Monday, January 18, 2010

Hastily Made Sens Blog from YOW

My flight from Ottawa back to SC is delayed for fog, so here are my random thoughts on the past week in Hockey Country, or whatever we call it these days:

- Amazing how much can change in a week, eh? This time last week, we were being handed our lunches from the Southeast Division with no sign of an end. This week, we're fresh off two huge wins against bubble teams, our Captain is back with a vengeance, and our highest paid player is ahead of schedule in his recovery. Spezza might be a week away, Kuba is supposedly playing this afternoon, and Michalek is 'very close'. When it rains, it pours but when the sun is shining, she shines bright on our Sens!

- Two great road games last week. We never tried to do too much (although the Karlsson pinch late in MTL was ill-advised) and good goaltending helped. I love the 'back to basics' games that we pull out to climb up from a funk. It really is a shame that we can't play basic, fundamental hockey 82 times. Ebbs and flows of a very long season, I guess.

- On the captain: is this guy amazing or what? The entire team plays differently when he's in the lineup. Not just his linemates, but the entire team. That is a testament to his importance and a knock on the rest of them. It is a few years away, but I will be an inconsolable mess when Alfie hangs 'em up. Who is next in command for the torch? Spetz? Fish? Someone new?

- I love the way Brodeur is playing, but I hate the way some fans are ready to put him as the #1 guy. Can't we just 'ride the hot goalie' without applying ranks to all of them? He's been given a great opportunity and he's blowing away expectations. Let's be thankful for his performance, but let's not think for a moment that he'll be here once Pascal recovers from his concussion/bruised ego. It isn't a contract thing, it is that Pascal is the best goalie we have and he's in a funk. Luongo starts slow, Marty slips up, it happens to every goalie. Pascal's problem is he has the added heat of a fanbase desperate for a goalie that doesn't suck...ever. We don't allow goalies to have a bad game without opening the debate. I'm not sure if Pascal really is THE guy, but he's our best right now and he'll be back between the pipes when his head is on straight. That means that Mike Brodeur, for all his wonderful efforts today, will be riding the buses again soon this year. And no, Don Cherry doesn't really have our best interests in mind...

- If we can play on the road like we did last week all the time, then that might neutralize one of my five reasons why we're gonna come up short of the playoffs. I love that we're winning, but for today, I'll stand by my prediction and hope that the boys will continue to prove me wrong. I miss the playoff badly and boy, oh boy would it be awesome if this lunchpail, ragtag group can squeak in.

Thoughts on Mike Brodeur and our recent road success?


David said...

"Ride the hot goalie" smacks too much of "win and you're in" for my liking.

If LeClaire was healthy, I'd say ride him as much as we could, just to see if he'll ever get his legs (blocker?) back -- ie what we did with Elliot in the spring. This is an important question that needs settling so Murray knows if he still needs a go-to goalie in addition to the woes on the blue line.

But he's not, so let's ride the hot goalie. :)

Rink Rant said...

Thank God (pardon the upcoming pun) that Broduer doesn’t rhyme with Christ! I think all the hype around Baby Bro™ is just a testament to how desperate we Ottawa fans have been for some solid positioning and rebound control. When so many of our boys caught a bubonic plague's worth of injuries, deep down we were all hoping someone was going to take the reigns and just LIGHT IT UP…Regin, Foligno, Shannon, Fisher…someone to just go on an absolute tear all thanks to a fire lit under them by the one thing everyone who lurks below line one craves: Opportunity. Aaaaand we got to instead see stuff like getting shut out by a very unspectacular looking visiting Florida Panflutes (which I paid 50 Canadian dollars to witness). All was seemingly lost amid a troubling road trip of leaf-like proportions. Then came our man Broduer and did just what we were hoping for in the hard times: He stepped it the eff up and gave our beloved bubble team a shot. That said, let us remember, it has been TWO games, three total, with him in and we are still looking at 3W’s-5L’s on the month so we are not over the hump yet. Not to be forever the pessimist, after all, I AM going to the Chicago game tomorrow! I am just saying thanks for the balanced look at the goaltending situation. Broduer has been just an absolutly amazing story but lets also talk about how tenaciously our D has played, helping out Baby Bro™ in tight scramble situations…and holy Christmas…we are putting on the pressure in…get this…the offensive zone! As you made mention of in your posting LeClaire WAS and like it or not IS our #1 man and for 4M+ per year don’t expect to see him going down to bingo any time soon (Don Cherry knows how hockey works! Barf). All I’m saying is…whatever spark Brodeur and (praise be his name) Alfredsson have given the team, it couldn’t have come at better time. 30 Mins to game time!