Saturday, February 23, 2008


The grand dame of damnation, Edna Babblecock, has some things to tell the Ottawa Senators -- which Jean-Pierre Allard has put into order.

Hi Edna Babblecock back for some more babbles.

Hortense Hurtubise, Gaylene Latremouille, Johnstone Apork and I are seriously thinking of going up on Ottawa’s most famous bluff to wage our modest protest against the army.

No, not the one that is involved in a real battle overseas. The so-called Red Army from Kanata who are mere hockey players (well, some of them), yet their bosses at Scotiabank Arena continue to have the audacity to piggyback on Canada’s finest and proudest defendants of peace, love and freedom and use their name and theme to try and draw even more suckers to their overpriced and one-star rated games.

This might be a little easier to digest if the "armed weaklings" actually played for 60 minutes game in and game out. But we're thinking that we have to go all the way back to when Jack Martin was their coach to see them give us a solid effort from start to finish.

OK, so we're not by any means experts in business law and fair practices but say if Hortense had just bought a cozy cardigan sweater from Caplan's Department Store for $39.95 only to come back to the Lodge and find holes in it, she'd totally be within her legal right to return the purchase and either get another one or get her hard-earned Canada pension money back, right?

So how come the good people of Ottawa that pay anywhere from $39.95 plus taxes, gratuities, surtaxes, levies and surcharges to over $500 for a hockey ticket don't demand a refund when much of the team acts like many (not all, mind you) civil servants and only bother putting in a three-quarter day's work?

Not to be confused with Darquise's great grandson's Zak's favourite musician, The Mighty Popo, we like to think that Ottawa media and fans are suffering from the fear of the Mighty SOPO -- Suppressors Of Public Opinion.

Face it. Doesn't that seem like the Ottawa Senators have been doing for as long as they've been re-incarnated?

From the hush-hush over whether or not they tanked a few games late in their maiden season to ensure they picked Alexandre Daigle No. 1 instead of Chris Pronger to keeping us in the dark this season as to why Chris Neil played tag in practice with Ray Emery and Wade Redden, this sleepy town's been treated like the biggest mushrooms in the darkest of fields.

Imagine this happening in major cities like Toronto, Montreal or New York. Hmm, maybe Joe Corvo had a point after all when he said the media here is saddled with a small-town mentality and elevates the most banal of stories to front-page material.

Why, old Joffre down the hall is still fuming that they couldn't even tell us shortly after the start of the new millennium why Jacques Martin suddenly stopped having Sunday dinner with Joe Clark. And Felicity is still waiting to hear why, for the last five years now, the coach doesn't give ice time to the players that his GM gets him at the trade deadline. Of course, Ludovic knows he’ll be six feet under before the news come out about exactly how much dexterity certain members of this close-knit club display between the lines that "plug teams" like the Blue Jackets use quite well thank you very much.

This is only the tip of iceberg according to old man Tremblay who swears that eventually the real story will come out and the fecal matter will hit the air conditioning and shake this hamlet as hard as Smiley Spezzanator was clocked by Freddy Meyer IV which caused the big, lazy pussycat to unofficially close the books on another season.

Even if Tremblay professes to know a lot more than us by virtue of him being associated with the brother-in-law of a current Senator, we're not holding our breath on that one. We know that the media and fans are not allowed to voice their frank opinions on the underachieving bunch that still can’t shoot straight. And that will never change as long as the Mighty SOPO continue to rule the Ottawa hockey world.

So we’re left to wonder that Captain Alfie's been probably eating way too much of them 53-cents wieners from IKEA for how else to explain why he keeps looking like a little boy in perpetual wonderment from initially being thrown into that giant Ball Room.

Unless it's the face he takes after uttering the most curious of comments to the media such as last week when he declared, get this, that the games were going to become easier the rest of the way because they were all over the dog days of winter. Yeah, try telling that to his rudderless crew after the Blue Jackets marched into Red Army territory and defeated them, despite them being out of the playoff picture in the West.

Or his latest of Friday when he declared that he liked the way his team was playing and that he liked the direction they were going in. So let’s see, Danny Boy isn't concerned that his team is 1-5-0 in the last six games, while he likes the fact that his team is headed for the last playoff spot at the rate that Capitaine Haddock is inciting "mutiny on the bounty" of his soon-to-be-shipwrecked crew. Like, where the heck is Spartacat when we need him to throw someone overboard for real, hey Mr. Eugene?

Heck, at the rate that bodies are coming down lame, pucks are coming up unblocked on Emery’s blocker side and stiffs are being delivered by the Pizza Line, this team will be lucky to grab the last playoff spot.

Then again, how can we be so hard on the players when its GM, once again, doesn’t have all of his ducks properly lined up.

Consider this year’s version of the GM, Bryan Murray, and yesterday's startling announcement that he doesn’t want to sacrifice his first round pick (in a rumoured trade for Marian Hossa) because, get this, he wants to put on a show for Ottawa fans at this year’s June draft at Scotiabank Place.

Mind you, the last thing his team needs is a Hossa (or a Foppa or Sundin for that matter), but isn't winning the Cup a tad more important than the draft?

Just call us curious yellow.

Jean-Pierre Allard
Ottawa, Ontario
February 23, 2008

No comments: