Friday, April 30, 2010
Montreal is tight to the cap - they can't pay both that much.
We'd have 3.0 mil or so left to pick up a UFA defenceman - not enough for Volchenkov obviously.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Yet another player chooses Toronto because of Allaire.
This from a story in the Star:
"As a college graduate, Ben Scrivens can obviously do the math. And he understands the Leafs have already been adding some impressive netminders to their depth chart.
But that didn't stop the Cornell goaltending star from signing a one-year entry level contract with Toronto on Wednesday. Not when it meant a chance to work with coach Francois Allaire.
Through a connection last summer — one of Scrivens' teammates at Cornell was the son of former Swiss team coach Ralph Krueger — the 22-year-old was invited as a last-minute fill-in at an elite goaltending camp in Switzerland run by Allaire; a camp attended in the past by the likes of Jonas Hiller, David Aebischer and Martin Gerber.
Scrivens was impressed.
“(Allaire) has got the reputation he has for a good reason. You don't have that many people develop without doing a whole lot of things in the right way,” Scrivens said in a telephone interview.
“I was very happy I was given the opportunity to work with him. ... He was very influential in the past season I had. I learned a ton in one week so I'm very excited to see what I can do with him this year.”
No, what's really exciting for me is that 95% of people took Washington players in my office playoff pool. This little upset just positioned me to win some money on hockey. A trend I do believe will continue with my bets with THM here at BoO. Although we'll have to wait more than a few weeks for that one.
Just had a quick peak at salary cap for next season. Leafs have $44M committed and the Sens $49M. Sens have 16 players signed while the Leafs have 13, although that number is skewed since it does not include anybody who didn't play on the team last season. Both teams could be bringing along a prospect or two this year.
What is the cap ceiling supposed to be this season? Anybody?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
I was hungover well into the 17h00 timeslot Sunday evening and am only now looking through newspaper sports pages, processing what happened Saturday night. It's all terribly depressing and I'm sure other Senators fans feel the same.
It's time to start healing, folks. And we need to get this underway so we can start speculating about and discussing things like A-Train's future in Ottawa, Karlsson's 10/11 Norris, Chris Neil having more playoff goals than any member of the Maple Leafs in the last 6 years, the stunning overachievement of the Senators this year and the affects Alfie's month-long stomach tear.
Let's begin the healing with this
Friday, April 23, 2010
Sens Army has gained a centurion in Dave Daytona. Welcome Dave! The writeup that appears in that link is worthy of a glass case along side the Treaty of Versaille. Balls, dude!
Oh, you all thought I was referring to Dave's post as the must read, right? No, no... I was referring to the comments following the article. There's some gold in there! Pure hatred and loathing; as pure as the sap from a Northern Maple untouched by Toronto's pollution. I tip my feathery centurion hat to Jared & PPP themselves for remaining true to their beliefs much like a deep-south pastor visiting the Smithsonian's evolution exhibit.
To introduce you to Dave, I've attached a photo of him in the uniform he received this morning:
DaveDaytona: warrior poet. 1st class officer in Sens Army.
Update: Dave attempts to punk former fellow leaf fans @ 13:42 in an effort to deflect the dangerous situation he has placed himself in with a weak denial. Don't worry buddy, we've got your back. You're a Sens Fan legend now!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Please commence bashing the next Senator player on your list. I've proven my worth.
truculence responsible defensive play and GWG OT goals,
Pascal Leclaire: 57 saves on 59 shots. Game Star #1
Matt Carkner: 28:59 TOI; +1; zero PIM, 1 GWG,... in OT. Game Star #2. Suck it Colton.
And here it is:
Aflie not practicing today. Based on how they practiced the other day (Donovan practicing with Spezza/Regin) this might mean Foligno will sit, Shannon gets on a scoring line (much better spot for him than the 4th line) and Donovan gets in to bang.
THM Update: Leclaire gets the call for tonight.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The scene: occupied France.
The time: 1943.
Jason Spezza is an allied spy during the Second World War – a man charged with protecting at all costs a code-breaking device that could shift the balance against the Nazi menace and preserve freedom for all. Imagine what happens next…
Spezza [handing over code-breaking device]: Here you go.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
No reason to have the Leaf fans bury their comments within another thread. They'll all be here in a moment so here's my little gift to you folks who wish to troll and for those who will get sucked in. Have at 'er.
I'll summarize all of the following blue and white comments:
"blah, blah, blah"
"Yak, yak, yak."
That pretty much ends the Leafer contribution there.
Fuck the 'Yotes for interfering with my headline; this isn't about them or Buttman.
