Carlyle fired

- January 6th, 2015

PHILADELPHIA _ The Toronto Maple Leafs made a bold move Tuesday morning by firing coach Randy Carlyle.
It shouldn’t be a surprise but it is _ if you know what I mean.
Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis is on the NHL Network right now talking about the fact that they need to find “consistency.”
On that point, he’s right, they haven’t been consistent.
The timing just seems odd.
The Leafs hit the midway point of the season Wednesday night and they’ll do so with two interim coaches.
“Our consistency hasn’t been there. It’s been trending downward for the last little while,” said Nonis. “I don’t think it’s not capable because they are.”
Nonis added: “The coach is the easy change to make … This isn’t throwing in the towel. We feel this team can do some good things and today is the first step in getting the team in the right direction.”
I guess the next question is: What happens now?
Do the Leafs go the interim route? Do they hire Dan Bylsma or Paul MacLean, who are both looking for work?
Do they wait for Mike Babcock which is what every Leaf fan seems to want.
“We’ve been discussing it for awhile,” said Nonis on the change.
Like to hear your thoughts.

Neil getting closer

- January 4th, 2015

Forgot to mention in Cheapseats that I wrote Sunday night – earlier in the day, Chris Neil practiced with teammates for the first time since suffering a knee injury Dec. 11.
It was originally expected that he would miss 4-6 weeks, and it’s looking like that timetable is holding.
“At times when you’re playing you catch it,” Neil said of his knee, “and when (the pain) goes away in 15 to 20 seconds you know you’re getting close to being ready. When it lingers around for a couple of minutes, you’ve still got a little bit of time to go.”
And is it lingering now?
“I’ve been feeling pretty good the last couple of days,” said Neil.

Happy New Year

- January 3rd, 2015

MONTREAL _ Quick trip to the world junior and headed back home to watch Senators/Bruins today while making calls for what Columbus broadcaster Jeff Rimer calls “the best Sunday column in the country.”
Never argued with Jeff on that point. He said it and he meant it.
The Senators face a monumental task if they want to make the playoffs, but the good news is they may finally be getting some reinforcements. Defenceman Marc Methot is doing a conditioning stint in Binghamton. He’ll play tonight against Syracuse and then I’m not sure what the plan is next.
Methot is a guy the Senators need badly.
They have been looking for a partner for Erik Karlsson all season but Methot has been the perfect fit in the past. Everybody is wondering what’s going to happen with the contract. My sense is the focus for both sides right now is to get Methot back playing and see where he’s at.
There have been no contract talks in six weeks but I do believe the two sides will reconvene before the trade deadline to decide what’s next for Methot. If he’s not signed and the club isn’t in the face and he’s healthy, then he’ll be dealt for assets.
Let’s see how he plays in Bingo.
Have a nice day and Happy New Year.
On another topic, surprised by the lack of crowds in Montreal for juniors but it sure sounds like the price of tickets was outrageous. You can’t just charge anything for a hockey game in Canada and think people will show up.

Good morning

- December 28th, 2014

The Senators let another point slip away Saturday night.
When they count them up in the end these will be the ones that will not allow them to make the playoffs. You can’t let anybody control the puck for 28 seconds. It was like one long game of keep away for Gustav Nyquist.
The Senators got a point so it wasn’t totally pointless but they have to get their acts together quickly. Goaltending has been solid. Every other aspect of their game is under the microscope at the moment.
Centre Mike Hoffman is the leading goal scorer with 11 goals. The likes of Kyle Turris, Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur have to be more consistent. Captain Erik Karlsson has to be better in his own end. This team should be better than its record. I get they are 30th in the league in payroll but I do think some of the talent here isn’t living up to its potential.
The Senators need more production from everybody. They have to get it starting tomorrow against the Buffalo Sabres because if it doesn’t start happening they’ll be out of it before mid-season which is coming up pretty quickly here.
The coaching change has made a difference but letting third period leads slip away isn’t acceptable.

Merry Christmas

- December 24th, 2014

Hi folks,
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.
Thanks to all _ especially Pav, Bobby, Mike, Dan, OD, and Visitor _ for their contributions.
I know you guys deep down think Bobby is a great guy who pushes your buttons.
I congratulate him _ most times he uses common sense.
Have a good day.