The countdown to 2014

- December 31st, 2013

The end of another year. The Senators closed the year out in style with a 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals Monday.
Two straight wins for the first time since Nov. 9.
Now they go for three against the Winnipeg Jets.
The odds are still long for the Senators make the playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs have faded but they win the odd one and stay just ahead of the pack chasing them. The good site sportsclubstats.com says the Senators have a 20% chance of making the playoffs. The Leafs are sitting at 60%.
No, the Senators aren’t out of the woods yet. They’ve got a lot of work to do and only 40 games left to do it. The team was full of optimism after a New Year’s Eve skate the Bell Sensplex. Why wouldn’t they? The club has won its last three straight home games. All good, right?
“Well since we haven’t done it since November we have talked about it a lot. I’ve thought the way we’ve played lately is very encouraging and obviously could be a big turning point for us,” said MacLean following the win over the Caps.:”But, again, we have to come here tomorrow, forget about today and get ourselves ready to work again on Wednesday and come back and play again on Thursday and do it again. The priority for us now is that. Get rid of this one, let’s come back tomorrow and get some work done.”
l PHANEUF SIGNS: We don’t usually discuss the Leafs but this signing is too much to pass up. I think the Leafs will regret it. That’s me.
He plays a lot of minutes. I get that.
Yup, seven years, $49 million is the asking price. I get that as well.
I just think Toronto won’t like this contract in the end.
Time will tell. He would have gotten it in free agency. I don’t doubt that for a second. Doesn’t mean you have to give it to him. Don’t tell me Phaneuf is a legacy player either because he isn’t.

Categories: Hockey

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11 comments

  1. PaV says:

    I’m just glad that we managed to pull off two winds in a row.

    The Phaneuf signing is nuts. He isn’t worth it. I am sure Kev would agree.

    Wishing Bruce, Don, Bobby, Choke, Vis, Mike, Amy, Neil and last but not least OD99 a very safe New Years and all the best in 2014

  2. PaV says:

    Annnnnnnnd Kev

  3. KevinF says:

    We discuss the Leafs all the time Bruce, generally in a fairly dumb way, but that’s the way it is. I have no idea what a legacy play (er) is, but the fact is Phaneuf has been very good last season and this one. He won’t be on the Olympic team and shouldn’t be, but is a the top of the next group. Plays huge minutes against the opponents top players, stats wonks claim he plays the toughest minutes in the league, if he was more selfish and stat obsessed he could accumulate many more points, at the overall cost to his team. It’s a half a million a year raise though the term is too long. There is risk in any contract over 3 or 4 years but as you say someone would have given it too him. The key is who replaces his minutes? Girardi? Please, over hyped and no offence, he is likely going to get 5 or 6. When Methot becomes a free agent do you think he, as a good second pairing dman, is going to sign for 20 mil for 4 years? Not a chance, if he keeps his good play up 6 mil for 6 with a 80 mil cap is not out of the question.cost of doing business in this post lockout climate Bobby Ryan is going to cost Eugene around 70 mil. Think he has the stomach for that? Flyers history shows they do and will find a way to do it. Going to be very interesting to see if Bobby is a legacy play (er) whatever that means.

  4. Bobby Goodman says:

    It will be a vey tough road for the Sens Bruce; there are other teams besides Toronto who will challenge for a PO spot. The way I see it, Toronto will be much better in the second half, primarily because they have key pieces returning. Bozak is back and he made his presence known his first game. Lupol is back (but I am not sure how long) and he is a fantastic player. Bolland will be back and he makes a huge difference on and off the ice (he might be a better choice for Captain). The team will settle on who is their number one goalie, Bernier (the 1a and 1b thing is nonsense). The kids on the point will be better. Gardiner has managed to be resilient as hell despite the brow beating by the Coach and Reilly Really is a hell of a player and getting more confident every day!

    As for Phaeuf’s contract, it is the way of the NHL these days. There isn’t a team in the league that likes the big contracts at the end! But they really don’t have a choice. They need to great players to make the team competitive. They need them to put bums in the seats, advertising/promotion, sweaters etc., and they need them to give the fan base hope. The players have the advantage don’t they? Will the NYR be happy with the Lundquist deal (they may regret it already). Are the Sens happy with Spezza’s deal? Is Vancouver happy about the Longo contract? I can go on and on but my point is, Teams are put in a tough position. Certainly they have a choice but their are many factors and the players will get their money either way.

    Phaneuf, by far, is the Leaf’s best defenceman. He is projected to fiish the year at +27! It may be much better if the team can stay healthy! He plays in ALL situations! Although I really liked the kid when he played the game much tougher (the early days in Calgary when he scored 20 goals, arned 50+ points and 100 PIM) he still punishes the opposition. He is a defenceman a team can win with and he shows up every night, no matter who the opposition may be!

