Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Notes

A lot of people will be calling Bryan Muray a few unspeakable names this morning after the player he traded to Carolina, Joe Corvo, scored the game-winning goal last night.

But don't forget - Corvo asked for (some say demanded) the trade and denigrated Ottawa on the way out the door, essentially calling the city a backwater that was too small for him and his family and that the media was too intense (he may have a point there). He also specifically instructed his agent to tell Murray to trade him to an American city.

Is that a guy you really want on your team, Sens fans?

It's strange that fans seem to miss Corvo, a guy who hated this city, but not Wade Redden, who wanted to stay in Ottawa for the rest of his career but was booed out of town by the new generation of hockey fans who think that "Loyalty" is a small hamlet in Southern France.

Also in Murray's defense, Patrick Eaves is not exactly blossoming into a top six hockey player like many thought he would. He has 0 goals and only 2 points in 13 games this year.

What is certain is that you can add Corvo to the long list of Senators killers, the likes of which have included:

Gary Roberts
Mats Sundin
Joe Nieuwendyck
Mario Lemieux
Jaromir Jagr
Steve Thomas
Wendel Clark
Aaron Asham
Martin Gerber


Is it time to start using the suffix "-gate" when referring to the growing controversy over the ice at Scotiabank Place?

Should we be calling it "Slushgate", or "Icegate" or even "Shitgate". Because that's what the ice has become according to a few players and coaches from opposing teams - pure shit.

Don Brennan is the only one writing about the issue in Ottawa thus far:

"Make that two games at Scotiabank Place this week that had the visitors complaining. After Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau called it the worst ice he had ever seen, Flyers D Steve Eminger fell down twice Thursday to give Dean McAmmond and Christoph Schubert breakaways. "Both times it felt like I was skating on cement," Eminger told the Philadelphia Inquirer."

Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren seems to think that it was Eminger's hands, and not the ice, that was made of cement because he traded the young journeyman defenseman to the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday in what can only be described as "Grand Theft" on the part of the Flyers.

They dumped problem child and current AHLer Steve "Scalp Hunter" Downie and the ineffective Eminger for Matt Carle, the guy that the geniuses in Tampa got for franchise defenseman Dan Boyle.

The Lightning even threw in their third round pick to the Flyers. Holmgren is an early candidate for GM of the year starting today. Carle is a highly regarded player (with some question marks) and now the Lightning essentially have two AHLer's to show for Boyle.

If I'm an NHL GM, I'd be constantly making trade proposals to the Bolts because their inexperience is going to lead to further mind blowing mistakes down the road. Maybe the dream of getting Gary Roberts in the red and black is not dead after all.

The gong show continues ...


Peter over at Sens Army is right to question the ice-times given to the fourth line last night in Carolina.

While Craig Hartsburg is no John Paddock, he's been prone to bouts of Paddockitis recently by essentially benching his highly effective fourth liners, Shean Donovan, Dean McAmmond and Nick Foligno.

Donovan has been great nearly every time his skates touch the ice, yet he's floating around the 6 minute mark in average ice time per game and got just over 3 minutes last night in a game that could have used his relentless hustle and knack for scoring. SheanDon is 5th in team scoring and is a +5, yet he's averaging only 7.5 shifts per game. No one else on the team averages less than 10 shifts and McAmmond is next lowest with just over 11 shifts.

Now maybe Hartsburg is using Donovan in this way because the winger is more effective with less ice time and it tends to focus him when he does get on the ice. I don't know.

The good news is that Hartsburg is keeping the Big 3 around the 2o minute mark per game and that should eliminate any fears of burn out around March and April.


One of the best stories I've read all year: James Duthie's feature on Boston goalie Tim Thomas.

"He wore the same beaten up pads for years, repairing them over and over until they ... well ... disintegrated.

"I was playing for the Lakeland Jets and (former NHLer) Joe Murphy was skating with us while he was holding out with the Oilers," Thomas says. "He took a shot and it literally went right through my pad and out the backside."


We never really need a reason to show a clip from Slapshot. Here is perhaps the funniest 2 minutes in sports movie history. Enjoy your Saturday.

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