The Week Ahead: The blame game edition

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

by BatMike Wheeler and Joe BoyWonder

A few short weeks ago the biggest divide in Sensland was #TeamTank vs. #TeamAntiTank. It seemed petty and divisive at the time but now? Now it seems like a simpler time. Now we've got to deal with #TeamBlameOttawaCouncil, #TeamBlameLoganCouture, #TeamBlameDaveCameron and #TeamBlameGrybaAndCowen.

Oddly, so far nobody has signed up for #TeamBlameTheInevitableRegressionAfterAnUnsustainableRun. I blame Ian Mendes for that.

Anyway, on to the preview.

Last week's record

  • 1-2-1 - Worst in the history of the NHL probably.
    "An ill wind is blowing across the CTC parking lot..."

This week's matchups

  • Tuesday @ Detroit - No.
  • Thursday vs Tampa - Oh please no.
  • Saturday vs Washington - Oh no.
  • Sunday @ Toronto - WHHHYYYYY???

Storylines to watch

Mike Hoffman: Is He TOO Good?

When the line combinations where announced ahead of Sunday's game against the Florida Panthers, fans' emotions ranged from confused, to enraged, to pants-poopingly enraged. Mike Hoffman had once again somehow found himself on the bottom line with Legwand and Smith. Besides some speculation that this was an act of revenge for an awesome prank that Hoffman must have pulled on Cameron, Sens fans on Twitter concluded that this was an act of desperation by a coach who was clearly pooping his pants.

By the time the Panthers were up 2-0, the experiment had clearly failed and the lines were re-shuffled back to resemble something other than the Bizarro Land combinations with which they had started the game. Lesson learned and everything should be back to normal on Monday, right?
Oh cool. Hoffman's back on the fourth line and the healthy scratch with three points this season should really ignite the slumping Ryan and Zibanejad on the top line. The Senators are now not only pooping their own pants, but the pants of their entire fanbase.

But at least we've got that game in hand!


Actually, you know what? It's going to be fine.

Let's look on the bright side here. The Sens just lost horribly three times in a row, so they're definitely due for a few big wins! And Boston? I doubt we have to worry about them for very long. They've only been nearly as good as the Senators for the last month. Talk about unsustainable! There are a lot of positives we should be focusing on instead:

Anderson's back! Andy posted a .917 save percentage in that one game against the Panthers. Hey! Pretty average! Nice!

Chris Driedger the next Hammond? Even more exciting goaltending stories! When Driedger relieved Hammond for the third period of the game against the Rangers last week, he did not allow a single goal. Not even one! And his NHL career numbers are even more impressive: 1.000 save percentage! 0.00 goals against average! Wow! Will Driedger be able to go on a Hammond-like run and bring the Senators not only into the playoffs but to a Stanley Cup victory despite being in the AHL and surely on his way back to the ECHL? Sources say: COUNT ON IT!

Lack of toughness? Not a chance! Worried about our stars' vulnerably skating around without the protection of Chris Neil? Worry no more, because Alex Chiasson has picked up the slack! He's accumulated a very gritty 65 penalty minutes this season, which is pretty good for a second-line winger. That puts him just 13 minutes behind Chris Neil! How's that for leadership! In fact, the increase in toughness has been a total team effort lately. Ottawa took seven penalties in their last game alone. You know other teams are going to be intimidated coming into the CTC knowing how badly they are going to be interfered with!

Still plenty to be optimistic about this week, Sens fans!

Parting shots

  • Statline of the week: 17 more interference penalties for the Sens since the Florida game ended
  • Imagined Sun headline of the week: Andy's not so dandy! 
  • What Sens fans will be complaining about on Twitter: Chris Neil on Zibanejad's wing

FUTURE NEWS: Ottawa loses NHL franchise due to Sens Mile curse

Sunday, March 29, 2015

by Mike Wheeler

July 17, 2020

The Ottawa Senators are no more. The league made it official on Saturday morning that the city of Ottawa will be losing their NHL franchise. After years of disappointment, the news does not come as much of a shock, but is still deeply saddening to the city's few remaining non-Maple Leafs and non-Montreal Canadiens fans. Many agree that the once beloved team's misfortunes all began when the Sens Mile was opened prematurely five years ago.

In late March of 2015, the Ottawa city council made a decision that most believe doomed the franchise forever. The Ottawa Senators were in the middle of a historic run, pushing themselves back into the playoffs, when the section of Elgin Street known as the Sens Mile was opened before the team had secured a playoff position. Even though the decision was quickly repealed, the curse was already in effect. It is well known that the Senators would never win another game.

