONO!! BRB!!1

LOL!!! 2 close!! C U aftr! KTHXBY!!

Up Next:

Puck drop in Denver in about twenty-five minutes. Not sure if Darcy Fucking Tucker will be playing as he took last night off for "personal reasons". I actually hope he does. It'll be nice to see Fish smash that shit eating mug against a stanchion once and for all. Just for old time sake, you understand (9:00pm, SportNet East).

Enjoy the STREAK everybody!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sens At Preds Live Blog! Your Family Day Refuge!

Once again, the estimable DHS has taken it upon himself to set up this evening's festivities on behalf of the OBC, who, by-the-by are a perfect 5-0 in the competiton for the coveted Watch Hockey And Type Witty Things Into A Computer For The Amusement Of Total Strangers Award (second in prestige only to The Nobel, as is my understanding). Combine that with the team's current four (FOUR!!) game winning streak, and we may well rip an ass-whuppin' hole in the fabric of space time.

So throw on a fresh wife-beater tee, break out the six packs, polish the gun rack and gas up the pickup, we're doin' hockey Nashville style!! Y'all come join us, y'hear?

I Will Have No Further Truck With This Foolishness

First, allow me to apologize for my absence. I realize my promise to "see you tomorrow" was made four days ago, but as that great sage and eminent junkie, John Lennon once crooned, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans". That, and it would seem my muse had decided she needed the weekend off and took all of my pretty words with her, leaving me to gawp at a blinking cursor for hours on end.

But as I stared, slack-jawed at a blank screen, I began to notice something alarming going on at the fringes of our four (FOUR!!) game win streak. The "P" word is starting to creep into the conversation. No, not "Presbyterian" (I know!! I was as surprised as you!), but that other silly religion devoted to unattainable goals meted out by the unseen hand of an all knowing force...the "Playoffs".

Please, everyone, I beg of you. For the sake of the children, let us have no more of this crazy talk.

As pleasantly surprising as the Clouston Effect has been, the stark numbers presented in the raw mathematics (or as the Presbytes call it, "witchcraft") tell us that the Ottawa Senators making the playoffs this season is as likely as my recurring fantasy involving Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron ever coming to pass (seriously, the schoolgirl outfits are one thing, but can you even get fresh flounder anymore??).

For sake of argument, let's say 96 points is the plateau a team will need to reach for the privilege of being prison raped by Boston in the first round. The Sens currently stand at 50 after 54 games. So, in order to reach that magic number they would have to go 23-5 over the last 28 games AND hope no less than three of either Florida, Buffalo, Carolina, and Pittsburgh fall off a cliff (I'm sorry? The Toronto what? Never heard of 'em). To put that into some kind of perspective, the San Jose Sharks started the season 23-3-2. Not sure if you've noticed, but we're not the San Jose Sharks.

So let's just relax, kids. Accept the fact that there will be no spring hockey in Hockey Country for the first time in eleven years. Content yourselves with the inevitable tenth place finish and the middling non Taveres, non lottery pick that comes with it. No really, try it. It's very liberating.

But above all, just celebrate the fact that, thanks to our Cloustonian Overlord, this team is at least fun to watch again. I know I am.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sens 5, Flyers 2: War, Famine, Pestilence And A Three Game Win Streak Walk Into A Bar...

I don't know if I should be elated...or very, very afraid.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sens 3, Slugs 1: Kerry Fraser Can Suck It

Thirteen Buffalo power plays. Roughly five of which were deserved. Until tonight, I had no idea a triple minor was even possible.

So what does that tell us? First: Since they made him put on a helmet, Kerry Fraser has decided to use his whistle to maintain his centre-of-the-universe status. Second? Next time Gator should just say "Fuck it" and break Koleta in half.

No time for a full recap as we're right back at it tomorrow night against the Flyers and I really have to go to bed. After all, this is a school night and Her Majesty demands my full attention come morning. Look for a special, combined Creamy Middle on Friday, chalk full of ranty goodness.

In the meantime Sens fans, just for fun, look back on the last four games and ask yourselves "What if?"

Jason Spezza Wishes To Order Your Special Dialing Wand

As if we needed one, today's Ottawa Citizen offers us yet one more reason why the Senators are trolling the depths of the standings rather than administering righteous bitch slaps as is their birthright. It would seem the boys have been bacon-ing up the butter, and for quite some time at that.

After five months of skating, from the first days of training camp in September to game No. 52 of their National Hockey League season tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, it's almost unbelievable to think the Ottawa Senators could be out of shape. That, however, is exactly what has become apparent. Their conditioning has been allowed to slip.

Now I'm the last guy anyone should come to for anything to do with physical fitness (my last blood test came back with the note "57% lard -- By rights, should have been dead last Thursday") but it would seem to me that if I were...say...the coach of a professional hockey team, I would ensure that my players remain at the peak of their conditioning throughout the season, if only to save my own job (and before the bleating Mimis chime in about how multi-million dollar athletes should know better consider can do all the weights/cross training/cardio you want during the offseason, the rigours of an NHL schedule won't allow you to maintain it).

Remember how the media howled "Coach KILLERS!" after Coach Craig was canned? Sure you do. Remember all of those pretty words from both Hartsburg and Teflon John about how they didn't understand how the team just "couldn't compete" every night? Sure you do. And remember the last time you heard about the coach putting them through a Jacques Martin-esque bag skate following yet another crappy performance? Sure you...oh wait. I can't remember that at all.

Still, Clouston was surprised to find NHLers struggling to maintain the quick practice pace he favoured...[He] said it's simple: Teams play the way they practise. The Senators haven't played hard enough, despite daily exhortations from Hartsburg, and it's reflected in their record.

"You can't expect them to do it in a game if you don't do it in a practice," Clouston said. "That confidence and foundation is created in practise. Obviously your goal is to translate that into a game situation."

You know, the more this Clouston fellow speaks, the more I seem to like him. Suck it up, Butterguts.

