Game Day- Ontario Cup on the Line at the CTC

SensChirp April 12, 2014 138
Game Day- Ontario Cup on the Line at the CTC

The Ottawa Senators play their final home game of the season tonight against the rival Toronto Maple Leafs.  Both teams probably expected this game to mean a whole lot more but a season of disappointment for Ottawa and a three week collapse for the ages from the Leafs takes some of the excitement out of the final installment of the Battle of Ontario.

Just fan base bragging rights on the line tonight at the Canadian Tire Centre.

About one month ago, the Senators were 12 points back of Toronto.  The Leafs were playoff bound while the Senators were preparing for a long off season.  As the old saying goes, misery loves company.  Another epic collapse is now complete in the Big Smoke and instead of preparing for the first round of the NHL playoffs, the Leafs will  join the Senators on the golf course in a couple days.  But not before one team comes away with the prestigious Ontario Cup, awarded to the province’s best team.

No it’s not a real thing but it sure would be nice to hand the Leafs one last loss to end their season and finish ahead of them in the standings in the process.

As expected, Mika Zibanejad will be out of the line up for the weekend games.  Paul MacLean spoke to the media this morning but said he had not yet made up his mind on any potential line up changes.  Both Jean Gabriel Pageau and Matt Kassian are available to play. I would assume MacLean is leaning towards Kassian with the Leafs in town but Pageau makes a little more sense when you consider the need for another centre.  We’ll have to wait until game time to know for sure.

Michalek-Spezza-Hemsky
MacArthur-Turris-Stone
Hoffman-Pageau-Condra
Greening-Smith-Neil

Methot-Karlsson
Phillips-Gryba
Wiercioch-Ceci

Craig Anderson gets the start in the Ottawa goal.  Puck shall drop just after 7:00 PM.

The Daily Chirp(s)- Kind of a weird situation involving Sens forward Mika Zibanejad following Thursday’s game.  The team has been pretty quiet about the nature of his “injuries” but have emphasized that it was just a matter of the team being precautious.  And with the Senators playing out the string this weekend, there’s no need for Mika to rush back.  I don’t know a whole lot about the nature of the injury but I can tell you it wasn’t concussion related and that after the tests done yesterday, everything was apparently normal.  MacLean indicated that there would be additional tests this week. And if you’re wondering why the team would be so quiet about the nature of the injury, it’s safe to assume that is at the request of the player.

And a follow up on the Daily Chirp from the other day.  The Sabres and Senators have been  at odds a little bit lately and it has to do with Sabres GM Tim Murray pursuing a couple of his guys, with the intent of bringing them over to the Sabres organization.  Rob Murphy’s name has been mentioned before but it’s believed Murray spoke to others. Safe to say the Senators aren’t exactly “happy” with the idea of losing more staff to the Sabres and may be exploring an official complain with the league.  Like I said, something to keep an eye on over the summer.

  • MakesSens

    Zibanejad must be pregnant. What other reason would they have to hide it so much?

    • xiorcal

      We know Condra is not the father he never hit on target.

  • SENSsmile

    Will the Sens play intelligently or will they let emotions dictate their performance tonight? If it’s the former, they win; if the latter, they lose. Here’s hoping that they play it smart. (fingers crossed…)

  • Sensturion

    Diabetes? Drug problems (hopefully not)? He has a disease he doesn’t want people knowing about? Could be anything, really.

    • Dirk-Diggler

      He was pulled in the middle of the game… Don’t think that would be for a drug problem… At least I hope not!

      Anyway, he’s shut down for the season and hopefully he will be healthy ASAP and can have a good summer of training and DJ’ing and come back in September 100%

    • SensChirp

      No and definitely no. It was actually nothing. Seems like a situation where they thought something might be wrong but the tests they did showed otherwise. Let’s not let out imaginations run wild here.

      • Don Ciccio

        I would assume it has to do with the heart if it is not the head. What other tests would they be conducting and with what happened with Peverly in Dallas, I would assume that they won’t take any chances until further tests are conducted.

      • Phil.

