Thursday, November 6, 2008

No More Second Line Blues

Same old story tonight. It's almost getting boring... but not quite.

The Senators just keep rolling along playing smart defensive hockey after a win against the Flyers tonight.

Have you ever seen anyone so surprised to score a goal than rookie Jesse Winchester after he potted the first of his career? He stood there staring in disbelief for at least two steamboats before his arms shot up involuntarily. Not as stunning a moment as Nick Foligno getting his first (combined with the now legendary jump) but it was memorable all the same.

Mike Fisher was again the best player on the ice and is proving me wrong by showing great chemistry with Daniel Alfredsson. It's no surprise that Fisher and Winchester broke out of their lengthy slumps once they were placed on a line with the captain. Bryan Murray and Craig Hartsburg must feel like the smartest guys in hockey after somehow fashioning a bonafide second line when everyone said it couldn't be done without outside help. As good as Winchester has been, you can't help but think that the line would look a little better with an established scorer there. Regardless, Winchester is keeping the spot warm quite nicely.

Has Alex Auld won over the die hard Martin Gerber fans yet? You still see the odd fan holding out hope that the Darth one will rise from the ashes and grab the reigns of this team but those same fans still believe in Santa Claus too.

Gerbs might get the start tomorrow against Carolina and should benefit from the newfound commitment to defense by his teammates. If any guy needs a good night, it's certainly him.


Sportsnet announcer Gary Galley was sure that Christoph Schubert hurt himself after being rammed backwards into the crossbar by a Philly defenseman. I think he lay there more out of embarrassment and disappointment after completely bungling a breakaway opportunity. I'm not sure what kind of move he was trying to execute but it was probably too complicated for the ice conditions at the Kanata rink.

Jason Spezza commented on the ice to the Sun's Don Brennan:

"It was bad," said Jason Spezza. "The weather change (Tuesday) probably didn't help. But they've had a little bit of problem with the ice here.

"I don't know what's going on. Maybe the building is getting a little older. We used to have great ice here a couple of years ago, but something has changed."

Never mind theme song controversies ... the organization better fix this problem right away. It's embarrassing.


It was nice to hear Jason York go on a bit of a rant about oversized goalie equipment today on the Team 1200. One of the issues I've always thought went under the radar was the size of the goalie's catching gloves. The talk is always about the leg pads and the shoulder armour but the massive gloves these guys wear are rarely criticised. You can't even make an argument about those garbage can lids being there for protection. They could be cut in half and still serve the same purpose.

It's one of the great failures of the NHL that the Board Of Governors and the Commissioner let the situation get so out of control that it's now almost impossible to scale equipment size back to what it was in the 80's and early 90's. They put Kay Whitmore (an ex-goalie) in charge of policing the league's bloated netminders but what they need is a guy to come in with a hammer and change things in a dramatic fashion.

I've said it before - the NHL should quit consulting these spoiled brats and just make the changes with one hard and fast rule. More goals will lead to more excitement and more excitement will lead to more ratings and more tickets sold. More revenue means more money for the players. It's win-win for the NHLPA and the NHL.

I want to see goals scored off the wing again and I'm betting most hockey fans do as well.


What's with Scott Hartnell's hair?

That squirrel nest flowing out the back of his helmet is way too similar to the Euro-fro that Michael Handzus inflicted on Flyers fans when he was a member of the team.


Those socks the Senators wear are still brutal (see picture above). Who designed those anyways? In five years, we will look back and laugh and wonder what they were thinking, kinda like Handzus does when he thinks about the hair he used to have.

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