Saturday, January 19, 2008


Yeah, that's right: Edna Babblecock finally has a DSL connection, which means even more to share with Jean-Pierre Allard about the state of the Senators.

Hi! Edna here.

Forgive me for not having written a blog this season, but I've been bogged down with the 12,000-page tome from the Irish DeScent lad. You know, the former PM who caused all them Loonie and Toonie Stores (LTS) in the aftermath of his Fair Trade Deal. All I can say is that fella's got a huge bag of chips on his shoulder and he'd best stay clear from the Dominion Tavern, and The Whip establishment too.

You see, Hortense Hurtubise here at The Lodge was telling me there was no sense chronicling the daily perils of the Sennies now that they've had their victory parade for winning a big can of air last May over at O'Brien's Orifice down by all them bistros, bars and billiard halls on Elegant Street that are frequented by the community-minded members of the Red Armed Forces, most notably Wade Redden and André "Cool Breeze" Roy.

What's that you say, Mr. Roy is no longer here? She tells me the squeaky-clean Sens management ran out of patience and shipped him to Tampa in 2003 where he quickly won a Cup with Johnnie Tortorella and his two cousins Vinnie and Marty.

she was telling me that the Sens' official propaganda, the Ottawa Citizen, is doing a splendid job covering all angles of Ottawa's "dynasty-in-making" season, even being so kind as to have Wayne Scanlan alert the readership at the end of October that the Senators had a chance to eclipse the '76-77 Habs who only lost eight games that year.

That was before the Spineless Sennies were bowled over by Alex Ovechkin in four ridiculously easy affairs. Ottawa has now lost 12 times, putting on ice Yvon Lamberts plans for making a comeback with La Sainte Flanelle.

Now the entire city is on alert that the Capitals will sneak into the last playoff spot and have a date with Ottawa to see if they can do to them what the Leafs have only been good for so far in the first seven years of the new millennium.

That is a totally imbecile assumption on the part of the fans and media cheerleaders. Ottawa might need luck to stay in the top four of the Eastern Conference at the rate they've been playing, merely content with putting in 40 minutes of work. Especially with the way that Give It A-Wade Redden and Joe (Afraid It is So) Corvo are letting enemy attackers waltz in free and dandy on the Senators' No. 2 goalies, Martin Gerber and Ray Emery, and seeing that there are 36 gruesome games left, many of them without their 50-goal man Dany Heatley and maybe Jason Spezza too if he keeps skating with his head down while waiting for those suicide passes from Reds.

So get this, I found myself yelling at that insufferable Leafs fan Mr. Johnstone Apork one fine morning over breakfast that if I was boss of the Citizen hockey division, I'd report the news like my old friends Red Fisher from the Canada Gazette or Milt Dunnell from the Telegraphic Telegram were so good at doing in the good old days when Don Cherry played for Eddie Shore down where The Simpsons is filmed. I can't recall exactly the day of my little tantrum, but I do remember that it came after that Scanlan chap has the gall, if not sheer stupidity, to suggest that the Senators were on the verge of having a dynasty like the Habs and Oilers. I mean, don't you have to win a Cup, never mind 4-5 in a row, before they can call you that?

The good people of Ottawa need to read about Mike Fisher spending way more time in his hunting condo in Carp waiting for Godot than he does in the opposing team's crease, which is where he is freaking supposed to be with all the money they give him; that is, when he’s not skating too low like a kamikazying peewee which causes him to fall on his ass à la Rejean Houle, and which will soon earn him the monicker of “Fessier” Fisher (French derrière).

Like I was saying, if I was the boss lady of the Citizen sports, I'd sure have something to say about star captain Alfred Danielsson, after he revealed on a recent PPV broadcast that there's no flame burning in his belly for a Stanley Cup win and that he may choose to retire next year to go back to his native land to continue training his dog in retrieving Swedish meatless balls.

Or I'd call him plain dumb for skating like there was no tomorrow in that game that Spezza got clocked. Oh sure, it may have been deemed a brilliant and gut-wrenching performance by the usual media suspects but us old broads rather think that it was a really, really dumb thing to do, if not entirely comical. First off, it's not Game 7 and second, he risked injury by going after Andy Sutton and Mike Sillinger, when it should be Brian McGrattan's job, at a time when he wasn't sure how long his mate Spezza would be out. So we would all be at ease if Alfie thought of saving his energy for Captain Jarome Iginla's Flames next June, especially since he hurt his hip flexor the very next game.

