Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Scratching Smith Doesn't Make Sense
It's strange how things work out sometimes.
I was all ready to go on a rant about Craig Hartsburg's decision to sit grizzled vet Jason Smith and not youngster Alex Picard. Then, Picard, whom I've been picking on all year, goes out and plays one of the best games I've seen him have all season. He scored a one-timer goal off a great feed from Daniel Alfredsson that had both me and broadcaster Gary Galley fooled. With that huge windup and rocket shot, I was convinced that All -Star Dany Heatley had just cranked in another one.
Picard was also decisive with the puck, both in his own zone and breaking out of it and looked good on the power play. It would have been hard to write the preceding sentence during any stretch of the season so far but maybe Picard really does have an upside that I've ignored.
That being said, I still think it was a bad move to make Jason Smith a healthy scratch. I'm not sure what good it does to sit a warrior like Smith who is also supposed to be a part of your leadership group. But who else was Hartsburg supposed to sit? Brendan Bell was coming off a game where he had scored the game-winner against Washington and sitting him against New Jersey might have also sent the wrong message to the guys in the room.
Now that the Jersey game is over and the Senators prepare to hit the road again, I hope Hartsburg comes to his senses and puts Smith back in the lineup where he belongs. Bell has the ability to step in and provide some spark but I don't think you need to do it at the expense of a proud and effective veteran.
Along with Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov, Smith provides the defensive balance on this team and having him in the lineup still leaves room for 3 of your more offensive defenseman. Yet Hartsburg was quoted after the morning skate as saying that he had too many "defensive guys" on the back end. I think the problem is the other way around. He doesn't have enough offense back there so he's trying to compensate by shifting the balance with quantity over quality.
If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll know that I've been a little peeved at the Senators decision to drop their traditional pre-opening faceoff song and replace it with some modern canned FM rock crap that is as utterly forgettable as it is annoying.
Well, now there are others raising their voice about this issue. And one individual has taken it upon himself to start a Facebook page and a petition devoted to bringing the song back.
In case you're unaware of what song we're talking about, this is it:
Yes it's overly dramatic and a little corny, but it has been there since the first year of the franchise until the geniuses from the in-rink entertainment division decided that Sens fans don't care about tradition and that they should be subjected to just a few more minutes of Nickelback inspired droning that is also played incessantly every whistle of the game.
That corny old theme song was one of the things that let you know you were in the Senators rink, and not in Nashville or Florida or Carolina.
It's too bad that the organization is allergic to all things traditional which includes changing the uniforms and the logo whenever they get a chance.
You can help change this by signing the petition or just email the in-rink entertainment guy yourself: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Jersey coach Brent Sutter has a funny habit of tugging on his left ear during the game. It kind of looks like he's talking on a cell phone, ordering a pizza or something. Remember when Wade Redden used to blink over and over again before every faceoff? Not that this has anything to do with anything, but you have to talk about something....... I finally broke down and watched "Slapshot 2: Breaking The Ice" tonight. I'm fully aware that a part 3 has recently come out but I had been putting off part 2 for about 6 or 7 years now. And yes, it was as bad as I expected. The only time I smiled was when Stephen Baldwin got punched in the face by his female coach (who he was sexually assaulting outside of a bar in a scene intended to be funny). The film would have been satisfying if it ended right there along with Baldwin's acting career.......
Brendan Shanahan looked a lot like Mark Messier on his third period goal. Just like the Moose, Shanny came in on the off wing and released a laser-like wrist shot that seemed to come a second earlier than Brian Elliott expected. The only difference is that Messier would shoot on his off-foot as well which would really throw the goalies off. Shanahan just overpowers guys ........ Elliott was good tonight despite letting in 4 goals. He also showed that flashy glove hand a few times.
The winter of 2008 - 2009 will be a season to forget in Ottawa. The Senators are terrible, the bus drivers are on strike and now we get word that the Chalk River Nuclear Facility just west of town accidentally released a "significant amount of radiation" into the atmosphere back in December. They are also leaking gallons of radiated waste water straight into the Ottawa river every day now because they don't have the time to repair it.
Seriously, what is that? A f**king nuclear leak? Are you kidding me dude?
This town is straight up f**ked right now.
Have a good day, eh.