What’s up with Michalek?

- February 18th, 2013

Remember when you would read the above headline and think this is a post about the Senators top marksman having trouble hitting the target?
Milan Michalek is tied for seventh on the team’s goal scoring list. With two, he is behind guys like Chris Phillips, Chris Neil and Jim O’Brien.
The Senators might have another win or two had he been lighting it up the way he usually does through the first quarter of the schedule. Generally a fast starter, Michalek scored the first goal of the season for Ottawa but has basically done nothing since.
Part of the problem is the absence of Jason Spezza, of course, but the Michalek who returned from the lockout is not the Michalek who led the team with 35 goals last season, was second on the list the year before that and third highest scorer in 2009-10.
The 2112-13 version doesn’t drive the net the way he used to, for whatever reason.
Anyway, Michalek is not driving anywhere these days, as a mysterious injury is about to keep him out of his third straight game this afternoon in New Jersey. That, more than his slump or the reasons for it, should be most concerning.
What happened to him? Paul MacLean has not been very enlightening on the situation. Michalek was on the ice for the pre-game warmup in Pittsburgh, then just like that he was a late scratch. He didn’t even accompany the team on its two-game road trip to Toronto and New Jersey.
We have learned that he had some swelling in his knee, but little else. We don’t know how it happened or how severe it is. And we have no idea of how long he will be out.
The way the season is going, you half expect MacLean to soon announce that Michalek is going to need surgery but should be 100 percent by next October.
Meanwhile, I do think the Senators are going to score against the Devils. They may even wind up with more than the home team, if Ben Bishop plays like he did against the Jets on Hockey Day in Canada.
The reason for your optimism is the return of Peter Regin, who was actually starting to get some good chances in the two games before his chest injury, and the re-insertion into the lineup of Colin Greening. After the wake up call of being a healthy scratch in Toronto, I expect Greening will have a little more fire and passion in his game.
If I was asked for a prediction, I’d only say this Senators-Devils showdown will end in a shootout.

Categories: Hockey

Subscribe to the post

32 comments

  1. Bobby Goodman says:

    What’s up with Michalek? The answer is simply Donny, he hasn’t got Spezza to give him the puck…c’est sa mon ami!

    Michalek learned very quickly he should expect to get the puck at anytime no matter what (something others could not adjust to). Not only did Milan expect the unexpected, he always got good body position (much like Neal in Pitt) and of course he knew what to do when he got the puck! It is exactly the same as what happened with Heatley! His game went south in a hurry once he didn’t have Spezza! Greening, the great big, “extremely fast” “power forward” doesn’t do a single thing and was only effective when paired with Spezza. His only goal this year was when he was on his line! Spezza will forever be the player people love to dislike, regardless of his numbers. The guy was 4th in the league in points last year and he didn’t have Heatley or Alfredsson in their prime and he went the entire year with either Greening or Butler on the right side! Yet Ottawans in the Sun Poll, ignore him for the 2014 winter Olympics! Why I am not surprised. A while ago, Dave sent me the coordinates to an amazing website for real time NHL Stats:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20122ALLSASAll&sort=evenStrengthPoints&viewName=points

    Should someone invest 15 minutes, check out the many stats that are mined and catalogued, they would soon find out that last year was an amazing year for Rocco! He led or was among the league leeders in a number of categories! But, he is not from Sweden and his name is Jason Spezza not Jasper Spezzanson!

    The Sens aren’t crashing the net, I wonder why! You wont see the young stars do it with the same vigor as the size challenged players like: Ennis, Gruber, Gionta, St Louis and Galagher (damn I like this kid, is he Canadian?)! Playing on the outside is fine in Europe, it may even earn someone MVP honours (or another 5 goals) but counts for diddly in the best league in the world! Give me a kid (no matter where he was born) with speed, skill and courage anytime! Landeskog in Colorado plays like a Canadian boy and I think he is fabulous!

    I have to ask Donny, does a player like Greening really need a wake up call to inspire him to work harder? I think that all by itself is a problem! He has yet to earn one penalty and in my mind, that is an impossibility for a 3rd, or 4th line player who doesn’t score goals!

    I do not expect much from Da Costa, Sly or Zibby but I expect much more from Knuckles. Gums has been great although I do hate the end of game theatrics. If a player doesn’t like what another did, go get em right away! Smith has to return to playing the way he played that got him here: hard physical play, finishing every check (something I believe every player on any team should do), taking the shot if its there, hit the damn net, drop the gloves when needed and of course crash the net!!!!

    I do not expect that the Sens will win today.

  2. Don Brennan says:

    Yes Choker, the injuries to Spezza and Karlsson are a “crutch” . Just like season-enders to Crosby and Malkin would be a crutch for the Penguins. Except only worse, because Pittsburgh has more scoring depth and it’s impossible to come close to replacing a Norris Trophy winner who generates most of your offence with his puck carrying and speed. And if the media can influence the way the season goes as much as you think, the Senators would have won a Cup by now

  3. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Heard Michalek had some puffiness around the knees.

    Glad to say MacLean benched Zibanejad. Kid is just terrible, slow, can’t produce any offense and is living off that game-winning goal for Sweden. Next to sit should the “Best-player-not-in-the-NHL-that-broke-all-the-SEL-records- including-ALfie’s-records-at-a-very-young-age-that-played-against-men-so-he-knows-what-it’s-like” Jakob Silfverberg, who needs to stop taking perimeter shots and using perimeter play and needs to start playing more of an NHL game and that’s more of a body in front of the net, more elbows high, more slashes to the other players behind plays because a 15-point pace isn’t cutting it and never should for such an overhyped prospect.

    I hope you are right Don that they win today but I see a 4-2 New Jersey win. Remember that there are no consequences for losing in Ottawa, not for the GM, not for the coach and not for the players unless an absolutely foundational event occurs.

  4. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    “and it’s impossible to come close to replacing a Norris Trophy winner who generates most of your offence with his puck carrying and speed. ”

    That’s a problem with team composition then Don, because I didn’t see anyone Norris-worthy in Toronto (Phaneuf was a finalist years ago) but thye play as a team and win. Same with Tampa, team play. Pittsburgh, team play.
    Islanders, team play. If the TEAM that Murray put on the ice can’t live without a few key injuries then Murray has not built a TEAM rather than a supporting cast for a few star players an sorry to say, that is not going to win a Cup here in Ottawa.

  5. ChokerHater says:

    Ottawa- Death Of A Sniper
    Michalek is on a long list of snipers that had some good success then blew up, seriously, I think he is missing Spezza, good players make other good players even better, and when you put a couple of slugs with them they tend to cool down quick.
    I wouldn’t get my hopes up on this game, NJ is an elite team, they tasted winning last year, and for most teams, when you get that close that you could almost taste the champagne out of the silver cup, you really want it bad the next year.
    This is going to be a very very tough year for Ottawa unless they make a trade or two, but it doesn’t look like the genious is willing to do that. There is a guy sitting in Colorado, not playing, that would look good in Ottawa, and they could probably have him, but it would cost some young guns but I think the Ottawa brass over value young kids

  6. KevinF says:

    Ok, ok, I give. The Ottawa Senators are the only NHL team with meaningful injuries. Happy now?
    Damien Cox on twitter this morning, couldn’t have said it better myself.

  7. ChokerHater says:

    Will the Ottawa Senators ever score again
    LOL
    bet they could sure use my old friend Dany right about now eh

  8. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Don was right, congrats Don. Great call on the shootout! That’s why you have been writing for 20 years and I’m a humble editor!

    And good on me for criticizing Silfverberg and him getting a burr up his rear and scoring in the shootout!

    Pats on the back all around!

  9. Bobby Goodman says:

    The Sens grinded out a win in a boring contest (I favor high scoring games). Bishop, after the 6 goals scored against him the first game has looked sharp! His stock is on the rise! The team won after a one- one tie and won after a scoreless overtime in a shoot out! One goalie had a .968 Sv% and the other had .968! Isn’t it amazing that only Senators deserved a star??!!

    I still wonder why Lundin is in the lineup; afer 5 games he has 0s across the board and is minus 1 and no time in Millhaven. After 6 games Boro had 0s across the board but posted a plus 1 and registered 18 minutes in penalties (who do you think is tougher to play against?). Benoit after playing 12 games, has 3 pts and is plus 1. But these two are relegated, one to Bingo and the other to the press box! Does it make any sense to anyone?

  10. OD99 says:

    What a shock to see the, “regulars” contribute when the Sens are seemingly down and out. I am not writing the Senators off nor am I ready to listen about the parade plans for the Laffs just yet…

    I won’t debate Karlsson being the best player in the league because I don’t think he is there yet but if you watch the Senators play you must know that he does, by far, the most to influence their games. He has the puck a ton, carries it through all zones and creates a ton of offense all the while being able to get back to break up plays in his own end. Bobby, you have made your opinion well known and I know there is no changing it but suffice it say I disagree with your views on Karlsson’s overall game and contribution to the teams success.