Time to Shape Up, Senators [Ottawa Citizen]

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Yet Another TSN Premature Ejaculation: The Cloustonian Conundrum -- Whither "Interim"?

My Sunday morning routine hardly ever varies (and I very much like it that way, thank you Mother).

Up at seven (ish), shower, a pot of coffee, a thorough cover-to-cover read of the Sunday Citizen, including the completion of the Sunday crossword (the only one of the week worth doing...the weekday versions are obviously geared toward small children, the intellectually challenged and Jack Layton) followed by the destruction of a ridiculously unhealthy breakfast of bacon (about a dozen slices), eggs (three, scrambled and cooked with shredded cheese), hashbrowns (also with shredded cheese), english muffins swimming in real butter and orange juice, all lovingly prepared by Beloved, who swears she has no interest in my life insurance policies.

And I watch Dave Hodge and His Bloviating Quartet at 10:30, also known as TSN's The Reporters.

Dave Hodge, he of the sanctimonious drivel, asked a question this morning that struck me as rather premature and not a little unfair. To wit: If Bryan Murray gets fired before the end of the year, or even in the off-season, does Clouston keep the job?

The panel, composed of the usual suspects was divided. What follows is the exchange as I remember it:

Damian Cox: "Sure, why not? They're playing way better than at any point this season, so give the guy a chance."

Michael Farber: "No way. A new GM is going to want his own coach."

Steve Simmons: "I bent my wookie!"

Putting aside for the moment that it was an act of purest stupidity to have even posed the question in the first place, coming as it does three freaking games into Clouston's NHL career (gee, Mike, did you hurt yourself jerking your knee that quickly?), I say "HELLS yes he does!"

You may not have noticed, gentlemen, but he seems to have found the "ON" switch. Sure, the Sens have two losses and a shootout win (in which they blew a two goal lead) to show over his three games, but anyone who has had the great misfortune to watch almost every game of this miserable season *ahem* can and will tell you those last three games are the best we've seen in over a year. That has to mean something. When one of the team's veterans tells a reporter that Clouston's practices are light years faster than any under Paddock or Hartsburg, that has to mean something. The fact that we seem to have regained a bit of our former swagger, however faint, after beating Buffalo and taking a point off the best team in the East after trailing by two, has to mean something.

In May 2002, Bryan Murray, then GM of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks promoted a young head coach out of the AHL nobody outside of The Bryan's inner sanctum had ever considered as NHL Head Coaching material. A year later, the Ducks came out of nowhere before losing the Cup Final in seven to New Jersey. That guy's name? Mike Babcock. And that has to mean something.

Don't get me wrong. I'm perfectly aware that this may just be a case of a team trying desperately to avoid the label of "coach killers" and would practice and play harder for anybody, maybe even this guy. But my point is, how do we know? How do you know?

Even if The Bryan gets canned before the end of the season (and here's saying he won't), why not let Coach Cory ride out the rest of the season. It's not like we're going anywhere. And come April or May, the GM, be it The Bryan or *cough*patquinn*cough* whoever, can sit down with the team and figure out if Clouston is the real deal. But to dismiss his chances after only three games?

C'mon, Dave. That's just stupid.

Sens 3, Slugs 2 (SO): From The Top Everybody!

Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So lets sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again

Altogether shout it now
There's no one
Who can doubt it now
So lets tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again

The Highs:
  • Time to give the Grasshopper some love! Or at least a better nickname: We've had The Sieve (Lalime), The Dominator, Rayzor, Darth Gerber/Swiss Pastry. Now, after committing grand larceny on a suddenly-all-alone Dan Ellis in the opening minutes and standing on his head in the shootout, Brian Elliot needs a nickname befitting of his status as "Saviour from The Suck". Thankfully for us, neither his first nor last name lends well to just tacking on a "y" and calling it a day. Although..."I'm feeling very Elliot-y. In the pants." Yeah, that could work.
  • Haven't you heard? It's the new black: One of the more heartening things to come about as a result of The Bryan's bloodless purge, is the new regime's insistence that its a hell of a lot easier putting a three inch wide rubber disk into a twenty-four square foot space if said disk is somewhere within the vicinity of said space. The boys fired forty-two (42!) shots on goal last night, from everywhere and anywhere. They're not booing...they're saying SHOOOOOT!!
  • We now pause for a special tribute to Jarkko's face: Gotta hand it to you Roto, you certainly for the team. If it weren't for your ability to slam your mouth into various bits of Adam Mair's equipment (stick, glove), Little Nicky never would have had an opportunity to open the scoring on the powerplay. And leaving the blood from the previous (uncalled) high-stick in hopes of convincing the referee that it should have been a double minor? Why, that's just gold. By the way, did Adam want to talk to you in hallway again? Just wondering.
The Low:
  • They're thawing Andrew Peters out as we speak: Tough break for Neiler. A nothing hit at the second period buzzer, quite possibly the softest he has ever thrown in a Senators uniform, results in a yelp, much grimacing and a painful hop, skip and a limp into the dressing room. Although everyone who saw it knows it's the same knee that caused him to miss six games earlier this year, thanks to the league's charmingly opaque injury reports, we are told he is suffering from a "lower body injury". Just once I'd love to see an honest report: "Tucker, Darcy -- Syphilis/Gangrene. Status: Karmic". Now that's not too much to ask, is it?
Pithy Observation of Questionable Importance:

In the pre-game intros, Eliot Friedman gave a shout-out to Greg "the excellent Puck Daddy" Wyshynski for this piece on Chris Pronger's possible new destinations, come the Deadline (Boston? Really? God help us). Why do I bring this up? Well, let's play Six Degrees for a moment, shall we?

