Game Day- Visiting an Old Friend

SensChirp October 23, 2013 232
Game Day- Visiting an Old Friend

As a fan base, we’ve had time to heal.

And after a few months, there are some fans that will suggest, they are completely over it. But tonight, those feelings will be put to the test as the Senators pay a visit to the former face of the franchise.  After 1,178 regular season games and another 121 playoff games, all in an Ottawa Senators uniform, Daniel Alfredsson suits up in the colours of another, and takes on his former team for the first time.

In the history of the Ottawa Senators, there has never been an issue quite as polarizing as the departure of the beloved Captain.

And a lot of that has to do with some inconsistent story telling from both sides on exactly what went down this summer. The reality is, somewhere during negotiations Alfredsson felt disrespected by the organization he had given so much to and decided it was time for a new challenge.

No matter how angry you may have been at that decision, it doesn’t change what he meant to this team, this franchise and this city.

And while Alfredsson will dominate the talk leading up to this game, a match up against the new division rival Red Wings involves a whole lot more than containing Alfie. They have two of the game’s elite players in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and one of the best Coaches in the league in Mike Babcock.

The issues the Sens have had through the first eight games of the season will have to be cleaned up in a hurry if they want to have any chance in this one.

(UPDATE 12:36 PM)-  Some interesting decisions from Paul MacLean ahead of tonight’s game including scratching defenceman Patrick Wiericoch.  He joins Jean Gabriel Pageau and Matt Kassian in the press box. Craig Anderson starts in goal.  Here is how the Sens are expected to line up.

Michalek-Spezza-Conacher
MacArthur-Turris-Ryan
Grant-Zibanejad-Condra
Greening-Smith-Neil

Methot-Karlsson
Cowen-Gryba
Phillips-Corvo

Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:30 PM with the game available on TSN.

  • Tooks

    Sweet, gonna be an awesome game, hope we win cuz if we lose its gonna be a disaster in here about how we let Alfie go…

    Obviously Det is a powerhouse, so its gonna be tough to come out with a win. But with so much history between Maclean, Babcock and the Wings. I think PMac gets the boys so pumped that they make a good game out of this!

    • http://www.Merchaholic.ca Merchaholic

      I hope we dominate the game and come out with the 2 points. Just hope the Sens chemistry takes a step forward tonight.

      • http://www.Merchaholic.ca Merchaholic

        And my comment rains truth!! But isn’t the best? WTF!!!! LMFAO!! Gimmie all them likes!

  • MethotToMyMadness

    As I mentioned the other day, Fans would more than likely see Zibanejad returning, and sure enough, he’s back with the big club. How long will he avoid the bus trips, hard to say. But for now, he has a VERY big chance to prove why he shouldn’t be sent back down.

    I’m hoping to see Zib come out firing, even though he’s getting lower line minutes. You never know, Couch PMac could make a few last minute line changes, if he’s looking to mess with Detroit, knowing that Babcock likes to watch tape. If the Wings are expecting a certain pairing, this could be the time to throw a monkey wrench into the plan. I have a feeling the Wings will focus a lot on the 2nd line, more so than Spezza’s line, so there is a very good chance you could see Zib slot in with Spezza if things don’t start the way PMac expects it too. It would mean he plays Wing, but it’s possible, especially if they want to see what he’s got!!

    While Alfie against the Sens takes all the spotlight tonight, lost in this game is the Battle of Coaches. MacLean has been the understudy to Babcock for years, dating back to their Anaheim days. MacLean has really showed his true colors since taking over in Ottawa. With a Jack Adams under his belt, I’m sure the next thing he’s looking for is his 1st Win against his old club.

    I got my Jersey on, my hat on and my flag (pre playoffs) is proudly displayed from my car window. I’m reading to rock, so I hope the Sens are!!! Go Sens Go!!!

    • Tooks

      To slot Zib in the top 6 somebody has to come out, who would that be?

      • MethotToMyMadness

        Conacher. Zip plays with just as much grit, and has the same hands as Conacher. And Conacher would easily slot into any of the 4 lines.

        • Tooks

          I wouldnt remove something that is working well just to try to see if Zib can try and do the same. CC89 has been busting his ass, litterally to play on the top line.

          An injury call up is not going to take CC89′s spot.He would have to earn it. Like 89 has.

          • MethotToMyMadness

            While I said it would be a good way to throw a monkey wrench into it, I didn’t say do it for the sake of it. It was more based on if things don’t start out as PMac expects, then a chance would likely open up. If that does happen, do you really see Milo or Spezza being shifted? The odd man out would be CC89. So if that happens, Zib would have an opportunity, cause he’s a gritty guy with something to prove. Greening would be the alternate choice.

          • Tooks

            Well it depends whose not clicking on the top line, I doubt Conacher is the one who would be dropped, especially with all the things he does. More than likely it will be Michalek that doesnt click and could be dropped to 2nd line and CMac up with Spezza.

            Zbad wont see any top 6 time, there are better options ahead of him if something doesnt click. Let him play his game on the 3rd line, its where he’s best suited. Not having the pressure of playing vs better players will help him.

          • boom

            Exactly. leave Conacher where he is. he has done nothing to warrant a demotion. I like Zbad, but I think he is perfectly suited for the 3rd line.

          • Jamie Shurtliff

            exactly. Not sure I see anything wrong with Z-Bad at 3LC. Gotta balance out the scoring and 9-19-89 and 16-7-6 have been getting better and better. no reason to ruin chemistry. lack of scoring on 3L has been a problem

  • yannrock

    It’s going to be an emotional game for sure.

    We need this win!

    • Tooks

      Yes I agree, this is almost a must win!

      • PraiseAlfie11

        Oh, come on! How many games in and its a “almost must win”?

        Given that logic, the season is already over after losing to Edmonton!

