Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Hungry Heart"


Note: I'll be off to Montreal this weekend so there won't be a new article until Monday at the earliest or until I sufficiently recover from the heavy libations. Sante! (And yes, that title is another Springsteen reference. I'm not that melodramatic normally)

***

The Senators became the last team in the NHL to win 3 games in a row and for that they can thank Brian Elliott. The guy was unbeatable for most of the game and some of the saves could safely be called spectacular.

It's blowing my mind that Elliott has been able to step right into the NHL and start winning the way he has. Of course, his success has been concurrent with the coaching change and all the positives that has brought to the team, but in Philly tonight, Elliott made the difference in the game until the offence got going in the second and third periods.

There have been whispers about the Senators not being in top physical shape this season and it might have been a factor tonight when they began to look tired in third period. They had some troubles getting the puck out of their zone but Elliott bailed them out.

I have to eat some crow concerning Antoine Vermette as well. I made a good natured jab at the boy with the hands of stone just yesterday but he scored a big goal late in the third to snuff out any hope of a Flyer comeback. For all the frustrations he's given fans, it's hard not to like the unassuming and quiet Vermette.

Okay, maybe he could score in a whorehouse...

***

When Dany Heatley scored late in the first period, he probably wasn't thinking it but I was -- that goal was for Kulka and Versage who have been trying to destroy his credibility all week long. How does it taste fellas?...... The second one might have been for a certain Sun columnist who started the imbroglio in the first place with his scalp hunting article earlier in the week......It's going to be tough for Alex Picard to be a healthy scratch, but who is Clouston supposed to take out to make room for him? Picard hasn't played well enough this season to warrant bumping anyone from the lineup just because he's healthy. But there is part of me that would like to see how he does under Clouston's more aggressive system. The guy can skate. But I wouldn't take Brendan Bell out of the lineup for Picard right now. Bell has shown that he deserves some more games and a possible chance to stick around longer than one season, even just as a depth player........I actually think Brian Elliott's shoulder pads are only marginally bigger than Mike Fisher's. I'm not exaggerating. Elliott might have the smallest equipment among goalies in the NHL right now. That makes his success that much more satisfying.....

A recent ESPN poll asked a wide group of NHL players which team had the most disruptive fans. Philly was the winner and you have to wonder if poor Antero Nittymaki cast one of those ballots. He was getting slaughtered out there by the home fans who mock-cheered every time he made a save in the last two minutes of the game...... Someday, I would love to see an NHL goalie in the middle of a bad game just take his net off the pegs, turn it around and push it up against the back boards in protest. That would be the highlight of the year. The only guy I could picture doing that is Patrick Roy (and how soon do we begin to hear the rumours of Roy taking over for Guy Carbonneau in Montreal?)

"Murray v. Paddock Part II: This Time It's Personal"

It wouldn't be a normal week in Senators City without at least one or two mind blowing controversies. Unlike the false crisis that surrounded Heatley earlier in the week over some harmless comments he made to the media, there's nothing lost in translation over what ex-coach John Paddock said about GM Bryan Murray and the Senators players.

He basically threw the whole team under the bus and said that Murray was in line to be fired. Today, Murray shot back with a threat to cut off Paddock's salary and re-iterated why Paddock was fired in the first place.

"There are a couple clauses we could put into play. We're not vindictive in that regard - we're just disappointed," Murray said. "In all of our contracts, you don't have the right to share anything from inside the organization or say anything about the organization. And he is aware of it."

Murray also took the time on Thursday to re-iterate why Paddock was fired last February 26th - despite the fact that the team was in first place in the Northeast Division at the time.

"My only complaint with John was I don't think he worked hard enough to get himself ready or the team ready to play games," Murray explained. "We were slipping so badly that we had to make a change."

The article says that Paddock called Murray Thursday morning to apologize, claiming that he didn't know he was being interviewed at the time. Unfortunately for Paddock, he wasn't speaking to a Russian newspaper at the time which has been the source of many scandals involving players like Alexei Kovalev and Jaromir Jagr who survived by claiming that something got lost in the translation. Paddock simply crapped himself in plain old English.