    I am still willing to be very patient with our young players as I believe it does take time for the majority of players to become real NHLers. That said, I need to see more from Silf – he is a perimeter player and seems like he lacks a good center of balance on his skates. It is amazing how quickly he hits the ice when engaged in a battle for the puck and he is still taking too long to make decisions. He has a ++ shot and needs to find ways to take it from a scoring position although from what I see of every player I have a feeling part of the coaching strategy is to have guys get the puck on net as quick as possible once inside the opposition blue line – I have never seen so many weak wristers from the boards in my life! I do see what made Silf so good in SWE though…I think he is close to figuring things out and becoming a more regular contributor.

    Zibby looked much better as a 4th liner than he did as a 2nd liner and if he is going to stay in the NHL for the season I would prefer he learns from the bottom. In his first few games he was turning pucks over and creating some chances but the last few games he has been caught watching more than anything else. Have to say I am not seeing the explosive speed that I expected either although on a few occasions he has shown the capacity to really get moving. As I said from the get-go with him: the tools are there but does he know how to use them? Hard to say how much better he will get but we have him and I hope they take their time and develop him into the best player he can be.

    Lundin is sort of what I expected although he doesn’t use his speed nearly enough. A guy who can get around but who can’t make quick decisions with the puck and isn’t physical – again I am willing to give him some time to get used to this team as he is just off of injury. For the record, Lee has played 12 games with 0-0-0 14PIMS and -9 (next worst is -3 on TBay).

    The Sens are obviously not going to look that good now and the quick turnaround was of course dependent on the fact that they still had the 4th leading scoring and the top Dman in the game…to say this season proves anything just isn’t accurate to me. We will see how Hoff does in a few weeks.

  11. OD99 says:

    Oh and chokerlover…if you are going to try and take a shot at someone using the term genius try spelling it correctly…

    Anyone who would decide to throw away much of anything for a stop gap this year would be an idiot considering the players in this upcoming draft class.

    I do agree on getting O’Reilly if they can though…happy to trade pretty well any of our young guys for him…a bird in the hand and all that…

  12. ChokerHater says:

    Wow, a win, they are on a streak now
    I do have to give them credit though, they did score a goal
    shootout goals don’t count
    good thing they have a good goalie, how long before the floodgates open though
    goalies can only hold them back for so long

  13. Bobby Goodman says:

    I would like Potvin to explain how Cooke “targetted” Karlsson “diliberately”. I know he is a nasal and nausiatingly terminal homer but this is just silly and he said it again yesterday! If Potvin meant that Cooke wanted to take Karlly into the boards, he is totally correct, but cut him, I think not. In fact, should someone look at the video, Cooke’s head is turned to the right. I have to assume then that his left foot saw an openning underneath the tendon guard and came down exact at the right time and exactly in the right spot…isn’t that amazing!!

    So the Coach now concedes that Zibby isn’t playing well. I will have to assume that Dennis will now change his opinion (ill he now think it a great idea to bring some others up from Bingo?). What makes little sense however is the organizations decision to have him sit in th epress box “for a game or two” because they don’t want to “overwhelm him”! Too late! He never played well with the Sens and never should have been promoted; it simply wasn’t the right thing to do for the kids development! If he played great and was now going into a slump I would understand but he never belonged from the get go and wasn’t great in Bingo (or the year before). I know this is right out of left field but is it within the realm of possibility it would be more benificial for his development to return to Bingo? The coach concedes his speed wasn’t there, it never was. For people whose profession is NHL hockey, they certanly have conistently made mistakes. Do ya think Murray is the puppet master? The Coach concedes the kid wasn’t playing well (for how long now?) but he did play him on the 1st and 2nd line and often played on the PP…does that make any sense what so ever?

    What is even more confusing was listening to Brown and Potvin congratulate Lamourello and the Devils organization for “allowing their prospects tto develop” in the manures! Why is that a great thing for the Devils but a bad thing for the Sens?

    Bulter looked good yesterday huh? Not!

    It was great to see Silfverberg score with an absolute rocket in the shoot out. He also got an assist for his 4th point in 15 games; I am sure the Murray’s expected a hell of a lot more though. He and Zibby are great kids (Sly will be 23) and I wish them nothing but success but they needed to “develop” in the manures. Although Silfverberg led Bingo in scoring, he was far removed from the league leaders. But, if you are Swedish, you are immediately great, the media in Ottawa will love and celebrate you. The talk before, during and after the game yesterday was all about Karly…and that is why I think Jason Spezza should change his name to Jasper Spezzanson. It will transform him and his game to instant credibility!

  14. Pav says:

    Glad to see that Choke still has no sense what-so-ever.

  15. ChokerHater says:

    oh oh, OD99 and the internet spell police are out, searching for guys who can’t spell very well. very insightful, thanks
    And O’Reilly was exactly who I was talking about.

