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.