        • Tooks

          Yes almost must win, meaning if they lose, it wasnt a must win…
          Its a huge game for the Sens, more than it is for the Red Wings.

  • Tooks

    From the game preview:

    Robin Lehner made 18 saves against the Oilers, but Craig Anderson, who is 3-1-2 with a 2.88 GAA, should be back in net for this contest.

    The Red Wings have won four straight meetings

  • A-Train

    Huge opportunity for Zibanejad here. If he shines and helps the team pull out a win, makes it very hard for the team to send him back down…for now.

  • Hax

    To me this is the perfect time to play this game. The team has shown signs of getting on track but is still a LONG way away from where the could be. A game against Alffy (new Detroit spelling) and the team he feels has a better shot, not to mention PMac’s mentor’s team, is just what the doctor ordered.

    Could be a minor turning point in this young season. Win tonight and we can keep rolling through these other tough games coming up.

  • Hax

    Anyone know if Zibanejad was officially recalled as an injury replacement for Pageau or just a standard recall? Not sure it matters with Zibanejad’s contract or not.

    But I did get the impression that he was recalled mostly because Pageau has a minor injury. Makes sense to me as well since Pageau should be sent down if he’s not playing but can’t be if he’s injured.

    Doesn’t mean Zibanejad can’t shine and stay up though.

    • Alcatraz

      To me it doesn’t make sense as a minor injury call up. If your tryingt o send a message to Zibanejad, you keep him in the minors until he earns a full time spot on the club. Especially since Maclean said he let two others steal his spot. When Zibanejad comes up, it shoudl be for good, or at leats until he loses his spot. Not as an injury call up for a few games. No message is sent, especially since we called up Grant already

      • Hax

        Couldn’t agree more. That’s why I’m curious what’s really going on. Not that I’m suggesting some sort of major mystery or anything. Hopefully he kicks ass and stays up regardless. I think we’re a better team with Zibanejad centering our third line and playing at his best.

        • Tooks

          Until Pageau is healthy, then who goes down? Its been a very weird couple of days. This whole ZBad AHL thing is weird.

    • LeafsSux

      We need OFFENSE is why ZBAD was called up… Hopefully he will spark the team with some. Im not sure why Grant was called up other than his faceoff ability.. Hoffman deserves a call as well. Hopefully soon. I see the lack of scoring woes continue tonight but hope im proven wrong. Go Sens Go!!

  • A-O

    I’m really looking forward to this game. It has the potential to be an epic matchup if the SENS can rally together and beat Alfie. With this being our first against Detroit, and the Alfie shenanigans, this could be a rivalry defining moment for years to come. Great for the sport!

    —Alfie rant———–
    I know a lot of you are okay with the Alfie situation, but I am not and doubt I will be.

    I agree it is time to move on, but it doesn’t mean I have to give him the respect and appreciation that I once had for him. He made his choice. He chose Stanley over legacy. If he actually wins the cup, do you think anyone will care in a year or two? Just another name on a pretty full cup. To have your number raised in CTC. That is legacy, and truly something accomplished. He made a selfish choice, and I am okay with that, but I hope he knows what the true cost was. The Alfie I knew would not buy a cup, but rather earn it all on his own. The Alfie I knew is gone…
    —Alfie rant————

    Go Sens Go!

    • SensChirp

      A quality rant but I don’t entirely agree. His name and number will still be raised at the CTC when his playing career is done. He did not choose the Cup over legacy.

      He chose respect over legacy.

      • A-O

        A fair choice I suppose, but still selfish, as he admitted. This city’s fans have given him plenty of respect over the years… and a fair share of criticism I suppose.

        —–How Alfie burned me story… indirectly——–
        Last year, season opener I was in line at Scotiabank Place with my new and awesome Alfredsson ‘C’ jersey. Being a cheap bastard, I talked myself out of it, got out of line and grabbed a Spezza ‘A’ instead, thinking it would last me longer. Boy was I wrong!

        My buddy got a new Spezza ‘C’ this year and laughed at my old ‘A’ jersey. I will have my revenge!
        —–How Alfie burned me story… indirectly——–

        • Tooks

          Just have the “A” removed and add the “C”, will cost you $3.99

          • A-O

            Sold!

        • Hax

          I will give you the $5 to change the A to a C. Jesus.

          • A-O

            A bad story apparently. Sorry!

        • Tooks

          Oh and just so you know, at our home opener I still saw plenty of 11 jerseys everywhere. No shame in wearing the teams all time best player.

          • A-O

            Also makes for a good Halloween costume!
            kidding :) That’s what my Heatley jersey is for

      • SENSible_Fan

        Have to disagree Chirp… he chose HIS respect over the fans’ respect. I would love for someone to ask Alfie point blank… what would you prefer, to see your name on the Cup or hung at the CTC? You can say his legacy will remain but that legacy is no longer unanimous amongst Sens fans… only to Alfie’s fans.

      • Sandy

        It most definitely is there for the fans… but is it for Melnyk?

    • Alcatraz

      Alfie will get his number raised to our rafters. If we don’t it would be a disgrace, and the organization would be a disgrace

      1 bad summer does not ruin 18 years with the club

      Hell, If Montreal can retire Patrick Roy number………….

      • A-O

        I hope that the Sens organization is as classy as you think. Lately I’ve had my doubts. What can I say, my trust has been shaken, but I’ll still pray to the hockey gods each night.

        • Sandy

          Not with Melnyk at the helm… He holds grudges…

    • Tooks

      Every players dream is to win the Stanley Cup… Retired jerseys and other accolades comes 2nd. He has done everything he could here but wasnt able to bring a Cup home in the window he had (2005-2007). Its the only thing he has left to chase and doesnt have much time. Your dellusional if you think Alfie could of won it here this year or next year. And yes it was selfish, he said it himself, he gave 18 years of his life to this club without asking any questions and going beyond what a player should normally do.

