Stanley Cup final pick

- June 3rd, 2014

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Broadway vs. Hollywood.
The city that never sleeps vs. La La Land.
This is the Stanley Cup final that commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners could only dream about. Two of the NHL’s biggest markets facing off for the chance to take home the title.
Many think it could be no contest.
The Los Angeles Kings have won three straight seven-game series. They sent the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks packing Sunday night with a victory in the Windy City.
The Kings come from the West where many believe the best brand of hockey is played. The New York Rangers are not even being given the chance to compete here. This could be quick many believe.
I’m not sure I am in that school.
I think the Kings win but I think it takes them longer than people believe.
Henrik Lundqvist can do something that I’m not sure Jonathan Quick can and that’s steal games. The King is trying to win his first NHL title. Lundqvist can get hot. Quick wasn’t great vs. the Hawks.
My issue with the picking the Rangers is I am concerned Lundqvist can’t steal four games and part of me feels like he would need to do that for New York to actually beat the Kings.
Anze Kopitar.
Drew Doughty.
Jeff Carter.
Dustin Brown.
Marian Gaborik.
They have call done the job for L.A.
My take, they get it done here as well.
Kings in six. Bobby please start the proceedings and make yours.

Categories: Hockey

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28 comments

  1. Bobby Goodman says:

    I agree with you Bruce, the Kings should win in 6. LA is bigger, play harder and are much better. They are deeper and have more goals scorers; they sit on top of the league for most goals scored in the post season with 73 to the Rangers 54. They scored 19 more beating teams like Anaheim, Chicago and San Jose!

    LA’s defence is much better as well. I love NY’s McDonaugh but that’s it (Stall is so over rated!).

    We keep reading about LA’s physicality vs NY’s speed and I think LA has a big fast team with players like: Carter, Gaborik, Brown, Kopitar, Pearson, Lews and Toffoli!

    As for goaltending, I have to disagree with you Bruce, Quick can steal games and a series; you could say he stole the series versus San Jose this year and most certainly last year! He beat teams that can really score goals; Anaheim first in the entire league with 263; Chicago second with 261 and San Jose 6th with 239! NY wont be playing against the Habs that took them to 7 games and scored only 201g, 21st in the league. The Rangers wont be facing any players like Vanek and Briere who didn’t make an effort or give a damn. They wont be facing a 24 year old rookie goaltender with hardly any NHL experience. NY will be facing a team with players who won the Cup as recently as 2012 and the experience is still fresh enough for them to know what it takes to win it all!

    It will be a lot of fun to watch but I think LA is destined to be the victors.

    I had to laugh reading an article in the other paper today about Glen Sather and his 14 year rebuild. The guy, like his predecessor (moneybags Smith) has inexplicably stayed around for YEARS failing miserably with bizzarre contracts, dumb descisions, foolish signings and a lot of money spent! He even had Yosemite Sam as Coach. Some here thought he was a fine coach and would do well in Vancouver…how did that work out?

    So everyone is saying the Sens wont get a similar player back in the Spezza trade. No kidding. The question is will the GM make the trade anyway? I will suggest that he has gone so far down this road (trading Spezza) he must and will make the deal! As predicted, Hemsky will go; he certainly wont want to say with Spezza gone, who would be his center…Zzzzz? I don’t think we are going to like what we see when this is played out; the usual suspect will love it though. I will be one of the few who will be hit the hardest, I love Spezza. Call me crazy, but I have always appreciated a lot of skill. It will be interesting to see what Spezza will do next year afterall he wont be playing with Zzz, Michalek, Greening and 6 others who can’t score goals. And, it will be interesting to see how the Sens and some players will do with him gone.

    Great piece on Chic. He is the most dedicated individual I ever met. He was a great athlete even though he was a cyclist which is one-dimensional and challenges endurance only :-O! He made my time with HP the best. He and beautiful Diane are wonderful!

  2. ChokerHater says:

    Funny to watch Sather brag about his rebuild hahahaha 14 year rebuild, (must have learned that from the Shawville Hog Farmer) and quite honestly, I think both the Bruins and the Penguins would have kicked them to the curb. They backed into the finals a la Montreal. But the Kings will finish them off pretty quickly

  3. Mike8888 says:

    LA in 5. They are just too good. They dominated the Rangers in the 3rd period last night when the game was on the line.

  4. Bobby Goodman says:

    So…t’Guy had some unsavory things to say about Vanek and Pacioretti. I don’t have an issue with it at all and agree with what he said but he should have included Briere and the Coach if he wanted to be totally candid.

    Have the Sens attracted high end rentals to stay with the hockey club? Have they attracted high end unrestricted stars? If not, why not? Is it within the realm of possibility that the treatment of some of their stars have served only to discourage them coming here? What GM would allow a stupid, snot-nosed rookie Coach belittle/embarrass the team’s top goal scorer (Clouston – Heatley)? By the same token, what GM would allow their top center be treated the way Spezza was for many years? Is there anyone who truly surprised that Hemsky is leaving this hockey club? Some here predicted it just like they predicted Cullen and others would leave the Organization (in spite of what the GM said).

    Does the hockey club really need a Calahan. I think the guy is so over rated…and a fool. He had to be out of his mind to turn down 6m for 5 years in NY where he was Captain of the Team and loved by the fans!!!