This is about the Ottawa Senators and potentially Jonathan Cheechoo. The Senators are down 2-1 against the Sidney Crosby and some teet-suckling fanboys who join him on the ice. It's apparently time to let go of reason and bash the crap out of anything that moves. Desperation hockey rarely results in victory. I'm personally hoping they elect controlled chaos. Biig hits can be quickly replaced by big misses.
The Ottawa Citizen has it right in their headline. Crosby need merely be contained - not maimed. When hit, he gets revenge; when contained he gets his soother out.
One aspect the Senators may be bringing back (gone away with the loss of Michalek) getting to MAF. Cheechoo and Donnovan may dress tonight in place of Shannon and (???) and achieve that goal.
Could Cheechoo be Ottawa's rising phoenix (fuck you AZ) today? Wouldn't that be quite the story.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Who'd play with Spezza? Regin and Cullen? Or Regin and the Cheechoo train? Am I that desperate?
2. In the last ten NHL playoffs (since 1999) EVERY team in the NHL has made the playoffs at least once. What's more interesting is that every single team in the NHL has been eliminated in a 1st round series during that stretch.
3. In the same stretch, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Ottawa are the NHL leaders in first round exits. 5 times each. The only question now is who will fall for a 6th time?
3. San Jose lost in the first round twice since 1999. Neither of those series were under Ron Wilson's watch.
4. The Leafs have only lost in the first round once since 1999. Helping to ensure the Leafs have a league low in this category over that stretch? Sucking ass and not making the playoffs in the first place.
5. If you actually think Karma exists I offer this retort: Daniel Carcillo.
6. The Sharks are looking like crap again this playoffs. If they fall in the first round or even the second, it will be a colossal failure for that franchise. I officially declare today the day we officially all agree that Ron Wilson wasn't the problem.
7. Speaking of failures, who if anybody will wear the Sens playoff failure if they do go out in the first round? One would assume that Clouston is safe since he's done a fairly good job all things considered. Afraidsson is getting pre-game celebrations thrown at him so certainly Sens fans will never blame him for their 6th first-round departure in 11 playoffs. Will this be Murray's head, or will Sens fans and more importantly Melnyk even see a first round exit against the Cup champs as a failure?
8. I like everything about Phoenix going far in the playoffs except for one thing: It will make Bettman right. He said this franchise could turn around and it has, remarkably fast. More proof on that whole karma thing.
9. It's only the first round and already my wife is getting a little edgy about how much hockey I'm watching in the den. She can't understand why I care so much now that the Leafs are eliminated? So I said I would cut it back and follow in full on TV only one series per round. I feel OK with this since starting next season I will be watching the Leafs in the playoffs and won't even be home most nights.
10. It's been six years since there's been a playoff game in Toronto. I figure at some point today somebody will mention it on this blog. Lets just get it out of the way now huh?
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Ottawa exceeds expectations first by making the playoffs (preseason expectations were to miss) then splitting the present series against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Coming home from Pittsburgh where the match-up saw a dialing up of the physicality, we can foresee a continuance of the smash-n'-bash highlighted by the best clean hockey hit of the year followed shortly thereafter by the best 1st assist of the year (fuck you Chris Campoli - learn how to block a shot).
Pittsburgh has become our post-lockout nemesis and this series looks to take the rivalry to a 2nd level. ScotiaBank Place will be insane this evening and, unless we get the post-aggressive lameness we've seen in match ups of the past, there will be tonnes of hits.
There is absolutely nothing like watching your team in the playoffs. You hear that Leafers?
Saturday, April 17, 2010
While it was disappointing seeing a loss last night, one can't be disappointed in a split heading home.
Bob McKenzie gives sufficient commentary for the Crosby/Spezza action on the Letang goal and a few words about Sutton's hit on Leopold. Not much else needs to be said on either of those except to all who are jumping all over Spezza for not containing Crosby: Remember when we all called for Spezza to be more responsible defensively? Yeah, fuck all of you now complaining about him behind his own net trying to contain the world's best hockey player and doing a damned fine job of keeping up with the shiftiness. Whomever should've been watching Letang and not being mesmerized by the pairs dancing exhibition behind Elliott is the guy who should be held responsible.
I (heart) Sutton
"Somebody was on me, I don’t know who was following me around, but they were tracking me pretty good,” he said. “Finally I got a step, and I tried to get to the net, but they had a ton of guys there and I think a couple of our guys were there as well. So I just tried to make the play[.] [Tanger] had tons of time and he did a great job of getting it through.”
Friday, April 16, 2010
Whowins.com has the odds for these sorts of things and shows that 70 times in the NHL a visiting team has won the first two games and 76% of the time they go on to win the series.
Finer resolution shows it's happened 24 times in the 1st round and 67% of the time they win the series.
As for winning the first game on the road in a first round series? 71 teams have one the first on the road and 36 have gone on to win the series for a 51% winning percentage.