      If you understand hockey and its politics, this aint the first time it happened and wont be the last. Roy, Bourque all still loved and jersey hanged in their old buildings. Same with Alfie, his jersey will hang at CTC.

      • SENSible_Fan

        Only problem with that fairy tale is that he had the option of playing the season here and decide at trading deadline whether the team had a better shot at winning the Cup or with a team of his choosing. Fans would have accepted that temporary departure. As it is, he let money, his ego and his view of the team/organization define the last year of his legacy… the one people tend to remember the most. It can be repaired but after listening to his interview the other day, sounds like he will have more to say in the future that may not be all too kind. Not sure this episode is as over as most of you wish.

      • C.J.

        Lol you think it’s delusional for a fan to think we could win the cup this year or next? What kind of true fan says that?? hahaha, we should make a friendly wager where if the sens do win this year or next, you have to post only positive comments for the entire following season!

    • Carrai

      Another name on a pretty cup?? ANOTHER NAME ON A PRETTY CUP?? That’s it – hand in your citizenship at once and remove yourself to El Salvador immediately!!

    • MethotToMyMadness

      I can’t argue with someone’s rank, that is your choice and feelings. Everyone see’s the Alfie situation different. But I do have a question.

      As a kid, playing hockey in your driveway, on the street with friends, or on the ice… did you not have visions of a game 7, OT shooting the game winner and raising Lord Stanley over your head? I know I sure did. And most kids who follow Hockey have had this vision too. Not many have dreams of your name and number raised in a roof, albeit cool as hell. Just saying that Alfie has the same dream every NHL player has, winning the cup. That’s why they play the games.

      If your going to be made at him, be made that he choose Detroit over Ottawa to win that cup. Now that’s something you can choose to disrespect him for. Just saying.

  • Robert Cyr

    Hey Chirp,

    Will you be confirming the Sens’ line combinations and as well,
    the defense pairings, and starting goalie very soon ??

    Snoopy Senior

  • laffin681021

    Hearing that Wiercioch might be a healthy scratch tonight

    • SensChirp

      Strange, right?

      • Tooks

        Corvo in?

        • Hax

          Yup. Pageau, Kassian and Wiercioch all scratched

          • SensChirp

            A guess at the pairings above but did not see anything official from the morning skate. Will be interesting to see how MacLean lines ‘em up.

          • The Apostle

            Man, that defence makes me want to check out which blueliners are UFA at the end of this season.

      • laffin681021

        Indeed it is

    • Hax

      Odd but I’m okay with keeping Patty hungry and working hard. He’s seemed fine to me but the only way to get him at a level where our “twin towers” of Cowen and Wiercioch are the best second pair in the league might be to keep the pressure on.

      Trust PMac.

      Just hope he’s not hurt.

      • A-O

        A bird’s eye view has a way of motivating players. Here’s hoping Patty comes back on a mission!

  • Tooks

    Don Brennan ‏@SunDoniB 2m
    Ottawa scratches tonight are Pageau, Kassian and, for the first time this season, Wiercioch #sens

  • Tooks

    Don Brennan ‏@SunDoniB 10m
    Craig Anderson starts in goal tonight for Senators #sens

  • Tooks

    Haha classic Duthie!
    James Duthie ‏@tsnjamesduthie 1h
    OTT/DET 7:30et TSN. Should be emotional as Joe Corvo returns to the state where he went to college! Oh and there’s that Alfie thing too.

  • SenaWalrus

    I’m liking that line up… except for the lack of PW46. Could just be his turn or a chance for him to learn from “above”…

  • Jacques

    Anxious to see Grant on the WING! That 3rd line could still be better , but anyhow , the right move will be made soon enough!

  • Tooks

    I do prefer Grant to Greening on that 3rd line, Grant bangs more and has more of an offensive touch.

    • A-O

      4th line can do some damage too if your not careful.
      Anyone else anxious to see Corvo? lol

    • Senut

      Jesus tooks ! check the stats before you post something like that
      people might mistakenly think you know something.

  • marco colombi

    Im liking our line up too , what Im not is who we are playing . 2 cups in the year 2000 and up , two more in the 90′s . DRW are a huge team , we are just GETTING STARTED BOYS .

    let BM and PMAC work

    yup

  • Kielbasa

    I’m not sure why all the drooling and love for Alfie right now. At the moment he plays for the opposition. He chose to leave. Until he retires, he shouldn’t be getting chants and praise as much as he has in here. Sorry…just my opinion. When they hang his number when he retires, I will cheer him on, until then, I hope Neil lays him out.
    If the Sens play the way they have over the course of the first 8 games, this is going to be a blood bath. I really hope Maclean and the coaching staff have whipped these boys into shape. The way they have played reflects nothing of that fight from last season. Their is nothing pesky or fearless about this team right now. Time to give fans and themselves something to cheer for.

    • The Apostle

      I don’t think wanting to see him laid out and celebrating him have to be mutually exclusive. I am all for the sens playing him as they would any other member of the opposition, but when he returns to Ottawa in December I think a video montage and a show of gratitude for what he did is appropriate. If we can do it for Redden and Fisher, we can do it for Alfredsson.

      But, up until the December game, and for the rest of the season after that I agree, he’s nothing more than a player playing on a different team.

    • Senators Pundit

      Hey, look what happened to Peyton on Sunday, the fans gave him a huge heartfelt ovation before the game and then he came out to play his worst game of the season. I say we cheer the hell outta Alfie pre-game, get inside his head, make him regret his decision, then come out guns blazing.

      That way we look classy as a fanbase, and hopefully get Alfie’s mind off being the consummate 2-way badass he is.

