... because you know that just isn't right.
· As Adam from The Hater Nation would say, "I'm pulling a bit of a Bish right now", but time and circumstances didn't allow me to promptly comment on what took place last week between Buffalo and Ottawa. Therefore, this is all I have to say:
1) What Chris Neil did was the equivalent of someone paying a visit to the Mustang Ranch -- just because it's legal doesn't necessarily make it right (or...uh...clean, for that matter);
2) How more of this incident didn't end up getting heaped on the refs is beyond me. There was an opportunity for the officials to explain to Lindy Ruff why Neil didn't receive a penalty for the hit, and to politely remind him that Buffalo did have last change. In other words, Ruff could have been given a chance to cool down slightly, and rethink his decision to ice his enforcers (I doubt it would have happened, but at least there would have been an opportunity);
3) The chest-puffing buffoonery that took place amongst Ottawa fans in the hours following the fight smacked very much of a town with a severe inferiority complex;
4) Anyone who thinks that fighting doesn't play in the U.S. needs to have their head examined. Discussions surrounding the fight took over The Jim Rome Show (based out of L.A.) on Friday, but Team 1200 listeners were preempted by Over The Edge's continuing coverage. The fight was also referenced repeatedly on Sportscenter in the U.S. (as confirmed to me by a number of American readers) and was given the No. 4 slot in discussions on PTI the same day. The Americans (once they get over their "hoc-key?" jokes) live for the scraps. No blood, no American love. It's that simple. Now I'm not saying that fighting needs to enter the normal repetoire of our regular season rotation, but a decent brawl will ultimately grab U.S. attention -- if only for a moment. And that is so important, when you're talking about a market that normally resides in asystole.
(Aside: Speaking of Rome -- two weeks ago I was in Florida, and managed to catch up with Rob in Tampa -- one of Rome's more infamous faxers during the late '90's. Good times. I'm pretty positive we're the last remaining members of what was once a rather large group of clones [I don't use the 'L' word], in spite of the fact that neither of us listens to the show anymore. Regardless, we had a nice visit, and reminisced about the Tour Stops of the past. Not surprisingly, Trapper's name came up a lot. WAR guitars and pies.)
That was the past...let's get to the present, shall we?
· How about that Ottawa defense, Senators fans? Are they making you feel assured and comfortable with the current situation? Yep, that's what I thought. Let's go to the email for some more perspective:
"We are cursed by the number 7 this year....haha.....any player whose number is divisible by 7 sucks...7,14,42....actually, I've been so busy worrying about 7 and 14 that I have stopped getting on 42."
I concur. In fact, although it's not mathematically permissible, I'd be content to add No. 6 to that mix as well. Is there anything more nail-bitingly tense than seeing Meszaros and Redden on the same line? (Okay, Meszaros and Corvo.) During the last handful of games, there have been multiple incidents involving Meszaros and Redden remaining overwhelmingly static as pucks waft right past them, and into the Ottawa net. It's also become blatantly obvious that Ottawa's blueline lacks the mental and physical toughness required for the postseason. I feel badly lumping Phillips and Volchenkov in with the weak links, because they bring some stability to the group. But it's unrealistic to think that these two will be able to shoulder the load from March until May. More and more people -- both media and fans -- are claiming that the Sens' D will be their downfall in the playoffs, and you can count me among them. Right now, the informal over/under for the Sens in the upcoming postseason is the first round, and most are taking the under -- kind of like a backwards futures bet in Vegas. Bring on the tee times.
· Finally, I need to give some appreciation to SLAM's Patrick Williams, who spent four days in the NCC last week, and a decent amount of time with me. Dude is great for a tangent or three, and it was fantastic to have a sounding board in the newly-christened Scott Norwood Section of Butterknife Row. If you want to see what else Patrick's been up to lately, you can also check out his column index here.
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