I'm thinking this game goes big either way - either Elliot or Fleury implode. I'll be overly optimistic and say 5-1 Sens.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
So with the playoffs around the corner I want to throw my views out there. I know Duff will whole-heartily agree with everything I say here. :)
First My prediction, Pens in 5 games. First 2 go to the Pens in Pittsburgh, then they Split in Ottawa and the Pens put the nail in the coffin back at home in Game 5.
I’m basing this on being a Pens fan and the fact that:
Elliot wins all the Stats except for Games won. But with 12 fewer games played it’s a close call.
Playoff Experience: Fleury wins
• Centers: (Top 4) Overall Edge Pittsburgh
Points: Pittsburgh wins 260-171. This one isn’t even fair. Jordan stall the 3rd line center has 4 fewer goals than Ottawa’s top goal getter in Mike Fisher. I think someone misses Heatley!
Face Off %: Ottawa Wins. Crosby wins this battle at 55.9%.
+/- : Pittsburgh wins with a combined +38 for the top 4 centers. Ottawa was +4
• Wingers: (Top 8) Overall Edge Pittsburgh
Points: Pittsburgh Wins 191 to 158. Though Alfraidsson leads the way with 71
+/-: Pittsburgh wins -5 to -21. Matt “One Punch” Cooke leads the way at a plus 17
• Defense: (Top 8) Overall Edge Pittsburgh
Points: Pittsburgh Wins 199-139. The Sarge wins the individual at 50 Points
+/-: Pittsburgh wins +22 to -10. Phillips wins at a +8
Enough with the stats. The only advantage Ottawa has is maybe their top shut down pair but that is negated by having to go up against 3 solid scoring lines. Anyway you cut it I can’t see Ottawa winning unless Elliot can become the next coming of Patrick Roy & Ken Dryden. Pittsburgh has the advantage of last change should the series go long along with the Home Ice factor
THM Addendum: Much past commentary makes a lot more sense now :)
*record with Ottawa
Brian “1 thru 5 holes” Elliott was traded before the trade deadline in a goalie swap for Craig Anderson. Bryan Murphy is a thief. Elliott was never intended to play more than 15 to 20 games a season so it was a rough situation to be put in. We wish him well. Evaluation No longer a factor going forward.(fuck yeah, Bryan!)
Pascal “Hasek Pt II” Leclaire was supposed to be the starting goaltender this year and things started out that way. He was perhaps the only player in the early goings who was effective in his role. He played stellar hockey while the team in front of him failed to yield any support. What was once thought to be a groin injury occurred on a seemingly innocuous stoppage of the puck. It has since been re-evaluated as an extremely difficult to diagnose hip injury. He was playing lights-out until that unfortunate development. Leclaire was waived and has not been offered a new contract. Evaluation: No longer a factor going forward.
Curtis “Even the Irish can’t pronounce it” McElhinney had an interesting route to Ottawa. Traded by the Anaheim Ducks for Dan Ellis in a backups trade then - 5 hours later - waived by TB and subsequently collected by Ottawa as their backup going forward (who paid for him this year??). McElheinney, you may recall, has a little relationship to the Leafs goaltending history in that he was traded from Anaheim to the Ducks in exchange for Vesa “Doctor, I smell” Toastkala. McElhinney played reasonably well in the games he started. He appears to be a capable backup, but has never played more than 14 games. McElhinney is presently unsigned by the Senators and thus this Evaluation Unclear how he will be a factor going forward.
Jonas “The Non-ster” Gustavsson was once proclaimed by Brian Burke as ‘The best goaltender not playing in the NHL’. That’s some awesome vision on Burkie’s part. A Francois “I’m still relevant!” Allaire type goalie, The Non-ster is a questionable backup to a first year rookie. Huge misstep by Burke in signing this guy. Expect him to play portions of back-to-back games when the opponent is not one of Boston, Montreal or Ottawa. Evaluation: Could become the starter if (when) Reimer’s bubble bursts.
J.S. “I <3 Burkie” Giguere was acquired from Anaheim for Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala. Who was the dumber GM in that situation? Draw. Will Burke’s penchant for signing and keeping his friends on payroll despite abysmal performances (more on Wilson later) keep Giguere as an option in net? Brodeur never needed pads his size. Will Giggy retire? Will he stick around as a completely unnecessary ‘assistant goalie coach’ or will he get a modest 1-2 year contract as insurance. Evaluation: Unknown factor going forward.
And now we arrive at the main event - the starters.
