Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"No Relation" Still With Senators Organization

YaHoo (amongst others) reports that Mike "No Relation" Brodeur has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Senators organization.

(This isn't really earth-shattering news; it is just an excuse for me to giggle. I just like referring to him as "No Relation" Brodeur. I like that nickname better than "Not Martin", which currently seems to be the most prevalent.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Read this. Read it now.

Monday, May 3, 2010

5 Things To Be Happy About From 2009-2010

Well summer has come to Ottawa. The weather is nice and my kids have a brand new play structure in the back yard to play on. Sure, it might be nicer to be continuing down the playoffs towards a Stanley Cup, but really I don't mind so much. In any case, here's my list of things to be happy about from this just finished season.


This team wasn't supposed to make the playoffs at all, or at the most, scrabble in at the tail end of the position 6-7-8 logjam of mediocrity that the East features so much of. Instead, we finished 5th, and made the defending Stanley Cup champions earn their round 1 victory.

As for the round 1 itself, considering that we were running without minute-munching defenseman Kuba, defense-coverage-magnet Kovalev, or either of the "parts" we got in exchange for Heatley -- the fact that we still made Pittsburgh earn their round 1 victory is an achievement in itself. And standing tall, fighting through to a triple-overtime win in game 5 to bring the series back home for game 6, granting team owner Melnyk an unexpected playoff gate -- I think that put this all together and this year was a definite success.

Secondary Scoring in, we had plenty this year.

This year the team had credible threats on all four lines most of the year. Instead of past years where the top line had to do it all, we got a good year from Fisher, quality production from Michalek, and a streaky set of performances from Kovalev.

And I forget how many times the grinder line of Neil-Kelly-Rutuu came up with a big goal to either take the game or to swing the momentum back in Ottawa's favor.

Having such productive lines gave opposing coaches fits, as they'd have to pick which lines to cover closely and which to risk against.

Jason Spezza's New-Found Defensive Discipline

Spezza has shown more willingness to get back after the opposition gets going. He's more willing to get in and grind in his own zone, rather than just floating around waiting for the outlet pass to happen (since lets face it we pay Kovalev a lot of money to do that). I like this new Spezza, and I hope that it continues.

Overall it would be nice if there was more in terms of point production, but lets face it we as fans will always say that. Rumor is that the no-trade clause kicks in this July 1st, and I sincerely hope he isn't traded ahead of that.

Erik Karlsson

At the beginning of the year I said I would like to see him sent down to Bingo in order to get his game together. Turns out that the braintrust at the team came to the same conclusion, and down he went, where he played very good hockey, ending up running the power play down there. Having proved he had the basic hockey skills to do the job, the time came for him to get his NHL-level experience and make his NHL-level rookie mistakes.

Which he did, costing the team several goals at times; but his offensive senses are wonderful, and once he has settled in through the next year or two we can hope that he can develop into something special.

Daniel Alfredsson

What more can be said of Alfredsson that hasn't already been said before? He played his 1000th game as an Ottawa Senator. He brought his A-game every night, playing at both ends. He played top line or shut down. He ran the power play and penalty kill special teams. He played hurt, he played hard, he played with heart.

He is without a doubt the heart and soul of this team.

The one thing I want to mention specifically is his comments after he was injured in Pittsburgh earlier in the year. While the commentators were on the TV baying for blood (followed by much of the blog-o-sphere the next time the two teams met), Alfredsson himself said that the play was a clean, legal hit and it was his own fault for putting himself in a vulnerable position. Now that's class.

Unfortunately the clock is running down on Alfredsson. We say this every year, but it is a fact of life that years of playing hockey will eventually catch up with him and he will have to stop. No one, not even Alfredsson, can continue to do this forever. We can only hope that before that happens the team can get him the Stanley Cup ring he so richly deserves. (And hey, it'd be nice for the rest of us to have the Stanley Cup here in Ottawa.)

Bonus: The Continuing Disaster That Is The Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs continue to suck, and that's never a bad thing. What's so bewildering is that given the brain trust in charge of them, why are they so bad? It boggles the mind.

I would still like to see the Leafs and the Senators fighting for top spot in the conference -- or even the Leafs-Senators games being competitive affairs -- but in the absence of that I'll settle for the status quo.