A few days after I wrote this, Greg was kind enough to roll it into his Deadspin NHL Closer (he also has a comment somewhere on this site, but I'll be damned if I can find it). Greg gets the love from Eliot Friedman. Eliot Friedman works for the CBC. The CBC once employed a fine play-by-play man in the form of Chris Cuthbert. Chris Cuthbert's daughter is a celebrity hockey fan of some repute. So you obviously know what this means. Restraining orders be damned; I am this close to engaging in sexual congress with Elisha Cuthbert.

The Creamy Middle:

We finally won in a shootout! That's good! We blew a two goal lead. That's bad. The new coach seems to have lit a fire under the complacent asses of most of the team! That's good! There seems to be one notable exception and he wears #19. That's bad. We're starting to hit again! That's good! We lost our best hitter and only bona fide fighter. That's bad. We don't know if he'll be in the line up for Roto's first game in Buffalo since...the incident. If you're Roto, that's really, really bad. And the boys are finally starting to play the way we've always wanted them to and have always known they could, but either refused or were too uptight/confused/lazy to do so under Coach Craig. That's good! There's still no chance in hell we're making the playoffs. That's...Meh.

Up Next:

As mentioned, Wednesday night in that monument to what the Artsy Classes refer to as "Post Industrial Armageddon", Buffalo. And the boys had better buckle up. As we're enjoying Roto's first game in The Queen City since the Nibble in New York, remember the maxim "Ruff at home, Lindy on the road." Last night was the "Lindy" part. We're about to get a front row seat for the other one.

Behind Enemy Lines:

We're going back to the well on this, and reacquainting you with Sabre Kallisions. Why? Not only is Dani one of the funniest and well written young ladies on these here tubes but also because she's too nice to gloat too much after Peters pounds Roto into a puddle of ground Finn, come Wednesday night. That's why.

Update: It would appear that Neiler's injury was a bit more serious than "just the knee" as a lacerated right calf will keep him out indefinitely. So...yeah. You're on your own Roto. Good luck with that.

Glove tap to The 6th Sens for raising the question: Is this the last of Neiler?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bruins 4, Sens 3 (SO): It's ALIVE!!

So! I am ready for you meine liebe. Are you ready for me? Ready for Fuchsmachen?? Oooh, I love it when you're excited! Come then, my little Apfelstrudel! Come into my arms and let me hold you!

The Highs:
  • Oh Nicky, you so fine, you so fine you blow my mind. Hey NICKY!: At the risk of furthering an already alarmingly homoerotic theme (not that there's anything wrong with that), there may yet be hope for that dark time which will henceforth be known as A.A. No...not that one. After Alfie. One highlight reel goal, one ridiculous pass for the assist on Giggles' short lived go-ahead...Yep. I'd hit that. Wait, what?
  • My little runaway, run, run, run, run, runaway: Ryan, dude. Holy crap, I had no idea you had the wheels. Any chance you can get Fish to chase you around the rink a few times? He's been a little sluggish of late (personally, I blame Carrie), and I'm told he doesn't respond unless he has some serious competition. You know, like Seabiscuit.
  • Sweep the leg!: Brian Grasshopper, you grow stronger with each passing sun. Man who catch Phil Kessel wrist shot out of thin air, accomplish anything. Listen not to those who would doubt. No, really. Don't . Please? You're all we have.
The Lows:
  • You do realize, we could have taken Marc Staal, right?: Not your best game, was it Master Lee? But, I have to say that I'm happy you're getting your sophomore jinx out of the way during this, the most wasted of seasons. I look forward to seeing you come back to camp next year with roughly fifty pounds extra muscle on that skinny frame of yours. And the ability to complete a forward pass. That would be cool too.
  • You are dangerously close to being dead to me: In a game where everybody else finally got the message and flew around the ice, you I'm done defending you, Jason. Your goal was a gift from heaven, and entirely undeserved. Not sure you've noticed, but the Deadline fast approacheth. But deep down, you probably know that, don't you?
  • You can't spell "Fellatio" without "Pierre McGuire": Note to comedy club owners everywhere, your newest ventriloquist sensation is here! Not only can P-Mag (tm DHS) tell you that the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club has done everything the wrong way since expansion, but he can do it with Zdeno Chara's dick in his mouth! Reserve now! Seating is limited.
Creamy Middle:

A little tidbit relayed by the TSN crew during a stop in play caught my attention (no, really!). Apparently, the Floating Giggle Meister himself opined that the practices run by Coach Cory were light years quicker than those Coach Craig imposed on our little wall flowers. "Game speed", was the term used. If the resulting effort we saw last night is anything to go by, then maybe we (and by "we" I mean "I") may have given Coach Craig a little too much slack. Maybe that was it all along. Not that we'd have been a serious contender by any means, but...I'll leave you to ponder that as we cast a disinterested eye on the playoffs come April.

Pithy Observation of Questionable Importance:

Early in the first, Coach Cory glared at referee Dan Marouelli, after a typical Dan Marouelli fuck up, and I thought to myself, "By God, I've seen that face before! But where?" Then it hit me. This:

Led me to this:

Which led me to this:

Which means...Welcome to Ottawa, Coach Chucky.

Up Next:

The suddenly, and alarmingly resurgent Buffalo Sabres come a courtin' tomorrow night, the first of a home-and-home, and the last home game before we bury our playoff chances for good with five straight on the road. I hope, for the sake of the Buffaslugs, that they've studied last night's game tape. God willing, this ain't Hartsburg's Senators. (7:00pm, CBC)

Behind Enemy Lines:

Welcome D.O. and SBNation's Die By The Blade. Once a humble Blogspotter, just like myself, he's gone on to bigger and better things and we congratulate him. Let this be a lesson to all interweb scribblers everywhere...Who knows what circumstances await any of us in this murky future of craziness?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kings 1, Sens 0: Welcome To The Suck

So how's that "interim" thing working out for you so far, Cory? After watching this, are you gettin' that lovin' feelin'? Future so bright, ya gotta wear shades? Gettin' jiggy wit it? Other assorted, cliched pop references denoting "happy" but which are really just code for the bitter taste of regret? No? Huh. If it's any consolation, your new charges played the best game I've seen out of them in weeks, so there's that. Wait. That's not much of a consolation at all.

