Monday, April 19, 2010
Ticket SNAFU's And The Absurd Return Of Cheechoo???
True story: Someone I know bought a handful of tickets to last night's game in Ottawa well before the playoff dates were set and finalized. He and some members of his family, all bedecked in Sens gear and with their faces painted, showed up at the rink, paid for parking, and were excitedly looking forward to their first ever playoff game.
The problem was that their tickets said "Home Game Three" with no specific date on it. When he initially bought the tickets, he asked the ticket agent specifically for tickets to "game three", meaning last night's tilt. Except that the ticket agent at Capital Tickets gave him tickets to "home game three", which really means game six of the series, if you can follow that. Last night's game was technically home game one, despite it being the third game of the series.
Can you blame the guy for being confused? It's strange that the tickets were labelled "Home Game Three" and not just game six, seeing that Capital Tickets doesn't sell ducats for games at the Mellon Arena. No need for the "Home" distinction in my view. Why not just cut through the confusing semantics and put the actual series game on the ticket in lieu of a date that hasn't been set yet. EDIT: Blood Red Army makes a good point that the Senators didn't know if they had home ice advantage or not when selling those tickets, which validates their reason for putting "Home Game #" on the ticket. The guy I know says he bought the tickets after the Sens were assured to be on the road. Regardless, it's just a sad story I thought I'd relate, the lesson being - don't make the same mistake and make sure you're going to the right game.
You can blame both parties in a way for the unfortunate confusion, but can you imagine the walk of shame this guy and his family had to endure when they found out their tickets were useless for last night? With jerseys and face paint on?
Just brutal, either way you look at it. He was so despondent that he tried to scalp the game six tickets right away outside for face value, with no takers.
I could not believe my eyes or ears when reports surfaced from the Senators today that it's possible Coach Clouston is thinking of inserting Jonathan Cheechoo into the lineup for game four (or should I call it home game two?) .
For one, it betrays a panic, not only to the fans and media, but through your locker room. Cheechoo is a guy who was deemed not good enough to even be a healthy scratch in Ottawa, yet Clouston is now contemplating dropping him into the lineup over two real NHLers in Shean Donovan and whoever the other scratch would be, presumably Ryan Shannon. It was at least nice to hear the seasoned captain of the team, Daniel Alfredsson, say that he doesn't think a major change is needed in order to get back into the series.
Not that inserting Cheechoo would be a "major change", but did Clouston ponder dressing Cheechoo for game one? Of course not. So it's obvious that Clouston has been shaken by what he's seen, while Alfredsson, who has been through these battles many times, is more for staying the course rather than opting for a Hail Mary lineup change so early in the series.
To be fair to Clouston, he hasn't officially made the change yet, but he has already floated the idea to the press, and we're all left wondering why he just doesn't make a concrete decision here. If you're going to make a bold move like that (bold is probably not the right word - perhaps confusing is better) just do it. Don't waffle in front of everybody, compounding a panic move by looking like you're unsure whether it's the right thing to do or not.
Doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
As for Cheechoo, people love him around here simply on the basis that he's a good guy. Yet an even better guy languishes, his career threatened by a coach who seems to have something against him.
And that is, obviously, Shean Donovan. To say that Clouston doesn't believe in Donovan is probably an understatement. Clouston has looked under every rock for excuses not to dress the Senators own version of the "little ball of hate", despite Donovan continually showing that he's not only popular amongst his teammates (giving him a sort of Rudy glow), but that he's effective in the playoffs as his showing against the Pens in 2008 and his long run to the finals with Calgary amply proved.
Clouston threw Shannon into the series, presumably looking for some speed when Milan Michalek went down, but Shannon is miscast on the fourth line. He's a skill guy who can't do the type of grinding needed when slotted beside the likes of Jesse Winchester and Zack Smith. He needs to play with other skill guys to do his thing. Donovan, on the other hand, is just as fast as Shannon, and his game is made for the playoffs - and for that fourth line spot.
Yet now we get Cheechoo hoisted into the lineup, with his "blazing speed and scoring prowess" (sic).
Maybe I'll be totally wrong and Clouston will be right. It's a move so strange that it could just work.
If Cheechoo makes a difference, I'll be the first to congratulate him on this very blog.
Until then, consider me "day-to-day".