    I will be watching to see how things will unforld Bruce; as you suggested earlier, there is a lot on the GM’s plate. This is pure conjecture but I would bet that Lehner doesn’t want to be a back-up for yet another year. It will surely hurt his development! I would wager that Ryan will leave once his contract expires (end of ’14 – ’15). With Spezza all but gone, it looks like a spot is guaranteed for Da Costa and he is a UFA. What does the team do with Greening, Grant, Dziruynski, Hoffman, Kassian, Mickalek, Gruba, Sdao and Wideman?

    As I have said many times, the Sens need a Cultural change. That can’t and wont happen with the people they have running the show. Who might be the passengers on the KIngs, Blackhawks, Rangers, Boston etc? The entire focus is on the TEAM. The message comes from the top and filters through the Coaches to the players. They take Pride in their play. No individual is more important than the TEAM. That hasn’t been Murray’s way. T’Guy was right on, real players show up when it means the most and the games are hard! That simply hasn’t been the case in Ottawa. There is a double standard and the Chosen few are forgiven for taking shifts/games off. That can’t sit well with those who bleed every shift.

    I don’t expect the Sens to be talent rich next year. I don’t expect them to make the playoffs, but they should have players on the team who are willing to compete hard every shift in every game. But they will need Coaches who will punish those who don’t. Perhaps with Spezza gone the team will find their passion and intensity and wins will follow but I don’t expect that will happen! Who will “lead” and who will be responsible for the losses then? It will be very interesting to watch it all unforld.

  5. PaV says:

    LA in 6

  6. Bobby Goodman says:

    Dum Cherry is extremely popular…this is proof positive, there are a lot of fools out there. He actually came in seventh in a vote for the greatest Canadian ever (of course the list also included PET and Suzuki). His long leash must mean the CBC embraces the “shock jock” tactics by some idiots in radio. I think the Sens did well in their response to his acusation the Sens don’t have enough Canadians. Always keep it classy and they did (I, on the other hand, would have responded much differently).

    Was it HNIC’s responsibility and Coaches Corner in particular to announce the Moncton shooting? Does Cherry need to tell us he’s “emotional” (for him to continuosly remind us, it loses all sincerity)? Is someone only a proud Canadian when he recognizes a fallen soldier, firefighter or policeman? Are the fallen the only heroes? The CBC have interruptions for breaking news stories, we certainly don’t need a Clown to do it!

    I find Dum Cherry offensive and by default, the CBC. What’s comical is he is the anithesis of the Network in many ways; he’s been given a green light to mock French Canadians, Europeans/Scandinavians and increasingly Americans. He often goes takes on an effeminate role when he wants to make a point when he thinks position/decision is less than many. He promotes violence in the game. He wants kids to play with body contact at an early age not caring that some have growing spurts and can tower and be 30+ pounds heavier than others (I would prefer they focus on skating, stickhandling, passing and shooting when they are very young).

    This idiot has been made into a Canadian Icon; of course the CBC are very good at it, they have done the same with Suzuki and a PM who wouldn’t even fight for his country and took pride in cultivating friendships with despots. I truly hope this idiot (and segment) goes away next year, I have had my fill of his and Macleans nonsense.

  7. Bobby Goodman says:

    I am baffled by the Rutherford signing; do the Pittsburgh Penguins elite think he has done a good job the last 5 years in Carolina? Nevertheless, he is now the Pen’s GM for the next 3 years and he’s stated he “wants to go in a completely new direction”. That can only mean one thing, a migration away from the top 4 players on the team, but since he didn’t actually articulate what he meant, it gives him lattitude. Shero got bumped for Rutherford…go figure!

    When will Pierre McGuire come to the realization he is not wanted. I am sure the Emmy winning colour guy is sick of living out of a suit case but he better get used to it. He wont be a GM anytime soon. GM’s build hockey teams and Organizations aren’t look for motor mouths who shamelessly fill the void with babble and cliches (often contadicting himself).

    I wonder where Cuthbert will show up. Will we see him at all next year? I really like his game calling and have a hard time understanding the decisions made by Rogers. The individuals selected to do the games should all be chosen based on merit…not tenure as some who were with the network surely were. CBC’s Craig Simpson as a color guy can be too much. I wonder what he used to talk about before someone invented “active stick” and “good active stick” (as opposed to a bad active stick). Cuthbert and guys like Ferarro and Johnson simply called the game and termonology was not their focus…hockey and the game was.

    Mackenzie suggested that that the Sens wont like that Kessler wants out of Vancouver and them wanting to mover Spezza; I am left wondering why? They are two different players. We all know what he 6-3, 215 Spezza’s done in his career, by comparison the 6-2, 202 Kessler has played in the similar number of games and has 393 points. I wonder how many of the points were accumulated playing when the Sedins were on the ice. Spezza has the better part of 300 more points than Kessler and is Kessler a leader? Kessler asked for a trade out of Vancourver, Spezza never did but was crucified for saying who wouldn’t object to it. I am convinced there are teams who would prefer Kessler but what makes Bob’s statement silly is the reality there are “at least 10 teams who have showed interest in acquiring Spezza…and the list will get longer”.

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    And the Lundquist love-in continues. Last night he was celebrated for his many scintillating saves, yet, he’s allowed 2 more goals in this series than Johnathan Quick!? Like most things, once your tagged, it stays that way forever regardless. Toews and Getzlaf are Leaders, Crosby is not; Spezza is a give away machine, Karly and others are not; Thornton fails when it counts, Mark Staal is a dandy defenceman, Eric Stall is spectacular and it goes on and on.