    Now, will they score tonight, pretty easy team they are going up against, can they score more than one goal a game
    Bobby Butler was the next Mike Bossy on these pages not that long ago, and now he is playing on one of the top teams in the NHL hmmmmm.

    Did I spell every thing right this time OD99

    thanks Pav, you don’t know what that means coming from you ha ha ha ha

  16. Dennis_w says:

    Bobby you’re unbelivable. Do you bother to read anything I write? Worse still, you completely turn around what I’ve said. Please go back and take a look under the “No discipline for Cooke”: I clearly stated that I would’ve preferred that Mika wasn’t in the NHL.

    Also, this was my last post to you. Please let it also be my goodbye:

    “Bobby,

    I stopped reading your very long post after the first couple of sentences since you continue to put words into my mouth. I never said I was a BLEIEVER of Silf, Mika, Karlsson or anyone else in their 1st season (or later). For me, it was simply TOO EARLY to know. They could busts. I just want more time, whereas you’ve already decided that Karlsson, Cowen, Weircoch, Mika, Da Costa, Rundblad, Lehner …are all busts.

    We just don’t understand each other and I’m not wasting any more time.”

  17. Bobby Goodman says:

    Dave, I would agree that Karlsson does a lot to but Spezzanson does far more. Karly’s enormous talent is made more visible by playing on a team that has so very little! He didn’t do much as quarterback to help the PP. He didn’t help the two young stars (Silfverberg and Zibanejad) with 3 goals between them. He couldn’t help with Michalek’s scoring drought (2g), or Turris with zero in the last 13 games. Alfredssson has but 3 goals so he didn’t help him much. Greening didn’t benefit (1g), Condra didn’t benefit (2), Da Costa didn’t benefit (1); Latendresse, Daugavins, Regin and Smith didn’t get better because of Karlsson, all of them have no goals at all!

    He carries the puck a lot, just not against NYR, Winnipeg, Pittsburg or the tough teams. He gets a gazillion shots but perhaps that is one of the reasons why the PP is so inept. A quarterback should be making plays, rotating, moving the puck quickly in, out and around and engaging others. Simply blasting away from the point is predictable and defendable. The team had 34 shots one game without Karlsson! How is that even possible! Spezza made Michalek a dependable goal scorer, Heatley a superstar, he even got the big slow and often on his butt lug Greening to score goals!!! Spezzanson played his regular shift, did PP and PK time! But he did much more, he led or was among the league leaders in many categories including: faceoffs won, face offs taken, goals scored, assists, total points, points scored out of town but all that is ignored. He not Swede.

    As for the kids, I wish them nothing but success but as you say, they have disappointed. The paper went nuts because Sly scored in a shootout and that is great but the fact remains he has but 4 points and two goals in 15 games playing with the best and on the PP! He is indeed a perimeter player and his zero penalty minutes offers some insight as to how he plays and he does spend a lot of time on his duff! Zibby played on the PP often!!! Why? He has but one goal and just now the coach is ALLOWED to be frank about his play. You suggest Zibby has all the tools but why hasn’t that emerged in the two other leagues he played in?

    As for Lindin Dave, I’m not sure what you were expecting. With Tampa in ’07 – ’08 he played 81 games, had 6 assists and 16 penalty minutes; in ’08 – ’09 he played only 25 games and had 2a and minus 4 (he spent 45 games in the AHL with Norfolk); in ’09 – ’10 he played 49 games with 13 pts and minus 4 (he spent 27 games with Norfolk); ’10 – ’11 in 69 games he had 12 points and minus 3; in ’11 – ’12 he played in 17 games with Minni and had 2 points and was -1 and then played 2 games again in the AHL with Houston. Before he came here he played in 241 games, accumulated, 35 points and was – 9! Exactly what were you expecting from Lundin? Do you think he has played better than Benoit? If so, how and why? Personally, I do not believe he is an NHLer and would take Boro and Benoit over him in a heart beat!

  18. OD99 says:

    Had to check out some other numbers of players for comparison as the “sky is falling” mentality begins to take hold.

    First, the Stanley Cup champion LA Kings are downright terrible and that is with Kopitar, Brown, Carter, Richards, Doughty, etc…hard to imagine a team that is so deep, that has big and tough players on the 4th line and the ultimate D-man on the back end can be so bad isn’t it? What do we say about that? Are those players now useless and to be forgotten?

    Doughty: 12 GP: 0-6-6 with 12PIMs and a -11!!! So should we buy low on him or should we assume he is no good?

    The rough and tumble captain of the Kings in 12GP: 3-3-6 with 10PIMS and a -7!!!

