Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sens-Leafs pics from last week... 

Available here

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Binghamton Sens 4 - St.John's Maple Leafs 3 

It was nice to be back at the Corel Centre for a professional hockey game. It was even nicer to be able to afford tickets at centre ice, in the lower bowl. It's the closest I've ever been for a game at the Corel Centre, a great vantage point for viewing a 4-3 Senators victory.

The game started with a bang. Brian McGratton dropped the gloves with Nathan Perrott a mere two seconds in. Just over four minutes later, Danny Bois scrapped with Dominic D'Amour. The Sens were slightly sloppy defensively, but Ray Emery closed the door until Jason Spezza scored from the point on the powerplay midway through the first period.

Then, with 3 seconds left in the period, with the Sens 2 men short, Islander David Ling snapped a one-timer home from the off-wing. Then, displaying a lack of both class and originality, he put his finger to his lips to shush the crowd a la Russian juniors last month.

After weathering a few penalties early in the second, the Sens took the lead on a fine solo effort byJason Spezza.

The Sens settled well into defending the lead in the third. They took advantage of a couple of Leafs errors to score a couple of quick ones in the third to pad the lead to 4-1. Although at that point, the win seemed sealed, they would need all of those goals. The Leafs scored a pair of late goals to make things very interesting, but the Sens held on for their 7th straight win.

The game attracted a pretty solid crowd of 14,200, which included of course the usual assortment of parolees from the Leafs Nation mental asylum. Fortunately, final minute of the first and third periods aside, they didn't have much to get excited about.

I didn't stick around for the 3 stars, but here are mine:

1. Jason Spezza
2. Ray Emery
3. Chris Kelly

Thursday, January 20, 2005

What's that feeling? Could it be a hockey buzz? 

"Hola, amigos been a long time since I rapped at ya" - Jim Anchower

....and for good reason. Without the Sens, things are pretty quiet 'round here. I've been watching the 67s pretty closely this year, but that hasn't translated to words so far. The Renegades, forced into doing something, made the surprising move of bringing back Joe Paopao, not only as coach, but as GM. While I like Paopao, I'm very worried about this move. It's a lot for one man, and there's not likely to be a budget for help. At the same time, having a player's coach as GM increases the 'Gades chances at signing more of their huge pile of free agents.

I've also been enouraged by the flurry of minor-league free agents signed by the Orioles/Lynx over the last couple of days. This bodes well for the Lynx (or badly for the O's if they all make the team). Season kicks off with a doubleheader on April 19th. It can't come soon enough.

But I digress. The events that really have me excited this week, for the first time since the Grey Cup, are this weekend's dynamite duo of hockey games. On Saturday evening, the Binghamton Senators come to town to take on Islander David Ling and the St. John's Maple Leafs. Then, Sunday afternoon, the record setting London Knights visit the Civic Centre to take on the 67s. That's the one I'm especially excited about, mostly since my tickets were just confirmed today. It should be an amazing weekend of hockey.