    Lundquist has yet to sip from Lord Stanley’s cup, perhaps he never will. He’s won one Vezina and as spectacular as that is (many great goaltenders never won the award) there are other goalies in the league who are better but because of his the hype, he gets most of the attention: shapest dresser, sexiest, instense, leader, gamer

  9. Bobby Goodman says:

    In spite of playing on teams that spend to the Cap and for the last 4-5 years focus on defence, he has but one Vezina in 2011-2012. “King Henrick” isn’t a finalist this year. The King didn’t win Gold in the OIympics and he wont win the Stanley Cup this year. He had a hard time getting past Montreal Canadians.

    Quick had a better save percentage than Lundquist last night. Was that pointed out? He helped the Kings get past 3 of the best and highest scoring teams in the 30 team league this year (Sharks, Ducks and Hawks)! He’s back stopped the Kings to a 2 – 0 lead in this year’s finals. He wears a Championship ring won in 2012 and should have another in 2014! Perhaps it is time for the “echo” to stop but it wont.

    I am not a St Louis fan; I can summon enough maturity (its hard though) to concede he has been outstanding however, he has looked awful in a few games this post season and last night was another. If a player is small in the NHL these days (the players are getting bigger, stronger and faster all the time) he needs to be extremely quick and fast.

    The the Leadership discussion CAN be a silly one. Teams that succeed and win championships have leaderS. Who on the Kings is their leader? If someone were to watch them play but never saw them before and new the sport of hockey, would they be able to pick out the leader? I would suggest they wouldn’t be able to because there are many on the team. That is what makes championship winning teams.

  10. Bobby Goodman says:

    The 2014 Finals have been anti-climactic to be sure; there was more entertainment in several series before this one. It is testimony to how much better the teams are in the Western Conference. I suspect Chicago, Anaheim, San Jose and perhaps St Louis and Colorado all could have beat the Rangers.

    Martin St Louis forced the issue when he demanded a trade out of Tampa and many thought he would be a difference maker; he hasn’t been. He is minus 4 in his last 5 games and has done precious little.

    What ever happened to Rick Nash? I remember as him as a big, fast skating, extremely talented goal scorer. He is a shadow of his former self. Dubinsky has played much better and Columbus surely won that trade.

    All this talk about luck is nonsense; there can be luck involved but often luck is a result of a lot of hard work. Carter and his mates put themselves in a position to score a goal with less that a second left on the clock in the first period. Richards and a line mate got themselves behind the NY defence for a 2 on 1; he was ready when his pass deflected back to him, which he buried.

    The Kings are up 3 games to 0 on the Rangers and although it may surprise some it isn’t shocking. There is a lot of fire in their bellies. Every single player leaves it all on the ice. They don’t have any Kings, or Gods but they do have unity. They come at you all game every game and they never quit. The Coach would never allow it and the players have far too much pride.

    The outcome is a mere formality and the only question is, will the team win the Cup in NY or LA. From what I have witnessed, this team will take no prisoners and bury the Rangers on their own ice next game. 2 Stanley Cups in 3 years is an impressive feat in this era of parity and the team could be even better next year. Now that is a scary thought.

  11. Bobby Goodman says:

    I am completey baffled by the notion Chris Byrne might be offered a full time scouting job working for the LA Kings. If it is true, I am truly very happy for him but it begs the question: what do NHL teams look for when they recruit for these positions. Is it enough to simply be with a Major Junior Hockey Team for 6 years?

    He played a year for the Nepean Raiders and then bounced around in the minor manures for a few years. He was an assistant for 4-5 years with the 67s and then Coach and GM the last two years when the went down the crapper. As a fan of the game, I wondered if he was going to get the axe in Ottawa!

    I hope the rumours are accurate and I wish him nothing but sucess but it leaves me wondering what the chriteria is a job as NHL Scout. It has to be much more than a willingness to sit many rinks and watch a gazillion games.

  12. FKevin says:

    How is Spezza trade request a “bombshell”? Common knowledge for weeks if not months. Another clumsy attempt of media manipulation by the inept ownership/management of the once proud Ottawa franchise. The tired strategy of placing blame on players and their agents/families for almost every significant departure under this regime is so threadbare I can’t imagine that even the most loyal supporter is still fooled by it. Even with the parroting of their position by the usual minions in the mainstream media. Discredit them and get the Backslappin buddies to give them a figurative kick in the ass after they are gone, rinse repeat and repeat …..
    Speaking of the mainstream media have they reported that Eugene is selling off his whole thoroughbred interests? I haven’t seen it but I confess it’s possible I don’t read the Ottawa papers as closely as I once did. Or maybe once again it’s up to a blogger from Buffalo to keep us informed on Melnyks machinations. Either way Ruh Roh!

  13. Bobby Goodman says:

    “He wants out”! No kidding Spezza wants out, Bruce! Wouldn’t you?

    What is the GM really trying to do here, demonize Sepzza yet again? He and the DAC said Spezza had to be a better player and Captain, but did we hear any criiticism from either of them about Annika when he guaranteed a loss to the Pens or the the 11 times he failed to lead Ottawa out of the first round (he couldn’t lead the Wings out of the first round either). Did the DAC and Coach tell Karly he had to be better last year? Only when the season was over did the DAC summon the courage to say anything negative about the “face of the franchise” who:

    - led the team in give aways
    - led the entire league in give aways (Spezza was crucified years for it and he never even led the team)
    - 8th worst plus/minus among defenceman in the 30 team league
    - on the ice for most goals scored against
    - disappearing in important games and against teams that play hard
    - not making an effort
    - foul language, dismissing the media, classless behaviour etc

    The DAC offered, from the safe confines of his home in Nova Scotia, that most of Karly’s give aways were in his own end of the rink. Many fans and even some dedicated fans here have concede he doesn’t make an effort every night, yet, Spezza has always been the focus.