First up is “future Hall of Famer”, “best rookie goalie in, well, forever”, “the Great Mormon Hope”, “It’s up to Him” James “Optimus” Reimer. Ok, he’s got a cool nickname and a pending trademark infringement suit. I admit, I was originally confused by the nickname as I would pronounce it “Ree-mer” and then giggle at the possible connotations. It wasn’t until I heard Kypreos proclaim him the real deal (he’s fuckin’ cursed now) or something to that effect, that I figured out the pronunciation. The same things are being said of Reimer that were being said of Gustavsson in April of last year, and the same things that were said of Toskala leading in to his first season. He does have a respectable SV% & GAA at .921 and 2.60 respectively. Was this just the result of the now-traditional April surge by the Leafs or he a genuine solid goalie from which we can expect similar numbers going forward? Reimer will play backup-backup for Canada at the World Championships. No other Canadian goalies were available. One interesting thing to note: Reimer isn’t a Burke guy - he was JFJ’s work. Evaluation: If he sucks next year then Jesus clearly hates the Leafs.
This brings us to the Ottawa Senators starting goalie Craig “hey Brian, I stop pucks!” Anderson. He was on Murray’s radar for sometime (Murray’s daughter lives in Colorado so Murray would watch him with some frequency) and was an intended July 1 target of the Senators. A 4 year contract at a modest valuation and no NMC/NTC makes him trade-able if things don’t work out but his numbers with the Senators bested Toronto’s All World Rookie Phenom by quite a bit and on a team with practically no quality defensive defensemen (sorry Phillips - here’s hoping for a rebound). As soon as he stepped on the ice, he was controlling the movement of his defensemen by instruction, approaching the bench to encourage/direct players during stoppages in play and making sound positional decisions. Evaluation: solid foundation in net for a multi-year rebuild.
Coming soon...... Ron Wilson stays, Better coaches fired and a really sweet look at special teams!
|Brian Elliott, Senators||Marc-André Fleury, Penguins|
|201 pounds||Weight||180 pounds|
|Newmarket, Ont.||Hometown||Sorel, Que.|
|2.57 (19th)||Goals-against average||2.65 (24th)|
|.909 (24th)||Save percentage||.905 (33rd)|
|1,424 (21st)||Shots faced||1,772 (13th)|
|3,038 (19th)||Minutes||3,798 (10th)|
|5 (7th)||Shutouts||1 (33rd)|
I've read a lot of the previews and while Crosby could take over this series I think if Ottawa wins it will because of better play by Michalek, Regin, Cullen, Fisher, Foligno, and Kelly over Pittsburgh's Staal, Guerin, Dupuis, Kunitz, Ponikarovsky, and Cooke.
Elliot is going to have to play solid for sure and either goalie is capable of being the reason the team loses/wins the series.
A couple of previews over at Milks, Silver Seven, and Five for Smiting.
My prediction - Sens in 6, Fisher has a huge series, Karlson makes a difference, and Malkin is invisible.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
If you look at the advert by MLSE and de-focus your eyes like with those 3D puzzles, you'd find this text appearing on your page:
To Our Fans THANK YOU for your passionate support of our financial report this season
The vision impairment of Toronto Maple Leaf fans is second to none (except maybe Ray Charles). We have the most delusional fans in the NHL and certainly in all of professional sports.We end this season with a Maple Leaf team that is not really all that different in character from the one that left the ice last April. Today there is greater need for Adult Accompaniment at the local Cineplex among our players. We have a hardworking team that is less experienced, more impressionable and more convinced they are great without ever succeeding at the professional level with other teams.
Our offseason begins with an even stronger commitment to our blueprint for building a winning team, and that team is Boston. It starts with solid goaltending that we traded for Andrew Raycroft and a formidable first round selection in this year's entry draft.
We've acquired some of the pieces that support our philosophy - but our work is not complete. We expect to have a busy summer as we continue to build a winning team by providing another top first round pick to Boston in next year's draft.
There is optimism in the Maple Leafs organization as there is every September and we hope Leafs Nation shares our spirit (we're just asking you to start sharing it earlier this time so you can forget about the draft and not be distracted by all those teams playing for the Cup).
Once again, thank you for your unwavering support. It ensures our dividends remain high and that our executives can afford that third Harbourfront condo, perhaps in Trump's towers if he ever gets around to finishing that shit. We look forward to seeing you in September, just not in the lower bowl.
Sincerely, Your Masters and Overlords, the Executive and Shareholders of MLSE.
A former 56-goal scorer with San Jose, he was sent down to Binghamton in February after spending the first four-plus months of the season with the big club. In 61 games with Ottawa, he had five goals and nine assists. In 25 games with Binghamton, he had eight goals and six assists, and Monday, he acknowledged getting his confidence back during his stay in the AHL.
"It's always good to go up there," Cheechoo said. "That's where I want to be. And I had fun down here, but at the same time, I think that's where I can play -- at that level -- and you never know if you're going to get a chance."
