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!


Canucnik said...

Can't quarrel with you assessment of Mr. Hartsburg, he is not only "done" here but in the show for another extended period. It's back to the "O" for Hunt.
Brasheer, big football fan wants out early tomorrow; Neiler gets the afternoon off, so the lucky sixth "D" (5,9,21,45) gets fed to "the Donald" early, lets see if anyone can fight or at least defend themself and have the "second man in" ready to go because the Linesmen are notoriously slow when you really need 'em.
Cardinals win! The book has lost too much this playoff. They will get even at "the big dance". Hope you didn't wager to much. (Used to work for the bookmaker.)

Canucnik said...

Corrections (plural): Hunt to the "W" and Brashear with an "A". Too much suger!
More suggestions:
(1) A pitch count for Elliot at 35 shots he comes out no matter what.
(2) Fisher gets to play Right Wing with #22 & #20. (It's good for them too.)
(3) Last time in, we were getting shellacked and the streem of our guys to the penalty box just continued; it was America the "Supreme" day or something.
(4) Alex will cary Kuba with his positioning; won't make any difference but I'll know young Picard is progressing.
(5) Someone (Alf maybe) should tell Volchey to take a couple days off.(AS in stop blocking those hurtin' shots.) Save the body for next year's play off run.
The Leafs just beat Pittsburg. What gives? Is the League worried about our 100 year Habs!

Brenda said...

From your keyboard to murray's mouth. Hartsburg is out.

Tom said...

At some point, people will start blaming Murray for the team's demise, right? He inherited a team that went to the finals, and since then, they've been brutal.

HabsFan29 said...

pretty prescient headline as it turns out

Exx said...

What Tom says can't be denied, but I still waffle about Murray myself.

He seems to say the right things/things I agree with, but, then again, so did Hartsburg (RE: effort). Saying things don't make them so, apparently. Who knew?

And yikes - I hope SLJ doesn't say anything about a member of my family meeting a gruesome demise, lest it come true the following day (although I DO have a mother-in-law ...).

Senators Lost Cojones said...

Wow. I had no idea I had that kind of power. My next title: "SLC wins lottery/imprisoned by score of vestal virgins all between the ages of 18 and 24!"