Decisions, Decisions

- December 27th, 2013

BOSTON _ Every day brings different decisions.
Welcome back from the holiday break. Hope you enjoyed it. I didn’ get away anywhere. Had a quick sleigh ride in Cumberland Christmas Eve. Nice day on Christmas Day. Back to work Boxing Day. No practice was nice.
This morning I was at the airport at 7:25 a.m. for an 8:30 a.m flight to Beantown.
I would have been willing to bet Craig Anderson would make the start.
I would have been wrong.
The coach _ Paul MacLean _ is starting Robin Lehner.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Craig Anderson is 4-1-2 in his last seven starts. He is coming off a shutout victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday.
Robin Lehner is 1-5-1 in his last seven starts. He did lose  his last start with a 5-2 loss to New Jersey 10 days ago.
I guess it’s time to get The Lehner playing.
I just think they’ve been trying to get Craig Anderson on a roll all year and they’ve got the chance. They’ve opted not to do it.
This is the same coach who didn’t want to change a winning lineup. Guess that theory is out the window. We’ll see how this goes. Historically, Lehner has played well against the Bruins so this isn’t a bad game but it still strikes me as odd.

Categories: Hockey

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17 comments

  1. Bobby Goodman says:

    I have never bought into a history against another team; there are so many factors that go into a win and a loss. The hot hand should rule the day.

    Is anyone shocked by the play of Karly; it is amazing how a dumbass like be can make the call days before the game is played. He sure looked good against Pittsburgh though; could it be because there were so many missing?

    He doesn’t show up for games against tough teams. Him conceding the corners all game/every game have become a a joke and I am sure the other teams are the only ones laughing. He was responsible for two goals scrored against and it could easily have been 4 had it not been for Lehner (who looked brilliant at times but also ordinary). He didn’t lead 200 foot rushes. He didn’t make brilliant passes. He turned the puck over often. But we can’t hold him responsible, the coach is pleased as long as the next easy game he can get 3 points.

    Can anyone explain to me why Zibansibad (who was embarrassingly bad…again) got time on the PP and for heavens sakes, why was he on the point on 2 of them? Dave, I don’t know why you have faith in this guy ’cause I see nothing in his game that gives any confidence he will emerge as an everyday player. He simply plays a very soft game (on the outside), he wont/can’t carry the puck (gets rid of it immediately), he doesn’t show any speed at all and he is always behind the play. Tonight he was rewarded for a miserable effort as was Karly.

    You have to wonder what others on the team think when they witness this game in and game out and it goes on with no consequence.

    Will anyone care to predict if these two show up and make an effort tomorrow night? King Karly….I think not. Princess Karly is far more accurate.

  2. Bobby Goodman says:

    I have to say I am trulyt disappointed by what I read, I should say, what I didn’t read in the papers today. Really and truly, can we not get honest Sens coverage? Are all the members of the media, no matter what form, colluding to ignore reality, promote fiction and exhaust themselves in an effort to forge public opinion. I have to say by the ever growing number of faniacs in the Mindless Lemming Society, their efforts have been successful!

    Bruce, you didn’t mention Karlsson’s name once, not a single note on how he played. I have to ask you why? I know you know the game better but you made a conscious choice to ignore his poor play. I started buying the Sun because of the sports coverage and some political writers (Ezra Levant, John Robson etc.) and the comics (Warren Kinsella) but things have changed. Yes, I know I don’t have to buy the paper if I don’t like it but is this the way it is going to be? And it is the same for in the other paper!

    I don’t hate players or the suits but I do hate the way some play and the decision made by Coaches and GMs. While everyone was giddy with the win over Pittsburgh with 8 players missing from the linuep, I knew it was a shallow victory. Karly was crowned for his efforts and the Lemmings all leaped for joy (Isn’t there a King Henrik already). I was was called out for not finding good in the lopsided win. Karly must have had a very bad game last night if not a single word was dedicated to him today. That’s the closest he will get to criticism.

