Randon thoughts

- March 4th, 2014

EDMONTON _ Just sitting in the press box at Rexall Place waiting for the puck drop between the Senators.
Talk surfaced that Jason Spezza has been mentioned in trade talks.
I don’t think now is the right time. You won’t get value.
I do believe this is something the club may look at in the off-season. He will be a year away from unrestricted free agency and if they want to get true value _ like the club did for Alexei Yashin (the last time they traded a No. 1 centre _ then teams are in a better position to retool at the NHL entry draft.
The club is trying to get winger Chris Stewart from the Buffalo Sabres but the asking price remains high. There are a few teams involved here GM Tim Murray is trying to get the best possible deal that he can.
Defenceman Jared Cowen is a healthy scratch for a second straight game tonight. Interesting. He won’t be dealt. They just want to send a message that he has to be better.

Categories: Hockey

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20 comments

  1. Bobby Goodman says:

    Why do you say the Sens wouldn’t get value in a Spezza trade? The only way the Sens wouldn’t get value if another bonehead move was made by the GM. Don’t you think there are some teams out there that are desperate for offense? Wouldn’t a team love to have a player who has 47 points in 57 games playing with Zzz (11 goals and only 4 in the the last 34 games) and Michalek (10 goals).

    I think a GM should entertain offers anytime, he only needs to be good at his job and make the right decision(s). With only 20 games left for most teams, there is a push to make the post season (for teams that are worthy, the Sens aren’t). For the teams that are a lock, Spezza could be the difference in their push to go all the way!

    Conacher was put on waivers? He is penalized for bleeding for the team, every shift and every game. It is impossible for me to understand and it is equally impossible for the GM to explain (“…still looking to find our best team”…or something to that effect???). Little Conacher has 20 points, playing a limited role. He is plus 8 so he certainly doesn’t hurt the hockey club. Zibanisbad has 25 points and is minus 11! He hurts the hockey club. Zzzz has been given every opportunity to show us his stuff and there isn’t much to show; it matters not, he will continue to get every opportunity.

    Last night, the “big”, “strong” winger/centerman didn’t score a goal, didnt’ earn an assist and registered one hit. The DAC likes him in the middle, but I don’t think his wingers do. Hoffman and Ryan were engaged while Zzzz floated around the perimeter pretending. He didn’t and he couldn’t make plays. Again he was rewarded for bad play, after failing (again) as a center, he was put on the wing with Spezza. You have to wonder why (was Conacher playing poorly?).

    Hoffman (and Ryan) need to play with centermen who want the puck, can do something with it and can win a one on one battles. Hoffman should occupy the left side with Spezza. He’s inteligent and he possesses a lot of skill. Spezza would set him up to use his great shot.

    Spezza was outstanding last night and should have been rewarded with more points but there are some who simply cannot finish. He ended up the night even in the plus/minus, Karlsson was, again, on the ice for 2 (of the 3) goals scored against. He scored an awsome goal, but is a terrible defenceman…he is an “offenceman”.

    Wasn’t Ryan’s comment last night interesting. When asked how he felt about re-joining Turris and MacArthur, he said it was fine but he doesn’t like line changes every 15 minutes (or something to that effect).

    Cowen can sit forever, it wont make him quicker. The reality is, Gryba and Wiercoch are better. We all witnessed what Philips will do the next 2 years with the Sens when Hemsky walked around him like he was a pylon. Soft, slow and porous.

    Neil wanted to fight the 235 lb Hanzen but not the 235 pound Sestito? And he called Hanzen a coward? Go figure?

  2. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Well they lost and honestly Bruce I don’t see a single player helping this team right now.
    This team is poorly constructed. They have a bunch of yound “D” that are learning and could be good, and Phillips who is old, slow and immobile. They desperately, desperately need help on the backend, one or two defencemen that have over 600 games experience and are capable of steadying things down.

    More than that though the whole team needs a complete buy-in on the defensive aspect of the game. I hate to agree with JR on Team 1200 (though he is in lockstep with today’s youth) but this team may need a new coach. A coach that will instill defensive positioning and accountability and that will scratch or bench players that don’t keep their assignments.
    MacLean is lost as always. He said there were 70 shot attempts and the team passed too much. If there were seventy attempts then how much passing could there have been? No one asked him because he’d probably get upset and give us some platitude about not noing nothing, being a farmer from Antigonish and being scared to death.