        Chirp, I know you know more about it than I do, but “nothing’ doesn’t keep you from playing and you don’t do addition tests for “nothing”. It may be nothing serious, but that’s not nothing.
        Per your instruction, I am going to let my imagination run wild and guess: Chest pains that turned out to be esophageal reflux, not heart disease.

  • John Q. Spartan

    It’s none of our business. If Zibanejad wants people to know what is wrong with him, he’ll let people know.

  • FistsofNeil25

    Man Chirp, those tweets of those Alfie and Turris playoff goals from the past two years really have me down. I’m really going to miss playoff hockey in Ottawa this spring. This city is just so alive during playoff time, and there’s no better way to spend a spring evening than at the CTC watching the boys in the playoffs, or huddled in front of a TV watching the Sens go into enemy territory for the road games.

    • Rodger81

      Might wanna get used to it. I don’t see the playoffs coming back to Ottawa for a while…

  • Jakester

    http://www.oilkings.ca/video/37324

    Was checking out highlights of the Edmonton Oil Kings(now Off to the third round), man that Lazar works hard!

    • son of a Diefenbaker

      ROCK STAR LAZAR

    • peetypuck

      I think Bryan Murray called him a 6′ tall Brendan Gallagher.

  • aegiszx

    Of course Eugene would file a complaint to the league… That’s all the guy knows how to do, ffs. If we spent less time complaining about the shitty refs, afternoon schedule, and off ice issues, we might be more focused and win more games!

    • son of a Diefenbaker

      Eugene Pennypinch requested tle absurd amount of afternoon games
      and is the cause of most off ice issues (CSI Barbados for example)

    • John Q. Spartan

      Where does it say that Melnyk is filing a complaint with the league? The blog says “the Senators”, and even that isn’t based on facts. I know that Melnyk is a boogeyman for alot of Sens fans these days, but come on…

  • Pugnacious Serf

    I’d really like Spezza to beat down Phaneuf tonight, el capitan vs el capitan… Or at least 3 times on the score sheet, I’ll take either.

  • Sandy

    Hoping for a win tonight.. as I’m going to the game.
    If Melnyk is ‘worried’ about Tim Murray taking key personnel from the Sens.. maybe he could treat them a little better?
    Should be an interesting summer in Shawville between Bryan & Tim…
    Not sure if anyone has an answer.. but do the scouting staff have ‘contracts’ with the team? If so, and they are under contract.. that’s tampering. If they are not under contract, then I assume it wouldn’t be tampering if he persues other team’s employees..
    Did you guys hear about Ryan Malone being arrested for DUI and having cocaine in his possession. Not good for that to happen to the Lightning just before the playoffs.. He now has to enter the NHL mandated treatment plan…

    • Deadly

      Is there any evidence the the Sens treat their employees poorly.We know the players are paid “market value” but not sure about the office staff.

  • Sandy

    Will we be taking notice after the game… if Spezza picks up the puck?

    • Jakester

      Let’s hope they are the ones going in the Leafs net!

  • Adamie Argun

    Michalek – Spezza – Hemsky
    MacArthur – Turris – Ryan
    Hoffman – Zibanejad – Stone
    Greening – Smith – Neil
    Condra

    Methot – Karlsson
    Cowen – Niskanen
    Wiercioch – Ceci
    Phillips

    Anderson
    Lehner

    (condra/neil/greening splitting duties – wiercioch/phillips/cowen splitting duties)

    • peetypuck

      Puempel and Schneider have had pretty good years in the AHL. Could this leave a high-priced Michalek as the odd man out?

      • Jakester

        Not many people mention Schneider but he’s been a real good college signing. He brings more than some of the guys we have!

        • son of a Diefenbaker

          no love for Fredrik Claesson ?

          • Deadly

            Lots but he is behind Borocop and very young .

          • Jakester

            Boro cuz he has a one way but play wise he’s much better than Boro!

          • Deadly

            Very different skill sets ,for sure. No one out works him and the contract is king.

          • Jakester

            I don’t know why they gave him a one way, was far from a sure thing. They will be making moves on D for sure.

          • Deadly

            Unfortunately,rewarding effort and a local product. It’s not a big contract so should be manageable.

