Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tips for (Not) Cheering for Heatley at the Olympics

While the Sens aren't in action, we're spoiled by getting to watch Canada's super power Olympic team take to the ice. This 4 year event is very special and gets me so excited. I simply love this country and this hockey team.

But as a Sens fan, there is obviously some mixed emotion about Canada's #15. It's no surprise Heatley is on this team and, given his talent, he damn well should be. But the fact that all Sens fans, and to some extent Oiler fans, loathe Dany boy makes it tricky for us to feel good when he scores. His two goal performance on Tuesday night was a prime example. And let's face it friends, he's not gonna stop scoring.

So, as we gear up to watch another game tonight, and a few more after that, Another Ottawa Senators Blog has developed tips to help you cope with Heatley's presence on Team Canada. Please enjoy...

Tips for (Not) Cheering for Heatley at the Olympics

#1 - If you own a Heatley jersey, burn it. After the party, and as the hangover's wearing off, go out and purchase a new Team Canada jersey. But who should you put on the back? I suggest Rick Nash. Not only is he a fan favourite, he doesn't pose a threat to the Sens...ever. He's a long term Blue Jacket and Columbus is a long ways away from the playoffs. And even if they ever make it, they should never burn Ottawa in the first round (let's face it, there won't be a second round). So, Nash will never be a guy we hate. And if for some inexplicable reason you hate Nash, you can also get an Iginla jersey, for very similar reasons. And finally, when in doubt, get a Gretzky jersey. Everyone will love you.
#2 - Always keep in the front of your mind that you're cheering for Canada, not any individual player. So, when Heatley scores (and yes, he will again), raise your arms and celebrate for the scoreboard, not the scorer.
#3 - Remember these words, "What a pass!" When Dany scores, it'll most likely be the result of a great set up rather than a flashy dangle. Never give him credit, but lose your mind on the set up that caused the play.
#4 - Enjoy the PK. While we'll all be on the edge of our seats, Heatley will also be flat on his. That's two minutes we can be assured we don't have to see him on the ice.
#5 - For every poor defensive play Heatley makes, say "Fisher wouldn't have done that!"
#6 - While Heatley and the other Sharks are playing 5 games, most of the Sens are mending wounds and getting rest - ready to be fresh for the final 20 games of the season. Don't forget that.

Also, please share tips of your own to help out all us in the Sens Nation! And enjoy the Olympic action. Go Canada!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Three and a Half Defencemen to Consider for Ottawa's Stretch Run

After Murray got the ball rolling last week with the Cullen acquisition, it is widely expected that the team will look at picking up a defenceman to round out the roster for the stretch run. We needed a bit more scoring so we waived Cheechoo and replaced him with Cullen. Our goaltending is what it is - Elliott will ride it out until he falters or Pascal somehow takes his job back.

With the departure of Picard, the injury to Campoli (Karlsson will be back after the break), and the inability of Lee to keep his job, we could use another body back there to make sure we maintain our depth. I have been reading the comments elsewhere that we should get higher end guys like Kubina, Ballard, Robidas, Burns, etc. Guys, let's give our heads a shake. Whoever we acquire is a pure rental and we aren't going to give up more than a 2nd round pick (and maybe Lee, if someone will take him). Ballard and Robidas are signed to long-term extensions and are key pieces of their team's blueline. Burns is too young and valuable for Minnesota to give up on, as well. Kubina is a guy that would be nice, but I just don't think he could be had for just a second round pick and I don't think we want to throw in a decent prospect to even it up.

I think we're looking more at a bottom end defenceman that is an impending UFA, out of the race, and won't cost an arm and a leg to acquire for the remainder of the season. Three options are right here:

1. Dennis Seidenberg, Florida Panthers.

Nothing spectacular, 22 points in 61 games and a minus-1 on a bad team. He isn't huge and isn't an overwhelming presence, but he does his job. He's someone that you could drop into the 5-6 pairing and not miss a beat. Florida has said they are cleaning house and there really is no reason to think Seidenberg isn't going to be available. Moore netted them a second rounder from the Habs and so I think Seidenberg couldn't cost more than that. This is just a simple depth move. I'm aware that Eklund mentioned it on his blog today and he's usually out to lunch with Sens rumours, but this one is at least worth noting.

2. Andy Sutton, New York Islanders

This is simply a big dude. He has had some injury problems over his career and he has basically zero playoff experience, but he's huge. If we are worried about being pushed around in the playoff run, then this is the guy. That being said, we're already icing Phillips, Volchenkov, and Carkner as defensive players out there, so this might be overkill and hurt us in puck movement. He's a good ole Kingston boy that has been stuck in the Isles system for a while and maybe they are ready to part with him, plus we know Murray has worked with Garth in deadline deals. I'm just not sure Sutton is exactly what we'd need, but he is NHL caliber and can hit a dude into the 10th row, if we need it.

3. Milan Jurcina, Columbus Blue Jackets

If you are looking for points, keep looking elsewhere. Jurcina, like Sutton, is a huge guy that can hit hard and clear bodies. The catch here is that the Jackets just acquired him a few months ago from the Caps when he and Chris Clark were traded for Jason Chimera. Jurcina is basically a cheaper, younger version of Sutton. The Jackets are out of the playoffs and again, we've worked with them before in trades. Jurcina should be available as he isn't really a part of the long-term plans in Columbus. If we don't mind parting with that second rounder, Jurcina would be a cheap guy to pick up and fill a hole in a tougher series where maybe Campoli doesn't have the strength.

I guess it really depends on what type of defenceman we need, right? I've named off some defensive guys because they always seem to cost a bit less as far as trade returns. One other name that will get me laughed off the Internet is Mathieu Schneider out of Vancouver, who is currently coming back from injury in the minors. He's 40 years old, but he's a warrior that has seen it all and could be a nice 7th defenceman that we could plug in to run the second powerplay unit. There's no role for him in Vancouver and could either be had on re-entry waivers or via trade. Again, we're looking for a low end guy that can play 5-6 minutes in case someone gets hurt. Depth move.

We have two weeks to think about it while we watch our boys go for Gold in Vancouver. After that, Murray has less than a week to pull the trigger. If the two games over the weekend are any indication, we probably need to get something done that helps us from having to drop Lee back in there during the playoffs.