He added later, when asked if he expected to crack the Ottawa lineup during the postseason: "I think it's just a wait-and-see thing. I don't see myself cracking that lineup unless there's some injuries. So hopefully they can stay healthy, but at the same time, I'll be ready if they need me."
To Our Fans THANK YOU for your passionate support this season.
The loyalty of Toronto Maple Leaf fans is second to none. We have the best fans in the NHL and arguably in all of professional sports.
We end this season with a Maple Leaf team that is different from the one that stepped onto the ice last October. Today there is greater chemistry among our players. We have a hardworking team that is younger, faster and more entertaining.
Our offseason begins with an even stronger commitment to our blueprint for building a winning team. It starts with solid goaltending and a formidable defence.
We've acquired some of the pieces that support our philosophy - but our work is not complete. We expect to have a busy summer as we continue to build a winning team.
There is optimism in the Maple Leafs organization and we hope Leafs Nation shares our spirit.
Once again, thank you for your unwavering support. We look forward to seeing you in September.
Sincerely, The Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The Future for Ottawa commences Wednesday night as Tier I teams begin the true hockey season starting with the one-year-rebuilt Ottawa Senators visiting the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Tier II teams, including those that would be relegated to the minors if this were a serious league like those of European football, will be licking their wounds, making excuses, and denying realities. The Future for those teams (or their fans) is somewhere far away. But, despite evidence to the contrary, these Tier II teams are judged has having brighter days ahead than those of teams who are set to compete for what matters. So, let's look at a small piece of the alleged Silver Future of one of said Tier II teams in detail and see if the prognostications are realistic or if there is something, some direct compatible, perhaps, which might give better insight into the best-case realities one might expect.
Let's start with Kadri. Through a campaign of mis-education, mis-interpretation and - possibly - a severe case of delusional alcoholic rantings (we're concerned about Muppet here at BoO), Leaf Nation has been led to believe that his 'outstanding' OHL numbers translate into the best player slated to start in the NHL next year at centre or any other position.
Here are his OHL numbers from the last two years:
YR GP G A P PPG
08/09 56 25 53 78 1.39
09/10 56 35 58 93 1.66
The numbers, were they NHL numbers (and not OHL gift points) would be impressive. As they are, nothing we haven't seen many times before by far more complete players.
Now here is a quote from a reporter who follows Kadri's play throughout the year: "there are still many holes in [Kadri's] game. In order to play in the NHL, the kid has to stop turning the puck over in bad places."
Ah, HA! This sounds decidedly familiar to an oft-repeated (by Leaf fans) knock on one 1st line centre of the Ottawa Senators.
Dear friends, what we now have is the basis for a fair in-house comparison of two BoO players at the same position and a reasonable projection of NHL performance.
Nazem Kadri v. Jason Spezza.
I've presented Kadri's final two OHL season totals. I now give you Jason Spezza's totals for his final two OHL seasons and invite you to observe the comparables in light of Kadri's numbers above:
YR GP G A P PPG
00/01 56 43 73 116 2.07
01/02 53 42 63 105 1.98
In each case, Jason Spezza outperformed Nazem Kadri at the OHL level substantively and without the aid of someone as talented as single season OHL record setter in goals and points: John Tavares. Steve Ott and Brian McGratten were as good as it got.
Gentlemen and Leaf fans, it appears entirely conclusive that the Toronto Maple Leafs have drafted, at 7th position in the 2009 Entry Draft:
one class-B Jason Spezza.
Congrats leafers! It seems my opinion of the little throat slasher has risen ever so slightly. I suspect the comparison will not be met with as much favour in Leaf hamlet for fear of acknowledging the supreme skills of our big, reliable centre.
At least I know why Muppet won't back up his misspoken statement that Kadri will be rookie of the year next year
Ok, it's quiz time here at the BoO. Today's quiz will be easy for some, difficult for others, the divide likely based on the colour of hockey jersey you wear in the basement.
Today's question: is the following quote (after the jump) from an Ottawa Senator or Toronto Maple Leaf?
“It’s so funny how, especially when you’re locked in the playoffs, you get to the end of the season and you kind of feel tired. It’s been a long year, and all of a sudden you wake up the next day and you’re excited and you have energy, because the playoffs are here. It’s so much mental. That’s why we play the game, that’s why we’ve gone through all these ups and downs in a long season. It’s just to get to the post-season.
“Now we’ve given ourselves an opportunity to win the Stanley Cup, and that’s what everyone’s dream is.”
Question 2 : in what grade would a child be if said child was conceived on the night of the last Leafs playoff game? Here is a little assistance for answering this question.