      • RUSH RLZ

        Yeah maybe we continue the 11:11 countdown, but maybe chant his name backwards instead and really fuck with his mind.

        EIFLA! EIFLA! EIFLA!

        • Go Sens Go

          Better still clap when the montage comes on and then do the 19:19 spezza chant. Show Alfie what he is missing.

  • Robert Cyr

    Since we do not have a Confirmed Lineup, here is a possible lineup
    Michalek – Spezza – Conacher
    MacArthur – Turris – Ryan
    Greening – Smith – Neil
    Grant – Zibanejad- Condra

    Methot – Karlsson
    Cowen – Gryba
    Phillips – Corvo

    Anderson
    Lehner

    GO SENS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Snoopy Senior

    • C.J.

      I feel like I’ve seen this possible lineup somewhere else…

  • hq8

    grant on 3rd line to provide Zib Faceoff cover? i feel this is listed incorrectly as Zib’s wingers suggest that his line will be the 4th line. Maclean used the Smith line a lot in the EDM game.
    guys, given Zibanejad’s wingers tonight, keep your expectations low. what I would have been interested in seeing is them playing Zib as a winger with Turris or Spezz and leaving Grant to center the 4th line. something line this:
    MM9-Spezz-Conacher
    Zib-Turris-Ryan
    Macarthur-Smith-Greening
    Neil-Grant-Condra
    OR
    MM9-Spezz-Zib
    Conacher-Turris-Ryan
    Mac-Smith-Greening
    Neil-Grant-Condra
    OR
    Ryan-Spezz-Zib
    MM9-Turris-Conacher
    Mac-Smith-Greening
    Neil-Grant-Condra
    OR
    i dont know anymore….

    • Tooks

      You really think Mac would get pushed down for Zib…I think not. Mac has been playing so well, he’s earned it, I like Zib too but he aint playing anything but 3rd or 4th line tonight.

  • Aaron 2.0

    I don’t really get scratching Wiercioch. Granted, he needs to be stronger in the defensive corners. But, for me, the bigger concern has been with his partner, specifically the positional play of Cowen. I truly believe in Cowen. He’s an important piece long-term. But for tonight, a Cowen-Gryba pairing is scary.

    Those forward lines look much, much improved. It’s amazing how adding (or subtracting) one important cog can really change how lines look on paper.

    • Robert Cyr

      Because Wiercioch is a Left Handed defenceman, it is not easy for any player
      to play on opposite side to his shooting side.

      Therfore Gryba is RH, and is better suited to play on Right Side.

      Snoopy Senior

      • Aaron 2.0

        I hadn’t considered the left vs. right matching aspect. They still scare me though. Here’s hoping they bring their best games tonight.

    • Tooks

      Fuck ya no kidding, Cowen and Gryba, arguably our slowest defenders in terms of foot speed vs a speedy and deceptive Detroit forward group, its not gonna be pretty.

      I can see it now, Datsyuk making highlight of the Night on those 2.

      • Aaron 2.0

        Yeah, that was exactly the same image I had when I saw the pairing (Datsyuk highlight real with those two on the ice). I suspect Snoopy Senior is right about the left vs. right matching thing. MacLean has talked about the issue in the past. They scare me though. I think Anderson will need to be on his game tonight to have a chance to win (Detroit is always phenomenal in their own barn).

    • Sandy

      The entire defense has to play better.. especially the last few games trying to get out of their zone. Same goes for the forwards.

  • hq8

    as some had already complained about it here after the EDM game, Maclean basically picks out PW46′s hockey sense as a driver for scratch

  • Alcatraz

    Im anxious to see Grant+Zib work together. They are probably gunna play like rockets being launched, because they both dont want to be sent back down. Condra should compliment them well

    3-2 Sens win goals from Macarthur, Karlsson and Grant

    • Tooks

      I took DET to win by 2…Watch the Sens play like beasts and screw me over!
      I’m gonna go with 4-2 DET.

  • NickofTime

    Alfie’s gone, we move on & cheer for the guys who are here. I expect when he returns for his first game in Ottawa which I have tickets for he’ll get some sort of show & gift at the beginning & after an ovation it’s game on. I’ll respectfully clap & then cheer for my team, same as I have done for Chara, Fisher & Kelly.

    Hopefully, Pageau joins SDC down in Bingo soon. Also hope Stone recovers from his shoulder injury soon so he can replace Condra. I’m a little surprised that Grant isn’t playing centre & Zibanejad wing. PM seems to like so far any way three lines ….. Michalek, Spezza & Conacher; MacArthur, Turris & Ryan; Greening, Smith & Neil. It’s now up to the guys that are left to create that 4th line he is desperately looking for. I don’t like Condra with Grant & Zibanejad but a Zibanejad – Grant – Stone line would be interesting to watch.

    • Sandy

      It’s should be about the crest on the front and not the name on the back — that we cheer for the Sens..

      • Tooks

        Alfie was the crest! The Sens are his identity!

  • ReleaseTheKarlsson

    Those lines look WAY better than the ones we have been rolling with, particularly with the bottom 6. Sitting Kassian opens up a spot to allow for some skill to go along side Zbad and actually give him a chance. But sweet fuck, sit Gryba and play Wiericoch, this makes no sense.

    Also, playing Alfie tonight will be weird, but December 1st will be the big one.

  • Sandy

    Hoping for a win.. But if they can’t beat the Oilers at home… how do they beat the Wings on the road — who are a superior team to the Oilers…
    The Sens haven’t played well.. Something is missing (and I don’t mean Alfie). Something is just not right…

    • hq8

      because every game is a new game and a new start – until obviously mid-november lol

  • A-Train

    We often talk about players needing to follow-up a big season with expectations raised, but how about the coach?

