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...because I have Steel Panther's Community Property stuck in my head. Don't. Trust me. Just...don't.

From the Twitter account of the Senators' PR rep, Phil Legault : "Young series is 2-1, yet pendulum of media desperation has swung again in the other direction."

Oh, dear.

First off, I'd like to meet the media who were initially ensconced on the other side of the fence, and I'd like to know how firm their convictions were. (Damn, I just made myself laugh.) I think everyone reserves the right to question many of the players on this club -- from the guy in the net, to the defence, to the ones on the top line. Have there been exceptions? Yes, of course. But not enough to convince me that this series will swing back into Ottawa's favour.

A couple of issues that have been irking me:

Have you ever noticed how the Senators are nearly incapable of setting the pace for the game? This stretches back to the days of Jacques Martin, which is frightening to consider. We saw some bright points after Bryan Murray began his initial coaching stint with the team, and his push for offensive aggression made it seem as if firewagon hockey had arrived in the capital. But this notion of chasing the game perpetually smacks Ottawa in the mouth when it matters most -- the playoffs. The opposition always seems to set the tone, be it physical, a trap game, speed-driven and so on. Even when the Sens have the lead, you often get the sense that they have trouble in the driver's seat.

My other quibble involves the rare and elusive Ottawa odd-man rush. Is it just me, or can you almost see the wheels turning in the players' heads when this happens? The reaction should be instinctive, but it appears to be anything but. I can almost hear Daniel Alfredsson calling out, "OK, boys: Now just like we do it in practice." News flash: If I can see them thinking about it from the perch on my couch, the opposing defence, and particularly the goaltender can view it from a mile away (hence the reason why nearly all of these rushes are easily stifled).


More Twitter bitching (twitching?) from yours truly. How hard is it for some media to get the hang of in-game tweeting? Case in point: I follow the Senators press box list, and unfortunately, the majority of it is a write-off. (Ed. note: Bite my tongue, bite my tongue...) I'm looking for quirky observations, injury updates, things happening in the building/box that I can't see otherwise, etc. I don't need to know the score at the end of the period, and who has the goals/assists. We already have services for that. (Sincerely, Marcus Allen - CBS Sports.) Oh, but you want to save your quirky observations for your column? Yeah, that's nice. Work more, watch more, talk to your co-workers about the hotel bar a lot less. I know, what a concept.

More later.

5 responses to "Monday afternoon Deglaze"

  1. Like any good fan, Phil is just trying to talk himself into the notion that the series is still in doubt. All the Sens need to do is win tomorrow night and it's anyone's series, yada yada yada. I desperately want to believe that too, but I just saw zero reason for optimism in that game last night. Even if they win tomorrow, it's a best of three, and the Pens have Game 7 at home. (Home team wins 2/3rds of Game 7s.)

    Now, you hate to play the injury card, but Ottawa's got a ton of them - their second and fourth highest paid forwards are out, as is their top paid defenceman. Take out the equivalent players from the Pens, and let's see how well they compete. There's an element of randomness to sports - you have to be lucky and stay healthy in the playoffs if you want a chance. Unfortunately the injury bug bit the Sens at the wrong time.

    I still think this team has a very strong future in that there are a lot of bright young prospects in the pipeline for the next few years, but I'm afraid the clock is about to strike midnight on this year. I would love to be proven wrong, but I don't think I will be.

    Dennis Prouse

  2. Less about being a fan, more about being an employee of the club. He has to tow the company line. That said, he should've kept his thoughts to himself for now.

    As for injuries, the Sens have proven that they can function without Michalek before, so I didn't think his loss was as big as it may have seemed. I appreciate his gumption to play hurt, but how much additional damage has he done?

    As for Kovalev -- I don't really need to say anything, do I?

    This isn't about money -- it's about effectiveness (see Regin's recent nose for the net).

    The Universal Cynic

  3. Yes, Kovalev had been struggling badly since the Olympic break, and Michalek was hurting anyway. Both are highly skilled players, though, meaning that the Pens would have been forced to account for them and play a more conservative game. The injuries are making this look like shades of 2007-08 and 2008-09, when the Sens were a one line team.

    The biggest loss, however, is Kuba. He's one of those guys you don't notice until he's gone. His departure means that Karlsson, who is going to be a great player, is seeing far too many minutes for a rookie 19 year old. He and Carkner simply can't deal with Crosby and Malkin down low. (The time and space Malkin is getting is appalling - that has to change tonight.)

    Now, Phil does have a point in that if the Sens pull off a win tonight, the storyline shifts radically. (I think you can be an employee and a fan at the same time - we are all human.) That's sports - momentum can shift on a dime. We'll see how the Senators react to adversity, and how hard the Penguins play now that they have been tapped as the overwhelming favourites to win the series.

    Dennis Prouse

  4. Come on D, you know that skill is what you make of it. The Pens would find out very quickly that Kovalev presented little threat.

    As for the D, you said before the series that Ottawa's blueline was stronger than Pittburgh's. Well, Kuba's been hurt for a while...so all of a sudden they can't hang? Which is it?

    The Universal Cynic

  5. Fair enough - I thought they were stronger than they were. Phillips and Volchenkov in particular have been less than stellar. They were being counted on to be the shutdown pair playing 24 minutes a night each, but they just aren't getting it done. At the same time, Crosby has elevated his game - bad combination.

    As for Kovalev, he is an enigma, but he is a threat on the PP, and can take advantage of defensive miscues. Right now, we can't do that. When healthy, Michalek also plays a good hard two way game, sort of Mike Fisher with better hands.

    This all boils down to goaltending, though. If we were getting lights out goaltending, we could compete. We aren't, so we can't, simple as that.

    Dennis Prouse