Archive for April, 2012

An Open Letter from Eugene

- April 30th, 2012

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk sent the following to the fans today:

On behalf of our players and the entire Senators organization, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your tremendous support this year. Our 20th anniversary season was filled with memorable moments and historic milestones including:
- Captain Daniel Alfredsson scoring his franchise-record 400th goal
- Alternate captain Chris Phillips playing his 1,000th NHL game – all with the Senators
- Erik Karlsson establishing a new Senators record for points by a defenceman
- Hosting the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Hockey Country and having Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek voted by our fans to the starting line-up
- The opening of the Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall
- Installation of the Bell HD Screen, one of the largest in the NHL

Our season began with tempered expectations but under the direction of new head coach Paul MacLean and his staff, our team played an exciting brand of hockey and displayed a never-quit attitude. Their hard work all season resulted in your Senators returning to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 13th time in the last 15 years – the best of any Canadian NHL team.
Our team success also resulted in a number of Senators receiving league-wide recognition. Captain Daniel Alfredsson has been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the player that best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Erik Karlsson is the first Senator ever nominated for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s top defenceman. In addition, the NHL announced today that our head coach Paul MacLean is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award to the NHL coach judged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.
As proud as we are about how our team performed this season we are equally excited about our bright future. With our coaching staff, players and prospects, we believe we are on the right track to building a team that can and will compete for the Stanley Cup every year.
Throughout this season and the Stanley Cup playoffs our team was fuelled by your passion and energy. Never in our 20-year history have we been more proud of our team and our fans.
Thank you for believing and for being the greatest fans in the world.
Sincerely,
Eugene

Fearless Predictions

- April 27th, 2012

Here goes for Round 2.

These are DON BRENNAN’S:

Washington over New York in six: Caps finally have a goalie
Philadelphia over New Jersey in five: Flyers’ French Connection (Giroulx and Briere) will be the difference.

Nashville over Phoenix in six: Predators and their mohawks are the better team, starting in net
St. Louis over L.A. In seven: Might not be 20 goals scored in the entire series.

BRUCE GARRIOCH

Rangers over Caps in 6: Henrik Lundqvist looks like he might finally be rounding into form. Rangers find a way to get it done.

Flyers over Devils in 6: Philly might be the best team in the East. This could be easy work if Bryzgalov stops the puck.

WEST

Los Angeles over St. Louis in 6: At some point, the bubble is going to burst with the Blues. Kings knocked off a top seed.

Predators over Coyotes in 5: I liked the Hawks in the last round. I like the Predators in this round. Determined to win.

Enjoy the playoffs.

Here we go

- April 26th, 2012

NEW YORK _ It’s Game 7.
The moment we have all been waiting for. Decided to spend the day at Madison Square Garden. Couldn’t find a room in the city because of the NFL draft. Took a walk for lunch. Now we wait.
Travel arrangements are made for Florida.
They are made for Philadelphia as well.
We may just be coming home for a locker cleanout.
Hard to predict.
I said it would take 7 for the Senators to win this series.
Here we are at Game 7.
Matt Carkner and Zenon Konopka are both questionmarks.
Not sure if they are going to play.
They weren’t on the ice for the morning skate.
Enjoy Game 7. It should be fun either way.

Michalek in Trouble?

- April 24th, 2012

Milan Michalek could be in hot water.
NHL VP of safety Brendan Shanahan is studying an incident on the Jason Spezza goal at 19:21 of the third period because Rangers defenceman Girardi claims he was kicked by Michalek on the play.
Sources confirmed to the Sun Tuesday morning Shanahan has acquired the CBC footage of the replay and though no hearing has been scheduled, Michalek could either face a fine or suspension before Game 7 of the seriers Thursday.
No, Michalek doesn’t have any past history, but a source said Girardi was complaining after the game his pant leg was cut because of the incident. A hearing would have to be held before puck drop Thursday night at MSG.
A decision will likely made later today on whether the incident is serious enough to require a hearing. The replay shows Michalek flat on his belly with Girardi on top of him and using his skate to get Girardi off him.

Throwing Stones

- April 21st, 2012

NEW YORK _ Good day, folks.
Welcome back to New York City.
Got in late yesterday. Tapped away at my stories and then went to take in the Mets-Giants game that went into extra innings at CitiField in nearby Queen’s. The subway ride was interesting. The woman throwing up on the floor was just a little slice of New York.
There haven’t been a lot of dull moments in this playoffs series.
This morning was no different.
Rookie Mark Stone was skating with the fourth line.
The question is: Will he play?
He sure sounded like he was going to be in there. In case you don’t know, he’s a 2010 sixth-round pick who played for the Brandon Wheat Kings. Cassie Campbell-Pascall tells me the kid can score.
Coach Paul MacLean said Stone couldn’t hurt the power play.
Yup, he’s right on that front.
“I came to Ottawa with really low expectations and I just wanted to kind of be here and be around the playoff atmosphere. If I could get in, it would be something special for me and something I’d be excited to do,” said Stone.
We won’t know until tonight. Everything is a big secret.
I can tell you captain Daniel Alfredsson has made progress and skated today in Ottawa. That’s very good news. I wouldn’t rule him out for Game 6. The guy means a lot to this team.
All right back to the streets of NYC for the afternoon.
Should be a fun night at MSG.