Wednesday, April 20, 2016
by Rob Poirier (@RobFeature)
NEWS FLASH: the Ottawa Senators sucked bad this year. How bad? Well, they were fifth-worst overall in terms of goals allowed. They also had the fifth-worst power play. They were fourth-worst in terms of shots per game, and also had the second-worst penalty kill. Oh, right... and they were the ABSOLUTE-WORST in shots against per game. So, all things considered: yeah. They sucked.
But whose fault was it? Was it GM Bryan Murray's fault: the man who traded away both Jason Spezza and Ben Bishop for practically nothing? Was it coach Dave Cameron's fault: the man who played Mark Borowiecki as a forward while benching the team's top goal-scorer? Or was it, perhaps, Matt O'Connor's fault: the man who literally ruined our whole season just as it began.
Well, regardless of whose fault it truly was, a couple of people have already paid the price. In a totally-not-smoke-and-mirrors move, Murray "stepped down" as GM (despite Eugene Melnyk later saying that Murray would have the authority to 'correct' his successor, Pierre Dorion). Cameron was also fired, allegedly to be replaced with the best coach money could buy (despite Melnyk later saying that he wasn't willing to spend much and that coaches don't really matter). So Ottawa's troubles are over, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...
Alright, let's just pretend for a second that getting a new coach could actually fix this nightmare. Who's available? What have they accomplished? And how likely is it that they'll get the job? Well, the next coach of the Ottawa Senators is probably listed below... can YOU pick them out??
Cons: Alfredsson doesn't actually have any coaching experience, let alone at the NHL level. If the Senators truly want to put a stop to the revolving door of coaches, they'd be better served to go with a more experienced candidate.
Likelihood: Pretty good. I mean, I can't imagine a scenario where Melnyk drives Alfredsson out of town by offering him too little money...
Pros: Crawford has coached for parts of 15 NHL seasons. He won the both the Jack Adams and its AHL equivalent. He also won a Stanley Cup.
Cons: Crawford committed one of the worst hockey blunders of all time: he didn't use Wayne Gretzky in the shootout in Nagano. And there was also that Steve Moore stuff...
Likelihood: Also pretty good. Crawford has been coaching in Switzerland for the past few years and is probably pretty desperate to get back to the big show. All Melynk would have to do is pay more than they do in the Swiss National League and... oh. Shoot.
Cons: Last time Boudreau got fired, someone else snapped him up in just two days, so if he actually does get fired again, competition will probably be fierce. And when there's competition, prices, like... go up. Or something (I did not do well in economics class).
Likelihood: Zero. Melnyk is not going to pay for a coach of this caliber.
Cons: Hitchcock likes his teams to play a very 'safe' game, and may be more comfortable coaching a defenceman who is content to just hunker down in his own zone and blindly slap the puck outta there. Does LA have an opening?
Likelihood: This is where I reiterate that Melnyk is cheap.
Cons: His sophomore album, "Rap only between man and woman", was significantly less TURNT...
Likelihood: Come on, folks... Melnyk is not going to pay big, golden belt money.
Cons: Those decisions were very bad.
Likelihood: I can only assume that he and Melnyk are on very bad terms these days, so this one seems unlikely.
- big, strong, local boy
- gritty, hard worker
- knows about being reined in
- will work for peanuts. Well... hay, technically.
Cons: Someone still has to buy the hay, dammit!!
Likelihood: HIGH. I, for one, welcome our new horse overlord. I mean, why go crazy in the business of hockey? I don't think a coach can make that much of a difference. I really don't.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
by Rob Poirier (@RobFeature)
You know, being a blogger has opened the door to many fantastic and unique opportunities for me. These include:
- Being yelled at by strangers who don't understand my jokes
- Watching other bloggers who I barely know play hockey against one another
Getting invited to appear on Advanced Chats
And now, the greatest opportunity of all: the opportunity to escape my hellish existence! That's right, folks: I am hereby formally applying for the non-existent position of Speechwriter with Senators Sports and Entertainment! So if you were expecting an article, or if your name's not Eugene Melnyk, SCRAM!!
Alright, Eugene, it's just you and me now. Look, I know things are real crazy within the Senators organization right now. I get it. I feel you, man. But your appearance on the radio yesterday was... well... it was a piece of shit. I don't know how else to describe it. And I know there's no Speechwriter position being offered with Senators Sports and Entertainment, but what I'm saying is... maybe there should be?
Here, let me just tell you a little bit about me and then I'll go over yesterday's interview and show you what a big difference I can make. Sound good? Let's do it.
NOTE TO EDITOR: Eric, can we please get this picture removed?? I added it by mistake while I was playing around with the tools and I can't figure out how to remove it! Also, I'm going to need a graphics guy to photoshop my head onto a really buff fireman. It has to look REAL my future is on the line here!!