    This is mostly tongue in cheek but I am trying to prove a point that you can’t go with the ebb and flow of each shift, period or game. To hear it on here Karlsson is somewhat responsible for getting injured (he should have raced to the boards and waited to get hit?!?!) and on top of that he had 2 games where he didn’t dominate…maybe, just maybe the other team was playing really well and bringing a tough, relentless forecheck and the forwards didn’t do enough to come back and compete? Not even saying that is the answer but surely it is an acceptable option other than just Karlsson didn’t do enough or isn’t tough enough or whatever?

    I am not going to really talk about Karlsson any more this year because there is no sense in doing so but I really wish some on this board could just accept that he is an incredible talent and not have to always throw some critique in there…

    Also Dany would be of no help here…he had a torrid start thanks to Koivu and Parise but as expected he has been very quiet for some time and his 5-4-9 in 15 games played just isn’t good enough…especially when he sports a -2 on a tight defensive team.

  19. Mike8888 says:

    Bobby,
    I agree, Zibby should be sent to Bingo, where he will get plenty of ice time.

  20. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    OD99, I don’t think anyone here ever brings up the Leafs, outside of bobbygoodman talking about Burke a while back. I do think it would be shameful if we lost to them Saturday though, shameful and unacceptable, but mediocrity and failure are rewarded by the Murray clan, to the extent of giving head coaching positions to family and friends.

    Agreed with bobby. If Spezza wee called Spzzasson people would be salivating over him and calling him the next best thing since Alfie. Since he is a Canadian in the Canadian capital he is reviled and since he has skill and not much of a beard he is dismissed as a useless, stat-padding malcontent! I hope that when Jason’s contract is over he seriously considers his options: FOrever be compared to Alfredsson or set out on your own and be with a team that truly appreciates you! Isn’t it odd that Murray isn’t talking of a contract for Jason, whose term ens in a year or so, while he rushed to rewadd Kyle Turris (has he scored since Spezza was injjured>) Zach Smith (Dime a dozen plugger) and Karly after one good season? Strange that your #1 center should languish while people with far less tenure and consistency get rewarded!

    They beat the Islanders last night and I was there. I must say our defense is absolutely putrid. Our men gave the zone to the speedy Islanders non-stop and if it were not for Anderson this could have been a blowout for the visitors. At least Dzuryinski and Benoit got rewarded for their hard work.

    Now there is tlak from Pierre LeBrun (who is G_d for American sports media) that the Senators were expected to make a run this year. Where did Murray say that? Where did Paul MacLean say that? Hell, where did Bruce, Don, Wayne and company say that? And apparently the Bruins have interest in Alfie? I say trade him if we fall out of contention, iF he wants to win. If he is happy being an Ottawa Senators and not winning then fine, but it seems to me that would ingrain a culture of losing and mediocrity and underachievement. The yahoos on the morning show compared ALfie to Lidstrom and Zetterberg.

    Here are some other Hall of Famer Swedes that played gfor multiple teams: Borje Salming – TOR/DET, Peter Forsberg COL/QC/PHIL/NSH, Mats Sundin TOR/VCR. Oh and there’s that Gretzky kid from Brantford, dunno if Team 1200 has heard of it, played in Edmonton, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York Rangers…loyalty is great…from your pets or employeees. As a player you should be hunting for that Cup and for opportunities to win that Cup! Does anyone think any less of Hossa because he team-hopped? He’s a winner now!

  21. Bobby Goodman says:

    I was thrilled to see DD and Benny score a goal each! Now if Grant can pop one in we would have a trifecta. They are now tied with Zibby and have but one less goal than Sly! Zibby isn’t an NHLer and from what I see, never will; he simply does not possess the requisite skills. Silfverberg on the other hand, does so what is missing? When I suggest he plays on the periphery it isn’t meant as a shot it’s just reality. If he possessed some grit, he would go into the corners, aggressively fight for lose pucks and he would go to the net and pick up some garbage but he doesn’t. I am sure Bishop witnessed him scoring goals with his amazing shot but that was in a different league against weaker goaltenders. It is a major leap to go from the SEL to the AHL and an ever greater leap to the NHL (as we have witnessed). Can someone change and grow a pair, maybe, but I have never seen it happen.

    Everyone’s are all talking about his amazing shot (not surprisingly God said it was the best in the NHL) but the discussion(s) should be based on what he actually does on the ice. If there is no fire in the belly, meeting expectations will be impossible (and even fail meeting no expectations). The funny thing is, the Murrays have known this about Sly from the get go. He didn’t even want to test his skills against NHLers in the pre-season last year (I know this means nothing to most but to me it raised a very large and very red flag). I have never seen Zib or Sly beat anyone on the outside. Zibby will venture into the corners but Sly will not. Playing on the outside is safe and works great in the SEL, not as well in the AHL and not at all in the NHL! BTW, didn’t everyone go nuts over Bobby Butler’s shot?

