Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crash Landing



It was a major disappointment for Ottawa fans with how their team came out in the first period against the Canucks. It was clear that the players just didn't have their legs underneath them, something that is all too common when teams play their first game at home after a road trip. Why that happens, I have no idea, but that seems to be the most likely explanation for such a flat start.

Brian Elliott let in 3 goals on his first 9 shots and I was expecting Cory Clouston to pull out the meat hook.

But Clouston sent a message by keeping Elliott in there. Those goals were a result of shoddy defensive coverage and not solely Elliott's fault.

The young goaltender responded with some big saves in the 2nd and 3rd periods as his team woke up and made it a game. The line of Dany Heatley, Mike Fisher and Ryan Shannon were great to watch and Clouston responded by playing them heavily.

The victim of that decision was Jason Spezza who must have played a season-low 14:19. He was a nasty -3 (but so was Heatley) and had zero shots on goal. He'll need to bounce back with a big game against the Habs on Saturday afternoon.

One loss doesn't derail their far-fetched playoff dreams but they better be prepared to play against a desperate Habs squad.

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but history doesn't seem to be too kind to the Senators when they play those afternoon games.

***

There was something horribly awry with the Sportsnet broadcast tonight in the first period. If you were expecting the game on HD like I was, we were instead treated to a standard definition broadcast that kept cutting out for nearly 10 minutes. Then, like a miracle, we were given the HD feed only to have it ripped from us just a minute later. The rest of the game was in standard.

So they were filming it in HD but decided not to give the signal to us in the East? I can't say for sure but I bet that in Vancouver they were watching it in HD. So why not on Sportsnet East? If anyone has any info on this crapfest, let us know.

***

Here's a stat that has largely gone under the radar: Daniel Alfredsson now sits 91st in all-time NHL scoring.

That's a pretty amazing feat for a guy who has had a season lost to a lockout and some lengthy injuries early on in his career.

With 899 points, e needs one more point to tie Tony Amonte for 90th on the list and will probably surpass the likes of Bobby Orr, Scott Stevens and Gary Roberts this season.

It's not Hall of Fame numbers yet, but he's working on it.

***

Speaking of all-time stats, Jason Spezza is closing in on Radek Bonk for 4th all-time in Senators scoring. Bonk holds the spot with 399 while Spezza is just 8 back after having just passed Marian Hossa for the 5th spot. Antoine Vermette, with 163 points, should pass Alexandre Daigle who sits 14th all-time with 172. Daigle, by the way, finished a whopping minus 137 in his career with the Senators, well ahead of Brad Shaw (-85) for last place. Wade Redden still holds down the top spot in this category with an impressive +159.

The all-time NHL leader in plus/minus is Hab great Larry Robinson with an almost sickening +730.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Sportsnet feed for the Vancouver telecast in the west got the game in HD, I have Bell, HD, Center Ice, etc (live in Ottawa) and the Sportsnet West HD feed was blacked out, the NHL HD feed for the game was blacked out as we were forced to watch the SD broadcast in the East.

I respect the blackout rules to some degree that comes with Sportsnet multi-region channel and that come with Center Ice. Ie if Ottawa and Boston are playing they will black out the Boston feed of the game on Center Ice and force you to watch the Canadian Sportsnet or local feed. I understand in that sense as sponsors, advertisers etc want you to watch there commercials targetted at your area, etc.

But I find it ridiculous (and there should be an exception) when they blackout another HD feed that is available to force you to watch the SD version on Sportsnet or regional channel.

The only worse scenario I can remember where there were 2 occassions I believe the Sens and habs were playing since the lockout, and an english channel was blacked out and we in Ottawa were forced to watch the french telecast on RDS.

Blackouts should not apply if the games are available in HD and you're only offering an SD broadcast or it the broadcast is in a different language.

G said...

about the game I knew they would lay an egg first game back. about the broadcast yes they did have it in HD out west (granpa in vernon is a canucks fan). I live in London and have had centre ice for 5 years and can count on 1 hand the amount of HD broadcasts(that werent national tsn or cbc feature games)of sens games, on the other hand I get all the detroit columbus calgary edmonton vancouver san jose la boston nyr games in HD i want except for when they play Ottawa then i get whatever the lowest quality broadcast is and the feed is usually shite. Last night I was hoping for HD as all canucks games are in HD and I just picked up a 58 inch plasma.....Oh the joys of being a sens fan in the forest city.

Canucnik said...

Jeremy:

No legs for the first game home after a long road trip equals sex, errands and banking everything else is done for them so they really have to concentrate on these big three.

Cory to reward mediocrity by putting the "A" on old #21 is making me question your judgement. He has become hockey's version of the skating turn over. This move borders on "Old Boy" group think.

Jason should stop looking one hundred and twenty clicks down the road and trying to party like those guys! Spez it's not party and play; it's play, win and then party.

Brian, I don't know what to advise, but if you watch Alex, who's been through it, "stay up", stand tall and catch as many as you can. Old goaltender's adage "If you are down (and out) you look bad if one gets by you; if standing tall you can always look down on the defenceman his fault or not.

It's going to take #4 & #24 half a year to readjust to playing normal defence again.

Philipe, you were a gun out west for years but those little mental errors of Tampa Bay are starting to show up in Ottawa. Don't start you will hurt the team and your trade deadline value.

Coach Clouston do not over react and blow it, we want you back next year. There is nothing to be done this year, you gave us back our team to watch, stay cool!

The TV coverage! Van/Ottawa bias?? Executive VP of Marketing totally confusing the techy who has to actually do the job. 1956, the invention of the test pattern (Canadian I recall, CBC no less!) will life ever change?

Anonymous said...

Smith was the only one deserving the A

Anonymous said...

THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT SMITH DESERVED AN A ON HIS JERSEY, HE HAS BEEN THE WORST D-MAN ON THE TEAM THIS YEAR!!!

PS did you see the goal he scored it was an utterly amazing goal.

Anonymous said...

Get a grip! In an game that Ottawa lost by three goals, his +/- was even for the night. Yeah, he's terrible!

Canucnik said...

12:07 you scoring forward!

If you go up ice with a pass (While the game is still on the line in the first period.) six (6) times and do not make a completion that is six times the Nucks get the puck back automatically with no effort.

Bell looked him off twice because if you don't, he passes on the responsibility to the kids to break out when he's supposed to be leading them or at least doing his share.

With his tip in that's eleven (11) "Own goals"... chech your positioning it means you are lagging the play always trying to recover. Picard was blamed for the flickette off the boards resulting in a goal when #21 was out of position and looking the wrong way!

The depth and quickness of the Clouston 2-1-2 is too much for him, he's getting caught deep when ever he pinches.

Finally if you gentlemen cannot see this, you are fired!! Hand in your GTA Scouting Badges and pay General Admission at the front door. We have had altogether too much living in the past around here.