All quiet at Scotiabank Place

- November 30th, 2010

The time has come for change at Scotiabank Place.

The Senators aren’t living up to expectations.

This can’t go on much longer. The playoffs are in danger. The club has to sell tickets.

Meaningless games in January aren’t an option. This has to get turned around quickly because nobody expected the Senators to be in this position.

So, what now? Really waiving Brian Lee doesn’t mean much at all. He wasn’t playing. It takes cash off the books, but really it could just mean the Senators recall someone else form their AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

Dany Heatley is here Thursday.

He arrives with the Senators in an embarrassing situation.

They can’t worry about Heatley coming back.

That is the least of their concerns.

The time has come for change. The time has come for a major change. Start listening to offers for the young players. Make a move. Do something.

Categories: Hockey

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23 comments

  1. Visitor - Pierre D says:

    Won’t happen.

    They won’t fire the coach because they’d look like a circus.
    They won’t touch the beloved core.
    They won’t move young assets out of fear it will bite them back.
    They won’t trade picks because they need them.

    Just enjoy the games as we have them, if Melnyk wanted change he’d have it.

    This is the team he and Murray want.
    Go Sens.

  2. tuna99 says:

    Start listening to offeers for the young players?? Shouldnt it be start listenign to offers ofr the older players???

    How much could we get for Phillips and sign him again in the summer, Kovalev, Ruutu, Kuba, Leclaire?? We have some veterans to deal, keep the young guys, they are the guys we need to rebuild around, not the old guys.

  3. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Also, why not just bottom out?

    The team isn’t going to make money anyway, since they are definitely not making the second round.
    Just bottom out and hope for Nugent-Hopkins, Larsson, etc.
    Team has needed fresh legs forever.

    Change-averse org + mediocre on-ice product can at least translate into a bright future.

  4. Mike8888 says:

    I agree Tuna. The last thing the Sen’s should do is trade their young players. The core group of veterans they have now have never really got it done. The year they made it to the finals, they folded meekly like a cheap tent when the going got tough against Anaheim.

  5. tuna99 says:

    They have a good young D-corps coming in well balanced with talent and Elliot and Lehner in net, I’d say the hardest part of the rebuild is almost done. They need top 3 talent up front because Alfie cannot carry this team anymore, Alfie is still amazing but let’s get him some young players to do a lot of the dirty work like Fedorov did for Yzerman for so many years to keep Stevie Y looking young.

    A 1-2 year full rebuild and this team could be in contention again like this fanbase is sued to.

    I don’t buy this theory in the press thta the team has to make the playoffs every year for the fans to come. I would pay tickets to see a Hall or a Stamkos play, not a Kovalev or a Gonchar, I know what these guys are, vets looking for big money and a comfy sail off into the sunset. At least the young guys play with hunger and most people I know agree with me.

    We came when it was the young Alfie’s, Hossa’a Redden’s, Havlat’s and Fisher, these were our guys, not floated in free agents the fan base doesn’t care about.

  6. Dennis_w says:

    Who’s expectations are the sens not living up to? Your’s? Don’s?

    Most independent observers had this team finishing out of the playoffs, so they are living up to expectations.

    And you want to get rid of the young guys in an attempt at a quick fix? They should have kept Lee and waived Gonchar.

    Mike,

    I’ve heard this nonsense about “the core” before. The makeup of all team’s change within a couple years. So which of the core folded that year? Are they still here?

  7. Mike8888 says:

    Dennis,
    I see your point. The only players left from that team are Alfredsson (should be kept), Fisher and Phillips (who I believe have no trade contracts but should be dealt if possible), Neil, (should be kept), and Kelly. (should be dealt) I look at what the Flyers did with trades, drafting and free agent contacts in a short time and wonder if the Sen’s should at least try the same formula. Holmgren is a good GM but I don’t think he’s the second coming of Sam Pollock.

  8. Mike8888 says:

    Hey Bruce or Don. Who moderates this site? Is it you two?

  9. tuna99 says:

    Bruce,

    Does it seem to you like Ottawa is missing heart and soul to you, it just seems like since Murray has taken over some of the soul of this team is gone. I think to when we brawled Philly, it just seems now when things aren;t going our way I almost want a guy like Fisher to cross check somebody in the face to at least we stick together and fight together, that seems to be completly gone now… the process?? How about instead of X and 0, try asking the guys to play with emotion, seemed to work for Edmonton.

    When was the last time any player on this team tried to stir the pot and asked his teammates to follow him into a trench and play dirty, warlike, ugly in your face take no prisoners hockey. The last player that did that was Emery, sad to say it but it is true.

    The way Murray tried to trade Redden when Redden had a no trade and it went public, it seem to me like Murray has sort of pulled the soul out of this team. Spezza’s trade request going public, Emery left holding the bag, the Healtey fiasco, I just don’t think players can be all in when the man in the sky is known as a media hound and sort of not fully backing his players. Murray alwasy seems to have one foot in the players camp, but is also holding onto the trapped door lever with the other, I can’t see guys fully buying in when this is the case.

