Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Fresh on the heels of alienating their best receiver with a lowball offer (although there was a good chance he was retiring anyway), the Renegades have alienated their star running back and arguably best player (my favourite, at least) Josh Ranek. After my initial optimism with the re-signings of Kerry Joseph and Kyries Hebert, the headaches are starting again. With no running game (and I'm not so confident they'll be able to lure a replacement for the Little Ball O' Hate) to compensate a little for a weak O-line, Kerry Joseph may be in for a world of hurt. Literally.

Monday, January 23, 2006

More grist for the blogroll... 

As I give the remote a rest before a hectic night of flipping between Leafs/Sens and election coverage (including a special edition of the most excellent Mercer Report) , I'm giving the blogroll a much overdue update.

First, the Sens contingent of blogs continues to grow, with a trio of additions to the sidebar.
A couple of other interesing links of late:

Friday, January 13, 2006

Sens lose to Sharks, Good Leaf fans vs. Bad, and a melon eclipse 

Maybe I should just forget about buying playoff tickets.

The Senators, 29-10-3 on the season, are 2-3 in games that we've (my wife and I, not the royal we) attended this season. The two victories were The Spezza Goal game, and another win over the Habs (4-0, IIRC). we've witnessed losses to Carolina, Dallas, and last night's loss to the Sharks.

Maybe the losses are repayment for having the privilege of seeing the spectacular Spezza OT-winner live.

Or maybe we've just been really unlucky

Oddly last night was also the first live glimpse we've had of Hasek after four Emery starts. Hasek gave us a good show, but unfortunately the rest of the Sens did not.

If the barrage of turnovers by the Senators were not enough to drive us crazy, then the rocket scientists behind us were. Behind us were seated two fine specimens of "the bad kind" of Maple Leaf fan.

First, it's important to distinguish between "good" Leaf fans and "bad" Leaf fans (and yes there are good Leaf fans). Good Leaf fans are knowledgeable about the game and about their team. They may see their team and the league through blue and white goggles, but fans of every team have their own biases. Good Leaf fans, are incredibly loyal to their team (in fact, often loyal almost to a fault). Basically they are good hockey fans who by birth, upbringing, or through some misfortune becam Leaf fans.
In the interests of full discosure, I'll admit here that I once experimented with Leaf fandom, pre-Senators, when they were stocking up on ex-Oilers like Fuhr (my fav Oiler not named Gretzky) and Glenn Anderson, and had good guys like Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, and Dave Andreychuk. It wasn't until they started bringing the likes of Tucker, Domi, Corson, Green, and Belak that I started disliking them, and even then I admire their cockroach-like refusal to die.

So that's the good Leaf fan: knowledgeable, but biased. On the other hand, we have the short bus crowd that was sitting behind us last night. These are the types that reflexively hate everything non-Leaf.

Exhibit A, from pregame discussion: The NHL should be called the Canadian Hockey League because "all the teams were originally Canadian" (As Dave Barry would say, I'm not making this up)

Exhibit B: The only three "observations",made repeatedly, and often out of context "hustle!" "defense", and every time they'd cross the blueline "was that offside?"

Exhibit C: Ottawa has apparently NEVER ever won a playoff series (you see the playoffs do not exist beyond the Leafs) and NEVER will. Well then, that settles that, I guess.

And the coup de grace, Exhibits D through Z: When San Jose scored, out came the "Go Leafs Go" chants. Ah yes, the "Go Leafs Go" chant in a vistiting building, in a game where the Leafs aren't even playing. A classic, and a signature sign of the bad leafs fan.

In other, non-Leaf related, fan news, I am contacting the Guiness Book of World Records about the fan sitting in front of me. To protect the innocent, and because I don't actually know his name, lets call him Mr. Melon Eclipse. Mr. Eclipse certainly holds the record for the World's largest head. It covered the entire faceoff circle. Incredible.

Also, on the way out of the game, we stopped to help a lady who had slipped on a patch of ice, fallen, and broken her leg (we didn't get an official diagnosis, but that's our best guess given the angle of the bottom of her leg relative to the top). We waited with her until paramedics arrived to apply a splint and take her away. Hopefully she'll be ok.

I was also amused by the "final game at the Corel Centre" hype. Meh. It's still the same building. We're changing the name from one corporate entity to another after 10 years, not closing the Montreal Forum after 100.

All of this is to say that last night's game was probably the least interesting part of last night. The Sens laid another big stinker.

Finally, one positive that at least I can take from the game? I have Nabokov on one fantasy hockey team, and Marleau on another. You've gotta take the small victories where you can.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sens on BOB 

Apparently this has already started, but the TEAM1200 radio broadcast is now being simulcast on BOB-FM as well. Good news for those occasions when I'm on the road, and can catch a few more minutes of the game before driving beyond of range. It's also a clearer feed for games when I mute the TV and use the audio feed rather than listening to Bob and Harry, or Glenn Healey.

It would be great if the Renegades (and even the Lynx and 67s) can follow their lead, although I doubt the numbers for the other teams are big enough to make it worthwhile for CHUM to broadcast on both the TEAM and BOB.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

...been gone for a month.... 

Yep, I'm playing the Spirit of the West post title card again. Consider it my semi-annual mulligan. Haven't been "drunk since I left" though. Been busy with, among other things, Christmas fesivities, work, and watching the entire 4th (soon to be followed by 5th) season of Seinfeld on DVD.... not that there's anything wrong with that.

(As an aside, season 4 of Seinfeld has got to be one of the best seasons of television ever. So many classics in one season: "The Bubble Boy", "The Contest", "The Outing", "The Junior Mint", "The Smelly Car", and "The Pick")

Returning to the Sens, I have only three words: welcome...back...Alfie.

Feel free to punctuate that with as many smilies and exclamation marks as you would see in an IM from a teeny bopper.

As I write this, Alfie has just scored his second goal of the night to go along with a pair of assists. Even aside from his four points, the effort level of the entire team has been a notch higher tonight than recently. He made an impact from the drop of the puck. On the first shift of the game, he blocked a pass at the Phoenix blueline, and generated a couple of scoring chances from the steal that resulted in a power play. Not too bad for a first shift. But wait! He stayed on for the power play, controlled the puck along the boards, and fed the Big Z whose point shot found its way off Dany Heatley's butt cheek and to the back of the net. Now you can go take a rest, Alfie.

And so it continued for the rest of the night. Suddenly the offense was clicking, the power play was clicking, and the Sens of game 1-36 were back replacing the Bizarro World Sens of games 37-40. The Sens were once again masters of their domain.

Surely no one can be left questioning Alfredsson's captaincy and importance to the Sens now?