1. Ottawa and Montreal are the only two teams in the playoffs who had a minus goal differential on the season. The Habs would be in 12th place in the west and if the Sens were an expansion team from Seattle instead of Ottawa, they would be emptying their lockers today with a 9th place finish. They would also be in Seattle, looking forward to a beautiful ocean view and incredible restaurants instead of dinner at a Kelsey's next to a river.
2. Raise your right hand if you are very seriously considering NOT picking ANY San Jose Shark players in your office playoff pool.
3. This link deserves more applaud so I'll re-paste it ask: "Evander, could you do this to Avery next year too"?
5. Brian Burke's outgoing press conference today will consist of a lot of negative marks for himself, his coaches and his players. He'll be right. Although he will get some good marks for how the team finished, how he did as GM at the Olympics, and how he handled his son's coming out and then sudden death. It's been a tough year for Brian. One hopes he takes a few weeks and gets some sleep because with all due respect he looks just terrible.
6. Raise your left hand if you're now suddenly worried that if you don't take any Sharks in your pool will this be the year they go to the finals...
7. ODDS OF WINNING THE CUP: Washington Capitals 4/1, Pittsburgh Penguins 5/1, San Jose Sharks 5/1, Chicago Blackhawks 5/1, Detroit Red Wings 6/1, New Jersey Devils 10/1, Vancouver Canucks 10/1, Phoenix Coyotes 12/1, Buffalo Sabres 12/1, Ottawa Senators 20/1. ODDS THAT SENS FANS WILL MENTION THE LEAFS AT LEAST 27 TIMES TODAY AT BoO: 2-1
8. Speaking of bets, who wants to bet me that Ottawa don't make it out of the first round? $100. Money can go to a 3rd party until the series is over. Any takers? DC?
9. Raise both your hands if you're now completely insane trying to make your office playoff pool picks because now you're worried Colorado might upset San Jose...
10. You put down your arms and take all Detroit and Pittsburgh players and call it a day.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Reporter: 'How long with the pre-game ceremony last, Alfie?'
Alfie: “Eleven minutes. Hopefully”
Alfie: “It could end up being 13, but then I’d have to throw my stick again.”
Tonight, the Ottawa Senators and 19,000+ of their fans will stand and give a wildly raucous ovation in recognition of the accomplishment of the Great Anti-Leaf, Daniel Alfredsson. While over 200 players have managed 1,000 games in the NHL, under 50 have accomplished this feat with one single team.
One great irony of the ceremony being today is that the Ottawa Senators face the Buffalo Sabres, the team Alfie sent home from the ECF with an amazing OT goal in the 5th game.
My money is on the Sabres cheering Alfie's accomplishment along with the Ottawa Senators and their faithful while the douchebags who wear Leaf jerseys to this game have their boos go unheard except in the canyons of their heads. Go ahead and boo him tonight Leafers. The louder you boo, the more respect you show for his person.
P.S. Make sure you read the Globe link that Don posted below. It's a lovely Saturday read.
Friday, April 09, 2010
For a few days this was looking insanely unlikely, but now Toronto's ability to eliminate Montreal from the post season on Saturday night has been upgraded to just "highly unlikely".
These FOUR things need to happen:
(Thanks to SENS4LIFE for facts):
1. Rangers need to win both their remaining games
2. Philadelphia can lose both games against NYR but must get at least 1 OT point.
3. Boston need one point from their remaining two games
3. Leafs must beat Montreal on Saturday, on HNIC, in Montreal.
It's a freaking long shot but if it comes down to it, the Leafs could taste a small bit of joy before the misery of watching 16 teams not named the Maple Leafs fight for the Stanley Cup.
IN OTHER NEWS... Ottawa have one game remaining in their season. What's noteworthy for me is that Ottawa fans, going by their enthusiasm here at BoO, seem to consider 09/10 an exceptional bounce-back year. Faith in the team is at an all-time high. And yet, if they don't win their final game, the Sens will go into the post-season with the exact same amount of points (94) as they did two years ago when they were bounced in four straight. Adding to the eeriness, Ottawa could face Pittsburgh again who could mathematically end the season with the same points as they did in 07/08 also.
I'm hungover, How about you?
Thursday, April 08, 2010
We wouldn't be disappointed.
He allowed 8 goals, while the Rangers goalie allowed 7. Frankly, neither goalie looked good at all. But for three guys sitting in plain clothes, there to see a future Leaf, with no real care about which team won or lost, it was as entertaining a hockey game as I've maybe ever seen.
20 big time hits you almost never see in the NHL anymore.
2 goals and 1 assist for Kadri.
Seeing Nazem for the first time live was awesome but not all positive.
1. He was by far the most talented player on the ice.
2. He's always banging his stick for the puck which was kind of annoying.
3. Nobody on the team can actually get him the puck regularly, which is even more annoying because he could have had 5 goals.
