Thursday, March 5, 2009

Post-Deadline Boom


The Senators bounced back from an uninspiring pre-deadline day loss to the Flames by handling the far from home Edmonton Oilers, thanks to great play from Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Mike Comrie, Anton Volchenkov and Brian Elliott among others.

The Big Three were all a +3 on the night with Spezza taking a team high 5 shots on the net and showing some more moxie and attitude which seems to be a carry-over from his fight the previous game.

Volchenkov is also on a physical tear lately and he seems to be back to dishing out big hits at the blueline, something that was missing most of this year and the last. It may be due to Cory Clouston's more aggressive system where he gives the D-men the OK to step out of position a little more, whether it's for offense or for a big hit. Regardless, Volchenkov looks a little more like himself lately and that's good news for the organization.

The win may be meaningless in the standings but it might be another step towards building a positive atmosphere around this team. It's been so ugly around here for so long with the fans and the media ripping everyone apart that a lot of the fun has been taken out of the game. It must be hard for everyone to be so angry all the time. Maybe it's time to give it a rest.

Tonight was a reminder about how fun this game can be.

***

I know that Brian Lee is currently down in Bingo because he's the only guy who doesn't have to clear waivers but now that the deadline has passed, he should be back up with the big team. A bad penalty aside which cost the team in his last game, Lee was really starting to show that he belonged in the NHL. Bingo is in a fight to make the playoffs but I think Lee belongs in the NHL, at least until the Senators close out the year. I like Brendan Bell and I think he should be re-signed as a depth player for next year, but Lee is going to be an important player going forward and should be playing against elite competition for his development....... Tough night for Shean Donovan. His badly broken beak was a gruesome and awe inspiring sight when the Sportsnet cameras got in good and close to let us watch all the blood drain out of it. Even sicker was seeing the trainer stuff a three inch gauze pad up one nostril while Dono grimaced in pain. The "SENS" lettering on his jersey was almost completely stained in blood. Good times.......

Another reason why play-by-play man Dean Brown is one of the best in the business: Just before the start of the 3rd period the cameras panned in on a couple of young women holding a drink in each hand and sharing a rather passionate kiss for a few seconds. Brown didn't miss a beat and simply said "Everyone is enjoying themselves down at the rink tonight." ..... Another reason why Gary Galley is one of the best colour commentators in the business: When Peter Regin went down after taking a slapshot against his inner knee, Galley remembered what that felt like and described it like this: "You're trying to get your butt off the ice and trying to get that pain out of your head but it just won't leave. The bench looks like it's about ten miles away." He then went on to relate how it felt to get an Al MacInnis shot in the "buttocks" once: "I couldn't sit down for days." Great stuff .....

When was the last time two 89's scored in the same game? I have no idea but it happened tonight when both Mike Comrie and Sam Gagner scored goals. Both players were great and Gagner should have had a hat-trick if not for a razor thin margin on a hit post in the 3rd. Interestingly enough, if the NHL goes ahead with a new net prototype that has more angled goal posts instead of perfectly round ones in the next few years, those types of shots are going in rather than bouncing out. It's a great idea that doesn't unnecessarily mess with the tradition of the game yet promotes more goals. Now about that oversized goalie equipment.....

On the pre-game show tonight, Bruce Garrioch came down particularly hard on Brian Elliott, saying that he may no longer have a future with the organization with Pascal Leclaire in town. That's pretty harsh for a 23 year old after only a handful of NHL games. It makes no sense for the organization to be impatient with him now that they have Leclaire. They can afford to let him develop for another two years if they want and a lot of goalies don't get properly settled until their mid-20's anyways........

Lamest take of the week: Kulka on the Over The Edge show suggesting that Spezza may have only fought Dion Phaneuf because it was his buddy Dany Heatley lying on the ice and not another teammate. Spezza can't win in this town. He does something out of character, like all the fans and media want, and he gets it used against him. Jason York had an apt comment about the relationship between Spezza and the fans when he said he's never seen a player have every single move he makes on the ice scrutinized so closely....

I know the Senators sweaters are no piece of art but the Edmonton Oilers should be embarrassed with their white road uni's.

They are so plain and void of any design that they look like practice jersey's. There's a logo and a number and that's about it. It's too bad because the Oilers used to have some of the brightest and coolest sweaters in the league until they got dulled in the mid-90's craze of darker colours. Unfortunately, while bright colours are back in vogue, the Oilers are getting duller. Time to bring back the bright blue and orange sweaters full-time and not just as an alternate novelty worn 10 times a year.

4 comments:

mickey said...

Garry Galley is great. I remember when they got Garry, Craig Simpson and Jim hughson to do the sens in the playoffs. Now that was a fucking dream team, too bad the sens made it totally depressing.

Jalen said...

Awesome post, Jeremy. Kulka is an idiot. If I could figure out what it is he actually knows something about, I'd ask him to stick to it.

Spezza was great last night as you pointed out (as were others) and deserves credit for playing hard.

Garrioch's tear-down of Elliot was laughable. The guy he thinks makes Elliot unnecessary was a bust at the same age by the same measure.

- Jalen

Marc said...

Garrioch was probably just grumpy because he hadn't eaten anything in the last half hour.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about Lee. He needs to be in the NHL to develop. He still has great potential. It is pretty short-sighted to keep him in the AHL, just to save a few bucks.

I agree with the rest of what you have written also. The Spezza scrutiny defies logic. Definitely, some Psych 101 stuff going on there. Jealous and angry media types taking out their personal frustrations on a happy-go-lucky kid. Hopefully, Spezza learns to ignore them.

Two #89s scoring. I wonder if that will stump Liam someday.