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]

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Slugs 4, Sens 2: You Want Fries With That?

Hey, why is that man jumping up and down like that? And swearing? A lot? Oh...Oh, no. No, no, no! Oh, no! Bad, bad Ruut! Oh, wicked, wicked Ruut! Oh, wicked, bad, naughty, evil Ruut! You are a bad person and must pay the penalty! Naughty, evil, bad Ruut! Lucky for us (but especially for you), you didn't have to pay it last night.

The Highs:
  • Is it Giggles Finally Shows Up Night already?: Fantastic job, Jason. You played hard, kept your asshat turnovers (just) below your maximum allowable quota of three, potted a couple of goals and I do believe I even saw a back check or two. Well played. So, looking at the schedule...let's see here., too soon. Rangers? Hmm...doubt it. Carolina? Maybe. Ah! Here it is. Atlanta. See you again on the 14th!
  • The Bell tolls for thee: Holy crap, Brendan. I didn't know you had the wheels! Everytime I looked up, there you were, jumping up into the rush or banging down low on the cycle. Looks like your little stint in yonder press box has served you well. If you would kindly tell me where the hell THAT Brendan Bell has been for the last three months and promise to bring him back, I'll overlook the fact that the Buffaslugs first goal (15 seconds in) was the direct result of you pissing your pants and coughing up the puck in our own zone rather than take the hit to make the play.
The Lows:
  • Remember kids, speed kills!: Now, I don't mean to alarm anyone, but our defence is rather, shall we say, disadvantaged in the velocity department. A tad pedantic, if you will (not that this should come as a shock to either of you...*ahem*). But not until I saw the Slugs' speedy little rat fink forwards (hello, Mr. Roy) torch our D to the outside time and time again, or watched GATOR, of all people, get eaten alive by Drew Stafford on Buffalo's second goal, did I come to the full realization of how utterly, brutally, excerably slow we really are. Coincidentally, it was at this point that I also came to the full realization that I'll have to drink more if I'm to survive this season. A lot more.
  • Nice idea. Execution? Not so much: Mister Neil, front and centre if you please. Here is your pencil. Here is your empty pad of lined paper. You will write this down precisely 1000 times. "I will not kill my own team's 3-on-1 by attempting to goad Andrew Peters into a fight one hundred feet away". Now, into the hallway with you.
  • Okay, for realz this time: If that great sage and eminent psychopath Mike Tyson has taught us anything, it's that it really isn't sporting to gnaw on an opponent's extremities. In other words, Roto, biting another player is about as chicken shit a move as can be imagined (YA HEARD ME SWEDEN!). By your own admission, there is a line. You crossed it. It is only by the grace of the officials' natural incompetence that you weren't thrown out of the game right then and there. And it is only by the grace of God and Jason's two ensuing goals that you weren't mashed into a bloody pulp by the end of the second. I would invite you to ponder, over the next two games, why exactly I, Senator die hard that I am, wouldn't have minded in the least had that actually happened.
The Creamy Middle:

If you ever needed an infuriating example of how unfair it would be to make Coach Craig the fall guy for this pile-of-shit season, this game was it. The boys proved to me what I already knew. We can play with anybody, anyway they want, anytime. But, as has been the case for the last three coaches and twelve freaking months, that only lasted for about ten minutes. With few exceptions, the rest of the game was the same litany of disorganization, bad passes, lazy defensive zone coverage and the general "I look like I'm skating hard but I really can't be bothered to give a rat's ass" we've all become accustomed to. That's not a coaching problem, folks.

Pithy Observations of Questionable Importance:
  • Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!: Someday, if I can ever sneak past security, I'd like to ask the fans who pay two hundred bucks a ticket to sit in the first row why, exactly, they feel compelled to pound on the glass whenever the players are mucking it up along the boards within their vicinity. Seriously. Do they just want attention, or do they honestly think that by so doing the resulting cacophony will cause visiting forwards to get so distracted that they abandon the puck to the home team? "AAAAH!! He's banging on plexiglass!! And he has...POPCORN!!! AAAAH!"
  • Be careful. Music leads to dancing. And dancing leads to touching: I'm happy for you, Mike. I really am (you let her wear your pin and varsity jacket?!? Swell!!). But, the risk of being indellicate, I gotta tell ya...considering your performance since you hooked up last March, her abilities as a slumpbuster are in some doubt. Then again, as she is impossibly hot, all is forgiven. And besides, thanks to you, I get to Google pictures like this:

Up Next:

Sweet merciful crap. Our ever so successful road odyssey continues tomorrow night against the Bruins. Not since the days of Orr, Esposito, Cheevers and Park have the Boston bears been this scary good. I'll leave you to ponder the inevitable massacre as I silently curse John Muckler, Zdeno Chara and Peter Chiarelli.