    The Senators will likely miss the playoffs but will the coach hear anything about it?
    To paraphraise Annika: “Probably not.” There is no accountability in Sensville and that’s why this team is perpetually mediocre. Or rather, there is accountability when the best forward on the team ges punished and the waiver bait gets rewarded. Waiver Bait had one goal in his last 20 games or so, has four on the season and he’s out there. Meanwhile Ryan is RARIN’ to go and the DAC staples him to the bench.

    Not gonna look good if Ryan doesn’t re-sign here because the coach ran him out of town.
    And now Murray gave his nephew Timmy another industrious player in Cory COnacher. Ben Bishop given to the Lightning for absolutely nothing! I hope if Murray gets a body today it is at least a substantial one!

  3. Bobby Goodman says:

    Philips got his 2 year deal. Shocking. At least he wont have to worry about Hemsky making him look silly…they will be wearing the same uniform!

    I love Hemsky’s skill but does the Team really want another very soft player who fails to show up and make an effort, and in this case, for extended periods of time? Is this what the Team really needs? I love great speed and enormous skill but they matter not if there isn’t the requisite amount of heart, passion and intensity.

    In the business transformation it is said that “culture trumps strategy every time and all the time”. It is no different in sports. If there exists, even a bit, a culture whereby individuals will take games off, are focussed on themselves and are not committed to team oriented goals (winning) no strategy/system/structure will be of benefit. And that is even further entrenched when those resonsible for making decisions, allow it to happen (indeed, edorse it).

    Hemsky can be fun to watch but like others on this hockey club…will he help them win consistently? I don’t think so.

  4. OD99 says:

    That game was a disgrace. After looking to be able to control play early the Senators poor defensive coverage bit them again…the Oilers looked dangerous off the rush and once we got running around our end it was Globetrotter time (like it always is).

    Probably was the proverbial straw in terms of the post season but I don’t mind giving up some mid-round picks for Hemsky…if he looks like a fit it would give Spezza a legit winger to play with.

    Need a long string of W’s in order to make the play-off race interesting at this stage but just hoping to see a team play with emotion tonight.

    Spezza was fantastic – one of his best games this year for sure and I liked that MacLean used him so much when it was obvious he was flying. Hoffman and Zibby on his line seemed to fit OK as well.

    That said, Zibby hasn’t been that good for a few games now and he was over passing last night – he needs to use his shot.

    Hoffman continues to look good and thankfully he appears to be here for the duration but he needs to get a point – so many chances with nothing to show for it.

    Odd move with Conacher in my opinion and don’t think we should have given up on him so quick.

    Karlsson certainly made a full end-to-end rush last night that will be a highlight of the week for sure.

    NYR seemed to give up a lot for Marty, no?

  5. KevinF says:

    Interesting trade deadline. I think Sather gave way too much for the very good StLouis given his age Callahan is not worth 6×6.5 but he will likely get it, but he is a decent player and TB can also possibly get 2 #1s.
    Sens didn’t give up much for Hemsky and he has talent, I wonder if he’s a fit for Spezza given he likes to carry the puck and is more of a passer than a shooter (23 goals career high I believe I heard someone say today). Worth the risk I guess.
    Would have liked to see the Leafs add something but glad they didn’t sacrifice anything for a rental, don’t think they are going to contend for the Cup this year. McDonald from the Isles would have been a nice addition and a third and fifth would seem doable especially if you could resign him.
    Listening to the TSN boys describing Habs acquisition Vanek I had to give my head a shake, big body physical presence that the Habs lack!? Big I guess, but physical when???? A talented offensive player without a doubt but hardly renowned for playing the body and why he may be able to spell intensity that’s about as familiar with it he is going to get. The price was right for them but he is rope rated to be headed to Minny.

  6. Mike8888 says:

    I wonder how long it will be before Islanders GM Garth Snow will get the axe. The Sens should have picked up Vanek as well as Hemsky, for the price Montreal paid.

  7. Bobby Goodman says:

    I know the trade for Hemsky got the big thumbs up, but is he a player Spezza and the hockey club really need? Is it a good fit?

    Every year Hemsky’s name comes up in trade rumours and it’s because he goes to sleep for extended periods of time. He will tantalize you with world class skill and then vanish. The Oilers waited 11 years for his game to show consistency, it never happened.

    Spezza needs a finisher, someone who can be relied on to bury opportunities. Hemsky’s never been that kind of player; his best year was scoring 23 goals and this year he has but 9! Over his career he has averaged a goal scored for every 5 games played! Is this someone who is good with Spezza? I would say not.

    Is Hemsky good for the hockey club? Again, I wouldn’t give the trade a big thumbs up. The Sens have allowed 206 goals scored against them, which ties them with Edmonton for the 2nd most in the 30 team league. Does the team need another soft, minus player? Hemsky is minus 13 this year and minus 44 in his career? Does that help the hockey club? Will he emerge after 11 years as a goal scorer and a plus player? I don’t think so.