    It is interesting that the hockey club is transforming into an NHL type hockey club, but it certainly wasn’t by design, it happened by accident. I am not saying DD, Grant or Gryba are going to be regular NHLers but there are others who aren’t and have been here, celebrated for failure and garner a lot of ink? The team has transformed themselves. They are still a bad hockey club but they are tougher. Turris is an NHLer but hasn’t scored a goal in 13 games. Sly has but 2 in 17. Zibby has one in 11 and shouldn’t even be here. Da Costa, another blessed with skill, will never be an NHLer because he is soft and weak. He has one goal and is now minus 4 (basically a carryover from last year). Dog is uselss and -6 in 11 games. Lundin in the lineup makes very little sense and historically speaking, he has delivered very little! Greening is supposed to have speed but has anyone seen it? He is supposed to have a great shot but again, has anyone seen it? The puck is a foreign object and boat anchor to him. And, he plays soft! I will take a Grant, DD anyday of the week! Thay can’t do any worse!

    The hockey club continues to win games but if we are going to be honest, it is because the goaltending has been outstanding! Potvin’s star selections are shameful.

  22. OD99 says:

    No Internet police Chokerlover – just a pet peeve when people try to be all uppity and insult someone while using genious instead of the real word…now if you had called Murray ingenious then that would be different.

    Bobby again you bring up Spezza when I talk about your comments on Karlsson? I don’t get it…is it just that you don’t like Spezza being the second fiddle on the team? My comments about how good Karlsson is was not a negative reflection on Spezza (in fact I have barely written Spezza’s name this year) yet somehow you instantly make the comparison that Karlsson doesn’t set up the wingers that Spezza played with? I don’t get it and never will but I appreciate how much you love Spezza, even if I think it blinds you to his flaws and somehow allows you enhance flaws in others by comparison.

    I will say that I look for good things over bad every game so I guess that makes me an optimist or someone who looks through rose coloured glasses but I do see the good in most of the Sens players and it makes me not worry about the negatives quite as much. Conversely I think many on here are constantly looking for the negatives so it doesn’t allow them to see the good or at the very least the negatives cast such a shadow that the positives don’t matter any more. Oh well.

    The boys were dominated for long stretches last night and the forwards were terrible at supporting our D and clearing the puck – the Isled D pinched below the circle over and over, forcing the D to pass it into the slot or up the middle to clear but the forwards tried to be too fancy and wound up giving it away over and over again. Nothing makes a team better than good goaltending though and once again I refuse to apologize for having our goalie(s) contribute to victory – the Senators have been beaten too many times by inferior teams with better goaltending for me to feel anything but joy when watching Anderson or Bishop play out of their heads and give the Senators a chance to win.

    I had no idea what to expect out of Lundin since I didn’t recall ever seeing him play – stats are only stats and don’t show what a player actually does. Circumstances of different teams won’t match the Senators. What I see is a gifted skater but a guy who is hesitant with the puck and in overall decision making which gets him into trouble…he isn’t physical and he needs to get his act together or he will sit a lot more.

    The Senators started to change their dynamic over a year ago Bobby so not sure why this happened by accident? All the players just called up were drafted by Murray and realistically I am sure they wanted them to succeed and make the big club. Would you play any of them over Karlsson, Spezza, Michalek or Cowen? The Sens are a good t-e-a-m as I said after the first few games and I am glad they are fighting and staying in the race for as long as they can with so many important pieces gone.

    Hope for a good one tomorrow against the Rags!

  23. OD99 says:

    Bobby – I went back and read what I put down so I see you are bringing up Spezza since I said he influences the games more than anyone…I was thinking while Spezza was out…I would say at this stage they influence things evenly.

  24. Bobby Goodman says:

    You know Pierre, I never understood why a hockey player shuld stay with one team for their entire career. I don’t know why that is celebrated. In any business, when production dwindles, people are moved. In the NHL and being in Alfredsson position, I would think the team would give him every opportunity to win a cup. I would think Alfredsson would feel the same way. I never did understand Sundin’s decision to turn down an opportunity to play for another team for a couple of months, a chance to be on a Cup winning team and…thank an organziation that made him gaudy rich by accepting a trade that would make his them better. When you consider (like God’s case) he could return to his home team for the start of the following season, turning it down makes little sense! Bourque, a Canadian boy, had no problem moving for an opportunity to thank his team by paving they way for them to get players/draft picks and have an opportunity to put his name on Lord Stanley.