    Maclean was universally (well, minus Habs i guess) lauded as a genius last season. Right now? I think a lot of us are scratching our heads at some of the line combos and roster moves. Add all the penalties, the poor special teams and bad possession stats and….well, well see how the rest of the year goes.

    • boom

      That’s a fair point. Someone asked me last season if I liked MacLean, and i said I liked his results. I can’t say i often agree with his line-up decisions, but I can’t argue with his success…until now, perhaps. It’s early yet, though.

      • Hax

        VERY early. Fine to discuss the combos as we often do here but it’s way to early to start thinking that a .500 record through 8 games somehow negates winning the Jack Adams.

        • boom

          No, you’re right. And the fact that he won the Adams despite the fact that i often disagreed with his decisions is further proof that it’s a good thing it’s not me behind the bench (or I’d guess, any of us)

          • Alcatraz

            Speak for yourself! haha

            In all honesty he’s a great coach who knows how to develop players and bring the most out of everyone. Truth be told last year it was our goaltending that won us a playoff birth not maclean. he did a great job but our goaltending was unreal.

            This year our goaltending is slowly regressing back to normal in terms of svp. We are still good in that regard but not as exceptional as last year. Ottawa is definately a team that needs a good first period to play well and unfortunately we haven’t had many good first periods this year

          • Tooks

            Ya same with our PK, people thought and still do think Condra and Co. are the reason we lead the league. silly aint it.

            Anderson/Lehner were the reason our PK was so high.

            Condra still on the PK but our goalies are human this year and look, our PK is lower half of the League.

          • sprucesens

            yeah, having said that, our pk has been nearly the same year in, and year out. 81-84% roughly. With or without condra, Anderson, lehner, bishop. It is what it is.

            http://espn.go.com/nhl/statistics/team/_/stat/special-teams/sort/penaltyKillPct

          • Tooks

            Well except for last year where our PK was a League high 88% due to the fact that Andy and Lehner drank bottles of Dear Antler Spray….

          • sprucesens

            yes, but our pk “opportunies” as it were, has been 2nd worst over the past 4 years. We’ve taken way more penalties than most other teams in that time span. Regardless, it has never really dropped to league low percentages, with or without our “excellent” pk players, and has only reached the top of the league when all 3 of our goalies were posting over 93% save percentage, which I think says more than the 3-4 guys on the ice. Aside from last year, our PK has always been right in the middle, suggesting that nobody on our team is incredible on the PK, as compared to other teams PK units.
            So arguing how certain PK players are extremely vital because they play this role so well, and basically have this as their only real credential to our team, doesn’t have much merit, as every other team is right about par with us, and the best teams have players that can excel in other situations, like offense.
            Look at the teams that have been winning cups. They roll with 3 scoring lines and one checking line. The 3rd line is usually less of a scoring line, but still have decent point getters, that have size and can be used to PK.

          • Alcatraz

            Percentage is somewhat misleading since our PK opportunities is through the roof. We take so many penalties that 2 good games of PK will bring us up 5% points at least lol

          • Alcatraz

            bingo bango bongo
            also our defense has to be the worst at getting the puck out and moving it around on the PK. Phillips, Gryba, Cowen all have hands of stone. Methot is our only good “Pker” Our PK would be better if PW was out there with Methot and then Phillips/Cowen

          • A-Train

            Oh it’s certainly too early. Also: I’m never sure how much a coach REALLY has to do with winning.

            That said: a lot of the areas where the team is currently struggling are often put down — fairly or unfairly — to coaching.

            It’ll be interesting to see how Maclean and his players react to negativity and criticism if the team continues to struggle.

    • Tooks

      Ya, just recently, his decisions have been a bit weird. I havent had to kick my dog over coaching decisions in awhile. PMac has done a helluva job with the team he inherited.

  • Sandy

    Off topic… but curious if there are any rumours as to what the settlement was between Heatley & Melnyk.

    • Hax

      Next to nothing. I can’t imagine they settled with Heatley giving back less than $500k of the $4M. Given how long it went on I’d guess it was $1M or so but that’s a complete guess. Even if it was only $500k it opens the door for teams to try and reclaim bonuses they feel were earned in bad faith.

      • Alcatraz

        agreed but the contention in this case is that Melnyk paid out 4 million only because he was blocked from getting out of it.

        Chicken before the egg debate:
        1- Ottawa gave power of NTC so they are forced to pay reprecautions
        2- Heatley demanded trade then refused actaul trade

        Somewhere in there the mediator will have an opinion. Legally speaking I think Heatley has the most leverage.

        Since we haven’t yet heard from loudmouth idiot Melnyk, something tells me it was somewhat favorable to him, so like you said I bet you he got back like 1 million

        • Tooks

          LOL, a silent Melnyk is a good Melnyk!!
          And didnt the Sens try and trade him to a team not on his list…I’m pretty sure EDM wasnt on his list, so the decline was legit.

          • boom

            I think any player should lose his rights to veto a trade (based on their list) as soon as he demands to be traded. I think that is the “spirit” of the no trade agreement.

          • Alcatraz

            I think every fan would agree, but no way the NHLPA would ever give up that negotiating power.
            Because should the “demand” a trade and lose out on the NTC, players will just start giving up mercifully on the ice forcing the orgs hand anyways. Heatley is a rare occurance. Take someone like Gaborik who clearly fell on deaf ears in NYR, sucked, and ultimately accepted a trade willingly to CLB who wasn’t on his list

          • Hax

            The other issue with that is “demanding a trade” isn’t a formal or legal thing. If the player tries to sit out something that’s different and there are legal actions the team could take (likely even written into the contract directly) including nullifying the NTC. But when it’s the off season and a player “asks to be traded” the team can say “No, fulfill your contract”.

            The problem then becomes are you risking a problem in your locker room with a player like that. Pretty much “yes” so you give in and trade him.