Of course, his curious comment after the loss to the Caps two nights later speaks volumes about his mindset. Our brother Daniel said that a loss was a loss and that he didn't care that it came against the Caps. Excuse me, Mr. Sweet Swede but should you not be big time pissed that your mighty Sens have been swept four straight games by the otherwise hapless Caps?

That Isles game was rather ironic because, see, Gaylene over in Room 19 had the runs and missed the first 10 minutes of that game. The first thing she said when she came back was "Just watch, someone’s gonna send Spezza into Wonderland one of these days if he keeps floating with his head down" to which, to a tee, caused everyone of us old bags to spill our tea cups, before we could regain our cool and dry ourselves and inform her that Freddy Meyer IV had already struck gold when he flattened his nugget.

Now, to show that we are not just picking on the Senators, I don’t know if you were listening to the radio broadcast of the Sens-Wings like we were -- we always get giddy when Dean Brown yells "Scramble" without warning nor cause because we were once Roughriders cheerleaders see -- but during what seemed like the entire game, we could hear Felicity down the hall, screaming at Bob Cole. Apparently, Cole hadn’t bothered checking his Notes and, in his Herculean efforts to catch up with the play-by-play, was constantly referring to the Senators players as Ottawa this, Ottawa that and Ottawa here.

Now it just very well could be that Stevie Yzerman was in attendance and the Leafs broadcaster was simply honoring his hometown with continuous references to our city. Still, you have to wonder why Cole and Harry (Buffalo Bill) Neale have not been offered an early retirement package by now. Do the CBC folks not bother tuning in to the competition on TSN and Sportsnet?

Why, even the so-called unknowledgeable American play-by-play guys know the freaking Sens’ names, old man Tremblay was telling us at church the other morning, after his daughter bought him that economical Rogers Centre Hice Package out of guilt for never visiting him, though he’s a tad disappointed that he can never get his beloved Habs games in English because le Réseau Des Séparatistes (RDS) apparently has exclusive rights to all 82 Tricolore games.

By the way, I gotta give Gaylene some more credit. For years, she’s been adamant that Ottawa needs more players like Kris Draper and Dallas Drake than another sniper. So here comes that "measuring stick game" last Saturday that everyone from L’Orignal to Poonamalie was getting all giddy about and which, incidentally, left us all on our appetite as a tired Wings team was not up to snuff and obviously mired in a mini-slump, yet nearly escaped with a victory. And then everyone in this sleepy O-Town was quick to declare that Ottawa was "simply the best" of the two.

So what happens is that Mr. Heatley finds himself on the wrong end of a Dallas Drake moment and just like that, shoulders away to the bench with a major dislocation, kissing away his dream chance at scoring 50 goals three years in a row, which, curiously, was the first thing that coach John Paddock lamented about when he heard he would miss 4-6 weeks. And not how this would affect the team’s performance.

Gee, we're thinking even the coach doesn't have his ducks all lined up properly. And we're not even talking about him not having a clue when to play which goalie or how much to play Brian McGrattan or who to put on the first line instead of Randy Robitaille or why Antoine Vermette is not playing on the power play so he can score like we all know he can or how come Reds is getting slower with every game or where Shean Donavan and his seven points have been all season.

Just like the Senators have no clue how to respect their ticket subscribers. Imagine, Darquise went to Freeman’s last week to see about securing 12 tickets for her great grand son, Zak and his friends from Desolation Row. But she was told by a nice young man in red that she would have to buy an equal number and value of tickets for either a Buffalo or Florida game, if she wanted to see Pittsburgh (and continue to boo Sidney Crosby), Montréal (or see how Spartacat can insult Bob Gainey's family this year) or Toronto (and witness John Ferguson Jr. get dismissed at centre ice in a dunk tank filled with clean water from the Carp River).

Needless to say that she was livid because Zak told her she would have made her money back and then some. She said that if they're gonna continue to snooker their fans with fine print snow jobs, they should at the very least have the decency of handing out free reading glasses to all patrons at the games in question to enable them to read the fine print the next time the Ottawa Senators take them to the cleaners.

Which would be, other than this year's playoffs, the June 2008 NHL draft to be held at Scotiabank Place. Rumours persist that for the occasion, the Senators will be borrowing a page from their 1-for-2 deal mentioned above and force all fans who want to buy a ticket to the draft to also purchase 2008 season tickets to the Ottawa Maple Leafs, the new CAN-AM entry that is to begin play in May 2008 at Darwin Downs.

Jean-Pierre Allard
Ottawa, Ontario
January 18, 2008

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