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It's early, right -- or so Mlakar claims? I just thought I'd throw this out there:

Ottawa is currently at the 18-game mark, with a record of 7-10-1 -- 14th in the Eastern conference. Here are the teams with a sub .500 mark at the 18-game point last year. Their final position at the end of the regular season (within conference respectively) is included in parentheses.

Atlanta: 7-10-1 (10th)
Chicago: 7-11-0 (14th)
Columbus: 5-13-0 (13th)
Florida: 6-9-3 (11th)
Pittsburgh: 5-8-5 (15th)
St. Louis: 3-12-3 (15th)
Tampa Bay: 7-9-2 (8th)
Washington: 7-11-0 (14th)

You'll notice that out of those eight teams, only one barely made the post-season: Tampa Bay.

Is it fair to be comparing Ottawa to some of these perennial bottom-feeders? Probably not. But the fact remains that they have taken up residence beside them this year, and only a long, healthy streak of wins will help to dig them out of the hole they've created.

4 responses to "The refrain of the weak"

  1. Allright,

    This sounds very familiar before the Flames went on this 5 game winning streak, they were much of the same comments were being brought forth about Sutters Flames OOPS Playfair's Flames

    I actually think the problem lies in (Alfie) not being able to hit the net. It looks like that he is always in the right place, but has seemed to pick up the same virus that Marcus Naslund contracted, the hit the glass not the net virus.

    Hey don't get me wrong the Senators are terrible right now and I realize that playoff points are earned in Oct& Nov, but does anyone there (Ottawa), see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Firing the coach and GM really helped the Flyers, didn't it?

    I will "Corral" the rumor that #12 is being traded. Yes, it was on the beloved sports radio 960
    in Cowtown, from your guy in Ottawa. Sorry, at the moment his name escapes me.

    Good to see Letowski back in the mix, minus some memory.



  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    The Universal Cynic

  3. #12? I'm assuming that's Iginla and not Mike Fisher?

    Was it Bruce Garrioch?

    P.S. It would be nice to pinpoint Ottawa's problems by simply blaming Daniel Alfredsson. But there are a ton of Senators that can't hit the net lately: Mike Fisher, Peter Schaefer, Andrej Meszaros, Joe Corvo, Chris Kelly...would you like me to continue?

    Look to the PP, lack of scoring first and inconsistent goaltending as the top three.

    The Universal Cynic

  4. Sure, it's easy to just "blame Alfredsson" in the way you meant (recent lack of scoring), but I was looking over the rosters of Cup winners today.

    The last 10 Cup captains were these guys:

    Stevens (2)
    Yzerman (3)
    Sakic (2)

    There's a lot of big names on that list. Other than Hatcher (obviously) that's a list of players who will be in the Hall of Fame one day. Andreychuk - probably a near thing, but his long legacy production and games played will get him in, thanks to the Cup win.

    Before that, you had guys like Messier, Lemieux, Gretzky, etc...

    Does Alfredsson belong on a list with these players? With only a couple of exceptions over the last 40 years (maybe longer, I didn’t look back any farther), the Cup captains are the greatest legends who have ever played in the NHL. The odds of Alfredsson ever having his name on the Cup as captain have to rate as slim, if you go by historical precedent.

    I was thinking about Alfredsson after last year's playoff again today. How I realized I felt sorry for him as he tried to explain yet another playoff failure for the cameras. How many of these interviews had I seen? Four at the hands of my team. Another couple heartbreakers to New Jersey and Buffalo.

    This isn't the kind of feeling a team captain is supposed to inspire, is it? Pity? I never felt sorry for Stevens or Yzerman if they lost.

    Alfredsson, as a player, just doesn't frighten me in the way a Stevens, or Yzerman, or Sakic, or even a Brind’Amour does. Those guys always found a way to come up big when it mattered.

    Captains are looked up to, and I believe, should command an aura of power, leadership, and intimidation. They should unsettle me a little. Cup captains have nicknames like "Stevie Wonder" or "Moose" or "Rod the Bod," not, "Krusty". And even though it was Cherry who labeled him that, the fact that so many people (not in the media) refer to him by it suggests to me that I'm not alone in perceiving him with this fundamental lack of respect for his leadership.

    I bought into a lot of the media stories for a long time - that it was bad luck, bounces, injuries, a hot goalie - any number of factors that stood in the way of him and becoming a champ.

    But last April, I really stopped believing in him, 100%. All the playoff collapses, the dodgy "guarantees", the pathetic wave of his stick at Pominville...there is just too much history for me to suspend my disbelief and see him as the captain who can take Ottawa to the championship.

    Maybe most damning of it all, for me, is that I actually hope Ottawa keeps him, because in my mind, it means my team has a better chance of taking down the Cup, so long as Alfredsson wears the “C”.

    Who knows, maybe my judgments are unfair. As a fan of another team, I’m biased by definition. And he still is a really good player, don't misunderstand me.

    But I do blame him. He’s never seen the day when he could take on a champ. And after so much has happened with him as the face of the Senators, we have no reason to believe he will.

    Sorry for the post length, geez…