            The real answer is to not give out full NTC to begin with but it’s one more way to entice a player to sign with you instead of the other guy.

          • Alcatraz

            I dont think he had a list? I’m pretty sure he had a full no trade clause then demanded a trade. I think the whole list thing occurred when they relaized Heatley was going to control his own destiny so they said, ok who can we speak to

        • Hax

          I think their “case” was that Dany (allegedly) allowed Murray to broker a deal with the Oilers but then refused to waive. So did he give enough of a green light that exercising his NTC at the 11th hour constitutes a renege? Was it even calculated to force Ottawa to pay the $4M to save the Sharks from paying it (since the Oilers were willing to)? The fact that they settled makes me think it was a mess of he-said-he-said and both sides were tired of chasing it (so in a way Melnyk wins).

          • Alcatraz

            The counter argument would be that Heatley gave Murray enough time to “broker” a deal with the league, and that it was Ottawa’s fault for only asking Heatley once with little time to spare regarding the bonus and July 1st deadline. Heatley could easily say “I had a NTC, and I gave him a couple of weeks. He only ever presented oen option to me, therefore I felt I was allowed to say no.”

          • Hax

            Agreed. And for the sake of argument the Sens would counter by saying they asked if they could talk to the Oilers and Dany said yes then.

            In hindsight, they should have gotten something in writing from his camp first that prevented him from vetoing an Edmonton trade. If he wasn’t willing to provide that then don’t bother with the Oilers.

            It’s not like he would care what the return on the deal was (realistically anyway, I guess he might only want to go if he gets to play with Penner or something silly like that – but it could be part of what he gives the Sens).

  • Tooks

    Hey since nobody mentioned this yet, thought I would…lol
    Anyone see Kessel’s hat trick vs the Ducks, he pulled a Spezza and brough them back from a game they had no business being in.

    It pains me to say this but the Leafs do look very good. Dangerous team to play against!

    • Hax

      Bored? Haven’t stirred up shit in a while?

      Sigh.

      • Tooks

        Well I thought the site needed a little fizzle, seems dead, this should bring out the masses!

        • Alcatraz

          I’ll get behind the Kessle praise just because of what he has gone through with that media to produce and respond the way he has is admirable

          Right now Seguin+Hamilton for Kessle looks pretty good

          But Bozak, now there is a player who is way over hyped

          • Hax

            Don’t forget Jared Knight (I think he was the other pick right)?

      • Sandy

        The Leafs are 1st in the division and have 8 more points than the Sens.. albeit they have played 2 more games. The Sens sit 6th in the division.
        In the conference.. Toronto is 2nd and Ottawa is 9th…
        Numbers don’t lie.
        One of the differences is the Leafs power play is tied for 1st in the NHL with Washington.. the Sens are 24th in PP.. The Leafs also have the most PP time in the NHL (for a truculent team — that is hard to believe). The Sens are dead last in power play time..
        The Sens have the worst PP-PK time in the NHL with -29:20.
        The Leafs scorers have no trouble putting a puck in the net… where the Sens a lot of nights struggle to score..
        I don’t like it either… but it is what it is..

        • Hax

          Just because they’re 1st in the division doesn’t mean they don’t suck. The leafs could win 5 cups in a row and they’d still suck because they’re the leafs.

          The term “suck” doesn’t just mean a poor team or a poor record. It’s a holistic term that also encompasses a team with a long history of self-centered players, arrogant fans, undue media attention and bloated management.

          When someone (particularly a Sens fan) says “leafs suck” they’re not talking about skill, points or trophies. They just suck on a molecular level. It’s a universal constant like the speed of light or the force of gravity.

          • Sandy

            Put it that way.. then yes the Leafs suck, suck, suck….

          • sprucesens

            lol, favorite leaf bashing comment yet

          • The Apostle

            Homer Simpson told me that they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

          • GoSensGoEh

            I liked Sandy’s comments, but this is much more fun, lol.

          • Mr Hockey

            This is the post of the day. Well played sir!

        • GoSensGoEh

          Honest and well said.

    • boom

      I have said it before – their top six is as good as it gets. And, I really don’t get why Bozak gets as little respect as he does.

    • Hax

      Fact: Kessel plays for the Leafs
      Fact: Leafs suck
      Ipso Facto: Kessel sucks

      In all honesty, yes, he’s one of the better players in the NHL and an underrated play maker to boot. But I have no desire to say anything good about any leaf.

      • Tooks

        Fair enough, I’m not a Leafs fan, although I do find their style to be very exciting, watching more and more recently. I’ve always like Kessel’s game, pure speed and great shot!

        And ya I agree Boom, Bozak is gonna be one hell of a player. Shades of Krejci there.

        • MrSkullhead

          Hate to say it, but, I grew up a MTL fan prior to the Sens landing in Ottawa and early in the Sens’ existance would cheer for them if they happened to make the playoffs and the Sens didn’t. But, over the last few years, I have slowly gained more respect for the leafs and MTL has falling far, far out of favor as far as CDN teams go.

          They Leafs are a fun team to watch… which, as those words escape my fingertips, I want to vomit.

        • Jacques

          Dream on.

    • http://www.Merchaholic.ca Merchaholic

      Seen it on NHL.com. Shook my head in disbelief.

    • Jacques

      Still haven’t found Leafs chirp hey?? So we don’t have to listen to you gargle every day with kessel’s balls In your mouth!

