Friday, July 24, 2009

To The Point

Bitter Leaf Fan Page has an article about describing something in six words or less. The author took this concept and asked people to describe their relationship with the Maple Leafs using this form of self-expression.

I didn't hear about this in time, but I wonder if they'd have published my first thought:

It's funny because it's true.

...of course, that kind of describes the Senators right now, doesn't it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Alfredsson on Heatley

This has probably been quoted to death already, but here's what the captain thinks:
“It’s so surprising. I thought we were a team that had kind of turned things around and were going in the right direction. We underachieved all year...and we could see a lot of positive signs going forward — maybe try and reach the playoffs next season and go far in the playoffs. Dany, obviously, was a huge part of our success before and I thought would be going foward as well.”
At least he found different words to describe how shocked and disappointed he was. It was kind of sad when Fisher, Neil, Murray and Melnyk all used more or less the same words when asked by the media. Sure, you expect a certain lack of imagination from Fisher and Neil, but Melnyk I'd expect to be a little more eloquent.

I think of all the parties involved, Alfredsson is showing the best mindset possible -- he is looking towards having Heatley in the dressing room this fall and is trying to make sure that the room will be as friendly as possible.

No word on the wires regarding Heatley going to Edmonton today, so I wonder if that is really dead. More likely it is management on both sides trying to play games with each other.

I still think the most likely scenario is that Heatley joins the team, does really well, and is traded by Christmas. While the team offensively looks great with Heatley, Kovalev, Spezza and Alfredsson, the fact is that defensively the team will still be weak. I'd look for Heatley to go to another contending team, probably in exchange for some defense.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Silver Seven celebrates Daniel Alfredsson becoming the longest currently-serving team captain with his top-ten Alfredson memories.

My favorite is the game where he scored three goals and four assists against Tampa in 2008. This set a franchise record for points scored in a single game and led to such brilliant headlines as "Alfie 8, Tampa Bay 4".

From his list though I do not agree with the hit on Darcy Tucker which led to the game-winning goal. This was a game-altering, potentially series-altering play (although the Senators managed to choke and give the series to Toronto). I thought that hit should have been called, but since it was "playoff hockey", it wasn't. While the incident shows that Alfredsson is able and willing to play "playoff hockey" I disagree with the culture that insists that it is necessary to have "playoff hockey" be different from regular season hockey. </sermon>

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Good News, Everyone!

The new guy apparently doesn't read the papers:

Kovalev says Stanley Cup within reach
[...]“Ottawa is a pretty good team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” the flashy Russian star said in a conference call from Russia Tuesday, when asked about why he chose to sign a two-year, $10 million U.S. deal here on Monday.[...]
Make no mistake, if Kovalev has his game on, he could be a producer which would fill the hole Heatley leaves if when he leaves. But while many are still drooling over the prospect of a top-four instead of a top-three this year (assuming Heatley stays), I'm with those who are a bit worried about how we are going to pay for it all... especially since there is still a lack of top-tier defense on the team.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Trivially Obvious

James Gordon wonders:
Can someone tell me how Heatley can ever come back and play here if a trade doesn't materialize?
My answer:
Oh, that's almost trivially easy: put the puck in the net a dozen times in the first dozen games, including one OT winner against Toronto. If he does that, all sins will be forgiven. At least they will at the stadium, even if the media will enjoy grinding their axes longer than that.
If anything, the media will enjoy this kind of situation -- having a hero they can tear down, so that they can build him up again, giving them the opportunity to tear him down again.

The problem is that Ottawa fans are fickle. (Or at least, the media and blog-o-sphere is.) So any excuse to pile on, and people will pile on. See for example practically any thread about Jason Spezza. However, the good news is that Ottawa fans are fickle -- should Heatley start producing, and winning, and the fans will love him again. All of which will make the sense of betrayal even sweeter when the inevitable trade gets arranged around Christmas.

That's Ottawa for you. We can't do hockey, but by god we can do dramah.

Nothing Personal, Kid, It's Just... Something

Dany I-don't-want-to-be-a-Senator-anymore Heatley gets invited to the Olympic team, while Jason Spezza doesn't:
Steve Yzerman, executive director of Canada’s men’s hockey team for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, said in a conference call that his management team has selected a group they feel will have the “youth, experience, size, speed, skill, grit — all the elements that make up a championship team.”

Spezza was among Canada’s leading scorers at the worlds, but selectors feel the gifted offensive centre is too one-dimensional as a player.

If Jason Spezza is described as "one-dimensional", how can Dany Heatley be considered anything else?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Parts For Heatley

So Edmonton's proposed value of an unhappy, 50-goal scorer is a overpaid, underperforming second liner, a young player who might turn into a decent third liner, and a fragile, young defenceman.

My first thought on scanning Penner's stats was "wait a minute, we already have Mike Fisher!"

Throw in not having to pay Dany Heatley any more, and it's got nothing but upside(*).

(*) It's Canada Day. Harsh reality can come back tomorrow.