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"Hey, if Spezza hasn't done anything tonight, just throw his TOI up there! That's a relevant stat, right?"


Who's up for some redundant circling conversation? Let's talk defense! Chris Phillips lumbering behind the net to catch Fredrik Sjostrom, not thinking the Swede's pass to the point would be infinitely faster than No. 4's fumbling feet. The icing on the cake came when Fredrik was allowed to skate out to the side to actually score the goal himself. Stellar work. Oh, and please Brendan Bell, with your wobbly passes 15 feet off the mark -- save us from ourselves! If you listen closely, you can hear the 416 laughing their asses off.

Speaking of laughing -- if I hear one more person float the ludicrous idea of Jay Bouwmeester for Spezza straight up, I'm going to be accused of huffing nitrous oxide. You want to dangle for a semi-available quality offensive defenseman, and you think Kanata's favourite frat boy will accomplish that deed? Oh sure, no problem. You'll just have to get past this little obstacle first:

Yeah, you know who I'm talking about. I know long memories seem to be in short supply around here, but did you Mensas really forget about the relationship between Jacques Martin and Spezza? Martin had no patience for Spezza's (expletive) -- it showed, and then some. Being a defensive-minded coach, the idea of all that risky playmaking obviously sent shivers down his spine. Remember how long it took for all of us to truly see No. 19 for the first time? Remember how Jacques waited until the darkest hour during the New Jersey series in 2002-03, before he finally relented and put Spezza in the lineup? People took it out on Martin for not giving the kid a chance. We all insisted he'd grow up and balance out. Made sense at the time, didn't it?

The thing is, Jason's a grown man now (ahem), and his game has peaked on both sides. Those expecting him to turn into some sort of Yzerman v. 2.0, simply by buckling down and tapping into the Nepean water supply are only kidding themselves. Need some quick and dirty proof? Compare their respective skating abilities, then try and convince me otherwise. As for leadership -- do we really need to go there?

Jacques isn't blind -- he knows what's up. He had no time for Spezza when there was still an opportunity to mould him. Why on Earth would he want him now? Just saying.

Finally, one more blueline-related note: I've had more than my fill of the Senators' defensive sluttiness (for lack of a better word), and I know I can't be the only one. Have you honestly seen a team put up less of a fight when allowing the opponent into their zone? "Come on in, fellas! The more the merrier!" For God's sakes, I hope they at least bought you boys dinner first.

More later.