The Morning Skate

- December 17th, 2014

SHORT HILLS, N.J. _ The Senators will hold an optional morning skate today. Lots will take the option not to skate.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau will play and defenceman Chris Phillips will return to the lineup against the New Jersey Devils Wednesday night as this road trip wraps up.
That loss in Buffalo Monday was awful, terrible and disgraceful. The Senators can’t afford to give away points especially if they’re going to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The reality is it may be time for the Senators to go out and get a veteran defenceman because there is no timetable on Marc Methot’s return and who knows if how much he’ll play this season. The Senators would be well-served to try to thank Patrick Wiercioch and bring in someone else.
Up front, the Senators have talked about their depth but that depth is being put to the test with Zack Smith and Chris Neil hurt. By the way, I don’t think Curtis Lazar is going to the world junior championships but the Senators want to at least discuss it with him and give him the option.
I don’t see him wanting to go.

Hello folks

- December 15th, 2014

BUFFALO _ Sorry I haven’t been here for a few days.
My computer melted down in Boston so I had no link for this website for the last couple of days. I think my seven-year-old computer has finally seen its last day.
Fortunately, I had an Ipad with me so I bought a wireless keyboard to get through a couple of days. Two nice Buffalo Bills fans named Bill Pierce and Mike Koreen kindly brought me a laptop to Buffalo Sunday so I’m back in business.
Now, onto the business at hand.
The Senators called up J.G. Pageau from their AHL affiliate in Binghamton Sunday. Sure sounds like a lot is expected of this guy. The expectations seem somewhat huge. They don’t need him to be superhuman, they just need him to contribute.
I know he’s played well in BInghamton but that doesn’t mean a whole lot when you get here. You need to contribute on a regular basis and that didn’t happen for him last season.
Zack Smith is gone for “months”.
Marc Methot is back on the injury list.
The coach has been fired.
Been a busy week and it will be busy before the Christmas break.
Have a good gameday. Won’t be 10,000 here tonight.

It’s as easy as A(not)BCD

- December 11th, 2014

Good day Off the Posts readers …

I’m going to try something new here. On Senators game days, I want to start making predictions on that night’s game and keep my record, just to show you all how smart I am.
I’ll call it the A(not)BCD record: After (not) Before Cameron Dave.
Clever eh? Even mildly?
Anyway, I’m going to try and add to this particular post as the day goes on and I sift through the interviews I’ve done in both dressing rooms, and with both coaches, throughout the morning.
But for tonight’s Ottawa-Los Angeles showdown (drum roll please) … I’m feeling a Senators 3, Kings 1 final.
Winning goal – Bobby Ryan.
I just think the coaching change will give the Senators an extra boost. They’re not nearly the team the Kings are, but L.A. is coming off a 1-0 loss in Buffalo and hasn’t scoring much lately, and the hosts are going to have to be on their best defensive responsibilities behaviour.
Now go ahead, discuss amongst yourselves.

A new morning

- December 9th, 2014

The Senators go back to work Tuesday morning.
Dave Cameron will take over behind the bench and make his debut against the Los Angeles Kings Thursday after Paul MacLean was fired Monday morning in a meeting with GM Bryan Murray.
A lot of the experts here will have all the answers so there’s probably not any point in writing anything more but since I can’ t help myself I will anyway.
This had to happen. It should have happened a long time ago and should have been done at the end of last season. It wasn’t working for MacLean. It hadn’t been for awhile. What took place Monday was a buildup of something that had been going on for a long time.
The change to Cameron brings a fresh voice. The Senators need that right now. Had MacLean lost the room? Yes, he had. Whether people like it or not you need the players on board to have success in this league. If you don’t, you don’t have a chance at success.
MacLean had run out of chances.
Low payroll or not this team should be better.

The end of an era

- December 5th, 2014

Time to turn the page on Daniel Alfredsson.
A nice reunion. A nice night.
Now to the matter at hand: This team is fading fast, falling apart at the seams and going in the wrong direction.
They are out of the playoff picture in No. 11 in the East.
The Senators weren’t supposed to be worldbeaters but they were supposed to be better than this.
Coach Paul MacLean is suddenly under the microscope.
He has put the heat on the players by scratching the likes of Milan Michalek, Mika Zibanejad, Zack Smith and Jared Cowen in the last 10 days. That’s fine. That’s MacLean’s trump card. He gets the final say on the lineup and those players to various degrees have not been getting the job done.
The performance against the Islanders was sub-par until the third period. The Senators had nine shots. Interesting weekend ahead with a three-day break in the schedule to follow before the LA Kings come to town.
GM Bryan Murray will be watching closely.