    What we witnessed last night was much of the same we see whenever he plays against teams that play hard. Many passes missed the mark, in the feet, too far ahead or given it to a player who was well covered. His dump in’s effectively gave the opposition the puck many times. He wouldn’t work the puck around from the point when he should have, choosing to shoot from well out and having it blocked and be caught up the ice (which led to a goal scored and nearly 2 others). He was often caught up the ice well out of position because he was being a forward or he made a bad decision to pinch. How often do we see him skating back to recover? He skated very slow with the puck, doing it all himself, forcing his mates to stop at the blueline where it was totally congested and he would lose the puck (which led the the final goal). Because of his poor play and bad decisions, team mates wear a minus 1 or 2! And Bruce, don’t you think the way he avoids the corners have become an embarrassment? He wouldn’t go into the corner with Tyler Enis (5-9, 169) and last night with Ottawa’s Spooner isn’t he a dandy and he is 5-11, 180). The hard working Conacher (5-8, 180 never concedes the corner, no one on the team does).

    The other paper didn’t have a single word about Karly either, they reserved criticism (Jeers) for Pageau (disgusting).

    Your “Game Day” piece has pics of Karly and Zzzz. The big matchup is Chara and Karly!? What the hell is going on???

  3. OD99 says:

    My God…from amazing in the first to useless in the 2nd and 3rd.

    Haven’t had a chance to watch the Pens game yet but if Spezza was worse than he was against the Bruins I will be shocked. Talk about give- aways!!! He cleared the Bruins zone for them 3 times by making stupid, blind passes and cost the team momentum and scoring chances on several others but just handing it to the Bruins.

    If he doesn’t know who he is passing the puck to he should hold on to it or dump it down low…he was absolutely horrible…and now after 7 goals in his first 8 games and being PPG for the first while Spezza has 4 goals in his last 30 games. He has been brutal lately.

    This team is not going anywhere…I know the Bruins are the cream of the crop in the East but once they woke up they toyed with the Senators in our end…Rask was quite good early but then didn’t have to do too much after that.

    Let’s see how the Senators react but right now every point is crucial so with the Sabres unable to keep their lead and get a W over the Leafs, the Jackets and Devils going to a shoot-out, etc…the Senators hill just got a lot steeper…looks like unless they put together a run of wins soon they play-offs are out of the question and then the decisions will be made for shaping the team for next season and beyond.

  4. ChokerHater says:

    Whoa, are you questioning the coach??????
    WOW

    Nice follow up
    5-0
    0-5

    Who shows up tonight?

  5. Bruce Garrioch says:

    They better show up. Yes I’m questioning the coach of the year.

  6. Bobby Goodman says:

    Is Glen Healey a pompous fool or what. Good on you Don for calling him out for his derogatory comments about Spezza. Indeed Spezza has not played well recently and in spite of that he is still sits 3rd on the team with 30 points which puts him: 1 pt behind Kopitar, tied with: Beckes, Couture, Zetterbeerg, Couture, Stall and 1 point ahead of the legendar Datsyuk! If as we suspect, Spezza has been playing injured, it makes his numbers that much more remarkable. Healey is fool.

    I didn’t read a thing about the “we all quit” comment by Karly after Friday night’s loss to Boston. Why? There are only 2 who quit on this hockey club. You can be confused all you want about the Paille goal Don but there was only one Senator responsible. He is climbing the charts and is now minus 11 (and the team is better off with Spezza out of the lineup with his minus 14 and he has played all year with Michalek at minus 21). Did Karly show up on Saturday? I don’t think so (it was an easy call to make).

    Spezza was replaced in the middle by the Shooter! He didn’t have a single shot on net, was zeros across the board and won 27% of his faceoffs But, Zibanisbad had 4 hits! And the DAC likes him in the middle? Why?

    Good for you Don for asking why the team needs another puck moving defencemen (Del Zotto)…they don’t! The Team has Karly, Ceci, Corvo and Wiercoch! But, Murray has an unrelenting fascination for them!