          • Jakester

            I really likE Chris Wideman too as a potential 3 pairing puck mover. He’s another Andre Benoit with perhaps more offensive skill.

          • Deadly

            I get the feeling he is older and undersized , exactly like Benoit.We might have too much depth to allow him a chance. Great stats this season.

          • Jakester

            He’s not that old and Sens are very high on him. College player so he’s taking longer but he can really play the game!

          • Deadly

            Right ,23 and 5’10 and 180.

          • Deadly

            Torrey Krug ..5’9, 181…now that would be ok.

          • peetypuck

            What we really need on defence is an experienced, #2 D-man.

          • Jakester

            Exactly then Methot can anchor the 2nd pairing playing with Ceci perhaps!

          • peetypuck

            If we put Methot and Ceci on the 2nd pairing where does that leave Cowen…..trade bait?

        • peetypuck

          I’ve been watching their stats with interest all year. He and Puempel have really been putting up the points in the second half.

    • Deadly

      Is Borocop going to be traded or making NHL dollars in the AHL?

    • Rodger81

      With that lineup it’s no wonder why we didn’t make the playoffs

  • Sandy

    Incredible stat.. re Karlsson. That’s pretty elite company.. Let’s hope 2 pts tonight… for the team and at least 2 for EK..

    • bluebuyyoo

      One down. Two to go!

  • LeafsSux

    Hey Chirp it was discussed on here earlier about a bus trip to see the B-Sens play a playoff game. Anything new on this? I live 45 min from Binghamton and would like to join you guys..

  • Deadly

    The anthem again…the love affair continues.
    Go Sens.

  • T K

    Ok boys, make those brain dead bastards cry

  • xiorcal

    The fact even the cbc play by play expected the sens to go back on the powerplay and to see the penalty being given to weir is proving a year long point.

  • Cicero
  • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51
  • T K

    Ceci is strong defensively but he takes waaaay too long to shoot. He telegraphs his intentions so clearly that the goalie has plenty of time to line up for the shot

  • Jakester

    We must be the only team that can’t score on this piece of Swiss cheese!

  • T K

    Woooooooo hooooooooooooo Spezza!

  • xiorcal

    karlsson 1 point 2 more to go.

    Edit: I tough stu gave an assist to Karlsson but he is not on the online score sheet.

  • SensFanInMTL

    What an absolute, fuckin rocket by Spezza. Good grief.

  • T K

    Kessel cheats like Jagr. Sits on the offensive blue line and makes the rest of the team do all the hard work.

  • T K

    Great shift from Smith

  • SensFanInMTL

    That’s like the 5th missed open net Stone is getting accustomed with.

    • xiorcal

      Maybe stone and condra have switch their jersey.

      • SensFanInMTL

        Va etre un tres longs ete, mec. Tres, tres long. Let’s Puemp it up!!!!

        • xiorcal

          Not that long. Draft day drama. Free agent day drama. RFA drama, training camp drama. Plus I can’t wait to go fishing and hopefully it won’t be icefishing.

    • T K

      He’ll offset it with a 5 game scoring streak in the fall.

    • Deadly

      Next year he will bury many of his chances while playing a responsible brand of hockey.Saw him out killing a penalty tonight.

  • Cicero

    Really proud of the Sens for their effort and discipline tonight, in a game that could easily be played by rote.

  • SensFanInMTL

    Carlyle “again” montage. Did you guys catch that? LOL.

  • T K

    Can’t wait to hear of another first round elimination for Mtl.

  • SensFanInMTL

    Ryan Smyth – Class act guy all the way.

  • Rodger81

    Really not looking forward to next season after how bad this one went. With the cap going up I really don’t see how we can compete.

  • T K

    Boohoo cry me a river CBC. Don’t give a turd about Toronto’s natural incompetence.

  • T K

    Geez, where’s Dean Brown when you desperately need him?

    • Sandy

      On TSN1200..

  • luckan20

    Stupid penalty to take by Neil

  • SensFanInMTL

    If this home closer can end with Kadri’s face being apart of Neil’s fists, I will go to work tomorrow a happy man.

    • jimmyjohnson

      And then Neil announcing his retirement at the end of it…

      yeah that would be great.