Alright, so... God, I'm so nervous... hello, Mr. Melnyk. My name is Rob. I'm a writer. I work for a site called bonksmullet.com. You've never heard of it? Well, that's... that's probably for the best, actually. As you can see from the above photo I'm also a very strong fireman and I could easily beat up Dr. Phil, who is scum. But enough about me. Let's break down some of the comments you made yesterday and see if we can't make things a little more palatable. Here we go...
On choosing Pierre Dorion as Bryan Murray's successor:
"He understood the culture within Ottawa. He understood the culture of the organization. And to bring somebody in the from the outside, the real outside, is... you know, not going to be easy."
Alright, this isn't too bad, Mr. Melnyk. But see, what you have to understand is that your hockey team has been bad for a really long time, and there really isn't any reason for fans to think it's going to get a whole lot better any time soon. So when these fans (who you are reliant on in order to keep your team afloat) demand change, they don't really want to hear that you just do whatever is easiest. Instead, you should probably have said something like:
"We looked very closely at a couple of options, but at the end of the day, we felt that, given his familiarity with this organization, Pierre would be in the best position to get this team to where it needs to be in the shortest amount of time."
Okay, moving on. On bringing in a consultant to evaluate the organization from top to bottom:
"That's the problem with consultants. They'll give you all the advice in the world... some of it sounds good, the reports will be pretty... and Bryan will scribble down on the back of a napkin next year's lineup. Here you'll get a pretty report for $200,000."
Remember when I was all like 'hey the fans don't really like to hear that you're just doing whatever is easiest'? Well, they also don't like to hear that you're just doing whatever's cheapest. Why is something automatically bad because it costs money? Why is it automatically good if it is cheap/free? Here's what you should have said:
"We seriously consider every option that might help our team, but we have a good deal of confidence in our senior management and their ability to assess and develop talent. It's definitely not a money thing. I'm telling the truth this time, please believe me."
On whether they would hire a coach with a five million dollar salary:
"Does he walk on water? ... To put that kind of money out for one single person, you know, that's tough from even a management point of view. You wouldn't do that with an executive. Why go crazy in the business of hockey? I don't think it can make that much of a difference. I really don't."
Mr. Melnyk... Euge? Can I call you Euge? Why would you say anything at all about this? Pierre Dorion handled it perfectly in his press conference when he said that you'd assured him that he would have the resources to hire the best coach available. I mean, obviously he was lying through his teeth (deep down I think we all knew that) but so what? What kind of message does this statement send to a prospective coach? Can you not see how your devaluing of the coaching position directly correlates to the constant hiring and firing of coaches we've seen in this last decade? Honestly, why were you on the radio at all today? Who let you do that? I don't want to reach beyond the bounds of my role as make-believe Speechwriter here but... I just wouldn't let you talk anymore. Like, ever.
On spending money or something:
"There is going to be a magic moment, let me tell you that. We're going to have to step up and do something... almost be silly. But when you're right on the brink of having a Stanley Cup team, that's when you whack 'em!"
Oh my God, what?? This is what you should be saying:
"I understand that talent is what wins championships, and in order to procure players with more talent, you have to pay more money. Obviously, you do NOT get to the brink of having a Stanley Cup team by refusing to pay anyone what they're worth. I am a grown man and I should not believe in magic at this point in my life."
On whether he is a fan of Erik Karlsson:
" ...... "
What the FUCK, Euge? You were set up for a slam dunk on this one! You know what? Here's what you should have said...
"Erik Karlsson is the Captain of our team and the best defenceman this league has seen in a generation. And while our new GM will have an opportunity to evaluate him, I feel it is very likely that Erik will be an Ottawa Senator for many years to come. I must go now. I have been struck by the sudden realization that I need to sell this team as soon as possible. I have done a terrible disservice to thousands upon thousands of fans. I have prevented this team from being competitive. I have sown misery and despair at every turn. I have become seduced by celebrity. But no longer! I leave you today, the biggest Erik Karlsson fan on the face of the Earth!"
Thank you for your consideration. Please note: I cannot work evenings, weekends (including Fridays), or on any religious holidays (all religions).
Thursday, April 7, 2016
by Mike Wheeler (@TheMikeWheeler)
I actually missed the entire first period because I was out at Milestones celebrating my friend Kagami's birthday. We all shared a spinach dip for an appetizer and it was pretty good. For my main, I got a new item on the menu: Steak Frites. Despite the adequately descriptive name, I was still somewhat surprised when a plate full of steak and french fries was placed in front of me. The steak was properly cooked and there was some kind of truffle oil jus along with it that was quite nice. All in all, had some good food and some great times.
Anyway, apparently Zibanejad scored but then he didn't but then he did.
16:17 - This is the point in the game at which I started watching. And by watching, I mean having the game on while reading Twitter.