After missing the playoffs that year, the Senators entered the 2015-16 with high hopes after some late successes in the previous season. The optimism was quickly dashed as captain Erik Karlsson re-agrivated his achilles injury and his leg fell off. Ownership quickly responded as Eugene Melnyk appointed himself captain. But even with Melnyk himself playing in the top defensive pairing with Jared Cowen, the team's struggles continued.

Montreal Canadiens forward Erik Condra finds success shortly after leaving the cursed Senators. Photo courtesy of Capital Gains.

The Week Ahead: The "2 points is 2 points" edition

Monday, March 23, 2015

by Joe Boughner 

And they agreed to never speak of that Leafs game again. On to the preview!

Last week's record

  • 3-0-0 

This week's matchups

  • Monday vs San Jose
  • Thursday vs New York Rangers
  • Saturday @ Maple Leafs

Storylines to watch

Last five games: Ottawa (5-0-0); BOS (0-3-2)

Okay, obviously there's still work to do. But Ottawa has two games in hand on Boston and currently sits just one point back in the standings. For a long time, it seemed like Ottawa just couldn't make up any ground on the Bruins, but the past week has seen a pretty dramatic swing.

"He Burgled Our Hearts: The Andrew Hammond Story" has gone from "Act 1: Well Hello, Dolly" to "Act 2: Winning Ugly" - the question is what's the name of Act 3? "Ken Dryden Revisited," "Thanks, That Was Fun" or "50% off Andrew Hammond Shirseys?"

Either way, we'll always have the burgers.

Check your lineup cards cause someone just called "Bingo!"

When you've won 14 of your last 16 games and your last six in a row, you aren't usually looking to change your roster too dramatically. And, with the exception of the world's most persistent bone bruise, the Sens have been remarkably free from injury in that stretch too. But with Michalek's status questionable and Matt Puempel out "week-to-week" after blocking a shot, changes are a-coming.

Zack Smith has been recalled from his conditioning stint in Binghamton so he'll bring his grit, leadership and hypnotically-beautiful blue eyes back into a Sens lineup that's been severely lacking in faces that remain handsome despite taking many punches. If 9MM can't go, does that mean Colin Greening's exile in the press box ends too? Will MacArthur be ready to rejoin his old linemates any time soon? Or will the Sens answer the popular call on Twitter and give Shane Prince another shot? [UPDATE: Colin Greening is back in, presumably because there's no way an unproven AHL call-up could possibly help our playoff chances.]

Here's to you, Buddy Robinson

Oh hey, speaking of Bingo, remember when Bryan Murray had his media availability an hour after the trade deadline? Remember how he said Puempel was probably going to get another game or two then he'd head back to the AHL so they could call up another prospect?
Of course, if we really cared about Buddy Robinson
we wouldn't have used a picture of Danny Hobbs.
Admit it, you had no idea.

He mentioned Buddy Robinson by name, guys. He mentioned him. By. Name.

And here we are, three weeks later and he hasn't been mentioned since. Puempel's finally out of the lineup yet all we can talk about is Prince. And Greening. And Smith.

Fear not, Buddy Robinson. The bosses may've forgotten about you but we haven't.

And here's to you, Buddy Robinson
Bryan loves you more than he has shown

What's that you say, Buddy Robinson?
Yes Puempel's hurt but in Bingo you will stay

Parting shots

  • Statline of the week: Lazar has gone (1) game without eating a burger from the ice
  • Imagined Sun headline of the week: "Smitty's back!" (because grit)
  • What Sens fans will be complaining about on Twitter: High blood pressure

How to Make Andrew Hammond The Hamburglar in Photoshop

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

by Capital Gains

It was only a matter of time before making a tutorial involving Andrew Hammond. Here is how you can turn Hammond into The Hamburglar, using Photoshop.

(Here's the YouTube link for mobile users.)

Thanks to @Sens_Army_ and @BonksMullet for the suggestion. If you have any suggestions on what you would like to see me do next in Photoshop, either comment here, on YouTube, or send me a tweet.

Previous Tutorials:

David Legwand Photoshop Tutorial
How to make Curtis Lazar sad in Photoshop
How to put Sleeves on Marc Methot in Photoshop

The Week Ahead: The Don't Stop Believin' Edition

Monday, March 16, 2015

by Joe Boughner 

Despite losing a must-win game against those stupid jerky faces from Boston, the Sens are still hanging around in the playoff race, thanks to a pair of back-to-back wins against Montreal and the Islanders, and a shootout win against Philly. The scorers are scoring. The Hamburglar is hamburgling. The d-men are defending less of a tire fire. The clock hasn't yet struck midnight on this Cinderella team so let's get on with the preview before Disney goes all QMJHL Twitter on us and issues a cease-and-desist.