      • xiorcal

        Neil on a fouth line with fourth line minutes is not a problem on any of the 30 teams in this league.

        • jimmyjohnson

          Neil in a leadership role is not a good thing.

          • xiorcal

            This guy bleed sens. Ask chirp, he’s the one who add the good idea of stepping on the team logo in front of him.

  • jimmyjohnson

    ANYONE, and my caps mean I mean, ANYYYYYYYWWAAAAAANNNNN who wonders why this team will miss the playoffs this season got 3 prime examples in the last 10 game minutes:

    a) Condra leading a 4-on-1 to 0 shots for.
    b) Michalek moving his stick on a breakaway and keeping his entire body almost at a standstill, and
    c) Greening in a partial break only to shovel a backhand 3 feet wide in the same direction he was heading.

    This team has WAY too many unskilled players clogging up spots and eating up offensive chances.

    • xiorcal

      I still think the real problem is in the defensive system. The best way to describe this team is dangerous. They are dangerous when playing in the opponent zone but are equally dangerous for themself when in their own zone.

      • jimmyjohnson

        True. I like how Yost calls them a “high event” team.

        Still, a team with Condra, Greening, Neil, Kassian, Smith, Michalek in the offensive zone and Spezza, Michalek, Neil, Greening, Smith, Kassian in the defensive zone …….. well, that team is going to struggle.

        Espcially when “complemented” by the likes of Gryba, Cowen, Phillips, and Methot handling the back end.

        This team is just really poorly constructed.

        • xiorcal

          Not really,

          I tought cowen was going to be better but i am really disapointed that the team did not react to the fact he was struggling. I think boro in the small amount of time he was with the team showed a lot of potential. If you remove cowen and put boro in his spot on the full season i think you have a couple more points at the end of the season. I understand what the team did by sticking with cowen but i don’t approve it.

          ps spelling might be worse than usual tonight. French user plus a bit to much rhum plus not enought sleep :-) So sorry in advance.

          • jimmyjohnson

            I’m sure that’s true, but there’s just too many big, lumbering, offensively inept D-men on the team.

  • SensFanInMTL

    “Duh duh, duh duh duh. Duh duh duh duh, Leafs suck!”

    Good job, Sens Nation.

    • T K

      Probably more than one member of Loser nation joining in…

  • Rodger81

    What’s the Ontario cup? I guess with no chance at the actual cup they have to make up things for us to play for.

    • T K

      It’s a virtual cup, no matter how the Leasts play, it’s only ever awarded to Sens when they win.

  • jimmyjohnson

    I really feel like we’ll find a way to lose this game in regulation.

    • SensFanInMTL

      You = Tookie 3.0 = ZipZapRap

      • jimmyjohnson

        I’m aware of tookie and what the reference implies. It’s just really tough to be positive about this group.

        • SensFanInMTL

          We will turn it around bud. There’s so much in terms of what we have in our arsenal. You must believe!

    • T K

      Cheer up Polyanna

      • xiorcal

        Not to play devil advocate but the way the sens have played this year i will be really surprise if they win a game 1-0 in regulation tonight. Happy but surprised.

        • T K

          Et voila mon cher Lacroix, une victoire juste pour toi et moi!

  • bluebuyyoo

    Condra leading all Sens forwards with over 15 minutes TOI

    • Zelle

      He had a hell of a game

  • Deadly

    Love that shot of Maclean….great clevage

    • jimmyjohnson

      totally lol

  • T K

    Thanks for awkward Maclean + cleavage shot CBC

    • Deadly

      Looked like a caterpillar walking across her chest.

      • T K

        It was lovely but PMac’s face deflated any excitement that could have been generated

  • Deadly

    Two great steals by Stone.

  • Cicero

    CEJ last dance.

  • LeafsSux

    Cotton eye Joe!!! lol

    • xiorcal

      too little too late

  • T K

    C’mon Rangers, score already…

  • T K

    YEEEEEEES

  • xiorcal

    we won the ontario cup!!!!!!!!!!

  • SensFanInMTL

    Tiens. Mange la marde crisse de Leafs. Eat it!

    • SENSsmile

      LOL… love it. Allez chiez, hostie de Laffs de cul!

