Archive for the Senators Opinion Category

Dearly Beloved…

Posted in Senators Opinion on April 27, 2012 by sensay

We are gathered here today not to mourn the passing of our beloved Senators, but to, instead, celebrate their season.

When I think of the 11/12 season, the phrase “not yet” comes to mind.

Not yet are the young players ready fulfill their NHL destinies, whatever they may be.

Not yet has this team, as a group, come to understand and embrace what it will take to win the Cup.

And, most importantly, not yet am I, or the franchise, ready to see the retirement of Daniel Alfredsson.

On every front I truly, deeply, believe there is much more to come.

GN

Ignorance is Bliss?

Posted in Senators Opinion on April 26, 2012 by sensay

It’s 10:53 p.m., and I don’t even know who has won.

The truth is, I can’t get myself to watch the game.

I know it’s over, one way or the other…I just don’t know if I’m happy or sad.

You see, I came into this season ready for the worst.  Prepared for a long season of losses, frustration and, for the one season at least, futility.

But instead, despite my most desperate attempts to stifle it, I began to grow hopeful.  Hopeful for the short-term at first.  Hopeful that, on any given night, the Sens might just win.  Then I tried, with little result, to fight the urge for hope, hope that this team could actually make the post season.

If you read my blog earlier in the year, you will have noticed my constant refrain that I did not believe this team could make the play-offs.  I was saying this every chance I had, to fight the growing seeds of expectation.

As the season went on, and the wins continued, I started to see a strange correlation between my posting, and the team losing.

I am the last person to be superstitious, but as the season went on, I became more and more so, to the point that, with the post-season within reach, I stopped blogging.

How crazy is that?

Then, when the Sens lost in the post season, after \I blogged, I just could not get myself to post at all.  As if my blogging would decide the fate of the team I love.

Nuts…but no more nuts than allowing a game to actually matter.  A game you don’t have any influence over.

And maybe that’s the root of it all.  Winning matters, and we fans are powerless to make it happen, so we develop these absurd ways of trying to exert some sort of influence.

I know, even if the Sens have lost, I’m not disappointed.

But I will be sad to see this season end.

If they’ve won…well, don’t expect another post any time soon.

GN

 

Winning may gain you fame, but only character can earn you respect.

Posted in Senators Opinion on April 16, 2012 by sensay

We’ll here they are, your Ottawa Senators, in all of their glory.

And yes, I use the term glory, with all of its attached and implied meanings, because, in all honesty, they have been glorious this season.

We all know they will not win the Cup, but we all hope they do.

We all know they aren’t likely to even get out of this round, but we all hope they do.

We all know, the mere fact they are returning home, in the post season, with a win under their belt, is expectedly un-expected.

This team is the little team that could…and, with a little luck (because, like it or not, luck matters), they may even be the little team that does.

My level of pride in this team is un-matched…they may not be the most skilled team we have ever had, but, in terms of fortitude, dedication, and value for money, they’re tops.

Go get ‘em boys, and know, win or lose, you have earned the respect of thousands.

GN

Kyle Tu-Tu, Tu, Tu, Turris!

Posted in Senators Opinion on April 3, 2012 by sensay

For those who have followed this team since inception, you’ll get this reference, and understand why, in having reached the post season when many (myself included) thought they would not, is not just reason to celebrate, but reason to remember other great moments in this teams history.

The win over the Islanders was, and will forever be, a great moment in this franchises lore, and Turris, like Steve Duchesne before him, deserves recognition for his great contribution.

The performance of Kyle Turris was nothing short of inspiring.  Here’s a kid who has languished since his draft, been dragged through the mud, traded and faced the challenge of stepping into the NHL weighed down by all of that baggage, on a team, presumably, going nowhere any time soon.

He stepped into a challenging, and demanding number two role, and although not rock-solid in his points total, has provided this team with what it needed, reliable two-way play.  It is no coincidence that Alfie has had such a great year, while paired with Turris.  The evidence of that was impossible to miss once Kyle was forced to put this team on his back…and did, at an incredibly difficult time.

To the victor go the spoils, and Kyle, you deserve a great deal of “spoils” for that performance, including your name in the annuls of Senator lore.

GN

Bishop The Ace

Posted in Senators Opinion on March 9, 2012 by sensay

Hello from St Pete beach, sorry for the lack of posts, but frankly…I’ve had better things to do!

Two games, two wins, and now, two great hopes.

Lehner and Bishop, a goaltending depth chart the likes of which this franchise has never seen…and this is without having to anoint them legitimate NHL starters.

