Monday, November 17, 2008
Hartsburg Blows It
There can be no sane reason for Craig Hartsburg deciding to put Jarkko Ruutu and Antoine Vermette in the shootout ahead of Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
He already made the decision to reunite the Big 3 and, in a sense, put the team in their hands once again.
So why does he try to get cute with the game on the line?
Ruutu on the shootout? Ahead of the Captain who scored the only goal of the game?
Vermette? The guy has already proven over the years to be a master at choking, twice failing to convert prime scoring chances earlier in the period, once on a breakaway and once off a nice setup by Spezza by the side of the net.
It was a horseshit move by Hartsburg and it absolutely ruined what could have been a character building game by a team that was fighting tooth and nail all night to break out of their hellish slump.
Think of it.
With the game on the line and with the chance to end the losing streak (that is threatening his and his GM's job) he decides to sit the team's two best natural goal scorers.
It defies description. Actually, no it doesn't.
It was pure fucking garbage.
Alex Auld was great again. Brendan Bell showed that he deserves another game or two and made nice, easy plays all night. Ilya Zubov played another solid game and he looks like a much better option than the struggling Nick Foligno at this point but injuries to Chris Neil and now Mike Fisher probably means that there's plenty of spots to go around.
In my humble opinion, the Senators worked their asses off tonight and it still wasn't good enough. The fact that they managed to get a point should not dissuade Bryan Murray from making a big move here and Antoine Vermette should be the main chip they cash in.
I suspect the fans reaction to Hartsburg's minor league bullshit may get ugly between now and Thursday when the Senators give it another try.
But for now I need some Thorazine...