    Not that Redden is the answer, but it just seems like that tight knit group that was the Ottawa Senators, Murray has totally gutted it to a team that has no ideintiy and when we lose, it;s all smiles in the dressing room after.

    Also Vermette was a plyer thta played with a ton of soul and always played a hard fought game. He’s gone for a premiere floater and a flake.

    Murray just doesn’t seem to have a group that is cohesive and plays for each other. There are elements that are great, but as a whole this team doesn;t have a warrior you see on other teams, a guy who plays with emotion, a guy who can fire up a team.

    Dany Heatley is going to come into Ottawa tonite and float all over the ice and nobody is going to do a thing about it, I gurantte it. This is a problem, Heatley burned this town, but that seems to be okay with the players, and worse of all, with the GM.

  10. Mike8888 says:

    I agree Tuna. The current cast of Senators seems to be ok with losing. What ever happened to players like Fisher really nailing someone once in a while, and don’t get me started on Phillips. He seems to be ok with collecting his pay cheque and not much else.

  11. Nancy D says:

    Well said on both points, Tuna.

    We HAVE to keep our young guys. Ou team is old and slow….we don’t want to get older and slower!

    And yes, the biggest thing we’ve ALWAYS been missing is a Doug Gilmour, balls-to-the-wall-every-shift type of player that will FORCE everyone else to give 100% every game. Alfie is a tremendous guy and player, but he doesn’t have that fire we need. Spezza has tremendous skills but he will never be “da man.” He works best as a playmaking support guy to ‘da man.’

    Like Tuna (and a few others) said, we have too many perimeter, fancy-schmancy type players. We always have. We need the gritty, screaming, kick-everyone-in-the-butt guys on this team. And it can’t be a 37-year-old on a retirement contract who plays on the 3rd or 4th line, either.

    I’d rather watch a team where the guys bust their butts for 60 minutes every game and never give up, even if they end up losing 82 games………….over this attitude we’ve had for the past decade, where if we get down by a goal or are on the wrong end of a bad call, that we give up.

    Of course, no team in their right mind is going to give up a heart and soul player, especially if he’s under 28 years of age. Our only way to get one these days is through the draft. But, knowing Murray, he’ll trade away our first rounder for a bag of magic beans….

  12. tuna99 says:

    Mike,

    I’m there with you. I want to see some black eyes, snarling, guys gasping for air, some ice packs, snot coming out of guys noses, split lips, limping after the game, crazed looks, yelling from the bench, “play every game like it’s your last” screw the “process”

    Basically I want to see 20 guys go Shayne Corson out there. No fear, draw a line in the sand, never back down, represent the crest, stand in the blue paint after whistles and leave on your own terms, and let them know the game is played on your terms, by your rules.

    Win or lose, that’s what I want to see against SJ, and if we play that way, the fans will get into it. How about not blaming the fans here for being quiet, how about the players do something to get the blood pressure up at SBP, hockey is a violent sport, I want to see violence.

  13. BGoody says:

    Right on guys. A tight team starts at the GM level. In my opinion Murray got the job under false pretenses. He has traded away people who had heart/soul and played with passion. He airs out dirty laundry in a public forum engaging the media to promote propaganda (Corvo, Heatley, Spezza). It wasn’t Heatley who made his request public and it wasn’t Spezza who demanded a trade; he simply responded to a question posed to him by Murray if he would be object to a trade! Murray is a master at manipulating the media and the fan base. Murray allows coaches to call out players as Hartsburg did with Spezza and Alfredsson. That kind of stuff should happen behind closed doors. Unlike Burke who defended Phaneuf, he chose not to comment when Spezza was booed. Is anyone naive enought to think that players on this team could have an issue with others getting limitless lattitude for their bad play and worse yet, lack of any effort? If I was on the bench between shifts and working my tail off, I would have an major issue watching Kovalev. Most want to win, but when you see players going 56 games before they score a goal and others go scoreless after 20 some odd games continue to be in the lineup, some players must ask themselves, does this put the team in the best position to win? This team used to be tight. We used to witness the smiles on the bench when they were having fun and that’s when you play your best. Dennis is absolutely correct, who had high expectations…certainly not me! There is a window of opportunity; Ruutu, Philips, Leclaire, Kovalev and Kuba (I think) all have their contracts expiring at the end of this year freeing up 15m. Let them all go. I am fine with the team finishing at or near the basement. What true hockey fans want to see is effort and a plan. Both are conspicuosly absent in this organization and Melnyk’s perpetual happy face and bizarre confidence is nausiatingly stupid and offensive. Ottawa’s franchise had a fantastic reputation at one pont and it has become a joke since………..how many years has Murray been here?

  14. Mike8888 says:

    Tuna,
    I agree. You’ve stated very well what is missing from this team. What you described is exactly how the Leafs knocked much seperiorly talented Sens teams out of the playoffs so many times. The epitimy was Domi bitch slapping Arvedsson, and noone doing anything about it. During the cup final series against Anaheim, Alfredsson showed a touch of that when he shot the puck at Niedermeyer, and everyone was horrified. Of course, that kind of conduct was never seen again.

