Cats meow

- January 21st, 2013

Just finishing up at the first morning skate of the season – and a good one it was.
Now, you probably realize that to a reporter, a “good” anything at the rink means he picked up some decent fodder to write. My best bits came out of the Florida Panthers room.
Details will follow up in the Cheapseats, but Alex Kovalev will probably dominate a chunk of the 900 word column. The ex-Senator spoke at length about his problems with former coach Cory Clouston. Everyone knew there was a rift, but this was the first time Kovalev explained his side of the story.
Also chatted with Filip Kuba, who will be paired on the blue line tonight with Brian Campbell. It’s no fluke that Florida coach Kevin Dineen has come up with that tandem, after the success Kuba had with a similar type player in Ottawa.
George Parros, one of the toughest guys in the NHL, was telling me about how different this Ottawa team looks than last season’s, when Matt Carkner and Zenon Konopka and Nick Foligno and Jared Cowen were here. I hope Parros plays tonight, but without a heavyweight to go up against, I’m doubtful.
Anyway, Senators will have their hands full with a well-coach bunch of Panthers, but I’m thinking the atmosphere at Scotiabank Place is going to work in their favor. I’m going go with aa 4-3 Ottawa victory

Categories: Hockey

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15 comments

  1. PaV says:

    Bruce I am calling a 3-1 Victory for Ottawa. The Panthers have gotten better yes… but they are still the Panthers.

    I hear SBP is sold out. Hopefully the free beer will help.

  2. Pav says:

    &$$)((;:/– sportsnet…. The talking heads saying that the Sens will be fighting for a playoff spot. Oh great now we get to hear Potvin calling the game. Great.

  3. Bobby Goodman says:

    Pav, of course the Bank would be sold out; Canadians are rabid fans! We may huff and puff but when push comes to shove, why deny outselves one of our great pleasures. Hell, McGuinty was re-elected.

    Ottawa looks good but have yet to play a great team (Philly, Ptt, Bruins, Rangers etc.). I see they are giving Sly every opportunity to be successful playing on the first PP unit. I wish him all the best but have yet to be blown away by his “skills”. I haven’t seen him take the puck, carry it past two lines and beat anybody. The best guy on the ice last night was Rocko.

    Wiercioch and Benoit look pretty damn good out there (Philips and Gonchar are showing their age). My God Potvin is awful…really. He should stick to simply offering colour commentary and forget about the incessant selling! Peter regin is looking good and I think he is wasted on the 4th line; if Greening doesn’t pick up his play, maybe he would be a good fit offering some speed and creativity with Gums and Knuckles!

    Turris looks outstanding and Latendresse fits in nicely on that line.

    Greening looks very, very slow. For a guy who is supposed to be the fastest kid on the team, he doesn’t show it….ever! I would love to see him put it in high gear and then receive a pass, not the reverse (I know it is very old fashioned but we used to call it “give and go”). Greening is very uncomfortable with the puck on his stick and he slows down to a snails pace with it and that is fine, if you do other things: get very physical, punish the opposition, go into the corners with conviction, park your big frame in front of the net etc. Apparently he has a fantastic shot…..shoot the puck!!!! He scored 17 goals last year but that was because he played with Rocko.

    I wonder how long Lehner will be satisfied to sit. If I were a betting man, it looks like he is a lock and Bishop is the one who will be traded (and I understand). The way Anderson is perfroming, who knows when Lehner will be ‘tween the pipes.

    Three more points for the 20 year old Vladamir Tarasenko including another beautiful goal (3 in 2 games). If we look back, Ottawa traded the 16 pick (Tarasenko) for another soft one dimensional defenceman, Runds’bad. Forolunda west was one man short I guess.

    Winnick now has 4 goals for Anaheim??? Good on him. Colton Orr is now allowed to play in the NHL???? Didn’t Lord Burke say the league no longer supports players like Orr (of course he couldn’t be responsible for Orr’s demotion). Didn’t Lord Burke keep the talented Kadri in the manures and brow beat him for 3 years. For a kid that is supposed to be so out of shape, he musters up a lot of energy to get involved in every play ever game! Dumb Cherry said it was Burkes loyalty to his friend and coach Wilson that was his failing. Lord Burke is only loyal to himself….family, friends, God and country all come second!

    Everytime I see and hear Evander Kane interviewed I like him less. I used to love the kid.