    To suggest that Pageau needs to smarten up and not make mistakes like the give away in his own end last night is fair but is it realy? As much as I like the kid, he scored 3 goals in a lopsided win over the Habs last year in the post seasnon which the Sens marketting department recognized as an opportunity, but has don’t nothing since. He’s not an NHLer.

    Connacher got two points last night; for the last while he is finally being rewarded for his courageous and tireless effort every game!

    We saw the difference a player can make when he is out of the lineup. With Chara out, his team fell 4 – 3, with him in they won 5 – 0. The Bruins were also missing Siedenberg and Hamilton. The Sens won with the Big Rig and Spezza out.

    Damn Smitty is playing great hockey, isn’t he?! And Condra had an excellent game! Greening is terrible. Perhaps Condra should play with Smitty and Neil?

    Sutter didn’t show off his “stones” when he gave McDavid a chance to win the game in the shootout yesterday. For him to sit a 16 year old kid down for an hour and then put him in the pressure filled position to win or lose the game, was just stupid. He should have been out 4 on 4! He shouldn’t have been punished for 2 bad penalty calls! Anderson and Gauthier are two big kids that Hokey Canada should have left behind; they are chasers only. Why not have scoring threats on every shift? You can teach/tell a skilled player to play defence but you cannot teach offense! I really don’t get it but it is what we have come to expect year after year!

  7. Bobby Goodman says:

    I’m not surprised to read that Hughson and Simpson will be the broadcast team for Rogers, but I am disappointed. Not so much with the play by play calling of Hughson (and his unique style) but I am with the the choice of Simpson as the colour guy! As far as I am concerned, he is a cookie cutter, vanilla flavoured, active-stick spewing guy who has his feet firmly planted on very safe ground. When he arrived in Toronto, he became a Leaf bigot. He has memorized every new term (mostly invented by Pierre McGuire) and throws them out profusely. A far better choice would be Cutbert and Ray Feraro and/or Mike Johnson! These 3 men are honest, candid and informative! They are brave enough to call a spade a spade! But those attributes don’t get you anywher this day and age!

    Simmonds felt compelled to tell us why his wonderful relationship with Lord Burke fell apart (personally, I couldn’t give a damn). HIs brief didn’t reveal anything worthy. I still don’t know way Lord Burke’s trip to Afghanistan was such a bad idea (he doesn’t lace up the skates!!!). The epic tale may have been a “cause celeb to Simmonds but certainly not to hockey enthusiasts! What I took away from Simmonds piece in the Sun today how foolish he was. With the ability to be connected, anywhere and all the time, how did Burke’s trip compromise MLSE in any way? But worse yet, why bite the hand that feeds you by calling out a tempermental/egotistical GM, who has helped you for 24 years by writing a story of such litttle consequence?

    I don’t understand what a Randy Carlyle team looks like. Afterall, he is a Coach, not a GM. He’s had 2 gigs in the NHL one with Anaheim and now with Toronto. Is this a subtle way to excuse him for the way the Leafs have played this year? I never believed he was all that the Toronto media made him out to be: strategist, tactition, teacher, disciplinarian, master at matching lines, master getting the most out of his players and the list goes on and on! Perhaps the problems with the Leafs this year has far more to do with some injuries to key players and in particular the loss of Dave Boland!

    The best deal has to be 1m for Mason Raymond; I would have loved to have seen him here in Ottawa!

    Eugene Bouchard was named Canada’s female athlete of the year because “she pretty”!!! Sad, but true!

  8. ChokerHater says:

    Wow, they beat the mighty Boston Bruins, and were full marks for the victory. Maybe it’s time to send Spezza packing.
    The thing with this team is they only play every second game. All I can say is when my team comes to town, I’ll hope they’ve just won. the problem is .500 won’t make the playoffs.
    So Bruce, should they change a winning lineup or leave Spezza riding the pine?

  9. Bobby Goodman says:

    I am not so sure the big matchup would be Ovechkin vs Ryan. Perhaps one can compare their stats at the end of the game but they don’t matchup either on the ice or in the scoring race! Ovechkin plays on the right side as does Ryan and they never face each other. With the last line change, I am not sure who will have the assignment to cover the NHL’s leading goal scorer. Size and strength would be nice but it isn’t mandatory but the player with the assignment should possess speed and be relentless! We will have to wait and see.