  • Miguel

    Really aprhensive about the game tonight.
    For unknown reasons this team has changed its complexion and is not playing pesky but trying more to be Sexy, with too many finesse moves, and not enough ugly goals
    We in Sens Army all too well know what happens when Alfie rises to the occaision, and I have a bad feeling that we will see a 20ish year old Alfie out there today, with added incentive to win. And with Detroit playing better, and playing in front of the hometown faithful, our boys will have more than their hands full.
    Also I am confused by PM and his stubborness to keep playing pluggers that cannot get you points.
    To me it is becoming more evident that Kassian cannot skate well enough to be in our lineup. If you insist on playing him, Smith or Neil must come out.
    In fact I am not more of the opinion that even with Kassian out, we still only need one of Smith or Neil, as we have enough team toughness with Cowen, Gryba, and one of Neil or Smith.
    We need to get Pesky, not Penalties.
    Go Sens Go!!!

  • SenaWalrus

    Hey since nobody mentioned this yet, thought I would…lol

    Anyone see that Alex Ovechkin tallied twice en route to a shootout win or that Jonathan Toews tipped in a pass from Duncan Keith or that Brendan Gallagher stole the puck and scored top-shelf?

    Oh, right… this is a SENS blog so who cares about any of that… or Kessel’s hat trick…

  • Mexican Baby Jesus

    I highly doubt Leafs keep this up. How many great starts have they had in the past 8 years only to fall out of playoff position by January? If they had a top center I would be much more scared of them. Their shitty play and lucky bounces will catch up to them over 82

    • Aaron 2.0

      I’m pretty sure they are a playoff team this year, especially with how week the other division is. They are a top 5 in our division (and I think our division will send 5 teams to the playoffs), unless something very drastic happens to that team.

      • Aaron 2.0

        I don’t think they are particularly well suited for the playoffs though.

  • Mike

    i think it is time to admit that the Leafs are better than we thought they were and are. They are certainly better than the Sens right now and they scored 4 goals against the Ducks but only gave up 2 when this team played the Ducks they only scored 1 goal and gave up 4 so who is the better team right now? I hate to say it but the Leafs are better right now, I am hoping it is going to be a good game but, i don;t think it will be especially with the way the Sens have been playing, i mean they cant even beat the Oilers so what chance do they have against the Red Wings. Alfie is going to come out hungry tonight would it not be ironic if he comes out and gets a hat trick the score is going to be 5-2 Redwings with the way the Sens are playing right now, i could be wrong though come on Sens lets get this turned around!!!!

    • Sensturion

      Leafs put up 4 and allowed 2 against the Ducks while we put up 1 while the Ducks put up 4. Toronto is thus the better team? With that logic, how do you explain the 5-4 shootout victory they had against Ottawa? In my eyes, They rather equal. Is Toronto as bad as we hoped they’d be? Unfortunately not. However, Ottawa has arguably had the tougher schedule thus far. Toronto hasn’t completed the dreaded West Coast/California/Phoenix trip yet.

  • Righteous Smoke

    Holy F*!K CHIRP! What has happened to your site???? Its a FREAKING GAMEDAY AGAINST ALFIE AND THE WINGS and all I see are comments about how good the Leafs are!!!! Did I die and wake up in HELL! WTF!
    GO SENS GO!!
    It’s gonna be a classic pesky 2-1 win!
    Zack Smith with the game winner!

    • SensChirp

      Ya I don’t know what the hell was happening there but thanks for bringing everyone back to reality!

  • Mr Hockey

    I’m calling it now. Zibs gonna have a huge game!

  • Robert Cyr

    Amazing that many hours ago, the lineup I had posted on this site, was the exact same as Senschirp’s !!

    The only difference was, I had line 3 as line 4, and vice-versa !!

    Snoopy Senior

  • SensChirp

    Predictions for tonight, folks?

    • Aaron 2.0

      A very winnable game for us, I think. Always tough to play Detroit in their barn though, especially since they have lost the last 2. I’ll give us the edge, 3-2 Sens.

    • Mr Hockey

      4-2 Sens. Zibby, Spezza x2, and Neil. #11 with one assist for the wings

      • Mr Hockey

        I mean 5-2… with Gryba. yikes

  • Mike

    I was not trying to be negative only realistic, I know the season for the Sens but with the way they are playing right now. I cannot see them beating the Red Wings

  • Mr Hockey

    Does anyone know of a site that streams games in hd? I find firstrow always have crappy feeds.

  • Mike

    Sorry typo, I know their play will improve however like, I said they will most likely not win tonight way too undisciplined and you cannot give a team like the Red wings that time and space with the puck you will get burned

  • Colin

    Really hope the Sens are ready to play from the opening whistle. Too much emphasis on #11 will burn them. Play smart and stay out of the friggin box!

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    MIKA.

  • Aaron 2.0

    I was just about to say Gryba having a tough game, but then he scores. Zibanejad line looking good to start.

  • Deadly

    Bet there were many Gryba comments teed up.

  • Aaron 2.0

    Team looks ready to play. No penalties yet! Should be a fun game to watch with these two possession minded team.

  • Senators Pundit

    That goal was all MIKA

  • hq8

    if conacher is playing with smith, who is on 1st line then?

    • jasonontheoldsenschirp

      Was just about to ask this. Anybody know the line combos?

      • SensChirp

        Seemed like Greening was up there last shit.

        • jasonontheoldsenschirp

          Whoa there chirp. watch the cussin lol

          • hq8

            yea greening is it. i think its due to the size that greening brings, keeps spezza happy lol

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    SPEZZ SNIPE.

  • Deadly

    Moving feet causing penalties.

    • jasonontheoldsenschirp

      This.

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    Another PP. One more guys c’mon!! Make Alfie feel it for leaving us! Let’s bury these Chicken Wings

  • Aaron 2.0

    4 responsible lines that have puck possession. I like what i’m seeing. Turris is the real deal!

  • hq8

    has alfie even touched the puck yet. they better not poop only their fourth lead of the season. they were up two against toronto too. this PP let make it 3-0 and put the wings to SLEEEEEEPPP

  • SensFanInMTL

    This is phuckin awesome.