  15. Mike8888 says:

    Tuna,
    I agree. You’ve stated very well what is missing from this team. What you described is exactly how the Leafs knocked much seperiorly talented Sens teams out of the playoffs so many times. The epitimy was Domi b$$ch slapping Arvedsson, and noone doing anything about it. During the cup final series against Anaheim, Alfredsson showed a touch of that when he shot the puck at Niedermeyer, and everyone was horrified. Of course, that kind of conduct was never seen again.

  16. bruce.garrioch says:

    Yes, Mike. We moderate the posts but we don’t spend every waking moment on this blog. We do it when we have time.

  17. BGoody says:

    And the question I have Mike and Tuna is, when we all knew that Anaheim was a tough team led by one of the dirtiest players to ever lace up skates in the NHL (Pronger) and possessing grit in players like Perry, Getzlaf, Kunitz (tough little bastard) and of course George Parros, why didn’t Murray dress McGratton? I know that having Brian in one of those games makes everyone else two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier.

  18. Mike8888 says:

    Ok Bruce. I was just wondering whether it was you two, or a web master.

  19. BGoody says:

    …but Garzie…you aren’t playin’ golf anymore this year…

  20. Daniel Murphy says:

    Personally I don’t understand the love affair with Alfie. If I own or run this team and some other team is prepared to give me some talent for Alfie, I have to think about it. His days of superior production is drawing to an end and despite what some people seem to think, we don’t owe him anything. I am not saying drop everything and trade Alfie but as far as I am concerned, there are no untouchables on this team.

    When I see alot of the other teams, including teams ahead of us, I still have faith that we can go on several winning streaks and turn this mediocre season around quite easily.

  21. PaV says:

    Looks like I landed back in time. Just read through the posts…. are we really going to bring up Tie Dummy? Yeah he was a tough guy, but man he was cheap, why not throw Darcy Tucker in the mix?

    The issue is not toughness with this team. Its the lack of scoring and people not showing up to play. Weather you are a tough guy, or a skilled player, you need to show up.

    @bobby, dressing Grats in that game would have done nothing, nada, zip. The year after the SENS didn’t sign him and halfway through the season he was admitted to rehab and is apparenty now clean (good for him, takes a lot to admit that you have a problem and are willing to fix it). One would think that the SENS organization had a feeling that he wasn’t in a mental state to play and may have done more harm than good. If you remember another SENS tough guy (Andre Roy) who wasn’t able to be kept on tight rope and usually let his emotions get the best of him…. it was rumoured that he has similar issues as Grats did. Pronger is a dirty dirty player. I wouldn’t want him anywhere on my team. Its like asking for Sean Avery, he is in the same breath as Pronger and apparently is stealing Avery’s move… just wait for the sloppy seconds comment from Pronger.

    @Mike8888 – I didn’t like that Alfie shot a puck at Niedermeyer.. I know he was trying to get his team going, but Alfie is all about class, and that move was far from it. I personally thing that was his worst moment as a SEN from a leader standpoint.

    Does Ottawa need to get dirty? No. Do they need to get tougher… yes. But I rather have a guy like Carkner who is a honest player on my team, than some dirty player who needs to be victious in order to win a game.

    Thats just me folks.

  22. Visitor - Pierre says:

    There are some excellent posts in here. Well done tuna especially.

    Guys, this team needs a new direction.
    Whether that’s a new captain, a new core group, or just younger players…something has to give.

    This team, before Murray got here, was classy off the ice and tough as nails to play against on the ice.
    Now, we are a “gimme” two points at home and roadkill as well.
    Alfredsson looks old and disinterested.
    Poor Spezza is trying to spin gold from wool.

    Murray needs to go at the end of this year.
    Bring in someone from outside the org that will clean this mess up, that will cut a swath through the core and bring in young, fast, tough to play against kids.

    Right now, I’m just putzing around on my laptop with the Habs/Edmo game on.
    Both those teams are great to look at.
    Tons of speed, youth, end to end action.

    We get heat for not cheering this team at Scotiabank Place.

    This team is garbage.
    I would rather spend $30 on a 67s ticket or something than watch this old, tired, slow and skill-deprived group.

    I will go to two games in 2011, to see Ovechkin and Philly.
    I don’t care about this core or this team anymore.

    They’ve lost me as a fan.
    Sorry Bruce if that offends you.
    Cheers.

  23. Donna says:

    i wished kovalev had more heart like crosby because he is magnificent……..
    spezza trade…..he comes out to play for the opposing team way to much..like crosbyt and ovechkin who come out to play more often then not …spezza the opposit….he should have gone before Heatley……neil…trade…kelly has more scoring points then neil…even fisher…maybe time to go to nashville…but agree with young team…i really enjoyed brodeur ..we need a star goalie… conchar, he is good,….too bad they are old…. he is great teaching 13 and 65 some moves…
    Maybe time for alfie to retire..sutton was great and they got rid of him…donavan great defenceman…

    i love the sens…but stop moving people around let them decide who they are comfortable playing with and it will happen….gonchar and karlsson for ex. and pick a starting goalie…this failed us last year…back and forth…
    go sens go…

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