4. Kitchener fans HATE HATE HATE him. Every time he touched the puck they rained down boo's. I asked a fan why, and I was reminded that Kadri used to play in Kitchener but wanted to play at "home" in London.
5. Kadri seems almost disinterested unless he's on the rush. Not exactly showing warrior-like backchecking either. I thought he looked a bit disinterested since it was a playoff game.
6. There is an incredible cockiness about him that I actually like and opposing fans hate. Nothing wrong with having tons of confidence. I think it's simply the result of him playing in a league he probably outgrew a year ago though, I didn't see him act like this in the NHL.
7. His teammates do seem to like him. They are always over talking to him between plays and while he wears the "A" he more the captain. When a Kitchener player low bridged him in the 2nd period, the smallest guy on London went apeshit and took an instigator penalty trying to punch the Rangers player's head off. So he seems to be a good teammate.
Overall, I can see why he lit it up in the NHL pre-season because even if he had John Mitchell skating beside him last night giving him the puck with some precision, he easily would have scored a few more. He knows how to sneak into scoring spots and when he takes off out of his zone he ends up slowing up to wait for his teammates which just kills the buzz, frankly.
I was impressed that he scored both his goals with shots from 25-30 feet away from the net. The Leafs wanted him to work on improving his shot this year. Looks like he's accomplished that.
He also plays the point on the PP and won all his faceoffs or at least most of them, which shows that against OHL players he has more to his game than just scoring. We'll see if that's the case in the NHL.
I wish that he could have played this season in the AHL because he really does look like his talent is completely wasted playing against OHL competition. He now has 25 points in the playoff. That's in only 9 games. It's a shame he's not on the Marlies right now. Can he go there if London get eliminated before the Marlies season is over?
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
25 games. 1 goal. Dion Phaneuf everyone. Now watch him keep the goal judge busy.
1 game. 5 goals. Jonas Gustavsson everyone. Now watch him seal up that five hole.
10 games. 4 wins. The much-improved Toronto Maple Leafs everyone. Now watch them go on a winning streak to end the season.
For all the talk about how Toronto is the best team since the Olympic break, in the last 10, there are but 7 teams with worse records. Looking at it from a positive perspective (or negative if you're a Leafer), that means there are 22 teams better than the Leafs over the last 10 games. Given that last 10, I guess Hakim Optical must be having a sale on pink-tinted glasses in the GTA.
Ottawa winning 66.7% of games since the beginning of the 11 game win streak. Now that's positive.
Afterthought: Having a look at the standings and remaining games as of this morning, the Leafs may have done something good by losing last night (not considering the Boston outlook). By losing to NYR, the Leafs allowed the Rangers to have a shot at the post season. AND, it is maintaned that the Habs could still miss. With a loss tonight to Carolina and a NYR win tomorrow night against Philly, the stage could be set for the Leafs to eliminate the Canadiens in the final game of the season in the Bell Centre with a regulation win.
Imagine the Habs fans watching the Leafs take out their team on home turf. This would be EPIC.
So, in a show of solidarity in seeking the demise of the co-hated Habitants I say this (and only in this situation does it avoid an ulcer): go leafs go.
Leaf fans booed their club off the ice after a flat second period which saw the powerplay blanked three times, including a final time in the last two minutes of the frame. Boos also rang out at the end of the game. The players gathered at centre ice and saluted the fans with a stick-raising gesture, but at least half the patrons had exited the building by then.
Leafs leading scorer Phil Kessel shook off the muscle strain or cramp that had caused him to miss much of Saturday's game against Boston as well as practice on Monday and was back in the lineup. That too came with a message from Wilson after a relatively soft effort from Kessel. "We want him to play and he's got to play through (the injury)," Wilson said. The game was likely the chance for a handful of Leafs to play in front of a Toronto home crowd and what a bad
taste that will leave.
Look forward to next year though Leaf fans - Boogard and Bertuzzi are UFAs!
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
For Ottawa it's waiting for the playoffs to start.
We didn't talk much about Ottawa losing 4-1 to NYI, not that it matters much in the standings, but one would think the Senators don't want to go on one of their losing streaks at this point in time. Maybe Captain 1000 can help ensure his team doesn't go out in the 1st round for the 5th time since 1999?
Frankly, I would rather be waiting for the playoffs to start than looking for signs that next year will be better. So Leaf fans, you can't really say much this week that will ruffle the feathers of Sens fans. But hitting rock bottom after the first 20 games I guess Leaf fans should just be happy things are actually looking up. It could be worse. Burke could have traded Rask for Raycroft instead of Blake and Toskala for Giguere. Things will be better for you starting in about 6 months. We just have to hang in there.
Flyers @ Leafs 7pm.
Ottawa @ Florida 7pm.