    The Organization needs a major shakeup! The papers can spin this deal any way they want but when you break it down, like most things with this franchise, this too makes little sense. A floater is brought in and a heart and soul guy with only 6 less points playing limited minutes and +19 differential in +/- is sent away. While some writers here in Ottawa say the Hemsky trade was “a message the GM still has confidence”, I think it is a message the GM is completey out of touch.

    The culture needs to change here!!! Work ethic is something that should be non-negotiable! Players should be rewarded for bleeding for the team, not penalized and sent away. There has to be a focus on the TEAM, not the individual! Individual success is wonderful but not at the price of losing games.

    Really and truly, can we now safely say that the GM has failed this Franchise? Do some here still believe this organization is on the right track and “will contend for the Stanley Cup”? Did it take 3 years of a rebuild to get here (or 7)? What about the coach, are there still some who believe he is good for the hockey club? I am not sure Bobby Ryan thinks so and after the many line changes again last night I suspect he is even more “frustrated”! Why doesn’t the media write about the team’s inability to prevent goals? Do the Coaches get a free pass? Shouldn’t they take some responsibility for the 2nd most goals scored against and minus 29 differential?

    And the Coach has confused us all with things he has done and said. He and his sidekicks look lost and totally confused. They were all handpicked by the GM.

    I taped the game and went through it quickly. It was a movie I have seen many times before. The Sens lost to the 27th and 28th placed teams.

    The Philips signing is a message nothing is going to change soon.

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    Oh yes, the Montreal Canadians rolled into California and after defeating the big, strong, fast LA Kings, they took on the first place (overall) Ducks and beat them too! While Ottawa was getting beat by the league’s best, the Sens were getting beat by the league’s worst. Subban got another point. They take on Phoenix next and they will have Vanek in the lineup. Thomas Vanek is the 30 year old that would have been better for Spezza.

    Some here relished the Sens victory over the Habs in the playoffs last year while others saw it for what it really was. The Habs had many who were hurt but in spite of that, they played hard and should have won two more games had it not been Andy. The Canadiens played (and play) with a lot of heart and passion. No one gets a free pass if they don’t. The Habs are second in the Division and 3rd in the Conference. The Sens on the other hand are 5th in the Division 11th in the Confernce. What happened between now and last year? The way the Sens was rudely dismissed by Pittsburgh coupled with the their record this year should be an indication that nothing has changed, Montreal just got healthier. Work ethic, heart, passion, intensity is something Marc Bergevin demands from evrybody associated with the hockey club and it shows. That can’t be said of the Ottawa Senators.

  9. Dan the Man says:

    We keep hearing about all our wonderful prospects, the depth of the team, the great goaltending, solid core of players and our unlimited potential, yet we appear to be going backwards. In the last two games which we can describe as must win situations, we get humiliated by two of the worst teams in the NHL. I have to start thinking that our current coach might not be the right man for the job. He does not seem to be a motivator nor does he ever seem to have any solutions to fix a sinking ship. His post game comments sound silly quite often and when he suggests motivation or playing without intensity as excuses or reasons for losing, are these not examples of poor or non-stellar coaching. Just a thought, then again, what do I know?

  10. OD99 says:

    Well that Oilers game wasn’t as bad as I thought since apparently they were capable of playing much worse.

    The Flames 2-1 when they were shorthanded came from the type of play that makes Karlsson the fodder for so much trash talk. He just couldn’t be bothered (or was too tired – doesn’t really make a difference) to back-check at all and his man broke in clean…Anderson stopped it and then Karlsson raced ahead of the puck on the rush before finally heading to the bench. Terrible.

    This team is in a tailspin at the moment and the buzzards will be circling en mass no doubt.

    Play-offs are done, now it is about seeing who plays hard to the end and shows some pride. There will have to be changes but where to start?

    The 4th line had disappeared. Z. Smith hasn’t been any good for months – Greening has been useless all year (why not put him on waivers instead of Conacher?) and Neil took another dumb penalty when we didn’t need it.

    Zibby did not look good at all, Hoffman still can’t actually help produce a goal despite all his PP time and playing time with Ryan – Ryan himself hasn’t been that good of late either.

    Spezza looked like he had some jump early but that line didn’t do a whole lot…the Turris line was OK but please keep Condra off of it.

    The D was the same – not good enough again.

