Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Karlsson’s Zapruder Film Moment Comes At The Perfect Time
The video was strange, almost as if it was taken clandestinely by a reporter crawling along behind the boards at the Sensplex, squeezing by metal barriers and catching a shaky image of Erik Karlsson with skates on, just moments before security guards got a hold of him by the collar, fed him a few rabbit punches to the spleen and tossed him outside into the Zamboni ice-shavings.
That reporter was Dan Séguin of the CBC, shooting vérité style with his phone on Monday morning, capturing the images that warmed the blood of every Senators fan around the city. Even though it looked like found footage from The Blair Witch Project, it’s already stoked the “what if” scenarios around town as the playoffs approach with Ottawa still in the running for a first-round appearance.
What if Karlsson had the same mystical, almost unspeakable healing powers of Daniel Alfredsson?
What if Jared Cowen, who’s been skating confidently for a while now, comes back around the same time. What if Jason Spezza’s back rebounds back into shape like a slinky all of a sudden? What if Milan Michalek just needed that one last surgery to fix his Bobby Orr knees forever?
What if the whole damn puzzle fell into place at the exact right time about two weeks from now?
If you think about it long enough you can almost convince yourself it’s about to happen and suddenly you’re high-fiving people in your office who you haven’t talked to in three weeks. Spring madness reigns for a moment and you almost forget this Senators team is on a four game losing streak and just four points up on the 9th place New Jersey Devils. And there’s still half of this hellish road-trip to endure, not to mention a return date in Boston Garden waiting at the end like a bully named Chongo standing by your locker in high-school with a shit-eating grin on his face.
This thing isn’t going to be easy to pull off.
The odds are still in the Senators favour to make the playoffs but having all of these guys ready to play is another thing altogether. I’m an eternal optimist, much to the eternal annoyance of my wife, but even I’m wondering if this is going to end up creating expectations that can’t be met.
All of this wishful thinking can’t help but remind you why everyone is so wishful in the first place. And that’s because this Ottawa team stinks lately.
That’s not to say they stink generally. Just lately.
And that’s fine. They almost deserve the right to stink after the amazing, determined season they’ve treated us to so far. Most fans would have been happy with a lottery pick and few memorable games from the rookies after half the team got rolled out of the rink in stretchers. Now they have a chance to see a few playoff games, or at the minimum, a battle to the end of the regular season that should be fun to watch regardless of the outcome.
But still, right now they stink.
Kyle Turris can’t score and can’t eat enough hamburgers to keep from wasting away. The power-play is tough to watch. Most games it feels like you’re watching the 1996 Florida Panthers play the 1995 New Jersey Devils. There’s a fight here and there but nothing that seems heated enough to be exciting. The Toronto Maple Leafs are doing well, thanks in part to many shellacking’s of the Senators along the way.
Kaspars Daugavins plays for another team now and the only barking you hear is coach Paul Maclean ordering players off the ice so they can’t have fun with their “stupid pet tricks” anymore. It’s business time.
The Senators have hit a dry spell both inspirationally and physically. They just seem tired out there and it’s tiring to watch.
But there’s always that “what if” floating out there, skating cautiously at an Ottawa practice rink while CBC reporters crawl along ceiling girders trying to capture a glimpse.
And there’s always tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Until there isn’t another game to play, there’s always another game to play.