    The GM is now trying to lay blame again on Spezza, “he wants out”! Wasn’t the GM trying to trade him for months? A couple of years ago when Spezza was asked if he was open to a trade and said yes, didn’t the GM try the same tactic? Weren’t the Anti- Spezites unified in their mass hatred then too?

    The GM even stooped to offering “I don’t want to trade the guy…really”. Really Bryan? He had to add the “really” because we “really” don’t believe him! The guy has mismanaged the team and players for years and in particular, Jason Spezza! Aside from trying to rally support for moving Spezza he is also trying desperately to set everyone’s expectation that the Organization wont get value in return. So, why is the team desperate to move him? As I suggested before, since Spezza has been all the talk since the team stopped playing this year, the GM really has to move him. But what will Bryan get in return?

    Spezza never went public for his “demand” to be traded (he never demanded, he requested a trade). Murray has always been the one to “go public” and you have ask yourself why. From my perspective, he seeks fan support to take the pressure off his bad performance as GM. He’s done it may times before and I think it is absolutely classless. Unlke Annika, Spezza is giving the organization an opportunity to get something in return; he wont walk away and leave the Team with nothing. Annika could have asked for a trade to a Stanley Cup contender and helped the Orgnanization that paid him $30m plus, but he chose instead to leave them high and dry.

    Why do so many players choose to leave the Ottawa Senators? I strongly suspect Spezza wont be the last.

  14. ChokerHater says:

    And the Silly Spezza Spin starts
    The flopping GM says Spezza wants to be traded
    Of course he does after the team leaks they want him out
    The flop GM claims now he won’t get nearly what he is worth
    Of course he says that, then when he gets taken to the cleaners, he can blame the player
    Spezza a year ago wanted to be the captain of this team
    One year later he wants out
    And the press eat up what the GM feeds them

  15. Bobby Goodman says:

    Who believes going public with Spezza’s “trade demands” drives up the “trade price”? The NHL GMs are aware of what is happening in Ottawa. The only thing that drove up the “trade price” was seeing what he could do playing with talented hockey players. Murray has every GM on speed dial (as they all do) and didn’t need the media to make the announcement “Spezza wants out”. That was entirely for the fan base. And, how does revealing he and Maclean didn’t get along drive up the “trade price” if that was the plan? If the rift story is accurate, it was well hidden. Spezza, despite all the insults and lack of support over years, has been professional, humble, appreciative, supportive and approachable (all the things that Karly is not).

    Even in his final days as a Senator, Spezza gets no respect. He’s Rodney Dangerfield, in another NHL city it will be different. We don’t see Murray crying the way he did when Annika betrayed the team, owner, GM and the gazillion fans who worshipped him.

    It’s a tough situation for Murray? He’s the architect! Wasn’t he the one who hired Coach of the Year Maclean who didn’t get along with Spezza (only now that comes out…shocking!). Didn’t he hire the 3 other coaches before him including “The Little General” who chased Heatley out of town. Is it possible Spezza wasn’t thrilled playing with Greening, Zzzz, Neil, Grant and company. Only when Hemsky arrived did Spezza have a legitimate right winger and look what happened; Hemsky played the best hockey of his NHL career and Spezza’s numbers were comparable to what he did in his best years with the hockey club. The GM systematically dismantled the hockey club, he made them what they are today, an awful hockey club that flounders in the lower echelons of the league, failing to make the post season (14 of 30 teams) 3 of the last 6 years!

    The fickle faniaks here in Ottawa will bend the way the wind blows. Today Bruce you reference Spezza giving the puck away in his own end, but you know that 99% of his give aways are 150 down the ice! Karlsson however, gives the puck away in his own end, he led the entire league in give aways, was on the ice for most goals scored against yet, he is celebrated for it! When Spezza’s gone, will this still be a secret?

    I would really like to know who thinks the team is better off without Spezza. How could the team be better off when talented hockey players flourish with him at center. Heatley, Annika, GREENING, Michalek and Hemsky are among those who have played their very best with him. We are going to find out in a few short months how better off they will be. The second center on the team will be Zzzz? Hemsky will be gone and Milan is nothing without Spezza. Teams will focus on the Turris line. The PP wont be nearly as effective.

    Will other players want to leave (Methot, Ryan, MacArthur, Lehner). Why do players want out? Can the team attract the best free agents? If not why not?

  16. OD99 says:

    I am completely baffled why Murray would throw out his comments about Spezza not wanting the pressure, etc…it doesn’t do him any good and this as a follow-up to the Alfie affair and this seasons exit interview comments has forced me to lose some respect for Murray.

    Hopefully we get some fantastic package back but the reality is the team won’t be as exciting with Spezza gone and if his back holds out he is going to be a top offensive player for a few years yet.

    Guess it depends on who comes back in the trade but we will see if the Turris line can indeed be as dominant as the no questions asked #1 line.

    I would like to see the team go without a Captain too – don’t give it to Philips or Neil who are only around for another couple of years…it will be like the coaching carousel.

    Draft and FA frenzy are going to be more exciting than usual this year.