Murray seems like a nice fellow when he speaks to the media but you don't survive for over 3 decades in the NHL without having the ability to kick the balls off someone when they cross you. Let's not forget Murray ripping Kings broadcaster Jim Fox a new a-hole after getting wind of some criticism sent his way during the game a few years back.



***

It's been a running gag to reference Bruce Springsteen all week long between Black Aces and Sens Army and it's got me digging through his back catalogue.

I may get in trouble for posting this, but "Growin' Up" is my favourite Boss song of all-time (just beating out The River and Open All Night). From 1973's "Greetings From Asbury Park" LP. Dig it.

The Boss - Growin' Up

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Murray's the fuckin man. Classic clip! Good on Paddock to apologize. He was out of line. Dude's being paid for nothing, what's he complaining about?!

Anonymous said...

anon @ 10:36pm

"Dude's being paid for nothing, what's he complaining about?!"

Just a little legal head's up for you. If Murray didn't pay him, a court would make him pay. The only way the Sens could not pay Paddock is if they convinced a judge that they had just cause to dismiss him. That is not "just cause" in hockey terms, but in legal terms. The bar is high. They have to pay him.

Paddock's apology was surely motivated by legal considerations. Murray could cause problems for him if he didn't. I don't take that apology as genuine.

I'm with Paddock on this. Murray shafted him like he shafted Hartsy. Paddock spoke the truth. Murray is next.

Jeremy, thanks again for the head's up on the Sportsnet article. I did not know about Murray's reaction and the apology.

With Murray at the helm over the last two years, it has been one thing after another. Paddock said something this week, and Commodore slammed him last week. I am sure that we will get more of this as time goes on. Does any else get the sense that we are no longer an organization that is respected throughout the league?

Geno, please change the GM in the offseason.

Andrew said...

Did I really just add Brendan Bell to my fantasy hockey team? Uh yeah, I DID

Canucnik said...

Andrew: Smartest move you have made all year.

Antoine says "Jeremy your apology is accepted!"

"Cor!" although we no longer call him that to his face says us (Alf, Heater and Spez) could be the smartest guy (Coach/Strategist)our generation has produced to this point in time. Hey, great time out call.

The power hitter's stroke! Jason normally gives it to him flat and juicy; now he wants it bouncing on edge. Looking to pass, looking to pass, oh heck I'll just throw on the net! Joking of course. Observation when the big guy is going good his upper body is moving independant of his lower half. Arms and legs everywhere but man there movin'.

Jalen said...

Great blog, Jeremy. Enjoy Montreal.

Love the clip with Fox, I had forgotten about that. Murray was right on that one and, frankly, this organization needs more of that to shed its' soft label. For interest, I also like watching Murray's verbal barrage at Ruff and Ruff's resultant red-faced explosion.

Anon 11:19pm - honestly guy, don't opine on topics you don't understand. Unless you've read Paddock's contract with the Sens and the terms of his separation, you don't have a clue about either party's respected legal obligations to the other. If Paddock violates his contract and/or the terms of his severance agreement, the team would have recourse. Paddock understands that and was quick to apologize.

- Jalen

Anonymous said...

Jalen, you're an idiot.

Take a course on employment law or do some reading on case law to educate yourself on what is enforceable in court. You obviously have no idea.

Jalen said...

Anon 12:43pm

Are you really stupid enough to think you have some clue as to the Sens obligations to Paddock, and in turn, his to them, without having read his contract or severance agreement? Do you know what a contract and/or severance agreement is? You think the terms of his employment contract aren't relevant?

I've forgotten more about employment standards legislation and labour and contract law than an idiot like you could ever understand.

Finish high school, genius. Until then, go back to stocking shelves.

- Jalen

Anonymous said...

Jalen, for you own sake, I hope Murray loses his job soon. You're losing it.

Anonymous said...

Talking about kicking someone's balls off, I just found this quote on TSN.ca.