  4. OD99 says:

    Tarasenko certainly looks good so far but Rundblad was having a pretty good season in the A and we will see how he adjusts to the NHL this time around – I am not prepared to give up on him just yet.

    That said, Murray turned Rundblad into Turris and right now I would rather have a player who is looking like he will become a legit #2 center than another winger. Of course if Tarasenko turns into a superstar I might change my mind but the draft is the draft…15 other teams could have picked Taraskenko as well and there was no guarantee he would come over to play in the NHL.

    Silf is looking a little bit behind but again, give it time. He took a bit t adjust to the AHL and I am not surprised it is taking a bit to adjust to the NHL. He doesn’t look out of place and so far that entire line isn’t clicking.

    Don’t know how you thought Spezza was the best player? I didn’t think he looked good at all really but I am not worried about the first line – they will get it going.

    JOB, Condra and Regin all look pretty good out there, that is a nice line right now and JOB looks like he got faster…Greening has left me wanting as well, he needs to impose himself on the ice and he just isn’t doing it while Neil and Smith look really good.

    Methot was very strong and I take back what I said the other day because live he seemed much faster than he did against the Jets. He did get better as that game went along as well so hoping that he and Karlsson are starting to gel…Karlsson is amazing…if only he scored on that short-handed break he created!

    Alfie looks like he is easing into the season – still smart and in the right spots but missing that jump we have come to expect.

    Glad you are liking Wiercioch and Benoit Bobby! Many had already written Wiercioch off as a wasted prospect but his off season training seems to be paying off…he is patient with the puck and they are playing a simple game in our end – love that they are playing them together.

    Also for a Bingo note – Zibby has scored in 3 straight and DaCosta is a big reason for it. The new line of Stone, DaCosta and Zib is looking dangerous each game…have to say again I think DaCosta is thiiiiiis close to being a regular NHL player…needs to get stronger but damn that kid has a set of hands and vision.

    Lehner back to Bingo and I think that is the right call. Perhaps later in the season some teams get desperate and we can move Bishop for some good value but right now, no rush at all.

  5. Bobby Goodman says:

    Bishop will get his reps so that teams wanting, will know what they are getting. It is a good move and the only move that can be played by the Sens at this time.

    I was looking for something from Silfverberg that would dazzle but it never came; but it is early yet. I read that the Sens are looking at this 5-10″, 160 lb defenceman in the KHL. Apparently they are negotiating with the team to get him playing in N/A. I don’t know why. The kid has scored 10 goals which is great but the team needs some big and ugly. I would have loved to have seen Brian Allen in an Ottaw Uni.

    If Philly needs a backstop, would you move Bishop and some yute on the farm for Luke Schen or his bro? I would.

  6. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Give Silf time?
    Mais pourquoi? All we heard is that the SEL is a “Man’s League” and that Silf was the next coming of Daniel Alfredsson, that he was far above his skill level, that he walked on air and not on the ground as we peons do!
    What happened? In Winnipeg? He produced BUPKIS. Against Florida, a SHAMEFUL franchise he got a late goal that had no impact on the game. Why is this a Hall of Fame performance? I’m not seeing a 1,000 + game, 1,000+ point, elite two-way forward here and I was promised one by the talking head Murray’s!

    Turris I am reserver judgment on. He has shown a disturbing propensity to complain! Complained about Phoenix, complained about the cold here and complained about the food in Finland! I cannot, simply will not, support a well-paid and well fed professional athlete that complains about anything. Shame! Shame! Shame!

    Bobby, it might interest you to know the Senators gave away thousands of tickets for the home opener. Team 1200 was giving 4 per hour on the Friday before the game, season ticket holders got extra tickets, giveaways galore! That is hardly a “sell out”! A sell out means EVERY TICKET is paid for by the fans, not one giveaway!
    Such is not the case. Was the bard full? Absolutely, full of 10,500 season ticket holders an 8,000 moochers!

    I have fond Spezza to be invisible. He has yet to completely take over a game from top to bottom as I have seen him do in the past. Still waiting for that dominant performance, but it’s still early.

    Good to see the Red Wings fail! It was tiring seeing that franchise in the playoffs year after year, held together by “St. Nick” Lidstrom. Now they are exposed as a poor defensive unit with a good goaltender and aging forward group sprinkled with a few youngsters (Brunner). I will dance in the streets as I danced when we flushed Redden and Fisher when the Wings miss the playoffs!