Last week's record

  • 3-1-0 

This week's matchups

  • Tuesday @ Carolina
  • Thursday vs Boston
  • Saturday vs Toronto

Storylines to watch

You know who I hate? Washington

A funny thing happened on our way past Philly in the standings: the Sens-Panthers-Bruins peloton reeled in the seventh-place Caps. And with games in hand on our national capital counterparts from the District of Columbia, suddenly they seem like an easier mark than those lousy pee-pee heads from Beantown. In other words, all of that time spent working up a hate-on for the Bruins was a complete waste of time because of their stupid superhuman goalie. Stupid bum head.

Luckily it's almost as easy to hate Washington as it is to hate the Bruins. Oh sure, they don't have anyone as douchey as Marchand or as neanderthalish as Lucic. But a quick look at their roster provides plenty of fodder for snark tweets:
Who's a good depth forward? Who is?
Yea, you are. Such a good depth forward.
  • Jay Beagle? Are you a hockey player or a dog, jerk?
  • Nice try, John Carlson, but everyone knows it's spelled with a K.
  • Your Eric is only Fehr? Ours are superstars!
  • Brooks Laich? More like Brooks DISLAICH.
  • Brooks Orpik? You have TWO players named Brooks? Come on.

But wait we still have to hate Boston too

"And on Left Wing, number 63..."
Oh sure, Boston. OH. SURE. Just when we declare you unbeatable you go and get shut out by the Capitals? They have a player named BEAGLE, Boston! Ok fine, we'll keep hating on you guys too. We've already established that Marchand is a pile of human garbage and Lucic is basically Brendan Fraser in Encino Man, let's see what else their roster has for us:
  • Loui Eriksson, you aren't Erik's son. You're older than him. Stop lying.
  • Dougie Hamilton? Dougie? What are you, 12?
  • Speaking of 12, Torey Krug looks 12. Also his name is TOREY.
  • Max Talbot. That says it all, really.

The burger heard 'round the world

When RBM writer Joe "McLlwain's World" Boughner went to the Sens-Bruins game last week, he very nearly brought a McDonald's hamburger to the game to throw on the ice when Hammond was introduced during the warmup. He didn't, because he's a big chicken. But on Sunday night, as the Sens hosted the Flyers, someone tossed a burger and a fanbase lost its collective mind. Is this the beginning of a new tradition in Ottawa? Or will G-G-G-Gary and the Betts crack down on the fun before it gets going?

Oh also, we can all agree that that was a McD's burger, right? Nothing else would be so flat and fused together as to hold its shape during its flight to the ice, right? Here's the thing, RBM Nation, there is no McDonald's in Canadian Tire Centre. So did someone buy a burger and bring it with him or her? Then hold on to that burger through 65 minutes of hockey and a three-round shootout? And what would've happened if the unthinkable transpired and the Sens actually lost? Do you throw the burger in protest? Take it home as a souvenir? Eat it?

Things that make you go 'hmm,' indeed.

Parting shots

  • Statline of the week: 2400 calories burned (approx) by NHL goalie / 240 calories in a McDonald's hamburger = 10 hamburger per game average workout
  • Imagined Sun headline of the week: "Sweet Carolin-a!"
  • What Sens fans will be complaining about on Twitter: Sens taking a bench minor for delay of game due to pickles freezing to the ice

How to put Sleeves on Marc Methot in Photoshop

Friday, March 13, 2015

by Capital Gains

Have you ever wondered what Marc Methot looks like wearing something else other than a tank top? Today is your lucky day, as this tutorial shows you how to add sleeves to a photo of Marc Methot.

(Here's the YouTube link for mobile users.)

Thanks to Geroge Marshall for the suggestion. If you have any suggestions on what you would like to see me do next in Photoshop, either comment here, on YouTube, or send me a tweet.

Previous Tutorials:

David Legwand Photoshop Tutorial
How to make Curtis Lazar sad in Photoshop

The Week Ahead: Yes we're still doing these edition

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

by Joe Boughner, George Marshall and Bring Back Lee

Hello friends.

When we last spoke in this moderately-amusing and occasionally-consistent format we were discussing which of the grizzled vets would be traded first; Andrew Hammond was poised to be an amusing footnote in an otherwise forgettable season; and the Sens were hitting the road for a tank-friendly road trip.

So what did we miss?