  17. Bobby Goodman says:

    In the other paper today, there is a story telling how the “Spezza trade will revitalize Ottawa” but it fails to explain why! He does however, say it wont be easy!?

    He tells readers that the Team never recovered when Annika “jumped ship”. He offers the team will be more defencively minded. If the DAC and DAACs couldn’t help the team play more defencively in 82 regular season games last year, making the same mistakes gave after game, how will Spezza’s absence make them better? He says Karlsson needs to become a more complete player so does Cowen but what has that got do with Spezza? If Spezza stayed. Karly would still have to be better than leading the league in Gva! Will Cowen suddenly become quicker and more physical? The Turris line will be the focus because Spezza wont be there gettin most of the attention by the other teams. Will that revitalize the team? Milan, Ryan and Mac need to be resigned. Zzz has to be more consistent…..too easy. The team needs a hard forward. Ther are so many ifs…if the sun was out it wouldn’t be cloudy.

    The team will pin a C on either Philips or Neil, did they offer any leadership last year or was the lack of leadership entirely Spezza’s fault? Karlsson will wear a letter next year and he: takes shifts and games off; disppears it tough games; bans the media; tells them he’s “not an ‘effin’ God and that “shite happens”. This is responsible behaviour and leadership qualites!

    All this and the team will have new life and vigor next year! Really? Was Spezza, responsible for every ill that plagued the Team and Organization? Wont Murray still be the GM and wont his Coaches still be behind the bench? Are we fans really expecting a great return for Jason? Fans need to remind themselves that Spezza, playing with 9 different wingers last year (most of whom were awful), coming off a year missed due to back surgery and plagued with health problems to start the year, finished second on the team in scoring. He was 8 points ahead of the 3rd leading scorer Turris who had Ryan and MacArthur all year! There will be a huge void on the team; Spezza won faceoffs, owned the puck, made the PP, created plays, had many assists, was great on the bench, in the locker room, with the media, and with the kids. Who is going to replace him. As a fan, who will be as fun to watch?

    I can only conclude that the Team will be revitalized because Spezza wont be there and if boat load of contingencies are met. Perhaps the team will be revitalized because Lazar may make the team, or DaCosta and Pageau will see regular duty. Maybe the will be more competitive because a free agent, unwanted by most teams will be signed.

    Either way, “as a whole, the Senators need to prove they can make the necessary changes and improvements to earn a spot in the next year’s playoffs”. Really!? Isn’t it sad that the only measure of success is emancipating yourself beyond the 14 of 30 teams and play the post season?

  18. Bobby Goodman says:

    Damn the hockey pundits can be silly, can’t they. They say that Spezza doesn’t want to go to a team in Canada because he doesn’t like the spotlight. This is just plain dumb. Jason has never shied away form the spotlight and public scrutiny; he’s been under a microscope since he was kid! In the face of constant ridicule here in Ottawa, he was accomodating and always demonstrated grace; never did he run and hide. No, the reason Jason Spezza wants out of Canada is because he truly wants to be part of a winning team and organization that can win the prize. There isn’t a team north of the 49th that has a snowball’s chance (in spite of the Bryan Murray’s promise of a Cup in 2016).

    Who wants to make a wager that Spezza’s plus/minus and point total will be a whole lot better than it was in ’13 – ’14? He wont play 90% of his shifts game after game with a defenceman who doesn’t give a damn in his own end and leads the entire league in give aways. He wont join an organization with a Coach who will put him on a line with players like Greening, Neil, Grant, Zzzz and 5 others. The GM is now showing respect for Spezza, he wont even move him to NY for fear he will come back to haunt them. Personally, I never bought into that line of thinking, afterall, the motivation for moving Spezza is to make the team stronger with more than one asset, is it not? How can a guy who is “one of the two on the team who doesn’t care about defence”, who is a “give away machine”, “extremely soft”, “doesn’t back check”, is “lousy in his own end” with “no leadership qualities” be a threat???

    Who wants to make a bet the Ottawa Senators will not make the playoffs next year? No, it wont be entirely because Spezza will be gone (although that will be a big part of it) but it will be because the Organization will still have Murray who will keep Maclean and the two other…ahem…DAACs. The team wont have a legitimate 2nd line with Spezza’s line gone. They will have to invent a 2nd line with Zzz in the middle (for his consistency and his creativity). The team will still have their defencemen who are a combination of, soft, slow, lazy, panick, give the puck away and in one case, old (he will be there Captain!?). The team will have one line only and in an effort to introduce a 2nd line threat, they will move Ryan on with Zzzz and that wont work at all, afterall, Zzz “doesn’t demonstrate even a little bit of creativity”, he wants others to do that for him. Ryan, again, will be “frustrated”. The 3rd line will have one hockey player, Smith and the 4th line will be a legitimate 5th or 6th line only. The Sens will have Lazar there for 10 games and Pageau, DaCosta and company there for even longer.

    This Sens Fans, is the reality. The 3 year rebuild is forgotten (no one wants to write about it) and it will get worse. I suspect Ryan will want out; maybe Mac, Methot and Lehner. No big name free agents will be coming.

    Stay loyal my friends.

  19. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Bobby, Spezza and Kesler are different players and play different roles, but you know this already. Kesler plays hard on both sides of the puck, hits and block shots and is nasty. He could probably have more points but he likely has more defensive zone starts, which means he’s defending against the other team’s attack. Spezza nowadays is a powerplay catalyst and offensive zone start producer. Now, there are teams that need that and Nashville and St. Louis will love the extra offence and will surround him so he isn’t vulnerable to defensive lapses.