Leaf fans will take note that Ottawa play the Lightning and Panthers in the next few days. So the Leafs rise out of 28th will be partially in the Senators hands. So you can secretly cheer for Ottawa unless you, like me, don't see any value in Tampa getting Hall or Sequin over Boston. An eastern team is drafting in the #2 slot. That much is pretty certain.
The Leafs may still have the chance to eliminate Montreal from the playoffs this Saturday, but it will require a loss against the Ranger tomorrow to stand a chance of that so I don't know how you feel about that!
Lastly, a few buddies and myself are heading to Kitchener to see Kadri and the Knight's tomorrow night. Front row, $21. Last time we'll ever get to pay that littloe to see Nazem, future Calder winner!
King Alfie plays his 1000th today.
989 career points in his 999 games so far.
101 playoff games so far as well with 80 points in those.
Lots of stuff at the Sens site .
Talk about franchise leader. 9 seasons as captain and team leader in gms, pts, goals, assists, etc, etc. OT winner against Buffalo in the ECF, separated Tucker's shoulder then scores game winner, shot the puck at Neidermayer, mocked Sundin, infuriates Leaf fans, Calder trophy winner, deferred salary for the club, sported some of the best haircuts in the league, etc, etc.
Meanwhile, the NHL's longest serving captain is set to play his 1,000th game tonight in Florida. the number of games left for the Senators this year is open ended. We could see an additional 20% or more as we did a few short years ago. With regards to Alfie's thousanth, all you Leaf fans will be able to trip it to the HHoF at season's end to view one of Alfie's game-worn jerseys. Look for it in the "all time greats" section.
THM has tickets to the final game of the season where Alfie's achievement will be honoured. I may have to dish out for an Alfie jersey in recognition thereof.
Friday, April 02, 2010
BoO PLAYOFF PERFORMANCE FROM 1999-2009
Toronto made the playoffs 6 times
Ottawa made the playoffs 9 times.
Toronto has won 7 playoff series.
Ottawa has won 7 playoff series.
Toronto have won 41 playoff games
Ottawa have won 38 playoff games
Toronto eliminated in 1st round 1 time.
Ottawa eliminated in 1st round 4 times.
Toronto made the conference finals 3 times.
Ottawa made the conference finals 2 times.
Toronto made it to the cup finals 0 times.
Ottawa made it to the cup finals 1 times.
Toronto beat Ottawa 4 times.
Ottawa beat Toronto 0 times.
Will Ottawa catch up to the Leafs playoff success in almost all categories with now their 4th extra visit to the playoffs?
If the standings remain the same Ottawa will play New Jersey in the first round. It's gonna be tough...
Thursday, April 01, 2010
With less than 8 seconds left, Erik Karlsson fires an absolute rocket from the blue-line down the slot past Manny Legace to guarantee Ottawa at least the single point needed to return to the playoffs. It's his 2nd goal of the game. Dion who?
All Hail King Karlsson. Sweden needs a 4th crown for this guy.
Also, 3 assists in regulation for Jason Spezza . The guy now has 7 points in 2 games (16 points in 8 games).
update: Spezza with the SO winner! !
I'm off to Mont Tremblant for the weekend for my bachelor party... hopefully I can score more than Phil Kessel will against the Bruins on Saturday.
Have a good one folks.
Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle has denied reports that he "can't stand playing for (head coach Ron) Wilson" and downplayed rumours that he is prepared to make the move from Toronto to a different team. "I'm here over 10 years in the league and I've never (had an) issue with the coach and I hopefully never will," Kaberle said before Thursday's game against the Sabres.
No doubt Kaberle could be doing the political thing here, and rest assured some players on this team and every other team don't love their coach (see Danny Heatley), but he said it and he said it without the cloak of anonymity.
Too bad we can't get the same transparency in player polls on who is the most overrated player huh?
Lest it be suggested too much of my time is focussed on the Leafs 5th consecutive season of abysmal performance, it's time for an Ottawa Senators post (usually I let Muppet take these, but I'm pretty sure the Paxil cocktail he might've started yesterday has yet to begin working).
How good is it to play for the Ottawa Senators? Well, we certainly don't have the NHL's losingest (is that a word??) coach in the last three years [notwithstanding Paul Maurice whom, not coincidentally started his shit record with the Leafs] treating his players like garbage.
Well, I'll spare you my interpretation and go directly to a quote from newcomer Andy "Mount" Sutton:
“This is the most committed bunch of guys I’ve ever been around,” said Sutton, an 11-season veteran of five NHL teams. “You just feel it and I think guys feed off it. I’ve tried to lead that way and I think we’ve got guys here who will do whatever it takes to win.
“That’s a team you want to play for.”
A sentiment not shared for the Blue & White down the 401.