    What is a legacy player? The idea is to win and win now or ASAP! If I was building a team, the last thing on my mind would be the legacy of a player at the end of his career. A players legacy is much more than his last contract! That legacy (the contract) falls on the GM and the Organization! Phaneuf’s legacy is what he’s done in his career and will continue! He has averaged over a half point per game and is closing in on 1000 PIM. He may be awkward in front of a camera and he may play for the Leafs and he may not be the best choice for Captain but that means diddly squat. I think the Sens would take him in a heart beat as would 29 other teams in the league. If Philips can earn 4m……….

  5. ChokerHater says:

    someone posted that really the signing of Phaneuf is only a $500,000 per year raise, and I’m pretty sure he would have got as much or more if he went to free agency. With the cap going way up next year, for the “big league” teams anyway it’s not that bad a deal. I wonder how much Phillips will get, it’s pretty obvious he is going that way. Wouldn’t he look good in Detroit too.

    Worst possible outcome to the Winter Classic, three points awarded to the two team the Sens are trying to catch
    Good night Irene

  6. Bobby Goodman says:

    I think Bobby Ryan should become a Canadian citizen and play for Canada but I suspect that wouldn’t work either. Hokey Canada don’t like skill either! The brilliant minds behind the US selections included Lord Burke; go figure. Rather than show a little class (he would have to fake it because he is a classless cad) he again demonstrated to the world his total disregard for the character trait. Why does he feel compelled to be a spectacle all the time, the most recent example was his description of Bobby Ryan’s game. He said he is a “passive player”…”not intense”…”can’t spell intense”. Is this really what the United States Olympic Hockey program want from members of their brass?Lord Burke is a phoney, everything he says is contrived, planned and rehearsed. Even his dumbass tie thing is artificial! He is a pretentious fool and a total embarrassment!

    I am not surprised by Ryan’s ommission but I do believe it is a mistake and one of a several they made. Yandle should be on the team and leaving him off the team truly is a joke. I do not understand why Faulk is there instead of Yandle. Why Orpik and not Johson? I would even select Trouba over Faulk! Watch him tonight, he is a dandy! If the Brass really wanted to win, why not have Big Bigger Biggest Bufff. Certainly some of the Amercs could get him motived for 2 weeks! Leaving him off the team should be a huge embarrassment to him (but I wonder if he gets the message). I do not like his attitude but I would have him on my team! How the hell does Bishop get overlooked? The entire affair is silly and guess what, we will see much of the same when Team Canada is announced.

    It isn’t a joke that Wheeler is on the Team America…far from it. Wheeler has 31 points to Ryan’s 36 and Wheeler is huge and very fast! There are other jokes though. Callahan is not having a good year at all. I love his intensity and passion though. They Americans will not earn a medal, that is my call!

    Interesting that Conacher is getting some attention now!? Both papers got the message from the Sens to give him some ink! To sugest he needs to work on his positional play and reduce his turn overs is really very silly. It is an invention and filler only. If he has to work on his turnovers, shouldn’t the fella who leads the entire league and currently sits at minus 11!!!!!????? What was great about Karly’s game last month? Is the only criteria in getting points? Shouldn’t a component be helping the team win? We have seen Karly’s play prgressively get worse with a total disregard for defence, he even admitted to “quitting”. “without the defencive lapses”? Seriously? Why doesn’t Smith earn 9 or 10? What was missing from his game? He has to play with Greening (bum) and Neil who sports a minus 7 for the month and minus 5 for the year!

    It should be noted that Methot’s numbers have been much better when Karly wasn’t his parner! Ceci is plus 5 the last two games and who did he play with?

  7. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Phaneuf’s contract is fine. In the last two years he’s played against the toughest competiion in the league and has acquitted himself quite well. Again yesterday at the Winter Classic he helped his team win with a nice deflected shot and wasn’t often out of position or making mistakes. Just because someone doesn’t have “flow” or drop swear words in pressers or race up the ice like a rover doesn’t make them a poor defenceman. Something else to ponder: The cap will likely go up to $100,000,000 or more in a few years. That $7,000,000 will look okay when top “D” are getting paid $9,000,000 or maybe even $10,000,000!

    One more thing, I heard Don discussing Brian Burke and he said: “Give him six or seven years.” pertaining to Calgary. Isn’t that the amount of time that Murray’s been there? J.R. is too scared (to lose his job at Team 1200 maybe?) and Don too needy of a scoop perhaps to ask the question of OUR GM? How long do we need to wait to get a winner? Another seven years? John Muckler hasn’t made a decision here in close to a decade, can’t hang your head on that. This team is only going to make the playoffs if one of Detroit or Toronto falters. Toronto has won three in a row since Bozak’s return and Bolland is coming back soon too. Detroit is Detroit. So what is the GM going to do to improve the team? How about asking him in between bouts of him getting offended at reporters asking hard questions?