    Lundqvist is a very good goalie. The Rangers allow an inordinate amount of shots and many of them are three-bell saves. He’s incredibly consistent and I’d love him here in Ottawa to mentor Lehner.

    Nash is fat, slow and completely inviisble when it matters most (in the playoffs). The Senators would have gotten robbed by trading Zibanejad, Lehner and so on. Zib is average but he is a center and those are hard to find. Lehner could be an above average goalie. Most important is salary and Melnyk is poor and can’t afford Nash.

    Leafs are letting know they will only “protect” the likes of Bernier, Rielly, Bozak, Kessel.
    As I have quite the soft spot for the Blue Team, I find this baffling. Gardiner should be kept, James van Riemsdyk is a superb winger that can score from all spaces, Kadri is a bit of an enigma though. It looks like he tops out at a 50 point centre that can stir crap up and draw penalties. Phaneuf…I like in a !B or 2A role, it looks like the captaincy is getting to him though. They have a lot of good young pieces but they could use a #1 centre that produces PPG. How about sending us Spezza Bobby? We’ll give you Kadri, Gardiner and a 2nd round pick…please? :)

  20. Bobby Goodman says:

    So Michel Therien will stay on as the Habs Coach for another 4 years. As much as I respect Marc Bergevin, I don’t think this is a good move on his part.

    He was fired by Montreal in his first stint. He couldn’t lead the Penguins to the promised land and was fired (my Sens, on there way to the Stanley Cup final in ’07 beat them when only stupidity prevented them from winning it all). I thought he mismanaged Subban from the start of the year through to the end of the post season. He belittled and showed open hostility with PK. He refused all year to have him kill penalties. He played him far too much in the post season to the point where he simply ran out of gas. IMHO he selected the wrong players to dress for games. He should have sat those who really didn’t want to be there for youngsters who did.

    I believe he is very fortunate to be with the Habs where he is insulated by Bergervin’s revival of “Les Glorieux” passion, pride and class. Therien can quote the corporate by-lines in response to most questions.

    Maybe things will different next year for him; they should have a re-signed Subban who will be on the ice from day one. Douglas Murray will be gone as will Vanek. Tinordi should get regular duty patrolling the blueline. But it is how he manages the games and those who dress that leaves me doubting. Markov was allowed to step up and pinch and get caught often and he doesn’t possess Karlsson-like speed to recover (he is very slow). Brier will be there for another year and as nifty as he can be, he is older, slower and shows up when he wants to.

    The Team will be better because some of the kids will be a year older with more experience. Some who have been injured will be healthy (Galchenyuk). Some of the bums will be gone, leaving a spot for others who are bigger, faster, stronger, better, hungry. The question is how much will Therien be responsible if success is to be had.

    Most of the success the Habs enjoyed was because of Bergevin. He hired the very qualifed individuals who make up the mangement team. Most, like him, had long careers in the NHL (unlike Ottawa)! Yes Price is a great goaltender but didn’t the GM hire a coach who changed his game that made him even better? I like the Assistant Coaches; JJ Daigneault and Gerard Gallant, again, they are two NHLers who had long NHL careers (unlike Ottawa). My only question is, why Therien and in particular, what has he done the last two years that warrented a 4 year extension?

    Coaching is a funny business. Sutter is bum in Calgary and then “brilliant in LA”. Carlyle is brilliant in Anaheim and a bum in TO. Teams scramble for coaches fired by other teams.

    To me, great coaches have a single standard. They reward the ones who deserve it. They inspire and motivate the entire team. They aren’t encumbered by a GM’s interference (Ottawa?). They balance soft and hard. They dress the players who give the team the best chance.

    Is this Michel Therien?

  21. Bobby Goodman says:

    Yep Dave, Murray has disappointed. He has demonstrated a complete lack of class and it’s been missing for some time now. At some point we fans have to accept the reality he and his team aren’t good for the Organanization. Matters are made worse with an owner he will not embrace change. I am with you on the free agent thing, it will be a lot of fun to watch and see what happens. As a fan of the game (and many teams) it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. Will Thornton really be moved out of San Jose? Who will want Vanek (only Minni I suspect). Where will Hemsky land? Who will be traded and what will they get in return. What will Ottawa get for Spezza?

    Indeed Pierre, Kessler and Spezza are different players and any team who takes them will select one or the other based on their particular need. I will predict Spezza will get over 80 points next year no matter where he goes. That isn’t a bold prediction because any team that takes him will surely put him on a line with those who can score. Whoever takes Kessler will get his 60 points and physicality. They will also get a kid who has been really banged up over the years.

    I love Lundquist too. he is a classy guy, an extremely hard worker and to him, the team comes first. He could help any young goaltender. But what Lehner needs right now is TOI! From my perspective, this is a critical year for him. He needs to get into the lion’s share of the games. If indeed the team is still going throught a “rebuild” surely the team needs to decide who they need to invest in developing. We know Lehner is talented but we don’t know how he will perform in a starting role? The only way to know is to go all in. That wont sit well with the other one and that is why some of us (I believe you as well Dave) who suggested the team keep Lehner and trade the other as part of the rebuilding process. Some wanted Bishop.

    Here’s the thing though; who here has confidence the GM and his team are ones best suited to do the rebuilding. Afterall, they are the ones who have deconstructed the team for the last 6 years. What about their drafts. If we look at them, only Karlsson has emerged as a star. There have been a lot of duds.

