Another Sens Blog is pleased to present a one-on-one exclusive interview with TSN's James Cybulski. I'm sure you've all seen James anchoring the SportsCentre desk, covering the World Juniors or doing a piece on the Leafs. James is a hometown boy who started his career doing colour commentary for the 67's. Today, he was able to take time out of his busy schedule to discuss the 2009-10 Sens, Clouston and what really goes on behind the SC desk. Thanks James!
Interview in full:
Another Sens Blog #1: Where will Ottawa end up in the Eastern Conference?
James Cybulski: I think it all depends on what they get for Heatley and whether leclaire can bounce back from injury. That edmonton deal could’ve worked wonders and addressed a lot of needs. At this point, I think they’re good enough to battle for a 6th-8th seed in the east.
ASB #2: Stats-wise, what do you expect from Spezza, Kovalev and Leclaire?
JC: Spezza should be good for somewhere in the 85 point range and kovalev should benefit as well with 70 points or more. Kovalev will be motivated to prove the habs wrong so he should be solid throughout the year. That said, they might both be -30 playing together. I’m still unsure on leclaire given the fact that he’s never taken a team to the playoffs and is coming off a serious injury. A goals against average of 2.8 and a save percentage of .905 would be solid in my eyes
ASB #3: Is Ottawa a better team with Heatley? Or would the team be better off with a return similar to what Edmonton offered?
JC: Having a 50 goal scorer is never a bad thing, but he has essentially turned his back on everyone so the sens would be much better off without him if they can find a package similar to what they got from edmonton . Remember, heatley wasn’t much of a factor when it mattered in the playoffs, and while he scores a pail of goals for canada , his track record in big games at the worlds is something to be desired as well.
ASB #4: What are Ottawa ’s keys to success?
JC: What do they need to make the playoffs? Secondary scoring, good goaltending and someone needs to emerge as a top flight defenceman.
ASB #5: Who is Cory Clouston? Is this guy for real, or should Ottawa expect another coach?
JC: The jury is still out on Clouston. The squad responded better after he replaced Hartsburg, but I don’t think its about coaching. Too many underachievers last season.
ASB #6: Is Murray ’s job secure? Or is he hanging on by a thread?
JC: There’s constant talk of this guy being turfed and yet he assembled a team that went to the cup 2 years ago. That said, no more coaches can be fired—if the club stumbles, he needs to go.
ASB #7: Is Toronto ’s hatred of Alfie based on jealousy or disgust?
JC: I think it’s mostly disgust for Alfie…which I find hard to understand because he’s such a good dude. Having said that, the one leafs nation used to refer to as Krusty the Clown, has helped make this one of the better rivalries in the east by giving Toronto a villian to boo.
ASB #8: Does Dan O’toole wear pants behind the desk?
JC: Onrait is the better one to ask, but the last I heard is that he’s usually wearing a red cod piece—much like the one cameo wore in the Word Up! video
Our sincere thanks to James for answering our questions and providing insight from a TSN insider. What do you think of his comments? Agree or disagree? Let us know how you would respond to these questions...