    As for Bobby Ryan, some points of interest:
    Randy Carlyle cut back his powerplay time. Paul MacLean cut his powerplay time.
    Randy Carlyle cut his icetime. Paul MacLean cut his icetime.

    See a trend here? Ryan just isn’t a very intense player, not game-long anyway. And his getting all upset. Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, where were you in the first few games of the season when the team needed goals from you and you said “I’m coming in hot!” and did squat? Where were you in Boston when the team got shellacked 5-0? Are you even going to show up tonight Bobby, or will you be sulking? If you don’t like it in Ottawa Bobby, ask for a trade because we don’t need crybabies in this town!

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    Pierre, Bobby wont have to ask for a trade, he will be gone after next season (he will have had enough).

    I really like Ryan, mon ami and his numbers are all good! Randy Carlyle cut his ice-time in Anaheim, is that supposed to mean something? Carlyle has been all over the map in Toronto; he assumes all the responsibilities for a win but nothing for a loss! He sat Grabbo when he was there and he is having an outstanding campaig in Washington! As for here in Ottawa, I suspect the DAC cutting his ice-time had more to do with him and his DAACs confusion! He’s had Zibanisbad getting more ice-time on the PP than Ryan, MarArthur and Turris!!! He sat out Methot for not being good enough to cover for a rover who is caught up the ice every game! The same coach has had the most bizarre line combinations in history?

    Good point on the Cap Pierre; there is talk that Subban may sign a short deal again to bridge time until the Cap goes through the roof. I don’t think it will happen though, expect PK to get 7m for 7 years (at least). I don’t like contracts like that but there is not way around it! He is loved in Montreal and he is another D who doesn’t hurt his team/

  9. Bobby Goodman says:

    Pierre, Bobby wont have to ask for a trade, he will be gone after next season (he will have had enough).

    I really like Ryan, mon ami and his numbers are all good! Randy Carlyle cut his ice-time in Anaheim, is that supposed to mean something? Carlyle has been all over the map in Toronto; he assumes all the responsibilities for a win but nothing for a loss! He sat Grabbo when he was there and he is having an outstanding campaig in Washington! As for here in Ottawa, I suspect the DAC cutting his ice-time had more to do with him and his DAACs confusion! He’s had Zibanisbad getting more ice-time on the PP than Ryan, MarArthur and Turris!!! He sat out Methot for not being good enough to cover for a rover who is caught up the ice every game! The same coach has had the most bizarre line combinations in history?

    Good point on the Cap Pierre; there is talk that Subban may sign a short deal again to bridge time until the Cap goes through the roof. I don’t think it will happen though, expect PK to get 7m for 7 years (at least). I don’t like contracts like that but there is not way around it! He is loved in Montreal and he is another D who doesn’t hurt his team.

  10. Bobby Goodman says:

    Conacher is now a star! Amazing!

    Karly, he of the 9/10 rating was on the ice for 2 of Winnipeg’s 3 goals and responsible for 1 (it could have been much more because when there was a lot of pressure in the Sens end, it was when he was on the ice). He didn’t register a single point and never led a rush (I had him at minus 1 but the Box Score had him at 0). Is this a surprise to anyone? Is he helping the team? But the question will be, will anyone write or say anything about it tomorrow? I don’t need to say he doesn’t show up against the big teams but I just did.

    Zack now has 9 goals, he is playing great hockeyl. The Turris line was fabulous. Anderson won the game for the Sens. Oh yes, Methot, is now down to minus 5 with his assist and plus one tonight…why are his numbers better you ask, becaus he doesn’t have to defend…against Karly more, he plays with Ceci!!!!!!!

  11. OD99 says:

    Good win last night. The Jets are a good team and have quite a few big, fast players with heart and determination that should be celebrated. Anderson was very good again.

    Ceci certainly doesn’t look like a young rookie out there. So far there have been few mental errors and when you notice him on the ice most of the time it is because of a good play. I like having him with Methot and Karlsson has helped Cowen progress in his game.

    Pierre, what is up with the hostility for Ryan? He was the only player who was scoring at the beginning of the year – I think he scored in 3 straight on the Western road trip and was the reason the Senators got to OT against the Kings. What makes him a cry baby? Burke makes some asinine statements about him so of course the media have to ask him about it and he handled it with class and dignity. He has been one of the teams best players all year long.

    Thought Stone looked good out there too – with a little luck he could have had his first NHL goal. He certainly can read the play well and is responsible defensively, he was the first forward back many times and his wheels looked OK on that partial break he got too…hope he gets to stick around for a little while.

    Hope Spezza can come back healthier and show us the he can still be a player that can help a team.

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