    Pierre mon ami, you say Zzzz is a centerman? Why…how? Yes he is put on the ice to center a line, but by what measure is he a center? He isn’t great on face offs; he doesn’t make plays; he wont/can’t carry the puck; he doesn’t/can’t win one on one battles; he won’t go into a corner first; he is the first off the ice; he has no creativity what so ever. I agree with you that centermen are hard to come by and that’s why Zzz, who isn’t a centerman plays the position. Hoffman however, could be a center. Unlike Zzz, he makes others around him better (he made Zzz better in the manures).

    I loved Alex Rios in Toronto. I was baffled when they put him on WAIVERS! He’s fast, has a strong arm and is among league leaders in many categoies! Why not trade?

  22. Bobby Goodman says:

    Leafs are letting know they will only “protect” the likes of Bernier, Rielly, Bozak, Kessel.
    I have a soft spot for the “Blue Team” as well Pierre. I wish the best for all the Canadian team but really like Winnipeg, Emonton, Montreal and Toronto. I want so much more for the Senators.

    I hope Toronto is better but with Carlyle, I don’t have a lot of confidence. Gardiner is a dandy and he only needs some good coaching. He’s 6-2, skilled, unafraid and very fast; whats not to like! Imagine what Van Riemsdyk and Kessel would do with a great center like the Spez?! I’m not a Kadri either. I concede he is skilled but there is something missing and I think those that draw the most penalties should be embarrassed. I use to love Phaneuf. Although he was Toronto’s best last year, it looks to me his heart isn’t in it. He should be so much better. Does he really want to be in Toronto? Will PK end up in Toronto?

    I don’t know what Nonis has ever done and the same for the brilliant Shanahan. Shanahan will spew the tired by-lines he learned from his many years being mentored by League Executives. But, will he be responsible for building a Stanley Cup contender? I don’t think so. How long does he get to have before he is measured? The Organization is not pressured financially so I was very surprised that Nonis got an endorsement and will stay on as GM (it was comical however to watch the dymanics between him and his new boss at their first press conference; he looked and acted like a subordinate unsure when to speak or what to say.

    Shanahan, like Lord Burke and others around the league that hold similar positions have a sinecure for life. They can always blame others for failure: GMs, AGMs, Coaches, Scouts and of course, players.

    I want to see so much more from Toronto, they do have some talent. It will be fun to see if suddenly Carlyle migrates away from the Truculent theme that he was “hired for” and embrace a fast, relentless and courages team instead. My guess is he will embrace whatever will assure his continues employ but will fail. Shanahan should have employed the big cat model and rid the organization of the Burke leftovers. That is what this dumbass would have done.

  23. Bobby Goodman says:

    Murray is at it again, doing all the talking? Why did HE introduce a “conflict between Spezza and the DAC”? Wasn’t it he who talked about trading Spezza when the season ended and now it’s “Spezza wants out”. It’s not like that at all, Spezza asked for a trade. Who introduced the notion Spezza didn’t like all the finger pointing? Of course it was Murray and you have to wonder why. In one breath he praises him but in another he offers a shot.

    The GM is all over the map. In an interview he suggested that Spezza might accept a trade to one of the 10 destinations he didn’t want to go, if the deal was extremely good “because he wants to help out the hockey club”. Fascinating! Is this the same guy who critized his play off and on for years. Did the GM EVER come to his defence when the gazillion loyal fans booed him at home, called into radio stations to complain or took time to write nasty remarks that the paper continued to publish? No he didn’t.

    The faniaks were all upset that Annika left the Organization; they blamed Murray. But it was Annika who was responsible; he wanted to join 8 other Swedes in Detroit. Anyone who doesn’t believe that are naieve as hell. Annika could have helped the hockey club a year earlier by asking to be traded to a Stanley Cup contender (if that really was what he wanted) but he didn’t. Instead, he stayed another year and then played silly bugger pretending to be contemplating whether to return or not. Then from across the ocean he makes a decision to leave the team and doesn’t return messages from the GM. This is how he rewarded “his friend” for many years of being treated like a God and earning tens of millions dollars. But, it’s Spezza who is demonized for “wanting out” when he only aked for a trade a year before his contract expires, allowing the hockey club to get someting in return (something Annika CHOSE not to do). Spezza was also demonized when the GM asked a couple of years ago if he would accept a trade and he responded he would. This too was released to the public and the lemmings lost their collective minds and united in their hatred…again.

    The trade thing has always been the GMs thing, not Spezza’s. Even Y3 came out and and offered “if I was him (Spezza), I would want out too…would you want to stay in Ottawa?”.

    The GM got even more bizzarre. When asked if Turris was a first line center he stumbled. I would have offered a resounding and positive “he certainly is”. But the GM said that if Zzzz progresses he could be the number one pivot on the team. Lord have mercy. Yes, you read correctly. What does the term really mean; isn’t the number one center the guy who centers the top line? Isn’t the number one center the guy who makes others around him better, earning assists, burying opportunites, playing 200 feet, a force on the PP, wants and pursues the puck, is a leader, gets a lot of points and among the best in +/-?

    Brian please, shut up and go away.

  24. Bobby Goodman says:

    It looks like my prediction is coming true. Karly will have a letter on his sweater. The question that begs to be asked is, why? Aren’t leaders born that way or are the invented. What role does a Captain or Assistant Captain really have?