  • bluebuyyoo

    Sens will finish ahead of the Leafs. Small consolation, but I like it!!

  • xiorcal

    Now that we achieved finishing above the leafs in the standing my only two thing left to do this season are root against the habs and root for the west vs the east in the finals so that the next eastern team to win the cup is ottawa.

    • SensFanInMTL

      Yes we will.

    • jimmyjohnson

      Gonna be tough when Boston steamrolls the East and the West pounds each other into the dirt…

  • xiorcal

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern/Atlantic/Toronto_ChanceWillMakePlayoffs.html

    Toronto playoff odd for the season or the most fun graph ever lol

  • T K

    Anyone who thinks that victory was meaningless doesn’t live in Ontario or had never had to ensure the assholes in our building. Thank you Sens!

    • jimmyjohnson

      lol yeah and also, every win makes the B.Ryan trade just a little bit better lol

    • SensFanInMTL

      I didn’t think it was meaningless. And I’m from Quebec. Couillard for the win.

  • jimmyjohnson

    Watching Sens games followed by Habs games is really a remarkable experience. It’s shocking how different the refs treat those two teams.

    One of Montreal’s guys basically steamrolls (Lundqvist?) and there’s no call. Could have concussed him. Spezza lightly grazes Reimer and gets 2…

    • T K

      That’s one comment that I can agree with.

      • xiorcal

        the habs are one of the most penalize team in the league guys.

        • jimmyjohnson

          It’s about how and when they get penalized though.

        • Sandy

          I really refuse to believe that..

          • Aaron 2.0

            There’s not really anything to refute. Yost compiled this data just a little while ago. Over the last 3 years we have taken the 2nd most minor penalties in the league. Montreal was 3rd worse. This year alone, they fared a little better. We were dead last. Montreal was 7th worse. If you’re looking for any sort of bias in favour of Montreal, there are probably many other teams that are better candidates.

            Note: the stats are about 1 week old, but doubt anything drastically changed since then.

  • Deadly

    The captain was crying in my harms…..

  • Codo37

    Keep No. 19!!!

    • Deadly

      And 83.

    • Sandy

      Many will disagree… but certainly not me..
      To let him go is a biggggg mistake. If he is let go.. it’s totally on the budget.. Curse you Melnyk.

      • Jakester

        Will have nothing To do with the budget!

  • 4thStringGoalie

    Makes you think…. by winning tonight it guarantees Ottawa will be the second best Canadian team. With all the ups and downs they had this year it makes you wonder how horrible it was to be a fan of the other 5 Canadian teams.

    • Sandy

      As bad as this season was for the Sens… to be the 2nd best Canadian team is remarkable.. really.

  • Sensturion
    • Sandy

      LOL.. I’m hoping Bishop and the Lightning squash the Habs…

  • xN1Cx

    Got the box treatment tonight everyone! What a great game to be a part of and what a rip by Spezza! I hope this team is back and ready to go next season. Love these guys! Have a wonderful summer; don’t worry Chirp, I’m still going to lurk like a son of a …….

  • Sandy

    Surrounded by Leaf fans tonight,.. especially a young punk next to me. Took off very fast after the game.
    Finally I went to a Sens/Leafs game that they won.
    This team is fine in the forward positions except for a couple of tweaks in the bottom six.. and fixes on D..
    It’s going to be a loooooonnnnnngggg 5 months before I see them live again. I’m in withdrawal already..

    • Zelle

      haha I was shouting go sens go and leafs suck and this woman was like a very faith ‘sens suck’

  • Zelle

    What a game! Loved it and it’s the best game I was able to watch live this season. Shame Zbad wasn’t there but man a lot of players had a great game. Karlsson, Condra, Stone, especially. Spezza with the game winner on the PP no less. Can’t wait until next season!

  • Sandy

    3.5 weeks ago, this Leafs team was 12 points ahead of the Sens in 3rd position overall…
    Awesome…

  • Sandy

    Pretty telling stat:

    @jonasTSN1050: James van Riemsdyk goes 26 straight games to end the year without a PP point. One in the past 25 for Phil Kessel.