    Have to say Stevie Y has made some nice moves – he obviously completely stole Bishop from the Senators but to get that haul back from the RAngers for St. Louis is fantastic…that team is looking poised to be a contender for a long time.

  11. Bobby Goodman says:

    Isn’g Nathan Mackinnon a wonder. He now has 51 points in 63 games is plus 16 and just beat Gretzky’s record for consequtive games with a point or more 13! Sequin now has 28 goals and 63 points in 61 games and he’s plus 14. It is a shame he is too imature to represent his country; he should be mature and sociable like St Louis.

    I never saw the fuss in Seth Jones, he awlays looked like he was aloof and he was soft. I would take two other rookies over him in a heart beat, Maata and Trouba.

    General Managers kill me. Neil Smith did nothing for years in NY and they had all the money in the world and it continues with Sather. Toronto had a bottomless pit of money buth haven’t wond a cup since 67. The recently got rid of Lord Burke another bum and replace him with Nonis, his sidekick. MacTavish and Lowe and company have been God awful in Edmonton for many years! Calgary has Lord Burke and he is having trouble finding someone in his image to take the job (PS: Burkley…lose the do bro). Here in Ottaws, the Murrays have floundered since they arrived 7 years ago. The team just go beat by 2 of the 3 worlst teams in the league and the prospects are not good. In the words of my twin brother who is/was a hockey nut (and golf nut) but now just nuts:

    “As for hockey, my fire is more like a burning amber now. I rarely watch an entire game. As for General Managers, every day I read something that further demonstrates that (for the most part) NHL GMs is a fraternity of stupid men….educated maybe but stupid none the less. Every once in a while, I ask myself how is it that these fools can wield such power, then I remember George W Bush was the President of the United States. For the most part, we are all sheep, and as a result, we are easily fleeced”. Well said bro.

  12. PaV says:

    Oh yes, the Montreal Canadians rolled into California and after defeating the big, strong, fast LA Kings, they took on the first place (overall) Ducks and beat them too

    Ummm they lost against the kings – but there goes Bobby making facts up again. (FINAL MTL (1) – LAK (2) )

    Maybe the lemming needs to brush up on his math and learn to read. Last time I checked, 2 was greater than 1… but hey – what do we know?!

  13. PaV says:

    Oh and just to make sure the facts are right, the Habs got hammered last night 5-2…. and PK was a -1 even with his two assists… so Bobby do the math and tell us how many goals was PK on the ice for? Since you tend to point it out over and over and over and over again how many times EK is on the ice for a goal.

    Ole ole ole

  14. Mike8888 says:

    I agree Dan. I thinks it’s time for a new coach. I’d rather see Jacques Martin then MacLean. At least Martin was able to institute a defensive system. MacLean seems to say the same things after every game with no answers.

  15. Bobby Goodman says:

    Pav you won me a beer…I bet you could only post to find fault in one of my posts, some players I particularly like or to diss the habs….predictably I won. Thank you my big friend. Don’t you think it would be a little bit more pallatable to lose to 2-1 to LA than than 4-1 to the Flames and before that the Oilers? No comment on them beating the best team in the league? Any comments on the Sens, you guys are doing well or are they? What do you think of the team, its performance, the players, the recent acquisition (good – bad), the GM….who is the best player in the NHL who should win rookie fo the year, Do you likd….seguin, mackinnon, something anything….Maata, Trouba…Buffalo, Lafontaine….their trade……..

  16. Bobby Goodman says:

    I was not a Martin fan. He did the easist thing to do as a hockey coach (although it seems to be impossible to do it here now); Jacques was defence, defence and more defence. I great coach in my mind coaches based on the personel. If a team is short on skill, they play defence and vice versa. And that can even changbe from line to line! Martin was insisting on defence when he had the highest scoring team in the league! He took his show in the road and hasn’t had a head coaching job for a long time, b ecause he is one dimensional. Now he is an Assistant with Pittsburgh. He is also another coach who is a robot, no passion, no intensity, no expression…no nuttin.

    As for the Sens coach and coaches. Look at their pedigree. Cammoron never won anything at any level in Coaching (but he did coach melnyks junior hockey club). He coached Canada’s junior team and cut the best in Canada. Maclean never was a head coach in the NHL and it certainly shows. He and his sidekicks have failed miserably.

    There needs to be a cultural shift here in Ottawa. They have to insist on effort. There can be no double standards. Every player is treated equally. When Karly was sat down for part of a period…he and the coach laughed about it later. Hard work should be rewarded.
    From the top to the bottom, pride and class needs to be restablished in the organization. Until this is fixed, no game breaking free agent will wont to come to Ottawa and (sorry MIkey) after the comments and the many line combinations the next game, I suspect Ryan will not be coming back to Ottawa.