The Highs:
  • Oh sure. NOW he gets emotional: Coach Craig may have been many things, but never let it be said that classy wasn't one of them. Finally free of The Emperor's Message Monkeys, does he avail himself of one last opportunity to hang The Bryan in front of the national media for handing him a sac of crap and expecting gold? Does he rail against the collection of pudding pops he was asked to mould into a pro hockey team? Does he rage against the dying of the light? No, he does not. Not sure I could have done the same.
  • Dost mine eyes deceive me?: Because I couldn't remember having seen it before, I had to check the rule book to make sure it was legal. Yep, there it is, Rule 67.1: A player is allowed the ice he is standing on (body position) and is not required to move in order to let an opponent proceed. A player may "block" the path of an opponent provided he is in front of his opponent and moving in the same direction. Also known as a "Body Check". And it's perfectly acceptable. Who knew?
The Lows:
  • Someone didn't get the memo: Jeez, Giggles. I really do hate to keep calling you out, but really, you aren't giving me a lot of choice here. If it wasn't for your usual one-on-four dipsy-doodles (with the usual results) or the fact that I may have heard Dean Brown say your name without an accompanying "fans on the pass/shot/clear/actual skating" all of twice (maybe), you and I would get along just fine. And a wee bit of advice. When speaking to the press, referring to your brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box Head Coach by his first name doesn't exactly convey an appropriate level of respect for said coach, nor does it signal an appreciation of how deep the shit hole this team has become really is. Just sayin'.
  • I've always wondered what the bastard love child of Kafka and Midas would look like: He'd still have the magic hands, but instead of gold, everything he touched would turn into a molten pile of donkey dung. Two weak shot and one palsy stricken dribbler into the corner. Heater (HEATER!) all alone four feet from the the post. Eleventeen billion shots, from anywhere and everywhere...twelve feet wide or right into that big purple crown on Quick's chest. But don't worry boys, a little CLR and a brillo pad and that rust will come right off. I hope.
  • You only get one chance to make a first impression...Jarkko: So...yeah. Any plans on showing up and letting your new Cloustonian Overlord know he has a first class shit disturber at his disposal should he decide to use one? Hmmm? Any plans? Any at all? Is this thing on?
Creamy Middle:

Naturally, because of the New Guy, I expected a big jump in enthusiasm and level of play, and by and large, that's what I got. The boys came out hard, played hard (mostly), took a ton of shots, actually hit a few guys in different coloured jerseys...all of the things that makes my pants happy. Of course, the fact that none of it made a damn bit of difference leaves me saddened to the depths of my soul. Bring on the lottery!!

Pithy Observation of Questionable Importance:
  • Yogi Berra is alive and well and living in Nepean: Gary Galley, former NHL defenceman/galumphing glacier and current Dean Brown analyst-y sidekick on both SportsNet and HNIC, uttered the following in reference to Kings rookie (and former Canadian World Junior erection inducer) Drew Doughty: "He's unpredictable, but he's consistent." Next, he'll be telling us that ninety percent of this game is half mental.
Up Next:

The imminent curbstomp at the hands of Big Zed and the Big Bad Broons marks the first of three straight Division games. That should be fun, in a repeatedly-slam-your-skull-on-a-cinder-block kind of way. On the upside, we're that much closer to the 11th of April. Why is that significant? Look it up. (7:00pm, TSN)

Behind Enemy Lines:

Say hello to Caveman Strong. Choice quote: "Randy Jones can lick my balls and if i ever see the fucker, I'm pulling a Marty McSorley on his ankle-bending ass." Now that's my kind of analysis.

Enjoy (HAR!) the game, everybody.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kings 1, Sens 0: Um...Yeah. About All That Stuff I Said

See, here's the thing. I forgot the wee fact that we have no talent.

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

See you tomorrow.

And If I'm Wrong, May We All Be Horribly Crushed From Above Somehow

From my keyboard to God's ear...we will win tonight. You have already born witness to my prodigious prognostigatory powers, so doubt me at your peril.

Not only will we win, but we will crush the Kings. The Captain will consume them with lightning bolts from his eyes and fire from his arse. Or is it the other way around? Not sure, haven't seen the movie in a while.

The rest of the boys will come out like someone crammed their colons full of rocket fuel. Los Angeles may not survive the experience. Not just the team. The entire city.

A new coach will do that for ya. After that? We will return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Oh, and one last thing...the next headline writer to make pithy and oh-so-clever Apollo XIII references by rhyming "Clouston" with "Houston" gets my laptop jammed up the urethra.

Puck drop at 7:30, SportsNet East for your viewing pleasure. Be there.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Bryan Takes Arms Against a Sea of Troubles, And By Opposing...Doesn't Accomplish Much, Frankly

Well played, gentlemen. Yet another coach granted the sweet embrace of death, all because you can't or more aptly, won't look in a fucking mirror. Well played indeed.

Thirteen months this has been going on. Thirteen months of the same crap play, the same crap excuses, the same crap soundbites of "trying harder" and "have to play together" and "just have to keep it simple". Thirteen months of bad passes, dumbass decisions, lazy skating, no hitting, non existent forecheck, execrable backchecking...Thirteen months of SHIT!

In hindsight, I'll admit I was rather unseemly in my glee after you managed to get Teflon gassed last season. But it's obvious now it was only because I didn't know any better.

So you tell me, boys. How is this time going to be any different? How is this hard nosed, no-nonsense, "by all that is holy I can change them!" coach going to be any different than the last two hard nosed, no-nonsense, "by all that is holy I can change them!" coaches?

Will it make you, Giggles, actually go digging for a puck along the boards instead of flailing at it with your stick from five feet away, reaching so far that you're bent in half with your ass sticking almost straight up? Will it keep you from being the first guy to the bench while the other team comes screaming into our zone on an odd man rush so you don't get dinged with the minus?

