I watch a lot of hockey, infact, probably too much at times. Too much as in, Daniel Alfredsson tries to do too much on occassion, or too much chocolate can make you sick, or as in Fallout Boy wears too much make up. You get the point.
I’ll watch anything from Junior hockey all the way to NHL and everything in between – even the Ottawa Senators. Ouch, eh? But before the loyal fans of the Nations Capital start giving me grief about our beloved Sens, let me tell you I’ve been a Senator fan since their reincarnation, back in 92. I was there to witness the years of 9 wins in 82 games and was proud to see their Stanley Cup appearence two distant summer’s ago.
Since then, we’ve seen the Sens fall harder than Ron Burgundy’s brief hiatus from Anchorman extraordinaire/personal hero (you may notice a theme here) duties in the the summer of 2004. Only difference is, Ron recovered whereas our Sens haven’t…yet. Oh, and I don’t think Alfie likes warm milk… Or maybe he does and I’m being presumptuous of the Sweedish kind. Speaking of Sweeds recovering, I hope Mats finds his return to hockey life quickly. I can’t bare another Sundin story this year.
So here’s a few things I think are wrong with the Sens. I swear these aren’t written in our reputable papers here in Ottawa either.
1. Chris Phillips
Talk about someone who’s gotten way too comfy somewhere. I’m not a fan of trading someone just because of a slow first half. I respect the value of Phillips and the leadership he brings to this team. But right now, it’s not there. Chris is a former first round draft pick, he knows hockey, and has been around it longer than I’ve been alive. That said, I wonder where his offensive anticipation has gone. He’s not holding pucks in the offensive zone (especially on powerplays) as well as he use to and he’s taking longer to fire shots from the point. I know he’s been heavily counted on for his defensive skills over the years, but now he’s being asked to step up outside his comfort zone and I think that’s fair. He’s a verteran and needs to be accountable to that. He’s an assistant captain and the excuses are wearing thin. I’m not saying he needs to contribute Wade Redden numbers, but I do think its fair to ask him to provide a presence on the point to force our opposition to better cover our points and give more room for our ailing forwards.
2. Christoph Schubert
Shoot lower. I’m scared his booming shot will kill one of our forwards. Most of our forwards don’t go to the net enough and he’s giving them a good excuse to continue that. That should show you how much heart Nick Foligno has. Seems the emphasis from Schubby is to shoot as hard as possible, garnering little control. I don’t want to see Mike Fisher’s good looks lost to the next big shot either. I still haven’t met Carrie yet. I think having Schubs infront of the net on powerplays could be handy, ala Jacques Martin’s Zdeno Chara strategies from years past.
3. Daniel Alfredsson
It pains me to say this, as this guy is nearly the perfect hockey player, but I think Alfie needs to go back to basics and stop doing too much. I believe he’s burning out from trying to take on too much (see his bad line change in the NJ game on Sunday). He’s often seen compensating for the defences inability to execute crisp breakouts curling backwards back into the defensive zone to make that first pass. It’s cost the Senators dearly in fatal turnovers in recent games to Philladelphia, Vancouver, and Edmonton.
Finally, a few thoughts from the last few days of hockey, both IIHF and the NHL:
- Oshawa Generals forward and newly appointed King of Canada, John Tavares apparently has a no trade clause in what looks to be his final Junior year (OHL). Exactly how does an 18 year old get a no trade clause? On a similar note, upon birth, my future children will be given no movement clauses from my family. Beat that, Johnny…
- Alexander Semin’s “fight” with Marc Staal over the past weekend reminded me of a drunk Wilma Flintstone playing the bongo’s in a really bizare 80s hair metal way. Take that Tommy Lee. In short, it was sad and pathetic. E for effort though.
- Was it me, or did Sens owner Eugene Melnyk enjoy Team Canada’s WJC victory a little too much? What was he doing in the team pictures and why couldn’t he stop hugging PK Subban? Great NHL owner though – MLSE, he cares: take notes.
- Rogers Sportsnet have terrible intermission hosts. Whether its Jason Portuando or Rob Faulds, I just can’t take it. Let Mike Brophy speak for the entire segment or cut to Garry Galley laughing about the Jaarko-bite. That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I’m sure Andrew Peters would agree with me. But seriously, a friend said Ottawa’s newest bad-boy has a new nickname: Ruutooth. Love it.
- Who has a larger gap in their teeth: Alexander Ovechkin or Madonna? Seriously.
- Sometimes characterized as emotionless, conservative, and boring (no I’m not talking about Avril Lavigne… but she does have pink hair now, right?), Ottawa’s hockey fans were terrific throughout the IIHF’s 2009 World Junior Championships. They were crazy, loud and passionate. Take that, girlfriend.
Until next time good readers.
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