    Annika wore a C for years, but 11 times he couldn’t lead HIS team past the first round of the playoffs. The GM said the team last year lacked leadership. This is as dumb as it gets; Didn’t Philips and Neal have a letter on their chest? Didn’t the GM make the decision to make Spezza the Captain (that decision alone, proves how disconnected the GM really is)? With the departure of Spezza, we fans are now being conditioned to the notion that Karly will have an “A” or even a “C” on his chest next year. Its all too funny. What leadership qualities does he possess? If even the most loyal of fans concede he doesn’t make an effort, quits on plays, doesn’t show up for some games, is immature, why in the world would the Organization give him the responsibility to be a leader.

    The answer of course is, he doesn’t lead and they know that. But, the Organization will coach him how to respond questions from the media like the did for Annika. They’ll schedule all the photo opps at celebrity events in support of some high profile charity (and fans will say he is a “community leader” and a “hero”). Effectively the A or C will make him an agent for the Organization not for the players on the team.

    When I think of Captains, I think of guys who never quit, never take nights off, are totally committed the winning, hate losing, are willing to sacrifice their body, exude courage and motivate/inspire fellow team mates. Does Karly possess any of these attributes? At least Annika bled for the team, for years! His heart burst through his chest, Kary doesn’t possess one. I wonder, will Karly still ban the media if they ask pointed questions? Will he use profanity and offer exuses if they point out flaws in his play? Will he continue to expose his imaturity and total lack of class on Twitter? Of course all this doesn’t really matter, a Sens sweater with the name Karlsson, the number 65 and with a freshly printed “C” on the upper left side, will sell. Spezza put up 680 some odd points in the same number of games played for the team and wore the “C”, but Karly was the face of the franchise. Spezza, in spite of the -26 last year is plus 54 in his career, Karly is -26! Karly was on the ice for most goals scored against, led the league in Gva and one of the worst Dmen in plus/minus. Are we suppose to ignore this?

    While teams like LA are focussed on winning the prize, Ottawa’s goal is bettering only 14 other teams and make the post season (which they’ve failed to do 3 of the last 6 years). Decisions like making Karlsson a Captain is a glimpse into what is truly wrong with the Organization. It is no wonder Murray, after 30+ years in the league, has never been part of a Stanley Cup winning team.

  25. KevinF says:

    Who was lying Bruce with the Calgary rumour? The new Calgary GM who denied it without reservations, or you and/or your source? History says the latter. Once again playing servant to one of your masters. Pump up the value of yet another discredited veteran. More bad Spezza stuff to follow soon no doubt. Ethics be damned!

  26. KevinF says:

    Bobby I’d like you to lead this off…….

  27. Bobby Goodman says:

    The Sens are preparing for every scenario; is this supposed to give us fans confidence? Aren’t the same individuals with the team that sent Bishop away for Conacher (who they let go for nothing)? The Organization still has the same GM who traded away two young kids and a first round pick who were going to be “the future” for Bobby Ryan who in all pobability wont be with the club in 2015! isn’t Bryan Murray the guy who offered Clarkson even more money that Toronto did and only good fortune prevented him from joining the Senators?

    Murray has failed to make the Sens competitive since he joined the Organization. This year will be the 4th year of the 3 year rebuild and most would agree they wont make the playoffs (their ultimate goal). How many GMs can boast all three members of the best line their history will have left the team in a cloud of controversy? They will join Hossa, Stillman, Commodore and others.

    It is a shame. The hockey club has the skinniest Management Team in the league (and the worst). They have the an owner who can’t/wont invest in the team. They will be one of the lowest payrolls next year…again. But the GM will be in the first year of his two year extension…he was rewarded for his failure the last 6 years (missing the post season 3 times)! Someone, anyone, please explain to me why?

    Spezza has asked for a trade….

  28. Bobby Goodman says:

    The Sens are preparing for every scenario; is this supposed to give us fans confidence? Aren’t the same individuals with the team that sent Bishop away for Conacher (who they let go for nothing)? The Organization still has the same GM who traded away two young kids and a first round pick who were going to be “the future” for Bobby Ryan who in all pobability wont be with the club in 2015! isn’t Bryan Murray the guy who offered Clarkson even more money that Toronto did and only good fortune prevented him from joining the Senators?

    Murray has failed to make the Sens competitive since he joined the Organization. This year will be the 4th year of the 3 year rebuild and most would agree they wont make the playoffs (their ultimate goal). How many GMs can boast all three members of the best line their history will have left the team in a cloud of controversy? They will join Hossa, Stillman, Commodore and others.

    It is a shame. The hockey club has the skinniest Management Team in the league (and the worst). They have the an owner who can’t/wont invest in the team. They will be one of the lowest payrolls next year…again. But the GM will be in the first year of his two year extension…he was rewarded for his failure the last 6 years (missing the post season 3 times)! Someone, anyone, please explain to me why?

    Spezza has asked for a trade….BUT OF COURSE HE WOULD ASK FOR A TRADE…THE GM STARTED THE TRADE DISCUSSION!!!!!!! So Bruce writes the team will be better off IF the get a great player, a good prospect and a first round draft choice. Really? I will bet that Thornton stays in San Jose. From what I read there are only two teams Kessler will go to. Stastny will, in all probability stay in Colorado…so maybe Spezza will be a center of attention (at least for 2 teams).

    Is anyone willing to make a call where the Sens will end up at the end of next year. I will; sadly, I think they will be awful and out of the playoff picture in January.

    The Sens have all the bases covered alright…every scenario….except for competence from the individuals who are responsible for building the team!

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