Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Jean-Pierre Allard will be contributing his thoughts on the precious Sennies throughout their run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

So, it's Sens-Pens, part deux, eh?

That can only mean that Ottawa fans will, once again, embarrass this otherwise fine city when they are sure to boo Sid The Kid, the best player in the world, when the series moves here for Game 3 on April 14.

Some of us think they should boo someone else instead. Need a hint? Last name starts with M. And it’s not Malkin, nor Maurice, though they would have every reason to assassinate him after the Leafs coach said the Senators were shaking their purses when Daniel Alfredsson got his bell rung. (Could all be forgotten if Paul Maurice gets new designer glasses and replaces Bryan Murray as coach next year?)

Anyways, my usually reliable source says that A.L.F.I.E. (Absent Leader Fails Ineffective Egg-heads), despite an undisclosed lower body injury, a mid-lower body injury, a mid-upper body injury and a real-high upper body injury might be back sooner rather than later, which would be for the last game of the playoffs on April 16.

To replace the brave captain on the Pizza Line, Senators full-time head coach and part-time GM Bryan Murray is toying with the idea of inserting any one of his five stiffs who, alas, are still rusted from riding the pines from October to February under the curious regime of long-forgotten Capitaine Haddock.

The Shawville Slinger's dilemma however is, according to new assistant coach Randy Lee and father of Brian Lee, that his top line is already manned by two stiffs and anybody knows, even the video coach, that you need a mix of varying skills on any offensive line for it click. Which, apparently is not a word known to those Sens players who, even after two days after The Hit, were still professing to not have seen video replays of the clean-but-still-dirty legal hit by the Leafs' Mark Bell. Which makes me wonder if this is yet another case of divine intervention from the Mighty SOPO or the video coach is not doing his clicking job.

Too bad that Professor Murray does not have the fortitude to pull up an ace from his repertoire and turn to card-carrying Black Ace Brian McGrattan for immediate help, as suggested by Ottawa's only award-winning sportswriter who only needs to write about sports when it matters most, far too busy to feel the pulse of this metropolitan city and shake its staid trees.

There's no truth to rumours that Alexei Yashin has been signed and is on his way to Pittsburgh where he will play on the fourth line with Randy "Luc" Robitaille and Shean "Sunshine Superman" Donovan in Game 1 tomorrow.

On the subject of tanking, the Senators management apparently have asked all media to refrain from talking about the fact that the '92-93 Senators no dobut purposely lost their last few games that maiden season in order to make sure they picked No. 1 overall so they could choose Alexandre Daigle instead of Chris Pronger and, in the process, make sure that everyone remembers, even The Wharton Grad, who gets picked No. 2.

As mentioned above, the Senators will play their last game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Scotiabank Place on April 16 and will be down 3-0 in games after the non-contest, with the goal differential omitted here to protect what is left of this team’s pride.

Game 4 will only serve to fulfill network television commitments. As of this writing, the last home game of the most bizarre season in the Senators' 15-year history is heavily rumoured to be staged as Player Appreciation Night where Eugene Melnyk will throw a party so big that it will make Woodstock look like a county jamboree. Of course, no one in attendance at the game, and the media too, will dare remind him that just two weeks ago, the horseman was heard, and quoted, telling his fans to "keep the faith as Ottawa has the best team in the league."

Again, my usually reliable source in this village tells me that Eugene will be handing out personal-size axes to every patron for use, not in the fine art of sushi preparation, but for taking a swing at meticulously prepared wooden effigies of each player after the series is over. They'll be hollow, like the Sens' collective heart, some would say.

The in-game ceremony, which will also be simultaneously broadcast by TSN after they successfully sought an injunction against the Pens for depriving the Toronto station of millions of revenue when it had to settle on showing the Caps-Flyers series after Pittsburgh lost to their Transylvania rivals on the last day of the season, will be accompanied by music from Eugene's third favourite musical group, Frigid Pink.

Finally, there is absolutely no truth to the allegations that former Sens coach Jacques "The Taciturn Tactician" Martin's Florida Panthers tanked the game against the Washington Capitals last Saturday. C'mon people. Do you think for a second he didn’t want Joe Corvo to get a chance at redemption here? Or the Hurricanes in general to have a chance to show the Ottawa media what the rest of the hockey world has known for months now, namely that GM Jimmie Rutherford passed “Un gros sapin” to Bryan Murray in early February.

Right now, there are many players on the Senators who just wish they hadn’t been so quick to laugh at Alex Ovechkin and his upstart Capitals in a rout during the 2006-07 season when Washington stunk as bad as its baseball team. Hockey players have long memories.

Boy, never in history could the Snores more use a Chris Pronger then right about now.

Jean-Pierre Allard
April 8, 2008


Dennis Prouse said...

So, J.P., if the Senators are not down 3-0 in the series a week from now, will you come on here and post that you were wrong? Don't worry - if you forget, I'll help you out.

Malkin is, IMO, the best all round player in the game right now, and scares me the most on their roster. If he gets going, he can make the difference by himself. Having said that, the rest of Pittsburgh's lineup doesn't frighten me that badly. Crosby is clearly nicked up, and has yet to recover from that high ankle sprain. Hossa has never been a reliable playoff performer, and I think Pittsburgh is really going to miss Colby Armstrong and his gritty play. (87 year old Gary Roberts has slowed down tremendously - the more they play him, the better.) Hal Gill is a pylon whose lack of foot speed will be cruelly exposed in a fast playoff game.

