Sens and Habs fans agree to disagree, focus on what matters

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

by Joe Boughner

OTTAWA (Canadian Press) - In a surprising turn of events, the collective fan bases of the Canada's eastern conference playoff teams "agreed to disagree" - an unexpected show of unity following a heated opening game.

The Official Bonk's Mullet Funny Playoff Roundable With Jokes

by Unpaid Interns


You wanted it! (Hopefully) And you got it! (Sort of) A table so round, it's basically a sphere! Let's dive right into what we all came here for: unsolicited opinions lazily created in a last-minute email chain!

Series prediction (how many games will it take the Sens to knock off the Habs?)

Gainsy: I think the Jets will win it in 6. Anaheim is a good team, but I just don't know if they'll be able to match the intencity intenseity vehemence of the Jets. It will be a close--- what's that? Oh, you wanted an Ottawa prediction. Didn't the Ice Dogs already eliminate the 67's from the playoffs?

Pundits agree that Ottawa's size on defence
will be a major factor in this series
Mike: Sens in 4 and not only because this is a humour blog. Looking at the last couple of months, there is nothing there to make me think that the Sens have any reason to lose one out of the next four games. But maybe you're saying that the playoffs are a whole new season. Maybe you're thinking regular season success has nothing to do with the postseason. You know what else you can do? You can SHUT IT!

Joe: Series predictions are for lame-wads. I'm giving you game predictions:
Game 1: Ottawa 3 - Montreal 1 with Pageau notching a hat trick
Game 2: Ottawa 2 - Montreal 3 with Montreal winning on a controversial OT goal featuring Gallagher crashing the net
Game 3: Ottawa 1 - Montreal 0 with Hammond making 42 saves for his first career playoff shutout
Game 4: Ottawa 4 - Montreal 2 with Pageau scoring another hat trick and Lazar notching four points
Game 5: Ottawa 3 - Montreal 4 with Pageau actually scoring on his own net to make sure Ottawa wins at home
Game 6: Ottawa 4 - Montreal 1 with Pageau scoring and assisting on all four goals. Somehow.

Kevin: Four games or six games just so we can win in the 613. Don't want to end up winning in front of an empty building after all.

Steve: I was going to say Ottawa in 5 - which gives them a 4-1 Series lead. But based on scarring memories, I don't trust 4-1 leads over the Habs so I'll say Sens in 6.

Bonk: Ottawa takes an early four-games-to-none series lead, but Montreal fans insist that the result is an injustice given that the scorekeeper unfairly counted each of Ottawa's goals and added them up to a total that was greater than the total of the number of Montreal's goals on four separate occasions, clearly indicating a bias towards "whoever the other team was."

Who will be the hero?

Sens just a "Stone's throw" away from playoffs

Thursday, April 9, 2015

by Mike Wheeler (words) and Capital Gains (photos)

Mark Stone celebrates his overtime-winning goal, is pelted by stones.
All photos courtesy of Capital Gains.

The Ottawa Senators organization faced a problem two weeks ago as fans began throwing hamburgers onto the ice of the Canadian Tire Centre to celebrate the successes of goaltender Andrew Hammond. Following announcements made in the building and the release of a short public service video, the hamburgers mostly stopped. But Sens fans - who are known for their liveliness and creativity - have recently banded around a new celebratory projectile: stones.

When Mark Stone scored his second goal of the night on Tuesday, the overtime-winner against Pittsburgh in a must-win game, Sens fans took it upon themselves to hurl actual stones onto the ice surface to show their appreciation for the surging rookie. "It's pretty great to be recognized by the fans like this," Stone said, speaking with the media after the game. "I guess they're throwing stones because my name is Stone, right?"

The Sens salute the fans at the CTC and are showered in adoration and actual stones. 

The Week Ahead: The "I was told there'd be no math" edition

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

by Joe Boughner and Mike Wheeler

God. Damn. Toronto. God. Damn. Maple. God. Damn. Leafs. The Wings and Pens opened the door and rather than bust through it like some bad ass vigilante, all swagger and steel toes, the Sens sort of timidly tapped at it then pushed it gingerly open to see if it was safe to come in. They didn't not go through the door but they didn't really go through it either. They're sort of standing awkwardly in the doorway like a pizza guy waiting there awkwardly while you go to look for your wallet.

So here we sit. Two back of three teams with three games to go. The Senators need some help. Sens fans need help. And while we here at RBM can't do much about the former (short of standing outside David Cameron's house yelling "PLAY HOFFMAN IN THE TOP SIX YOU DUMB BASTARD!") we can help with the latter.

Cause there ain't no ointment to soothe your aching heart like a weekly preview.

Last week's record

  • 3-0-1

This week's matchups

  • Tuesday vs Pittsburgh (must-win)
  • Thursday @ New York Rangers (really must-win)
  • Saturday @ Philadelphia (really ultra must-win, not even joking)

Storylines to watch

Easy-to-read chart that shows exactly what the Sens need to do to make the playoffs.

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