A nice break

- February 14th, 2014

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Have had some quiet time on the break _ mostly at home. Like my use of the photo? You can teach an old dog new tricks (thanks Don Wilcox).
Stayed in Boston an extra day to do some shopping and take in the Faneuil Hall marketplace along with a good place for pastry called Mike’s in the North End.
Boston is a great a city to just walk. We stayed neared Boston Common. Also went for breakfast at a place called The Paramount. Historical old place in Beacon Hill. Well worth the visit. Okay, enough of the travel itinerary.
The Senators are off until next Wednesday at 2 p.m.
They’ve scattered all over the place. Erik Karlsson is with Sweden and Milan Michalek is with the Czech Republic.
When the Senators return they will have 23 games to make the playoffs. The task will not be easy. They have much work to do. A check of sportsclubstats.com (the site NHL owners uses) says the club has 26.7% chance of making the post-season. They sit one point behind the Detroit Red Wings.
The Senators need to find consistency when they return. That’s what this is all about for them now. If they can find consistency they will be okay. If not, they will land out of the playoffs. Captain Jason Spezza certainly needs to be one of those who is there every night.
We’ll get this blog up and running again next week. Enjoy the break. It’s odd to not to be able to turn on Centre Ice every night and pick a game. Mind you waking up to hockey is good as well. So, will Canada win gold?

Categories: Hockey

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21 comments

  1. Bobby Goodman says:

    Bruce, every player needs to be there everynight and whoever doesn’t show up, should be sat down.

    I watched the game yesterday and I wasn’t impressed. I have to say I am confused (it is easy to do). The Selection committee took great care identifying the players they believed would best match their “vision” of what kind of team could win Gold. But, as always, their actions contradicted their vision. We were all told the team would be built on speed but we can’t say that Bergeron, Getzlaf and Perry are….swift! Stamkos was a lock because he is a shooter, a sniper but when he went down, the team selected a 38 year old to replace him, St Louis. Neal who has played many games with Crosby and Kunitz was forsaken.

    But, it goes further than that. Last summer the boys all got together fir a “dry land walk through”. Why. The Coach and Staff have been preaching the merits of Structure, Systems and got so complicated, the best hockey player in the world sought out the Coach for clarifcation. After the first period yesterday where the team looked completely disjointed, the Coach told them to “just play”. They finally did and it showed.

    Canada has the best players in the world. They’re all extremely talented. Talented players are dynamic. They adjust on the fly. They are artists and creat. For our boys to adopt a system is nonsense (other teams need to adopt systems to play against them). But for the coach to introduce “structure” to this bunch is absolutely silly and it showed in the first period. They looked like they were lost, confused and wondering if they were doing what the Coach wanted. Can’t play like that.

    I watched the game and still wonder how the reigning Norris trophy winner could sit for Hamuis and Pickle! Karly is playing for the Swedes and isn’t he a “risky player”?

    I would love to see Nicholson, and the entire bunch responsible for Canada’s participation internationally to adopt a different mind set. I want confidence instilled. I want them to play to ther strengths. I want other teams to worry about stopping them. I want to best and want systems and structure thrown out! As long as the boys are responsible, allow them to be the best players in the world.

    I have always believe that the best people to fix an organizations problems are the people who actually do the work. I wonder if Mr, Happy and company ever probed the players on the style of play that might work best. All of them have played a number of games on the large ice surface (it isn’t something new to them and the large ice surface favors the skilled and speedy). But the Management team come up with Systems and Structure as they do every year.

    Crosby and the bunch don’t need to be told to play a system and adopt some structure. These best players in the world know what works and why.

    Who wins gold…dunno. Who should, Canader. But, let them play!

    Coaching staff have taken great care in

  2. Bobby Goodman says:

    I just wached the first period. To think that Duchene (and Benn) were afterthoughts. I wonder how many fantastic hockey players were left behind by Sweden, United States, Russia and Finaland because the selection committee believed they were too young or not mature enough. Nicuskin is 19 and he looks damn good for Russia. If anyone knew Lindros when he was a teenager, you wouldn’t say he was….mature….but damn he was great for Team Canada, wasn’t he?

    Speed and skill will always rule in this sport and if you can size…that much better.