    I listen to 1200 this morning and I could not believe my ears and one of them said he would be disgusted with God moving (even if it wa only for a month or two). He suggested he would only consider it acceptable if Ottawa got a Dougie Hamilton in return. Yikes! It is my opinion that Murray would actually be doing Alfresson a favor and that this would be something God would want to do.

    It may happen yet, we will have to see. But if the best player that ever lived, the only player to have his number retired by the NHL (retiring any number is silly but retiring a number in the NHL is worse) can be traded, certainly God can. Wouldn’t and shouldn’t he WANT to do Putty thing…you know…”support the team”!

  25. Mike8888 says:

    Well Bobby, I guess you.ve now written Zibby off, and now Karlsson isn’t quite as good because many of his team mates were and are in scoring slumps. This really is the Bobby-blog. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We could all write long critical posts about Senator’s while praising everything non-Senator.

  26. Bobby Goodman says:

    Wouldn’t it be fun to play for Yosemite Sam in New York?! Has he ever taken any (even a tiny bit) of the responsibility for the team’s failings? Lundquist’s Sv% is over 3 and that is one of the reasons why the team isn’t winning. For a team that focusses on blocking shots and playing a defencive game, wins will be hard to come by if their goalie isn’t spectacular! Is this great coaching? To many, I guess it is. It continues to amaze me that there are multitides who continue to confuse gruff, sour, mean spirited, blowhards as being competent and inteligent! Wasn’t Lord Burke a brilliant man? He is being pursued by some organizations to be a Scout and that is a mighty fall from President/GM!

    I hope that the Sens score many goals and leave the Bank with a huge win tonight! Not only because the Senators are my team, but also because I want to see the drama queen in full flight, behind the bench and in a post game interview should he possess the courage to grant one and answer pointed questions! He is a villiage idiot and I don’t know why a player hasn’t slapped in the yap yet (literally and figuratively). He has ceretainly been good for Rick Nash’s game!

  27. Daniel Murphy says:

    The way Anderson and Bishop have been playing, Lehner may never see the NHL. I don’t recall seeing such excellent and consistent goal-tending in decades. One has to wonder how many championships / Stanley Cups Ottawa would have won if we had this quality of goal-tending back in the early 2000′s.

    I heard an interesting tid bit the other day. Patrick Lalime the other day was almost hit by an OC bus. Fortunately it went between his legs and missed him.

  28. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    On fire Bobby, I am going to have to get some water to cool you down!

    I was listening to the blandly entertaining but completely out of touch Pierre McGuire the other day. He was talking about how St. Louis would not be able to skate against Colorado, how they had missed a charter and they were doomed, their seaon over. Since McGuire is the next GM to be every time there is a vancacy, I looked at the Blues-Avalanche game, and here is what your humble scribe saw:

    I saw SPEED. The tired Blues team was hitting and skating. The Avalanche was bursting with skating speed and finding seams in the Blue’s deense. Both goaltenders, Halak and Allan (?) were fantastic. Great hits. Colorado nailed Tarasenko and you could hear the whining from Hitchcok miles away. But it was GREAT HOCKEY. I watched the 0-0 game (the pundits like Terry Marcotte say that low-scoring games are boring, I hadn’t seen a game as good as that Blues-Avalanche since last year’s playoffs!) until overtime when the Avalanche popped one in. I say this to you now, Ottawa Senators should get on their knees and THANK THE BLUE BLAZES they do not have to play the Western Conference because our boys would get dismantled by the speed, aggressiveness and passion those teams show. The East is pure garbage outside of Boston and maybe Pittsburgh/Philly.

    Yeah, I too am wondering where Kyle Turris is. One second Bobby I’m putting my researcher’s instinct to work here…and here we are!

    From the Ottawa Senators’ official site:

    For the 23-year-old Turris, the December trade that brought him to Ottawa from the Phoenix Coyotes opened a world of new possibilities. In 49 games with the Senators, he produced 12 goals, 17 assists and 29 points — all National Hockey League career highs. Turris believes the best is yet to come, telling ottawasenators.com late last season that he believes he can be a 30-goal scorer someday

    So if Turris believes he can score 30 “someday” why doesn’t he score goal say..TODAY? Or how about a goal say…SATURDAY? Good thing no one actually asks the players about past statements hmm? As usual this is all talk and no walk. Remembe when Turris put all that weight on and looked incredible? Has anyone seen him? I think he served me lunch at the cafteria here at 222 Queen…

    Bobby is correct (as aways) Losing the selfish, offensse-obsessed Karly is the best thing that has happened to this team. They are actually playing defense and working as a unit! Will wonders never cease! This is one thing that the media never seem to “get” I don’t go to the Scotiabank Place to be “Excited” as I am not a slack-jawed yokel from the valley seeing an NHL rink for the first time. I go to see winning, team-based win! And right now I am getting that. Now win tonight but more importantly…

    BEAT THE LEAFS SATURDAY.