    Fans and the media can write volumes about Hemsky; as an Oiler he was criticized for his lazy play, he dons a Sen’s sweater and he is suddenly the answer on Spezza’s right side. SPEZZA IS SECOND ON THE TEAM IN SCORING (playing with a guy with 9 goals and another with 11 and only 4 in the last 35 games but, THE TEAM SCORES GOALS,,,,,THEY JUST CAN’T PREVENT THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hemsky will not elevate the team from the 29 position in goals allowed. That is the principal problem. The GM and his well oiled machine ar out of touch and the Coach and his assistants are incompetent.

    No hate here, just an observation after looking at all the facts.

  17. Bobby Goodman says:

    Mikey?! Time for a new Coach? Really? What about the Assistant Coaches and the executive who hired them (he is the same executive who hired: Paddock and his team, Hartsburg and his team, Clouston and his team)?. Watch out, some could call this negative.

    The game today will be played hard and that’s why Kassian is dressing. As a result, I would expect that some players wont show up. Neil has now fought with Conacher and Cowen. What is the story there. Is he trying to get them motivated, inspired. He didn’t look inspired when he was invited to dance with Sestito and he certainly didn’t play inspired hockey in Edmonton and Calgary (no face washes, hacks, etc).

    I agree with Dave and Greening should have been put on waivers, but he has a no trade contract as does the 12m dollar man Cowen and again Philips. Too negative Mikey? Smitty is really stuck with Greening and especially Neil. At least Greening can skate and I have to admit, he has been showing it off but Neil is slow and useless. He doesn’t mind taking dumb penalties (the coach obviously doesn’t mind either).

    Pav you pointed out that Suckubban had 2 points but minus 1 in the game agaisnt Phoenix and asked how many goals is he on the ice when goals are scored against. I can answer that question, Suckubban is plus 5 and Karlsson is minus 14 so the answer to your question is 20 goals less than Karly.

    You fail to understand, Karly, as enormously talented offensively as he is, he is worse defensively. Indeed, he has 57 points and leads all defencemen but 26 of those points come with the man advantage. So, his -14 happens primarily when the teams are equal (ie: 5 on 5). Can you process this Pav? Suckubban as you like to call him is 3rd in the league among defencemen with 45 points. 22 of them have come by way of the power play. So, Pav my man, Suckubban is plus 5 when playing when both sides are equal. 20 goals Pav….that’s the difference between Karly and Pav…20 goals and that might explain why Karly has the 11th (or is it 12) worst plus minus in the league among defencemen. I love his talent and I love his offence but I really don’t like his defiant disregard for defence and at critical times…his lack of effort.

    Douglas Murray is -13 on the Habs and I really don’t understand why he is there or why it took so long for Tinordi to stick. The big young Tinordi can skate, fight, hit and move the puck and afer 12 games is 0 in the plus minus. He doesn’t hurt the team. Bouillon is another who doensn’t help the Habs. I love his heart and passion and he is a strong little bugger buth he is minus 9. Emilon isn’t the same since his injury, he isn’t as physcial and he is -7. Suckubban is plus 5…did I mention that?

  18. PaV says:

    I love how Bobby did not address any of the comments. Full denial. Subban was a plus 13 three months ago and now is a plus 5…. Shows how good he really is.

    Still think you need math and reading lessons Bobby… And stop making up facts… But hey.. Whatever floats your boat.

    Ole ole ole

  19. Bobby Goodman says:

    Pav, stick to collecting photos, autographs, following players around to special events, going to lounges and smoking cigars with them. That gets you giddy and I suspect it does far more than simply float your boat.

    I certainly do need math and reading lessons…no doubt about it…but Pav my boy, where as I understand a little bit about the game you simply have a fetish. I will try to understand you wont, you can’t. You must have been proud of you idol yesterday Pav. You must have been proud of Zzzz. I have given up trying to understand a kid (you) who worships someone like Ray Emery (you must have touched his hand at some point in the your life). I have given up trying to undertand why you worshop Karly and his bad behaviour, his treatment of the media, his vulgarity, inability to take responsibility and his vanishing act when games are hard. It is enough that you may have attended an event with him. Go ahead Pav, indulge yourself, knock yourself out. Oh…who do you think should be rookie of the year and who do you think is he best hockey player in the world is and….do you even think?

  20. PaV says:

    Oh Bobby, you know nothing about the game. You are an arm chair coach who has nothing better to do than sit there and pick apart each and every game.

    Ole ole ole

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