    As for Orr, Bobby you missed Burke’s point. Burke was just saying that the “pure goon” was gone and this is so. Orr worked on his skating, still is an able pugilist and can play 3-5 minutes per game for energy. (I still don’t understand why we are talking about Burke in a column about the Ottawa Senators! I’ll just be glad if Anderson can stop Phil Kessel from scoring more than a few when next we meet! It would do well for the league for the Canadiens and Maple Leafs to improve, we are all better for it when they are good and so is the NHL! Yes, same could be said about the Wings but I’m allowed ot dislike a team or two!

    If the Senators lose even one game against either Florida or Tampa Bay some soul-searching needs be done! Florida is an embarassment and Tampa Bay has the ridiculous Stamkos, who has yet to become a top-tier, two-way Selke level forward!

    No team has won the Cup with a 50-goal man since Sakic/Hejduk pulled the trick! “Stammer” on, Mr. 50-goal!

  7. PaV says:

    Bobby, I agree. Canadians are insane about hockey. I was just hoping for all the fans that were pissed to actually shwo they were pissed. But alas hockey is alive and well.

    In refernece to your comment about Ottawa not playing a good team yet.. the Rangers are off to a horrible start. I am thinking that they are not going to do it this year. They seem to be waiting around waiting for Nash to do something.

    The PENS look in fine form.

    SENS are out to a 2-0 so far. Hopefully that will be 3-0 after tmw.

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    Can anyone rationalize why Gretzky would be considered for President of the Toronto Maple Leafs? Could it be because of all the great work he did in Phoenix as Coach? The fact is he was God awful and needed help from the many who surrounded him and he left with a .473 record. Perhaps it is the way he awarded close friends/family with positions of authority: His agent, Michael Barnet became General manager; his friend Tocchet was assistant coach and later charged for illegal gambling (Mrs. Gretzky was implicated); Fuhr, another close friend became goalie coach and his brother Keith was appointed Director Amateur Scouting! All that talent but so little in the way of results!

    Perhaps someone might consider all the great work he has done in the game since he “quit” the Coyotes??? Lets be honest here, his time was when he played and he has done diddly squat ever since! He has been living in the USA for most of his life! He isn’t well spoken (even I speak more gooder than he), he’s no member of MENSA certainly, perhaps having grade 11 is all it takes to be qualified for the job! If he was to become President of the Toronto Maple Leafs, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. The organzation has a history of making bad decisions, Gretzky would simply be one more.

  9. Mike8888 says:

    The way Lehner is playing, I wouldn’t trade him for Nash straight up right now. I can’t believe how little the Blue Jackets received from the Rangers.

    Bobby, who cares about Rundblad, he’s now Turris.

    Pierre, is that really you? I’m reading more and more positive points in your posts.

    Pav, I hope you have a good credit card limit. It sounds like your buying a lot of beer.

    Bruce, how come you’re on the beach and not Don?

  10. OD99 says:

    Pierre I don’t know if you are serious or trolling here?

    Silf was supposed to be the best player on the ice, Stamkos sucks, losing a hockey game is cause for soul searching? Anderson is an underachiever?

    And the best of all – Colton Orr is a legitimate hockey player…my vote is trolling.

  11. OD99 says:

    Bobby I don’t know that Silf will dazzle, don’t think he is that kind of player but I think he might catch your attention with his all around game and his ability to get his shot off – also pretty good at finding the open man.

    Hope to see a full 60 minutes tonight and tomorrow…would be sick if we could start off 4-0, especially with Philly struggling and the Rags not looking as good as expected either.

  12. PaV says:

    Don… home and home with FLA….. didn’t seem that Ottawa had their hands full at all. Theodore kept them in the game… Ottawa pretty much dominated them and when FLA had a chance, Andy was there to stop it.

    Bobby…. more and more I could care less what happens in TO. They beat the PENS day before last and get BLOWN out of the water yesterday by the Isles. There is a lack of conistancy. Gretz was a horrible coach and he would make a horrible addtionl to MSLE. MSLE needs to change within before they can move forward. The firing of Burkie was a start, but they need a lot more changes before they become a respected club…. they are far from it. I know the Leaf fans are going to jump on that comment, but just because you are the richest club, doesn’t mean you have respect.

    I make fun of ‘Simmer’ but he made a point a few weeks back… that when he was with TO the nature was ‘oh everyone wants to come here’ and he used Spezza as an example. But before Ottawa signed him to a long term team, they were convinced that Spezza will come knocking. Even after he singed, they were still expeting Spezza ask for a trade to come to TO.