What about you Alfie? God knows I love you, but will a new coach finally make you grab K-Rock or Verms or 6' 3", 230lb Schubie Doo around the neck for bailing on a play to avoid taking the hit and tell them to CUT. THE. SHIT?!?!

How about you, Fish? Think a new coach will inspire you to rediscover the net crashing, forechecking terror of hapless defencemen you were before you stuck your little-bit-rock-and-roll into her little-bit-country?

Oh, and Neiler, for your sake, I hope a new coach will remind you of the differences between playing like prick instead of just flapping your gums about doing it while hiding behind a linesman. In case you hadn't noticed, you're all we have left.

As for the D...every single putrid, rancid, decrepit one of you...Please, I beg. Pray tell, what will a new coach do for you? Will he teach you how to successfully complete a four foot pass? Will he teach you not to force your partner into a cross-ice breakout because you were too stupid to come back to support? Will he teach you how not to get flat footed at the opposite blueline? And most of all, will he show you how to properly clear a crease by putting an opposing forward on his ass instead of giving him prissy little shoves while you try and hook his stick?

And now, here we are. Again. We have "Interim" Head Coach Cory Clouston, fresh off the farm, nary an NHL game on his resume. Oh joy.

That said, it is truly my fondest wish that "interim" is code for "bag skate your worthless asses into the ice until your kids puke". But if, on the off chance it doesn't, there are other options available. That noise you hear in the distance, however faint, is The Pat Quinn Party Bus warming up, and it may just be heading this way. God knows, I'll do everything in my power to flag it down.

So go ahead, gentlemen. Tell me how this time will be different. Better yet, show me. Because if you don't, if you keep on keepin' on (again) sooner or later The Emperor will bring in somebody who will insist on it. But I don't think you'll like it. And this time, it won't be the coach that takes the fall.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jackets 1, Sens 0: It Is Becoming Increasingly Difficult To Have Faith In This Hartsburg Fellow

There's a scene in just about every sappy, inspirational, "Young Billy Bob overcomes his humble beginnings/debilitating mommy issues/history of inappropriate touching to become The Hero" sports movie where the coach tries to inspire his underachieving team by flying into a rage and getting himself kicked out of a game. Or maybe that was just Hoosiers.

In any case, as I watched, it struck me that this game would have been the perfect opportunity for Coach Craig to do just that. Consider: The boys were playing the second of back-to-back road games. We suck on the road. The game was in yet another non-hockey-market rink where the twin concepts of "energy" and "crowds" go to die. We really suck on the road. They didn't get into Columbus until two in the morning. Oh, and we really, really suck on the road. In other words, the three hours of crap we witnessed last night was damn near inevitable.

So did Coach seize the opportunity to fly into an inspirational, spittle doused rage when Gator was hit from behind by Derek Dorsett? No. Was he consumed by righteous fire after Neiler was kicked out for a non-existent instigator penalty for coming to Gator's defence? No. Did he scream or yell or jump up and down on a Gary Bettman bobblehead after the officials realized ten minutes later that you can't instigate a fight without actually, you know...fighting and announced that Chris' true crime was being "the third man in"? No. Was he frothing at the mouth and throwing sticks on the ice after watching aforementioned goat-fucker-in-training Derek Dorsett repeatedly cross check Heater in the chops as the officials searched their respective navels for any sign of competence? No.

And what of his own team? Did he abrade Young Master Lee for backing out of the offensive zone for no reason while we were on the powerplay early in the first? No. Did he throw a perfectly justified door punching, garbage can kicking, snack-table-overturning dressing room fit of pique after the second, in which his fearless warriors managed to register all of ONE shot on goal? I don't know, but judging by how they came out to start the third, the answer Did he take a timeout with a minute and a half to go in a one goal game and the faceoff in the offensive zone, thereby giving his big guns a rest and maybe a chance to pull this pile of shit out of the fire? No. Did he cave Filip Kuba's skull in with a towel rack for being Filip Kuba? No, no and no.

Last year, calling for the head of Teflon John was the easiest thing in the world. We all saw what his "philosophy" was, namely ride 11-19-15 into the ice on triple shifts, then, following the inevitable loss, throw some poor 4th liner under the bus at the post-game presser.

But Craig, I gotta tell ya, I'm having a lot of trouble keep the "Fire The Coach" tag in the closet of late. There are way, way, WAY too many things going wrong on this team for me to lay it at the feet of any one guy. That said, I'd very much like to see new things going wrong than a litany of the same mistakes, the same crap night after night after night. Sooner or later, I'm going to have to blame it on you.

Up Next:

Gird your Super Bowl loins by watching the Washington Capitals make us their bitches tomorrow afternoon. What fun!! Did I mention they beat Detroit today? So that bodes well. Luckily I will be too busy mainlining chicken wings to care (12:30pm, SportsNet East).

Enjoy the (football) game everyone. Go Steelers!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Brutal, Putrid, Nauseating, Useless Piles Of Pus Filled Scrotums...Pick One

Jackets 1, Sens...Sweet. Fuck. All.

Dear Bryan,

With the trade deadline approaching and all hope of anything remotely pleasant happening this season, please banish the following wastes of ice time/oxygen to any place where their weak, incompetent, gutless, stick checking asses will suffer the greatest levels of pain and suffering. Like Long Island:

Alexandre Picard
Filip Kuba
Christoph Schubert
Filip Kuba
Either of tonight's officials
Preferably both
Filip Kuba
Alexandre Picard
Carrie Underwood (sorry honey, but you're obviously a distraction)
Whoever you have coaching the power play
Filip Kuba

Creamy middle to follow tomorrow. For now, Sens fans, feel free to drink heavily, refine the list, and, if you're anything like me, go and punch a few nuns.

Jesus Christ...Doesn't anybody know how to play this fucking game???