    Ovechkin is a threat whenever he is on the ice but a Cap who is never written about his Grabo. Yes, OV has 30 goals and 41 points but he he also wears a gaudy -14! He is another who decides when/if he wants to make an effort and he plays with some very good hockey players: Backstrom and Johanson! Grabovski plays with Brower and Fehr who have 18 and 16 points and are +1 and -1 respectivley. Grabbo is 3rd in Team scoring (11g and 18a) and leads his team with +7! He isn’t a big guy at 5-11 and 190 but he’s fast, skilled and most importantly he has the heart of a lion and is fearless! He wasn’t good enough for Randy Carlyle of course, neither was MacArthur.

    Mac’s game resembles Grabbo’s and another who is willing to put his name on it every game. He is still getting his points but he should shoot a bit more. I love his game.

    You never really know what to get when the Capitals play; they can be great, good or extremely bad. I still think their goaltending is very suspect. How they play will depend on how motivated Ovechkin will be. Big Buff (oh, he big alright) plays a similar game; he takes shifts and nights off on a regular basis! Green is another with Washington who plays a casual game; he could be one of the very best because he possesses all the skills (exremely good skater with quickness, mobility & speed, phenominal shot, superb hands and excellent passer). He did score 31 goals as a defenceman in 09-10 but hasn’t been the same since his concussion. All it takes is a couple allowed to play this way to divide a team.

    Speaking of dividing a team, at one time Methot called out one, two or Maybe three who quit on a play or in a game and I suspect Neil’s message was a similar one after the 5 – 0 loss the the Bruins. Now we have a player conceding he quit! This player now has 257 defencemen in the NHL with a better plus/minus (remember when I started tracking it and the number was 130 something). Karly logged 22.5 minutes TOI last game.

    Will Zzzzz play in the middle again tonight? Does the team need his 11 game scoring drought? Do they need his 27% FO winning percentage, his creativity, skating, passing, defence, penalty killing? They obviously need his PP prowess! Last game with zeros across the board Zzzz logged more PP time than: Turris, Mac and Ryan!!!!! Can anyone tell me why?

    I know who the team can count on to leave it all on the ice , shift after shift and game afer game!

  10. Mike8888 says:

    Who isn’t questioning the coach these days? With a few days off between games, why in the world would you not start Anderson after a shut out?

    I agree with what Don wrote about Delzotto. Weircioch is the same age, 5 inches bigger, and has the potential to be a lot better with more experience. I would not make that trade.

    I thought Zibby played his most physical game as a Senator against Boston the other night. He even took a bit of a run against Lucic. If he continues to play aggressive, it will only help his game.

    I think their going to beat the Caps tonight. Hey, what ever happened to that trophy that either the Sen’s or the Caps used to win for the most wins against each other?

  11. KevinF says:

    Made it through one period of the Brown/Potvin tandem tonite. Actually not too bad by their standards then Denis gets carried away after the nice Turris goal. Denis goes on for quite some time how Turris compares favourably to Patrice Bergeron. Ok a little over the top at first , you hope that Kyle some day may approach Bergerons status as a all around great player, not enough for Denis though, Turris already does everything Patrice does Denis intones and he is much younger insinuating that Kyle is equal to if not better than the widely valued and respected Boston star. Does Team Canada know this as well? This is why sports net Sens games go to my mute pic in pic and the Chicago LA game goes to the primary screen. Such hyperbolic nonsense!

  12. Mike8888 says:

    Probably Zibby’s best game as a Sen. He seems to be gaining confidence each game. Conacher is really playing well. That was a real unselfish pass by Karlsson on the empty netter. The team seems to be coming together and if Anderson can keep up his fine play, things are looking up.

  13. Bobby Goodman says:

    I toggled between the Sens (when they weren’t on the ice) and the Nashville/Detroit game. I don’t see much of Nashville so I am not familiar with the Preds roster but one player blew me away, Colin Wilson. His numbers aren’t anything special at all but his game (at least his game last night) was unbelievable. He is big, strong, fast, wants the puck and was dominating when he was on the ice. Damn he looked good!