    None wants to go there.

    Bring on TB tonight. Calling a 4-1 win.

    Don, btw, did your better half hear the comment about the 50K?

  13. Bobby Goodman says:

    I have respected Dale Talon as a player and as a GM but I have to wonder what he was thinking about when he offered Kovalev a contract. His play is the same as it was here, showing of his talent to be sure but going only in second gear. Whatching him completely quit on Karly’s goal was sickening to watch and must have made the coach cringe. Is he a role model for the youngsters there…I think not. There were a lot of empty seats and for good reason; the team does not entertain! I really like Mathias though!

    It is wonderful that my team, the Ottawa Senators, are 3 and 0, but they were blessed with a very easy start to the year! Forida without Weis and Versteeg are God awful. The team is playing a man short everytime Kovalev takes a shift. It will be interesting to see what they are capable of playing against better competion.

    I am pleasantly suprised with Methot’s play…he moves much better than I had thought. No, he will never be a punishing Carkner type but he isn’t a liability at all. He knows his role and he is doing it very well! A true test will come when the team plays Boston, Pitt, NYR or Philly who are very aggressive and physical!

    I don’t know what to say about Greening. We all know he can skate and has size but do we see it? If the soft skills aren’t working for ya, get down, dirty and do some heavy lifting!

    You have to wonder why The Dog was offered a contract at all (the same question I asked of Daisey the Air Rifle who as I predicted is not playing in the NHL for anyone). For him to collect 650k or whatever to sit., when at anytime the team can call up DD, Grant or others from the farm, makes little sence to me.

    The 20 year old Tarasenko now leads (tied) for the leqague lead in scoring with 4 goals and 2 assists in 3 games. I wonder how he will perform when he has 3 more years of experience behind him. I have only seen highlites and they are spectacular; even the announcers go nuts.

    The Rangers mustered 19 shots the other night in a loss to Boston. I an not a big fan of Yosemite Same and it is primarily for that reason…he is a lousy coach and focusses on defence only. Anyone with half a brain can do that. A good coach finds ways to get the most out of what he’s got. One dimensional coaches last about 3 years and then they move on. Jacques Martin, has not found a coaching job since being fired from les Glourieux.

    I still think that Luke Schen is a possibility; Bishop and some from the farm may be enough…hell, throw in the Dog a well! Under a player’s coach like Maclean, I think Schen would thrive!

  14. Bobby Goodman says:

    Oh, the fickle fans/media have turned on the goalie, er goalies. That defencive genious Randy Carlyle “has all the confidence in the in the two goalies” except when the stink. I got a secret for ya Randy, the team plays defence and it is not incumbent on only the goalies to shut the door!

    It is also interesting that now Carlyle is a genius because he has emancipated Kadri from the manures; I would suggest he would have been doing the same for the big team last year had ne not been brow beaten by everyone in the organization!

  15. Bobby Goodman says:

    Certainly someone, anyone should take it upon themselves to let Brown and Potvin know how very bad they are…seriously! These two are an embarrassment! Can they not just call the game without the incessant homerism? They sound like school children. Potvin applauds sitting out Wiercioch because another needs playing time, but he doesn’t explain why…why? I do not believe Latrendresse is hurt. The team played Bishop because if the team lost, it would be on him but if they won, he is that much more tradeable! This was the first true test and it revealed much. Afredsson who Potvin praised for his ability to do everything well was a big fat minus 3! Gonchar the “slick and wise veteran” was also minus three. The 4m dollar a year, home discount man, the Big Rig was minus 3; what do the have in common? All are old, soft and slow. Daugavins who recieved nothing but praise from both Brown and Potvin all night long joined the others with a minus 3 rating.

    Potvin often spoke but found himself wandering without any direction. He criticisized Boucher, whose team won, and had nothing but praise for Maclean, whose team lost!? The referees again this year, are all united in their hatred of the Ottawa Senators.

    Did it look like Boro was in a bit of a shouting match with Cam-moron….if so, I can understand why…Cam-moron is an idiot. You have got to love Boro’s phyicality and enthusiasm (sadly lacking on the back end! Smitty didn” know if he was coming or going. After playing great for three games on a formidable third line, the brain trust believed he would do better as a winger. The move hurt him and 2 oher players.

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