Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sennies: He writes the way people talk, honestly

I believe the Senators are going to miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons. This was a team that was one Carolina victory away from missing the cut last year. I just don't believe they've addressed the problems that plagued the roster in 2007-08, and the defense is tad too retro for a league that's all about the two-way, puck-moving D-men.

Oh, and their goaltending pretty much blows. We can't stress that enough. -- Puck Daddy
Or that could be, "He writes the way people talk -- honestly!" The dash and the exclamation point change everything.

Season Preview: Ottawa Senators, Class of '08-'09 (Greg Wyshynski, Puck Daddy)


Anonymous said...

First of all, the Sens did address ONE problem that plagued the roster last year...Ray Emery.
I think it is far too early to assess the team one way or the other.
New coach Craig Hartsburg, unlike the catatonic John Paddock, has shown plenty of evidence that he is indeed, alive.
One thing the Sens must avoid doing this year is grinding the big line into the ground.
Especially, the Sens cannot overextend Daniel Afredsson to the degree that they did last season.
By the time the playoffs rolled around, Alfredsson was fried plain and simple.
Contrary to what Puck Bunny says, Martin Gerber is not a horrible goaltender, although he has played poorly at times.
What Gerber needs to function at his best is the knowledge that he is the guy, with nobody lurking in the shadows.
When Gerber started last season with the # 1 job, the Sens got off to a great start.
When Paddock tried to work Emery back into the picture, however, that's when the fun started.
I happen to think the Sens have enough good things going for them to be relatively optimistic.
Most of all, there are too many new variables to make any decisive pronouncement on this team at present.
I'll wait and see how things shake out before giving a verdict.

sager said...

There are too many variables to make any decisive pronouncements on any team at present. We better tell The Hockey News, TSN, ESPN and The Canadian Press, so they can change their plans for pre-season coverage accordingly.

And no one knows what percentage of the team's problems were posed by Ray Emery — 10 per cent, 25 per cent, 50 per cent or 100 per cent?

I have no idea, but it's hard to see how it could be either of the last 2. He was one player out of 25.

Greg said...

Based on that logic, why bother ever having previews? Come on guys, you know that previews are sometimes pretty solid barometers of a team's prospects.

The Senators are going to be a mediocre squad this year. Unless they have a truly magical year and Martin Gerber turns into the Second Coming of Hasek, their window of opportunity has passed them by.

Now, of course, they'll be better than the Black-and-Blue Horror Show that is this year's Maple Leafs. Oh God, it's going to be brutal. So very brutal. The Leafs are now the Town Pump of the NHL - everybody's taking them for a ride this year!

sager said...

I'm just pointing out that there's a whole cottage industry that's grown up around the whole fallacy "pre-season predictions."

The only knowledge is knowing you know nothing. That's from Socrates, or Sparky Anderson. I forget whom.

And yes, "Go Leafs Go — But take the Argos with you!"

Seriously, the two blue-clad teams in Toronto who can feel somewhat good about their 2008 are the Jays and U of T football.

(Isn't that typical, to turn a post on the Sennies into a Toronto sports rant? They really hate us.

Anonymous said...

Point I was trying to make in the first post was that Emery was a big part of last year's story, and really not in a positive way.
The perceived double standard by which he was handled compared to other players could not possibly had a positive effect in that dressing room.
With him gone, and a new coaching staff, the Sens start with a clean slate for this year.
They may not be among the elite anymore, but they've got enough to make the playoffs.
I predict they will be around come April.
Maybe not a true contender, but they'll make the post season.
They are a better team than what Puck Dandy gives them credit for.
But then again, since when did anyone from the Big Joke give any credit to a team from Ottawa?

sager said...

since when did anyone from the Big Joke give any credit to a team from Ottawa?

You're kidding, right? You could wallpaper all the new houses in Kanata with the clippings where Toronto writers such as Damien Cox have used the Sens' success to point out the Leafs' failings.

Again, Ottawa's got to get past the Leafs thing.

low cost health insurance said...

Our Phoenix Coyotes need to shore up their defensive line if they have hopes. They need to improve the draft, and get younger.

Dennis Prouse said...

There are an awful lot of GMs around the league who would be quite happy to do a straight up trade of their roster for Ottawa's. The Senators' fourth line and third defence pairing aren't going to be much to write home about, but that's true of most teams around the league. The Bolts in '04 and the Ducks in '07 won the Cup by playing the snot out of their top guys, and basically leaving their fourth line and third defence pairing stapled to the bench. Somehow I don't see Hartburg doing the "rolling four lines" thing.

To me, a lot of this season comes down to how the "second tier" stars of this team can play. I'm talking Fisher, Vermette, Kelly, and Neil. I thought Neil in particular had a terrible 07-08, and seemed to get a pass for it from local media types who were obsessed with the Emery storyline. For a guy who got the amount of ice time he did, Neil's production was abysmal. These guys need to step it up, generating some offense and take some pressure off the big three. If they can, Ottawa will be as dangerous as anyone.

Oh, and I hope Chris Phillips got a lot of rest over the summer, because I suspect dude will be logging close to 30 minutes a night most games.

mc79hockey said...

I know I'm alone in this, but I don't think that Kuba was such a bad pickup either.