To say that this franchise has been without depth at the stopper slot would be a gross understatement.  At best this team could lay claim to moments of goodness, even from their starters, but when evaluated from #1 to #3, this club has been a wasteland.

A wasteland no more.

Anderson has been a star for this club.  He, until his recent brush with digital Seppuku, was the lone hope of this franchise icing competitive goaltending, and he did so in the vast majority of his starts.  When he went down, so did the post-season hopes of many a Senator fan (and most possible some within the club as well).  But then up stepped Lehner, posting some truly impressive wins, steadying the position and solidifying his status as a legitimate NHL goaltender.

But only a fool (i.e. Burke) would rest his hopes, dreams and reputation on the ability of an untested goaltender to backstop his teams late season drive for post season play.

Murray, in his wisdom, knew, even with Lehner in the system, this team needed more.  So he landed Bishop…for a relative song.

I’m not about to bestow heir apparent on either of these two lads, but the fact they both have the pedigree, and drive to make the show, makes for a very bright future.

Some may be lamenting the fact Lehner was sent down, I say think about it this way, if Bishop shows well down the stretch, that second could come back to the Sens in the form of a high first or top prospect.

Murray has been a rock star this past year…an absolute rock star!

GN

 

Young Gones – UPDATE

Posted in Senators Opinion on March 4, 2012 by sensay

As I was writing this post Coach inserted Klinkhammer into the line-up ahead of Smith…Hammer is a big bodied, hard working guy with tons of speed and a willingness to score dirty goals, you know, what Smith used to be!

To start the season Ottawa faced the challenge of creating offence.  Many pundits (and myself) wondered, outside of #’s 19, 11 and 9, who would put the puck into the net?

Well, it turned out the offence did come, and not only from the predictable few, but from a broad range of newcomers.  Smith, Condra, Greening all provided the oomph to this teams offensive punch, opening up the ice for the top dogs to provide the finishing touches to wins.

But the prior dazzle has turned into fizzle, and it is now costing this team wins.

The call-up of Lehner has, to date, continued to provide the Sens with winning goaltending, the veterans have continued to score, but now, with the dearth of offence from the Young Guns, games are becoming all too tight.

The Sens should have beaten Chicago the other night…they had the goal tending to do it.  The Young Guns let them down, and if the Sens are going to make the post season, let alone make waves once they get there, the Young Guns have to get back to scoring.

Butler, Greening, Condra and Smith (add Foligno to the mix) have to start hitting the score sheet.  They have the skill to do it, to a man, and we all know they have the desire and work ethic, that’s not the question.  The plan was for these players to improve as the season progressed, unfortunately, the opposite has been true.

Get it going boys, the team needs you.

GN

Some Thoughts

Posted in Senators Opinion on March 1, 2012 by sensay

I deserve to be bag skated for my lack of posts…sorry.

I don’t know if it is because the Sens have been doing so well that I have little to say…they’re saying it all on the ice, or a fear of jinxing them by blogging during this fantastic run to the finish of the regular season.

Probably a bit of both.

But here are some of the things that have been on my mind these past couple of weeks.

The Bishop Trade.

Love it.  There was no denying that the Sens lacked depth in goal, apart from Lehner, and teams build from the net out, making this a critical skill set to have depth at.  Bishop does this in spades, considering his experience and recent performance, all for the cost of a 2nd.  Well done Murray, well done.

Add to this the fact that Lehner was looking far to comfortable as the Sens only option, just going through the motions in Bingo waiting for his call-up to the NHL.  Now Lehner knows he has to continue working and progressing, or risk falling down the depth chart.  It seems to me, based upon recent play, Lehenr is a pressure guy, and Bishop adds a healthy dose of pressure.

Karlsson

This kid has been beyond great, he has, in the past month, been the best player in the NHL, hands down.  The most impressive has been his decision-making and the refinement of his defensive game.  He is beginning to really look comfortable in the defensive zone, and able to use his speed and shiftyness to compete against bigger forwards.

Matt Gilroy

Another good move by Murray.  I don’t expect anything great from Gilroy, but his being on the roster, in place of Lee, doesn’t hurt, and based upon the play of BoroCop, better suits this teams needs going forward…if he stays.

Lehner

Great couple of games, but this talk of anointing him as the #1 is just plain stupid (IMO).  Andy has been a major part of the Sens being where they are in the standings and he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Keep it up Lenny, we all want you to be the great goalie we’re dreaming of, but I for one wouldn’t want to thrust you into a bad situation just to feed your ego.

GN

 

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