The Penguins angered the Hockey Gods by mailing it in on Sunday in order to face Ottawa in Round 1. That always comes back to bite you. All the pressure is on the Pens -- if the Senators earn a split in Pittsburgh, they get to come home and get Alfie back in the lineup. More to the point, the Penguins are the worst road team of any club in the playoffs. If they lose home ice early by dropping one of the first two, they are in for a long series.

sager said...

... "87-year-old Gary Roberts."

Bravo, Dennis.

Pens in seven.

Anonymous said...


First off, I write with my heart and think (and bet) with my head. If I was to come out and say the Sens in 6, then what happens to all the credibility I've worked hard to achieve through Edna and her old gals. The last thing I wanna confuse is people, especially those that are delusional or live by the gospel according to TSN and/or TGOR.

But yeah, if it makes you feel better, I'll post an apology. Though I might be onto baseball full-time by then. Go Tribe.

Edna B.

Dennis Prouse said...

You don't want it to go 7, as the home team wins two-thirds of Game sevens.

Do I think Ottawa can win this in six? Absolutely, given what a brutal road team the Penguins were. The Penguins also racked up a lot of their points this year against non-playoff teams.

Momentum is a funny thing in the playoffs. Right now, the Senators have none, and Pittsburgh allegedly has a ton, notwithstanding the fact that they tanked their last game. By tomorrow night, this could be completely reversed, with the Senators rejuvenated and the Penguins having blown home ice.

But yeah, early season baseball is always more exciting than playoff hockey...

Anonymous said...

If Murray has any sense left, he's gonna triple shift the token Frenchie (AV) and give Cody Bass more than 10 minutes.

Dennis Prouse said...

Vermette is the second line centre who will also get second power play time, so yeah, expect him to play a lot. He played 20 minutes in the Boston game, and that is unlikely to change much in Game 1. Bass looks like he could be exactly what the doctor ordered for the playoffs - a high energy young guy who can disrupt on the forecheck, throw his body around, and make life miserable for the opposition's star players. If he can do that, he'll play a ton.

Big V said...

J-P your full of hate.
Maybe its just me but your selling out big time. Yeah the sens are having a rough end of the season, so your taking the easy road and chirping everything about them.
I havn't read any of your previous articles(last post season) however I have a feeling they were the opposite tone.
The way I see it, if you dont have anything nice to say dont say it.

The sens still have a lot of fire power and in my view can burst out of this funk at any time and if they do... Look out because last I checked it is the same core group that played the first 18 games.

This is the playoffs and anything can happen.

Anonymous said...

Sorry my man, but my opinion on the Sens has not changed a bit in the 15 years I have covered them. So there. Someone has to tell it like it is in this sleepy village and if the paid media would stop their giddy adulation and write what they are paid for, and not what Roy A. Mlakar wants them to write, we would not have an entire city delusional about Ottawa.

Face it, this team ran out of games in their valiant efforts to miss the playoffs and join other dubious chokers.

I'm trying my darnest to love this team and I do respect many manyb players for their skills but their lack of effort and heart turns me off. Add the incompetent management and the controlling president and I have a tough time finding positive things to write about.

I wish Ottawa citizens would wake and realize that we are all becoming the brunt of derisive comments nationally.

Johnstone Apork, aka Edna, aka J.P.

Big V said...

Hard to argue with your comment about how the senators chose Daigle instead of pronger, however did the sens really have a choice that year?
How could any team have not chosen a guy who was dominating the QMJHL.
I think it is similar to this years draft, everyone is already saying Steve Stamkos will be drafted number one.
So Tampa Bay will take him, however what happens 10 years down the road when Drew Daughty(spl.) turns out to be the better player?
People are going to make the same argument.

No one knew when daigle was drafted that in a few short years he would turn out to be a bust.

sager said...

Big V,

Everyone cracked on the Houston Texans for taking Mario Williams No. 1 in 2006 instead of Reggie Bush or Vince Young. After two seasons, there's an argument that they might not have been completely wrong to pick a defensive guy instead of the players with the flashy offensive totals.

Point being, the Senators had inexperienced management and they didn't trust their own abilities enough to say that they needed Chris Pronger. Instead, they went with Daigle and ended up alienating the better centre, Alexei Yashin, along the way.

It's ancient history, but they had an option, sir.

Anonymous said...

Jean-Pierre will own up if he's wrong.

Spezza, Heatley, Murray and Melnyk won't if they lose.

That's the difference between a mature person and a bunch of arrogant guys.


Anonymous said...

Granted, Sens had no way of knowing about Daigle but did the morons have to dress him in a nurse's outfit and then leave him alone to defend himself when they could hve at least tried to go and get his junior linemate, tiugh guy Mathew Barnaby.

And yes Neate, they ended up pissing off Yashin big time (still the best player Ottawa has ever seen by the way), in many many ways stupid ways before he turned on them and then was painted as a criminal.

Txs Pierre. Right on as always.


Anonymous said...

4-0 result game 1.
Heatley calls it a 2-0 game...keep living in Disneyland Dany, someday you might grow a pair and be a winner.


Anonymous said...

Not that I'm counting, but they have now been shut out in 5 of their 11 opening series games.

Martin Lapointe on the PP? Brian Mac and Luke Richardson in civies? Spezza and Redden and Ole 64 dressed. I could go on and on.

Has a coach ever been fired by himself after the 1st game of the playoffs, I wonder?


Anonymous said...

dennis prouse where are you?

Probably with Car 54...J.-P. is right, you are wrong.

Sennies down 0-3...time to eat some crow? :-)

sager said...

Check one of the more recent posts, Pierre.... Dennis has been a face-up guy, all the way.

Anonymous said...

Thanks sager :D I only check the related threads.

I have made many mistakes in my life, will make many more. I can respect someone who owns up.