    You have to wonder how more risky Darnel Nurse’s game would be than Dumba’s for Canada in the WJHC! Who doesn’t believe Sutter showed some favoritism selecting Dumba over Nurse and what was best for the Team was entirely ignored? Dumba was cut the previous 2 years and this would have been his last chance. Oh, did I mention he played 4 years in Red Dear?

    Ovechkin looked distinterested didn’t he? The best player last night for Washington was again, Grabbo! Green played with all the passion of a Giant Sloth. It is a damn shame they decided to keep the 19 year old Wilson in the NHL rather than send him back to Junior. He is a big kid who can realy skate but all he has done this year is hit and fight. Playing in the NHL didn’t help his development. Washington will have to make a decision soon; how long are they going to continue with Ovechkin/Green and their current GM? I can appreciate talent but it doesn’t matter how talented a player is if he isn’t willing to make an effort/sacrifice. LIke Big Bigger Biggest Buff for the “Peg, OV and Green takes shifts and nights off and I truly believe a team wont be successful when so called leaders are allowed to play that way!

    I wonder what Conacher has to do to get a little bit of love? If Zzzz can earn a Star of a game when he didn’t get a shot on goal, didn’t earn an assist, goal and no points, was 27% in the face off circle why can’t Conach when he actually does something good? Dean on-the-Brown said last night that Zzzz was the Sens best player against the Bruins. His game last night was infinitely better than the one he played on the weekend!!! With Conacher earning 2 points and getting his nose dirty evey shift and Ceci with 2 pts and plus 3…how the hell could Zzzz be the Sens best player? They have gone overboard with their marketting and promotion. If your name is one of the chosen, no matter how you play, it will be described as great! A 6-2, 200+ pound guy can hit Lucic (albeit, in a non threatening and applogetic manner) and be celebrated for it, but a 5-8 guy can hit everyone, every game and all the time, but it goes unnoticed, why?

    Conacher is often the first guy in on the forcheck and he goes in first, not waiting to see the numbers and then come in hard! And he is often the first guy Back!

    Grabbo came within a whisker of scoring on a breakaway coutesy of Karly. He earns a point with an assist (it was a wonderful gesture) on a goal with the other teams goalie pulled, has a single shot on net in his 28 minutes played but earns a star? Really?

  14. Bobby Goodman says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish our great Hosts, Bruce and Don, all the contributors and those who may look in from time to time all the very best in the New Year. May 2014 be a great year for you and your loved ones!

    Take good care everyone!

    Bobby

  15. OD99 says:

    Bobby Zibby scored against the Caps…he stole the puck, pushed it past the defender at the Senators blue-line and skated in on a 2-on-one with Conacher and scored on the beauty pass back. Rag on him every day as you like but at least give him credit when he puts one in.

    Glad Conacher is starting to produce, we need it. It is fine to try hard but most of the year he wasn’t actually doing much to help the team win – scoring and creating offense is why he was brought in for Bishop, he needs to keep it up.

    Anderson has been very good the last two games and the Senators have needed him to be as their defensive woes continue in their own end…but they do look a bit better lately.

    Spezza out for another game Thursday and while it doesn’t sound like anything too serious I hope he waits until he is 100% healthy before returning. If he can come back closer to the player he has been that alone would be huge for the team.

    Next big test against a Jets team that can put the puck in the net and then against the dominant Habs in Montreal…need to get some points out of those games and keep getting them. Soon the schedule will seem like teams ahead of us are playing each other every night which makes it extremely hard to gain ground.

    If the Senators aren’t within a point or so at the 50-55 game mark they won’t stand much of a chance.

  16. Bobby Goodman says:

    Dave, you must have missed where I said Zzzz’s game was infinitely better than the one before where he did nothing and was celebrated for it. Conacher never gets his dues. You have to admit Dumb and Dummer have gone overboard! Zzzz can back himself into a corner (bum safely leading the way) and both of them go nuts but Conacher will eagerly throw himself at a body and rarely is a word is spoken. My point is there are more than two players on this hockey club, but a visitor to this City would never know it!

    Concher hasn’t hurt his team this year, but Zzzz does. Conacher has 12 points and is plus 6 whereas Zzzz has 16 and is minus 8! Conacher has zero points on the PP (he doesn’t get an opportunity) and Zzzz has 6 because he gets every opportunity (sometimes more icetime than Ryan, Turris and MacArthur). So when the teams are at even strength, Conacher has 12 points and plus 6 to Zzzz’s 10 points and minus 8! Zzz the playmaker has less assists than Conacher and Conacher shows up ever game! If his numbers aren’t helping the team win, are Zzzz’s? Is this why he was selected 6th overall???

    You call it ragging, I will call it an observation. Why would I pick 2 players to “rag” on? For some reason you, like the vast majority, choose to turn a blind eye to the gaping holes in Zzzz’s game (and Karly’s as wll). You now say Zzzz has a powerful stride…what does that mean. He’s not fast, quick, stable or agile? Have you seen him skate through anybody? It’s all so silly. With Karly it is the same, he will admit to not trying (he didn’t have to we witness it often) and he still gets a free pass! Why?

    Anyway, I appreciate effort and courage all the time and those who show something different are not players I can celebrate. The Sens will be playing a team I love to watch play on Thursday night. The Jets have some players that are outstanding. I love the way Ladd plays the game. Wheeler is another. Jokinen, Frolik, Scheifele, Setoguchi, Bogosian all play the game the way it is supposed to be played. The team can be as tough as any team in the league especially with Peluso, Tangardi and Pardy in the mix! Then there are two who are blessed with great skill but like Karly, don’t have a heart (but they aren’t afraid). I love them when they are willing to make an effort but hate the way they play when they don’t! I think it effects the whole team and I have heard Ladd and Wheeler “rag” about it but they stopped short of mentioning names (much like what Methot did earlier). I even like Thor who is an honest hard nosed guy who doesn’t take dumb penalties, wont show off and doesn’t hurt his hockey club.

    The Jets are 2 skaters, goalie and Coach away from being a great team. Perhaps a new Coach (Dale Hawerchuk) can help with 2 of the problems.

    The Jets, in my estimation, are way ahead of the Sens. They can play the game anyway you want and they can be very PHYSICAL. What do you expect from Karly and Zzzz on Thursday?

  17. OD99 says:

    I did miss your sarcastic compliment Bobby as it was buried in your criticism.

    “If Zzzz can earn a Star of a game when he didn’t get a shot on goal, didn’t earn an assist, goal and no points, was 27% in the face off circle why can’t Conach when he actually does something good? Dean on-the-Brown said last night that Zzzz was the Sens best player against the Bruins. His game last night was infinitely better than the one he played on the weekend!!”

    I simply corrected you as Zibby scored a goal…no need for your soap box. I ask you seriously, do you have reading comprehension issues? Or is it memory issues? I have said numerous times what I feel Karlsson’s and Zibby’s shortcomings are yet you always fall back on your tried and false, “Everyone else is blind to the facts about how bad they are…blah, blah, blah…”

    Zibby the 20 year old is one goal behind Spezza with 6 less games and 4 1/2 minutes less per game. Zibby the 20 year old who is terrible on defence is a -6 while Spezza is a -14.

    Zibby the 20 year old has 63 hits compared to 12 “oops, sorry I brushed you” hits from Spezza. Zibby the 20 year old has 8 give-away’s compared to Spezza’s 43. Zibby the 20 year old now has now moved to 51.2% in the face-off dot as well.

    Zibby fought hard in the zone to gain possession of the puck and then went hard to the net to put in the rebound off the shot he created. Conacher was mucking things up in the slot like he is very good at and got a well deserved assist (too bad he couldn’t bury one of his many chances – he deserved a goal last night too) then that line got another lunch pail goal by firing a puck and going to the net.

    Thought Karlsson played just fine last night.

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