  3. KevinF says:

    Really looking forward to tomorrow’s US/Rus game, in my view the two biggest threats.
    I think Canada wins based on depth. Liking what I see up front, good all around players from top to bottom, no weak links.
    But the biggest advantage is the big three on D, Weber, Doughty and Keith! What a pleasure to watch such terrific all around talents play the game. Hit defend, pass and unload bombs. No team in the tourney can come close to those guys, the other 5 are nice complimentary pieces, Pietrangelo especially will be a kingpin by the time the next international tournament comes around. Price and Lou just have to hold serve not stand on their head. Gold is ours unless a goaltender absolutely steals it.

  4. Dennis_w says:

    The Olympics are showing what a great talent Karlsson is, who is mostly held back by his Ottawa teammates. It’s also showing that if he were a UFA, he wouldn’t stay I Ottawa. He’s grossly underpaid and Melnyk wouldn’t ( or can’t) pay him. And after the way Alfie was betrayed, he probably wouldn’t want to stay anyway (kind of like Muckler with Hossa and Chara).

    As long as Melnyk owns the team, mediocre is the best we can hope for.

  5. Paul from Ottawa says:

    Hey Bruce,
    My wife and I were in Boston this summer. I recommend Bagelville situated inside the Quincy market building. HUGE bagels. There is also a Starbucks inside the same building.
    As for the Olympics, why is the western media so hell-bent on dissing Russia? Does anyone remember the canadian facilities (Olympic Stadium) were unfinished? I don’t remember Americans or Canadians piling on like they are in Sochi. Let them have their moment of glory, and just enjoy the Games.

    Cheers!

  6. Bobby Goodman says:

    What other Country can boast they have the current Norris Trophy winner and 3 others who are always in the conversation (one of whom has one won and will in all probability win another this year)? Absolutely Canada has an overwhelming advantage there AND they have Pietrangelo! I am not as excited about Valsic and Hamuis and still very confused how/why they are on the team and Phaneuf (who must have pissed someone off) is not! To select defensemen because you know what to expect from them (reliability) in an event like this one is silly IMO. The best players all have a host of skills and as such can play whatever game they are told, the difference is, when the opportunity is there, they can tap into those skills. The others who don’t have them, cannot!

    I read the coach isn’t worried about the Crosby line (in particular) he is worried about all 4. I certainly wouldn’t be. I am not worried at all about the Crosby line. There are 14-15 fantastic fowards on the hockey club, while some may not be as prominent on the score sheet after a couple of games, others will. Besides, the game is more than simply getting points. Kunitz and Crosby will be fine. The Coach should find a player for them and leave him there! They will figure it out!

    As much as I have been a St Louis fan, IMHO he shouldn’t be there and perhaps, he should be on the sidelines. I would have him as a spare part only. Sharp has to be in the lineup and playing as should Duchene and Benn. Duchene brought some much needed speed to the Getzlaf line and no one is better maintaining possession/protecting the puck.

    I will never understand the media’s fascination with who will start in goal. Who cares! The team has to fantastic goaltenders and a bad decision can’t be made! By the same token, I will never understand why coaches keep it a secret. I would start Price because I would want to get him into a proper game and be tested. Luongo was tested and was great.

    I watched the Russian/USA game and thought the Russians should have won. It was a lot of fun to watch as was the shootout but it certainly isn’t a way to determine a winner. I love watching a shoot out but for one player to go more than once (without going through the lineup) is really Mickey Mouse.

    I am picking our boys to win this game 6-2.

  7. Bobby Goodman says:

    You have to wonder how “Ottawa Senator players are holding Karly back”. If a particular fan were to dig a bit deeper he might find that Karly is on the ice for 27-30 minutes a game playing mostly with those who are gifted offensively. He’s also on the ice for most of the 2 minutes on every power play. The Team has made sure he has someone paired with him that can cover for his mistakes (he has had a few now).

    The Coach and Organization allow him to play a game that can only be characterized as high risk/high reward (I call it one dimensional…all offense, all the time). He is completely forgiven for his “defiant disregard for defence”. He is invisible in his own end of the ice. He leads the entire League in give aways and only 11 defencemen in the league have worse plus/minus.