"I know I made the (Joe) Corvo and Patty Eaves trade last year because John wanted me to," Murray stated referring to a pre-deadline deal with the Carolina Hurricanes that saw Ottawa acquire forward Cory Stillman and defenceman Mike Commodore.

"He felt very strongly that (Corvo and Eaves) weren't going to help us and that we could get two guys who could give us a better chance come playoff time. I tried to serve as a general manager as best I could for my coach and it didn't work."

So now he's pinning the Corvo deal on Paddock. Interesting ...

Canucnik said...

Good pick 3:13PM

The timing of Corvo/Eaves was brutal, old Joe was flying and carying the PP to boot. Patrick was hurt no chance show anything to anyone.

Blame (1) A certain writer at the Ottawa Sun. The joke went on way too long. And it was a dirty hurtfull joke!

Blame (2) BM/GM for listening to Coach Paddock, although those two Hurricanes looked to be Joe's equal or better. That's why they call it Monday morning Quarterbacking.

Blame (3) Paddock, first time in thirty years he is his own man, making his own decisions and he blows it. He missed on three or four (Over playing the big line; the goalies etc.)

Blame (4) Joe Corvo... Yous was hatched in "Chicago!" Joe. You didn't come in from the back woods, give yourself a shake! If it's me, I would have confronted that reporter after the intial play off series. A guy as tough physically as you has no room for these delicate psychological problems while you are still playing.

Note: See what a good PR man, armed with the truth (Half truth; whole truth; some truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth SHMG.)can do for the gentleman still holding the position.
General Manager, the most powerfull position in hockey.

Peter said...

"Hungry Heart"? I guess that's one of the classics. I'd have to give the honours to "Atlantic City", though, edging out "Lost in the Flood" and "Mary Queen of Arkansas".

"Black Cowboys" and "The Wrestler" are also great, but they don't have the vintage yet.

Is it first-to-blink for the Springsteen song-title contest? I guess so.

Canucnik said...

Brendon Bell getting beat up by the "Commentors" at Off The Posts.

Bell is working against 6 one way contracts. Ya gotta beat out some guy they hafta pay NHL money to.

Not since Yorkie and Jacques has the PP used Jason so effectively "Side de net!" Bell goes almost lateral to achieve this feat. (Two in two games!)

For a No. 6, he has to cary a 5 who is supposed to be the nuts of the defence.

Brendan is the only defenceman we have who has the balls and ability to go cross ice coming out of our zone and consistantly complete the pass.

So much easier to make that pinch when you have a forward coming back, credit "Clouston", Bell was trying under Hartsburg and got crucified for it. This is his forté!

This was a classic I am going to show these guys my game. Espec ially now that "Cory" is going to play me decent minutes. Come on Ottawa open your eyes and enjoy this young player. He is only going to get better!

Anonymous said...

To all those who "hate" the sun: stop fucking reading it!!! I don't and I'm tired of hearing about it on these blogs. All you're doing is drumming up interest, so more people read it, so they continue what they're doing: printing lies, starting controversy and driving players out of town. Is there really anybody who would not like to have corvo on the point right now? Enough! At least just leave your comments about their articles on their website.

Also, how can you possibly say vermette has hands of stone and not comment on Fisher? C'mon, call a spade a spade.

Anonymous said...

Sweet how murray put that guy in his place. I sure wouldn't mind seeing a little more of that when the sens (and management) deal with the ottawa press. Maybe the clowns at o.t.e and the sun wouldn't run around beaking off quite so much.

-pg

Canucnik said...

1:32PM Good Point.

At the time I'm thinking why am I here reading this. It has been removed from my list of favorites since my last revision.

There was just nothing else doing this AM. It shall not happen again.

I think Antoine has great hands and have been a solid supporter when many have jumped ship. He is fun to watch, the man is simply that good. My only criticism was him and Kelly, during the bad stretch, lost position and got lazy on the PK. Which both did.

pg: the Murray's can all fight (I mean really fight) it just takes a while to get their "blood up". It's amazing that one of the media has not ever been struck down. If this team resided in Shawville there would be blood in the streets.