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Emperor Attempts To Calm Frightened Populace, Swallows Fiddle

Just because I am now completely numbed to the sucking and wanted to be sure of my own existence, I had planned to break my silence and throw up the usual boiler plate about last night's "game" (that was the worst game in history, blah-blah-blah...goal aside, I still want Picard's testes on a plate, blah-blah-blah...shut the hell up Gator, blah-blah-blah...USING CAPS LOCKS TO DENOTE FRUSTRATION AND INCOHERENT RAGE, blah-blah-blah) when this appeared on my television/in my inbox/before my disbelieving ears:
"Anybody that says we should blow up this organization should get their own bomb and go blow themselves up," Melnyk said at a press conference on Wednesday.
I'm sure I speak on behalf of most sentient beings possessed of opposable thumbs when I ask, with all due respect Mr. Melnyk...What. The. Fuck?!?!

You, of all people, should have known better. You, who packed a plane full of sticks and nets and jerseys and those gawd awful orange road hockey balls and went to Kandahar twice on behalf of Sens fans, on MY behalf, to shower our troops with reassurances that we had not forgotten them, should have known better. You, who sat with them and listened to stories from people who know a thing or two about your recommended course of action, should have known better.

And I'm sure you know it too. I'm sure you fervently wish you could have snatched the words right out of the air as soon as they left your mouth. And I'm sure you'll never say anything so crass and insensitive. Otherwise, please don't bother doing anything on our behalf ever again.

Rayzor Cares Not For Your Slavic Haberdashery

The Kommerades Hackey League's woeful scouting department claims yet another victim, as Ray-Ray is forced to reiterate that he is, indeed, Russia's preeminent fashion queen.

In other news, Five For Smiting investigators have finally solved the mystery of where the first printing of the Ottawa Senators -- 2007 Stanley Cup Champion! baseball caps ultimately ended up.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Fight Fan's Measured Response To Sanctimonious Drivel

Ordinarily, I have nothing against Dave Hodge. Anyone who can sit that close to Steve Simmons and listen to his clueless stammering every Sunday morning without succumbing to the well nigh irresistible urge to drive an icepick through his own eardrums just to make it stop deserves a measure of respect in my book. But sometimes...

For those who may have missed it, dear old Dave went off on a wee rant between periods of last week's Sens/Caps game on the hockey topic du-jour, fighting and the possible banning thereof. In a nutshell, while decrying and tut-tutting the specious arguments and not-so-subtle name calling that has marked the debate from both sides of the issue, he helpfully adds his weighty oppinion us specious arguments and ever-slightly-more-subtle name calling before slapping on a coat of condescending sanctimony for good measure (full transcript here).

So to turn Dave's argument on its head, I too would like to propose a change to the debate "that might make the dinosaurs and the granola eaters agree on something."

I want the proponents of a fighting ban tell me that the game is more entertaining without a fight than it is with one, that the 18000 or so ticket buying souls who stand and roar during every single fight have been wrong all along. I want them to swear to me that now that fighting has been eliminated, they will flock to the rink and buy jerseys and beer and pizza and car flags in numbers never seen before.

I want them to tell me that in no way whatsoever should a player from their team seek to administer some kind of retribution on a fourth line call-up nobody from the other team who took a run at their star player and knocked their star player out of the game or season with an unpenalized cheap shot because it makes them feel bad.

And as long as we're engaging in stereotyping smear campaigns (Dave), I'd like to hear that they want fighting banned in hockey because it's too long to wait for the next UEFA Cup soccer game.

I want them to state, catagorically and without any doubt, that banning fighting will not cause an increase in stick infractions not only because the officials will always catch those fouls, but also because the NHL has such a stellar reputation for imposing subsequent fines and suspensions based, not on the name on the back of the jersey, but on the severity of the infraction.

I want them to finally admit that the "but nobody fights in the playoffs" argument is a canard, a red herring aimed at those who can't see or won't admit the difference between a regular season game in February and the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Final.

But most of all, I want them to watch tonight's All Star Game and tell me that that's the way they ultimately want to see the game played, bereft of physicality or emotion.

Do that, and I'll have no argument with them. I like hockey. They don't. But at least we'll be able to agree on something.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sens 3, Caps 2: YES WE DID! AGAIN!

Dear Mister President,

On behalf of all three Canadians who read this site, I'd like to congratulate you on the great occasion of your inauguration and the successful fumigation of your new home. I had no idea Raid manufactured Marine helicopters.

As I'm sure you'll recall, on the night of your election the Ottawa Senators defeated the Washington Capitals in overtime, one of the very few rays of light in this season of darkness. As it happens, we did it again last night, on the day of your inaugural. This can only lead to one inescapable conclusion Mister President. You are obviously an Ottawa Senators fan.

As I'm sure you haven't yet had the chance to look at the schedule, what with the endless balls and galas and not-at-all-awkward-looking-dancing, I'd like to bring to your attention that the Senators fourth and final game against the Capitals this season is slated for the afternoon of February 1st. You may notice that that is also Super Bowl Sunday. Given the confluence of a Sens/Caps game with yet another Great American Patriotic Event I ask that you, once again, harness the awesome power of your office to ensure a Senators victory.

Please rest assured, Mister President, I do not ask this of you for my own sake, for that would be selfish and petty. No, I ask this for the sake of those most innocent and trusting of souls, those whose very faith in all they hold true and dear and just in this world has been rocked to its very foundation. I ask for the sake of those who long for things to be not as they are today, but as they once were. I ask for the sake of those who can no longer go on in a world where up is down, black is white and where the Ottawa Senators are below them in the standings.

I ask for the sake of Leaf Nation.

Thank you, and may God bless America,
Five For Smiting

p.s.: I would also ask that you not include Aretha Franklin this time. That was, without a doubt, the weirdest version of God Save The Queen I have ever heard.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Habs 5, Sens 4 (SO): Well, So Much For That

Due to certain dinner commitments, I was only able to see the first and third periods (as much as I begged, Beloved wouldn't allow me to wheel our hosts' television into their formal dining room. Something about "rude" and "idiot"), but judging from the excellent game recap supplied by The Artist Formally Known As Sherry, 'tis probably better that way. Alex Picard has already cost me five stress balls, two remotes and one neighbour so far this season.

The Highs I actually saw:
  • Stop that! Stop that! You're not going to do a song while I'm 'ere: Time was that Hab fans would wait until the game was well and truly in hand before breaking into song, and then, only in their own building. It is a sad commentary on the state of the New Habiness that they see no problem a) doing it in an opponent's building and b) doing it with more than eight and a half minutes to go in the third. On behalf of non-Hab hockey fans the world over, I'd like to thank Heater and Fish for delivering a giant Shut The FUCK Up!
  • Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything: You do very well Brian Grasshopper. But remember...Okay to lose to opponent. Not okay to lose to fear. You fear. You lose. Now I go find chocolate bar with almonds.
The Lows I wish I hadn't:
  • Are you sure your name isn't Marouelli?: Lord knows we cause enough of our own problems so I try not to single out the officials no matter how incompetent they may be. Hey, it's a tough job, I know. But sometimes... Setting aside the absolute bullshit pair of calls on Giggles and The Captain that set up a Montreal 5-on-3 and the inevitable first goal, I would like it noted for both the record and the attention of Mr. Dennis Larue: Jason Spezza hasn't hit anyone since Little Suzy Brockmeier stole his Spiderman lunch box in the fourth grade. Really?
  • Next time, try the hot dog vendor: 1-4 in shootouts this year, 8-21 all time. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. You have 22 guys on your bench, Coach, and I'd hazard a guess that 80% of them have had a least one breakaway at some point in their hockey lives. How about trying somebody other than 19, 11, 15 or even 20? Seriously, what the hell do you have to lose?
Creamy Middle:

Meh. Heater The boys did well to battle back for the point, but did we really expect anything different? As good as Grasshopper has been (brutal, seeing-eye-from-behind-the-red-line Kotstopoulos goal notwithstanding), it's a bit much to ask of a 23 year old rookie with all of four NHL starts under his jockeys to win a shootout for a team going nowhere. But on the upside, while the Sens are still the only team in the League yet to win three straight games, we get to spend the next two days listening to the deluded crow about our "unbeaten streak". That'll be fun, right?
Pithy Observations of Questionable importance:
  • He's a real nowhere man, living in his nowhere land: Speaking of Grasshopper, I'd be giving my agent a call if I were him. Four games into his Big League career and he has yet to appear on the Senators official website. And yet, a quick perusal of Bingo's roster leads one to assume that he is now dead to them. The way I see it, there are only two explanations. 1) The Ottawa webmaster has decided, in his or her alcohol induced depression, that it just doesn't fush *hic* fushing matter anymore YOUZE BASHTARDS!! *sob* or 2) Brian is actually asleep on the bus to Peoria and this is all just a dream.
  • Fetch...the COMFY CHAIR!: Back in days of yore, those crazy fun loving kids who ran the Spanish Inquisition had developed a rather effective way of interrogating heretics, witches, Episcopalians, Republicans and other undesirables. They would make their victims lie in a shallow pit with a board over their chest and pile heavy stones on the board until the cumulative weight either caused the poor bastard to confess his heinous sins or explode (either result was acceptable). What does this have to do with last night? If you were one of the thousands of heretical pigs wearing a Habs jersey at SBP, but had once proudly displayed so much as a pair of socks with The Condom Logo on it...I'd like to speak to you.
Up Next:

Tuesday night, at home against Alexander The Great, his sidekick Semin Stain and the ridiculously talented Washington Capitals (7:30, TSN). Here's a fun new game. Drink every time either Gord or Pierre utter the words "secondary scoring". If the Atlanta game is any indication, you won't see the third period.

Behind Enemy Lines:

Greetings to On Frozen Blog. Their subtitle is "A Haven for the Hockey Malnourished". I'll just let that delicious irony wash over you for a little while.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sens 3, Thrashers 2: I'm Feeling SO...Um...Very... What's The Opposite Of Shame?

Two wins in a row for the first time in six weeks! And better yet, two solid efforts in a row in...oh...thirteen months?

Unfortunately as my Live Bloggy duties/witticisms (HAR!) kept me from taking my usual copious notes, or even paying enough attention to what was going on on the ice (and also because I'm in a hurry) I'm pulling it all out of my ass* and rockin' the Creamy Middle Simpsons style. Go!
  • And I, for one, welcome our new goaltending overlord. I'd like to remind him that as a trusted member of the OBC, I can be helpful in rounding up Leaf fans to toil in his underground gummy caves.
  • Because sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I'm tired of making other people feel good about themselves!
  • Please, old people don't need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.
*It's a figure of speech! C'mon. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son!**
**Bonus reference, just because I'm in that good a mood.

Up Next:

Oh crap. Here's where we find out if the new found commitment to, you know, playing actual hockey is for real. Saturday night, HNIC, the Habs. They're like the Bruins, only less hurty. (7:00pm, Cee-Bee-Cee)

Behind Enemy Lines:

Where else?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sens Live Blog And Group Hug -- Now With 70% More Profanity!

As I mentioned last night, I have absolutely zero confidence the boys can repeat their dominating performance against the Canes. If the pattern we've seen since October holds true to form Sens fans, we're in for a dozen or so games of craptacular suckitude.

But is that going to stop the OBC from putting their perfect Live Blog record on the line? Oh Hells NO!

So join us, won't you? The gates open at 7:15pm, puck drop at 7:30pm (TSN with the coverage in all of its Pierre McGuire screaminess).

The usual suspects will be there along with (we hope) some specially invited guests. If all else fails, as I suspect it spectacular fashion, we can always amuse ourselves by composing dirty limericks about Carrie Underwood.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sens 5, Canes 1: A Win Of Heartbreaking Magnificence

God that was beautiful. And also incredibly sad.