    Karlsson is blessed with offensive skills but shows up only when the games are easy yet, he is “grossly underpaid” with his 6 year, 6.5m dollar contract!? Just how much should Karly be paid? The Olympics show off his offense but also his defensive liabilities! With the first round of games over, the real games afoot, we will see just how effective Karlfy can be when the games are played harder and the competition better/tougher. Even with the extra room out there, Karly has conceded the puck, corners and the net to the opposition. Drew Doughty earns 6.7 while Karly earns 6.5, I think they are paid phenominally well and if someone is being cheated financially, it would the Doughty certainly not Karlsson!

    Melnyk was also guilty of “betraying” Annika. Annika was betrayed? Was Melnyk supposed to “reward” him for fulfilling his contractual obligation to play the final year of his contract from $1m with another mult-year, multi-million dollar contract? I would say not, but that is what was going to happen. Annika said “it wasn’t about the money” but indeed it was, 4m wasn’t enough.

    Annika betrayed an organization and fans by lyng to them. He had no intention of staying with Ottawa (and that is fine…but be honest). He got his extra 1m/yr in Detroit. He said he didn’t know if he was going to play another year, that wasn’t true either. He desperately wanted to play in Sochi and believed playing for Detroit with Zetterberg, Datsuk and his brethern made it possible. He was looking for “a new adventure”. Annika wouldn’t accept a trade the year before to a Cup contending team tham might net the Sens assets.

    Annika betrayed his “friend” and Sen’s GM. He wouldn’t give Murray a decision if he was going to come back for another season or not. Only when he was 4,000 miles away back in Sweden did he make up his mind and cowardly let his “friend” know about it in an Email (he wouldn’t even respond when Murray left voicemails). He even had a news conference to read a carefully crafted script to explain how he was mistreated. He never negotiated in good faith because he never intended to come back to Ottawa for another year. That’s betrayal.

  8. ChokerHater says:

    Happy with the effort out of Canada. The game is very different on the big ice and Canada seems to be adjusting, slowly though. They took it to the Finns and the Finns played a very disciplined defensive game with probably the best goalie in the world right now. The question is, will they be ready when it really counts. The next game should be a walk, then all hell breaks lose and they better be ready.
    I expected more out of Perry, but Getzlaf Nash and Crosby are playing well, and all I can say about Weber is too bad we don’t get to see more of him.

  9. Dennis_w says:

    Bobby,

    I really don’t respect your opinions, hockey or otherwise (and you don’t have to respect mine). You seem to twist facts (BTW, Doughty’s cap hit $7) to suit whatever irrelevant point you’re trying to make.

    Rather than get into a useless debate with you, I’ll ask that you please stop responding to my posts.

  10. Bobby Goodman says:

    I don’t post here to earn respect Dennis, this isn’t the real world afterall. I don’t think I have to remind you this is a blog…a public forum to exchange thoughts and opinions. C’est sa. As for not responding to your posts…can’t promise that.

    Rather than object to my response why not take the opportunity to explain how Karly’s team mates are holding him back! As far as Annika is concerned, I’m not sure how you can respect deceipt. Annika earned tens of millions of dollars playing a sport he loved, he was treated with the utmost respect (way over to top as far as I am concerned), he was made a champion for mental health, a community leader and local hero. Yet, he left the team for $1m dollars more than what he was going to make here in Ottawa. If you truly believe he had any intention of playing for the Senators this year, your more naive than I thought.

    I didn’t like him when he was here but I totaly lost respect for him with the way he left. It was far easier for him to invent an issue (that he was betrayed) than to assume responsibility for his lack of courage, character and honesty. I and I suspect you and most people here would have let our employers know from the get go what our intentions tryly were. We wouldn’t have told the media (he learned how to manipulate them over the 17 years here) it wasn’t about the money and then leave for more! And, I strongly suspect your would have told your employer you were leaving face to face and returned email messages rather than simply ignore them.

    I don’t know you at all Dennis, but I think it is safe to say you wouldn’t have behaved the way Annika did. Annika is deliously happy in Detroit with his bretheren. He is even happier that his plan came to fruition (making the Swedish team playing with the many who are also Red Wings). Him making the team, in all likelyhood, would not have happened if he were here in Ottawa.

    I look forward to any comments…

  11. PaV says:

    Oh I see we are back with the immature nicknames……. I thought you had turned a corner there Bobby!

