The Senators are going golfing after the Penguins stuck the dagger tonight; it was close, but Ottawa was also outscored 14-5 (not counting empty-netters) in the series. Jean-Pierre Allard says the Sens' faithful didn't get enough warning about the greatest late-season collapse in NHL history.
Too bad that Roy A. Mlakar seems to exercise such control over the Ottawa hockey media.
As the season unfurled and serious fans deduced that there were huge issues with the Senators, the media should have assumed its rightful and responsible role of reporting the hard, cold facts, no matter how much this would have displeased the Senators president and CEO.
Alas, they were still gushing over the team's incredible 15-2 start to notice that cracks had begun to appear in the Senators' armour, not to mention that its roster had actually become slower, older and less skilled.
Then, they sat passively while the since dismissed coach, John Paddock and the soon to be departed backup goalie, Ray Emery, damaged what was left of the chemistry.
They cheered the arrival of two former Cup winners from Carolina instead of wondering if GM Bryan Murray had made his team even slower, never mind that he had just shipped away, Joe Corvo, the only defenceman skilled enough to man the power play. (Ottawa was x
They continued to be delusional, even after yet another trade deadline passed without the incumbent GM securing a genuine No. 1 goalie, the lack of which has been the club’s Achilles’ heel ever since the 1996-97 post-season.
Still hopeful that the Senators could push a magic button in time for the playoffs, they inexplicably chose not to question the bizarre roster decisions from coach Murray in the closing weeks, not the least of which was the decision of not resting ailing captain Daniel Alfredsson in the penultimatel game of the season in Toronto.
No wonder most fans are incredulous that Ottawa has suffered such a quick exit.
It is becoming crystal clear (full pun intended) that owner Eugene Melnyk must clean house and then hire competent people at the helm of his once-proud team.
Then again, maybe the old boys network get another lease on life so they can dream up more moronic marketing schemes, arrogant advertising strategies, uniquely deserving locals to lavish contracts on. (Who will be next season's Randy Robitaille?) That way, the irresponsible portion of the media gets to play cheerleaders for another season and keep all their perks.
Only in Ottawa, as our friend Red Fisher would say.
Meanwhile, the question becomes more and more relevant, with each new spring swoon.
How soon before the Senators’ solid and loyal fan base get fed up with a bunch of underachieving players and a management team that still has no clues what type of players are needed to win a Cup?
April 16, 2008
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