Behind Enemy Lines:

Do you like hockey? Do you If the answer to either of those questions is "YES!" (and why wouldn't it be), then make your way to Stanley Cup of Chowder! Ah...I remember what it was like blogging about a good hockey team. Yeah. Good times.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Laffs 3, Sens 1: Our Long National Nightmare Continues

Hey, on the upside, we're that much closer to having to do this.

The High:
  • Futility has rarely looked so beautiful: Damn, Fish. You were everywhere. You were banging. You were shooting. You were hitting posts. When all those about you were losing their heads, you kept yours about you, said "Fuck that shit" and smeared somebody in blue. In other words you did everything humanly possible to win this game short Natch. I am really, really going to miss you Mike.
The Lows:
  • Dearest Alexandre, how do I loathe thee? Let us count the ways: Aside from the usual brainfarts, crap passes, weak ass stick checks and being caught hopelessly out of position... 1) Perhaps the best strategy for a 5-on-3 advantage is to NOT shoot the puck in such a way as to miss the net by twelve feet, banking it off the back boards at roughly Mach 4, thus causing it to careen wildly back into our own end, killing the powerplay. Just sayin'. 2) Hey, may want, look out for...Blake's coming...just keep an eye on...he's trying the wrap...WHERE THE HOLY SHITFUCK ARE YOU????
  • 1 billion Chinese, and the entire coaching staff, can't be wrong: Hey Schube, remember how you spent most of training camp and the first six weeks of the season pouting like a twelve year old girl because you wanted to play on the D instead of being a fourth line forward? Yeah, sure you do. So here's what you do. Watch this game tape, oh...a couple of dozen times. Pay particular attention to the third period, wherein the final two Leaf goals were a direct result of you shitting the bed. Issue apologies as necessary.
  • Can't anybody play this game?: Sticking with the general defensive theme, it is a rare thing indeed for three defencemen to record a -1 on the same goal. And yet, just when we Sens fans had thought we had seen everything that could possibly go disastrously, putridly wrong this season, we were treated to the sight of just that. Kuba coughs up the puck on the half boards (as is his wont), squirting it toward the Ottawa net at roughly three miles per hour as both Gator and A-Train flail helplessly. One Dominic Moore goal later, the trifecta is complete, the game is tied and I'm pining for Steve Duschesne and Karl Rachunek.
The Creamy Middle:


Pithy Observations of Questionable Importance:
  • Ron Jeremy remains unimpressed: It only makes sense that Ryan Hollweg would be sporting that ridiculous porn 'stache. He is, after all, best known for inarticulate grunting and slamming less than willing co-stars opponents from behind.
  • God, I'm such a hopeless sap: It started in Edmonton during their Cup run, and it was awesome. Hell, we even did it in the Finals. And it happened again tonight in Toronto (and Ottawa...SUCK IT RUSSKIES!!). No matter how hokey or how contrived it may be, hearing 20,000 hockey fans sing Oh Canada acapella chokes me up every freaking time. Even if it's Leaf fans doing the singing.
  • On the flip side of that...: You would be hard pressed to find anybody who supports our troops more than I do (it's why Her Majesty pays me, after all) but at the risk of being branded a pinko commie terrorist lover who eats kittens in his spare time, I have to ask. Am I the only one getting a little unnerved with Don Cherry trotting out our latest Afghan casualties for some special Coach's Corner love? Tonight's episode featured the usual guttural "I'm trying really hard not to cry" noises from His Grapeness, but with the added bonus of some wedding pictures featuring the unfortunate widow. Don, your "I don't usually do this" disclaimer aside, you're getting a little further away from "honour" and much closer to "schtick" than I'm comfortable with.
Up Next:

Our road trip from hell continues tomorrow night in the leafy, totally bucolic and absolutely crime free heart of Newark, New Jersey. At least Fish will have an excuse for wearing his Thug Toque to the rink. He's just trying to blend in with the locals. (5:00pm, TSN)

Behind Enemy Lines:

Say hello to Interchangeable Parts, knowledgeable to the extreme, a fantastic source of all things Devils AND stupidly entertaining. Hockey loving women who can write. Now that is several varieties of hot.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tavares vs. Hedman...Who Ya Got?

You're The Bryan. You've finally listened to reason and blown up the team, having given up on the twin pipe dreams of squeaking into the playoffs as the #8 seed and the ensuing first round sweep.

So now, after playing your cards just right you find yourself sitting in a Montreal strip club pondering next day's draft ("Why yes, Bambi, that IS the first overall pick in my pocket. Why do you ask?").

One is some hybrid scoring machine/uber-leader, genetically engineered from DNA harvested from the sweat of old Mark Messier jerseys, and Steve Yzerman's discarded teeth.

The other is a giant Scandinavian mutant, a young Zedno Chara without the hands of stone or the blazing speed of a beached ocean liner.

You know your team can't score, or stop anybody from scoring on your team.

Tavares or Hedman. Who ya got?