  12. Bobby Goodman says:

    As usual Pav, your knowledge, insight and contribution to this blog is…imeausurable. Besides, why do you say it is a nic-name? Have you ever seen Sorenstam and Alfredsson together? Alfredsson does have a penchant for long hair and hair bands.

  13. ChokerHater says:

    Bobby, you should get your own blog, then type all night long, no one will read it but it’ll help you psychologically.
    PaV, your one to talk about others using immature nicknames, you’re the king of immature.

  14. Bobby Goodman says:

    I wonder if, in hindsight, the Team Canada Brain Trust, might have done things differently. I suspect they would (but will never admit it).

    Isn’t Thornton to Marleau what Getzlaf is the Perry? Wouldn’t the 6-4 235 pound center make a better winger if he had to, than Bergeron? Wouldn’t the 6-2, 205 pound James Neal look better on the wing with his team mates (Crosby and Kunitz) than the many who have auditioned already? Wouldn’t the big, swift 26 year old sniper offer much more than a 5-7, 38 year old? Woulnd’t Phaneuf have offered another big physical body with a big shot on the point (over the much smaller Vlasic and Hamuis)? Wouldn’t the reigning Norris Trophy winner, who is 5th in the NHL in scoring with 39 points (31 of which are assists) and plus 6 be good for a hockey club that is having trouble scoring goals? Is he riskier than Weber who has less points and is minus 10? Why is the slection committee ‘selective’ with their criteria? Would they have selected Nash or would they have gone with a younger, hungrier, faster but imature Seguin, Hall? Would Duchene play a more prominent role? Would Benn? These two were afterthoughts afterall.

    I do agree with one of the pundits who suggested that three lines need to log most of the icetime and spost a 4th line to give them a break. Top players, need TOI and it is difficult to get into a rythm with 4 lines seeing equal time.

    I hope Kruger did his job with the advanced scouting of Team Latvia. I would hate to see Canada suffer the same fate as the Russians and bow out so early.

  15. Dan the Man says:

    I think it is time for everyone to stop putting the likes of Ovechkin, Malkin , Semin, Markov and every other Russian playing in the NHL on a pedestal and making them larger than life.

    Will Murray pull off any big trades to improve our playoff chances? Based on Bruce’s article this morning, Melnyk sure is crying poor mouth once again and any movement of consequence sure doesn’t seem likely. To get something, you gotta give up something. I would love to see Anderson dealt as having two number one goalies is a waste of assets.

    If we have a struggle with Latvia, we don’t deserve a gold medal.

  16. PaV says:

    Choke – this is coming from a guy who is too cowardly to put his own name and hides behind it. Its ok, I see you are typing better, that’s a good start. :-)

  17. PaV says:

    Bobby – again, I stand by the fact that if you ever were face to face with anyone that you make fun of, tease, or have an immature nickname for, you would tuck your tail in between your legs and hide.

  18. Mike8888 says:

    Remember everyone. Please refrain from commenting on each others posts. Unless the poster respects you.

  19. Dennis_w says:

    Mike,

    If that’s true, I guess you’ll stop commenting on posts.

    I say “if” because if you had read what I wrote you would’ve seen something about a useless debate, which was my main point.

  20. Mike8888 says:

    Dennis,
    You asked Bobby to stop commenting on your posts because you don’t respect his opinions. A little odd I’d say, but it is a free world.

  21. Bobby Goodman says:

    Pav, you stand by the fact? The fact? That really is silly, even for you. Perhaps you missed it but I am probably more brutally critical of myself with my self “defecation” and I am in my company 24/7! Perhaps your post is a challenge for me to meet with you again. Do you truly think I would shy away? This truly is juvenile of you. If I call someone out, it is really the posts we are taling about, hell, I don’t know the individuals. As for players, coaches and stuff…is is their decisions or play I am commenting on, again, I don’t know them personally (an unlike you, I don’t care to).

    You can’t even tell us all who you “think” is the best player in the world (I am sure if you asked a trusted individual, they could tell you so you then could have an opinion). You can’t even suggest who “might” win Rookie of the Year. There is no right or wrong answer my large friend. But damnit…have an opinion (even if it must be someone elses)!!!!! You may even find it liberating!

    Dennis, indeed you have a point….but if you part your hair a little more to the left, we wont see it.

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