  29. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Bobby,

    Leafs are doing well this year and outside of Fraser McLaren that is Burke’s team, he just needed to stop talking and needed to dtich the awful Ron Wilson ages ago.

  30. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    I agree Bobby, FAR too much is made of loyalty.

    When I started my fledgling career as a translator/editor ages ago, I signed on with a firm in Gatineau and worked my tail off. But then came a better offer with better pay and since we couldn’t reach an agreement, away I went! I felt no qualms as it’s business!

    Alfredsson has that “Comfortable Country Club” disease that has been spread by Murray. Put it this way Bobby, Alfredsson would be treated with respect elswhere but he wouldn’t have 6 reporters waiting to see if he collected his kid’s poo-poo and writing a column about it, and wouldn’t be captain and wouldn’t be treated as a God.
    So of course he doesn’t want to leave. There is no pressure here, there is no need to win come the post-season, there is no need to be worried about his job or his playtime (ask Mike Modano if he got first-line minutes in Detroit) but he can live off past glories with a team that is no longer here, a coach that is GM, a former GM gone and no real hope of success. But at least not much is expected of him and he is comfortable being worshipped by yokels and media pundits.

    Big fish in small pond right Bobby?

  31. Bobby Goodman says:

    Dave, I bring up Spezza because he is ignored! You are absolutely correct, he is second fiddle because that is how it is reported…facts and stats be damned! When Karlsson is referenced 10 times in two articles and garners 80% of any discussion, it makes me wonder.

    What is always ignored is the reality there were 4 defencemen ahead of him in scoring when he went down. He led in two categories, goals scored and take aways (primarily, he picked up the scraps left from others going into the corners). For a quarterback on the PP, he didn’t help when the team had a man advantage. For someone so offensive, he had all of 4 assists in 14 games and he is on the ice 27 minutes a game! Spezza had one less assist in 9 games and 8 minutes less every night! The team goals scored are .01 less with Karlsson and Spezza out of the lineup, only .01 less that when Spezza went down!!!??? So who was missed more?

    Karlsson is very talented but he plays a game no one in the NHL plays: he goes anywhere, anytime, all the time and most of the time it is all offense. His 6 goals led the league and that was fabulous but many had more assists and he was far behind other defencemen in other cagegories: hits, blocked shots etc. He also led the entire LEAGUE in give aways, something Spezza never did but for years the papers crucified him for it (there is never even a mention of Karlsson’s give aways). He was crucified by the media when he didn’t even lead the team in give aways (that honour belonged players like The Big Rig, Kuba, Kovalev and others). Why do you think that is? Alfredsson has had some games when he gave the puck away 3 times, but that too isn’t mentioned at all!

    Karlsson complained in an inteview and embarrassingly, it was televised nationally, that he was targetted by Cooke. Seriously Karlly???!!! How dare he! This is how far removed from reality Karlsson is. Perhaps the lunacy of the Sen’s owner resonnated with Karlsson. Someone should point out to him that ALL THE BETTER PLYERS NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL ARE TARGETS EVERY SINGLE GAME!!!! Tarsenko was demolished by Oliver in a game and I don’t know how long he may be out. Munchkins like Ennis. Gruber, Galagher (who, like most NHL hockey players, forgave his assailant) Gionta, Brierre and many others get hammered. Crosby has been assaulted but continues to play the game the same way (but he isn’t the best palyer in the NHL).

    Perhaps you’re right Dave, I do not like Spezza playing second fiddle on the team but I should get used to it afterall, the best thing the Murrays do is deliver the relentless propoganda and ramp up the star making machinery and the media and fans all buy in! But in reality, I feel compelled simply to to set the record straight. It is the old addage: say something long and hard enough and the masses will believe it (even though facts speak to the contrary).

  32. OD99 says:

    I do agree that it is criminal how under-appreciated Spezza is in this town and I am hard pressed to think of another star athlete that has done so much with so little regard. I am a Philly Eagles fan so Donovan McNabb comes to mind but even he has had his love-in moments.

    Spezza is just misunderstood and one of those guys who won’t get his due until his career is winding down (if he is with the Sens until then). I do think one reason for the indifference is that for such a big guy he isn’t physical at all – if he would finish just a couple of checks a game his popularity would soar.

    I know he can fight for pucks in corners but you know as well as I do that Joe Fan doesn’t look at that – they see his give-away’s as more glaring than the spectacular pass, etc…

    Expecting the press or fans to look at minutia isn’t realistic…

Leave a comment

 characters available