15:35 - TSN has a graphic up comparing Karlsson to Bobby Orr. Not even kidding.
14:11 - Luongo looking strong here in the second period. Makes a couple big saves on Zibanejad preventing his third and fourth goals of the night.
13:56 - Apparently it's not Luongo in net. It's someone else.
9:48 - Buddy Robinson scores his first NHL goal by tipping Ceci's point shot past Luongo thereby joining an elite club of NHL goalscorers named Buddy.
5:47 - Commercial break.
4:34 - I spent the rest of the period searching for gifs from the new Rogue One teaser trailer.
19:37 - Jagr rips one past Anderson. Fortunately for the Senators, this took place between plays. Vintage Jagr!
15:11 - Jagr does some stuff and then a non-Jagr Florida Panther scores a goal. Craig Anderson's dream of a shutout has been shattered.
12:07 - So here's a question: what's up with all the colour variation in the stormtrooper armour in the Rogue One teaser? This takes place immediately before Episode IV where all the stormtroopers are identical and have white armour.
9:54 - Luongo still looking great. Makes another big save, this time stopping Karlsson.
5:46 - Ceci has his revenge and scores a goal that was in no way interfered with by known goal-hog Buddy Robinson.
2:34 - Now that I think of it, I guess some of the Imperial pilots had black armour in A New Hope. I don't think that accounts for the wide spectrum of troopers we see in the Rogue One teaser though.
0:00 - Grand total of zero goals scored during the Big Mac Minute. Everyone goes home with empty stomachs and empty hearts.
Another disappointing win from the Senators as they inch further and further away from a top draft pick.
First Star: Buddard "Buddy" Robinson
Second Star: Roberto Luongo
Third Star: You, the fans!
Hardest working Sen: Mark Borowiecki
Make the final score Florida 1 - Ottawa 3. I have no idea what the shots were.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
by Joe Boughner (@McLlwainsWorld)
With the 2015-16 season winding down, and with the Senators sitting well back from playoff contention, most reputable blogs are starting to put together their season retrospectives. But since Bonks Mullet Dot Com has been proven by science to be not reputable, we're doing something a little different. Any blogger can write a review of what's happened. We're writing a review of what's going to happen. Here then is your 2016-17 season recap.
Once again, the Ottawa Senators made it close but were unable to string together enough wins in the month of March to catch Steven Stamkos and the Buffalo Sabres for the last wildcard spot. With garbage bag day set to take place in a couple of days, we thought we'd look back on the best and worst of your 2016-17 Sens.
ForwardsIn many ways, the die was cast for this group when Mike Hoffman was dealt for the rights to Stamkos at the draft, only to see Stamkos sign with the Sabres after the Senators were unwilling to commit to anything beyond a four year deal for the talented sniper.
Zack Smith was unable to build on last year's success and instead regressed to his career norms, making the five year, $25 million extension he signed in the summer an issue of concern heading into next season. Smith might still fit into the mix on the third line but that's a lot of money to pay someone to play in the bottom six for the next five years.
Clarke MacArthur was finally able to put his injury woes behind him and play a full season but he struggled to find chemistry with Scott Gomez, whose two year deal was as criticized as Smith's extension by some corners of the fanbase.
|The A is for effort. And also albatross.|
The only thing we know for certain is that the All-Star trio of Mark Stone, Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan had an excellent year together and will likely be split up to start next season in an effort to evenly spread the talent all over the lineup.
DefenceIn retrospect, naming Mark Borowiecki as an assistant captain and a playing assistant coach might have been a case of too much, too soon for the Kanata native. Particularly given that coach Randy Carlyle put him in charge of offensive schemes and the power play. Zdeno Chara showed that a big body presence in front of the net can work on the powerplay but the Boro Experiment just as conclusively determined that it can fail miserably too.
Cody Ceci and Chris Wideman made a competent 5-6 pair but Boro never found his groove as a top pairing d-man, even with Dion Phaneuf there to provide his offensive punch. One can only hope that Erik Karlsson and his three Norris trophies will get over the pain of being demoted to the 3-4 slot and that Marc Methot finally comes back from his third degree arm sunburn in time for opening night.
Expect the Senators to be in on the bidding for a more established d-man like Toronto's Patrick Wiercioch or Stanley Cup champion Jared Cowen from Florida.
GoaltendingTo think, we all thought coach Carlyle was clowning when he dressed Matt O'Connor for his second consecutive home opener. Had we known just how serious Craig Anderson's injury was we might've read this as the omen it was. O'Connor and Hammond made a decent tandem for short stretches but it was the deadline acquisition of Martin Brodeur that made us realize we may've seen the last of Anderson in the red senturion.
Get well soon, Andy. And maybe it's time to swear off of frozen chicken?