When this miserable excuse for a season finally reaches its merciful end on April 10th, we'll look back on this game and ask why. Why couldn't they play like that all the time? Why did it take 41 games to finally show us how good they could be? Why didn't they want to?

Will I see a repeat of that team, my team, tomorrow night in Atlanta? I haven't a clue. And if you held a gun to his head, I'll bet Coach Craig would admit he doesn't have one either. The smart money is on no.

But for one glorious game I could close my eyes and all of a sudden it was November 2007. All four lines were rolling, Giggles was flying, Alfie was dancing, Heater, Verms and Fish were scoring, the D was shutting 'em down, birds were singing, the Earth turned on its axis and all was right and good.

Considering how this year has gone, I'm happy to settle for that.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Halfway To The Golf Course! And Joe Corvo Will Continue To Haunt My Dreams

Hey look! Tomorrow night's inevitable beat-down at the hands of the Hartolina Whaleicanes (Remember this? No, of course you don't. Than how about this?) marks game 41 of our 82 game schedule. My stars, how time does fly when one is chewing on drywall to keep oneself from setting fire to...well, everything.

You know what's really fun to do, in a stick-a-hot-poker-in-my-own-eye kind of way? Jumping into the way back machine and reading last year's Mid-Season Review. Wasn't I cute? Wasn't I just adorable, what with the hope and the faith and the total ignorance of what kind of shit pile the next twelve months would be? Yeah...good times. I have a feeling that this year's review may be a tad less rosy. That is if I can keep it from degenerating into nothing but a string of ShitPissFuckCuntCockSuckerMotherFuckerTits. So far, it's proving rather difficult.

Behind Enemy Lines:

Carolina On Ice is the source for all things Whaleicane. Between putting up brilliant posts of his own and moonlighting on one of the best hockey blogs on the tubes, Dave (or as we Spinheads have come to know him, WufPirate) dropped me a line the other day. After paying his respects to Sens Army (and saying ridiculously kind things about the OBC), he was kind enough to provide a scouting report on what we can expect tomorrow:
...They've lost 2 straight to Florida and Boston on the road after ripping four straight wins. They're playing better overall since the return of Ol' One Eye as coach, but this still certainly isn't a team that would be making a deep playoff run. Captain Brindy has the worst +/- in the NHL - the former Selke winner - if that tells you anything. Not really anyone playing with an edge besides Staalsy most nights. Cam Ward has been eating his Wheaties lately with the exception of Saturday's beatdown in Boston.
So, yeah. In other words...we are totally fucked.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Shot Across The Bandwagon's Bow

I haven't posted anything about the last two games for a very good reason. Frankly, I am running out of ways to say "We suck!". My ability to find new and funny words to describe the same mistakes or express my utter frustration over how a team as talented as this one (on paper) can fail to even show up game after game after game, has been completely exhausted. So I won't.

Let us instead, gentle reader, ponder the phenomenon of the "Bandwagon" and how the legroom on our particular conveyance has improved markedly of late as the fairest of fairweathers suddenly discover that there will be no playoffs this year and scramble off in search of something new and shiny.

To those poor, lost souls, I would offer this: Get fucked right in the ass by a herd of rabid wildebeests you infuriating bag of dicks. It is my most fervent wish to see all of you tied to a pole in a public square and skullfucked with a forklift. You drive me batshit insane. You fucking posers.

I'm not talking about the mouth breathing troglodytes who clog the call-in shows or message boards demanding Emperor Eugene fire the GM/coach/training staff/mascot after yet another loss. You can fault them for many things (grammar and proper sentence structure chief among them) but you can't dismiss their passion for the team. And I'm not talking about those who, out of well meaning if misplaced ignorance, continue to insist that trading Giggles will cure all of our ills. Sure, they don't know what they're talking about, but at least they're sincere.

You know who I'm talking about. You know who they are. You might even work with a few.

They're the guy who sits next to you at SBP; the guy who's only too happy to tell you how he got the tickets for free because his boss couldn't come, and then spends the entire game bitching about the drive into the rink, the parking rates, the line up at the concession and the price of beer before taking off ten minutes into the third period of a one goal game "to beat the traffic".

They're the guy who finds you in the bathroom as you're trying to take a quiet dump and shouts "Hey! How about that game last night, eh? That Mike Fisher looked really good!" over the stall door while you sit there gritting your teeth, pants around your ankles, knowing full well that this obnoxious sac of pus wouldn't be able to pick Mike Fisher out of line up.

They're the woman who festoons her cubicle with Sens flags and posters and coffee mugs and hair scrunchies and a 2007 Eastern Conference Champion commemorative mouse pad but ask her about anyone who played on the team prior to the Final and you're met with a blank look.

They're the guy who exchanges hugs and high fives after every goal with everybody in a bar packed to the rafters for Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Final and then bumps into me you in overtime and asks "So putting the puck in good?" causing me you to miss Alfie's winner as I you stare in disbelief into the depths of a dilettante's ignorance. To this day, I you still want to cave that goat fucker's face in with a Zamboni.

But now, with our season in the crapper and the playoffs out of reach, look how they flee. The free tickets go unused, the bathroom is mercifully quiet and the mouse pad and hair scrunchies have been packed away. So to those snapping their ankles jumping off the bandwagon during the first tough season in over ten years, I say once more: good fucking riddance, asshats.

But before we let you go, know this: All sports are cyclical. Any true fan of any game understands that. The longer our team spends on top, the more brutal will be the inevitable fall. But as true fans, we also know that, barring something aberrant like an ownership more concerned with profit than winning or a 40 year stretch of organizational incompetence, our team will eventually rise again. And when it does, we will be able to stand tall with all of those who've stuck it out, whose passions have never wavered no matter how maddening things may get, and proclaim "This is MY team!"

What are you going to say then?

Code Red [Ottawa Citizen]