  • hq8

    im not watching the tsn feed, but somewhere i hope ray ferraro is getting knots in his stomach watching the sens 2-0.

    • Colin

      3-0 Hahahaha!

      • hq8

        i know!!!!!!!

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    HOLY SHIT WHATA SNIPE BY BOBY RYAN

  • Colin

    Goodnight Mr. Howard

  • Aaron 2.0

    Just awesome. Now, the team has to stay on the gas, and continue to be responsible with the puck. No more mental lapses for long periods of the game.

  • SensFanInMTL

    Man the Grand Rapid Griffins look terrible out there.

  • Aaron 2.0

    Well that was stupid. What’s Greening doing?

  • Colin

    Greening has to know that if he even farts at a Red Wing, he will be penalized. Stupid

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    andy….

  • Aaron 2.0

    Gryba with two goals tonight, 1 for each team. Come on Greening!

  • karlssens

    At school currently, is the score indicative of the play?

    • Aaron 2.0

      I’d say yeah. Detroit coming on just now.

  • hq8

    this is where it gets interesting. the wings are going to come hard and still a lot to play. sens need to get that lost marker back!

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    If the Sens continue to try to stay out of the box like they have mostly so far, keep the play five on five, and try to draw penalties they’ll be okay. If they digress back to their penalty taking ways you might as well give the game to the wings. They will find a way to stay in the game. Like all of our games this season: stay out of the box= win.

  • SensFanInMTL

    Man Gustavsson used to be so awful against us when he used to play with Toronto. Let’s score 4 more.

  • Aaron 2.0

    Wow Corvo. Simply stunning…

    • karlssens

      What happened?

      • Aaron 2.0

        Just a series of not being able to control the puck 3 or 4 times in a row. He’s actually been fine tonight.

  • Aaron 2.0

    Turris continues to be our best player! He never stops skating.

  • Aaron 2.0

    A lot of empty seats in Motown.

  • Tooks

    Wow what a great f’ing start, only bad thing is we suck a keeping leads…Here’s to hoping Maclean doesnt sit on that 2 goal lead…worst in hockey for a reason!

    What a f’ing shot by Spezza and Ryan! wow, I’dsay we got 2 legit snipers in our top 6!!! holy smokes!

    • Aaron 2.0

      Spezza is looking more comfortable every game now.

  • karlssens

    On the bus home now.. Hopefully I get to see the third.. Almost wanted to skip an exam to watch the game!!

  • Aaron 2.0

    Boys talking Donnie Darko on TSN. Just makes me think of the whole smirfs conversation in that movie.

  • JGP44

    Powerplay… who got the penalty? Was it well earned, or a weak call?

    • JGP44

      Oh Ryan… What did he do?

    • hq8

      good call, ryan, high stick. PK good though

      • JGP44

        Yep, can’t argue with a successful PK

  • hq8

    SPEZZA WITH TWO GOALS ALREADY. IS THIS THE YEAR HE LIGHTS IT UP AGAIN. FINGERS CROSSED!

  • Aaron 2.0

    Spezza!!! So much determination doo

  • Deadly

    Chirp,unbelievable first inning..and period

    • SensChirp

      Right?! I was even able to tune in just in time to see the Napoli hit during the intermission.

  • SensFanInMTL

    I want to say Detroit is struggling but we really look great out there. Defensively we are doing much better, the turnovers are minimal to none and we’re pumping goals. I can’t remember the last time we even beat Detroit.

  • Jacques

    I’ve been critical of the way Spezza has played in the past but this is what we all envision when we think of this guy’s skill set. He can dominate games when he brings it. I like the way he’s playing right now.

    • Aaron 2.0

      There will probably always be times when a Spezza puck decision will drive you close to mad, but I think it just took him some time coming back from injury this year. Back surgery is pretty crazy surgery!

  • T K

    The game is going so smoothly, it almost feels surreal

    • Tooks

      I know right, its like, are we playing so well or is Detroit playing like absolute shit…

  • JGP44

    nice, smith gave greening a few shots in the numbers… no call

  • hq8

    getting owned in the faceoffs but still winning the game……how do i explain that?

    • Tooks

      You dont, you giggle then run very fast the other way.

      • hq8

        ya i already did that …..especially because i was harping about sens bottom 6 faceoff struggles during each of their losses.

  • T K

    Everybody gets a goal tonight!

  • MikeS

    Seems like they wanted to prove alfie he was wrong.

  • Colin

    LOL @ TSN They were really looking forward to having Alfie and his new team beat the crap out of the struggling Senators. Cuthbert could hardly be less enthusiastic calling Ottawa goals.

  • hq8

    4 line scoring. yes. this is what we all waited for in the summer and for the first 8 games of this season.

    • jasonontheoldsenschirp

      And it happened when coach decided that “the best player play”. Kassian scratched, Mika plays…. hmmm. Maybe they should have done that sooner!

  • karlssens

    Don’t see Grant or Zib going down anytime soon.

  • T K

    Woohooo with that 2nd buffalo goal, I’ve got myself another hat trick on the NHL site (as long as Alfie doesn’t score)

  • SensFanInMTL

    This is ridiculous! Keep ‘em coming.

  • karlssens

    Detroit looks so flat!

  • karlssens

    But we do look great!! So happy right now :).

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    Great forecheck by Mika to draw the penalty, as well as a good defensive play before that. Kid is going to be a great 2-way C. Love to see him get more ice time. Too bad the PP units are set because he can really rip it on the half boards, too.

  • karlssens

    Bobby Ryan is off to a white hot start. 10 pts 9 games.

  • bluebuyyoo

    Looks like Alfie is getting his name on the score sheet

  • SensFanInMTL

    The time spent in the AHL was to try to hone Zibby’s craft. In Murray we absolutely trust.

  • MikeS

    Redwings broadcasters saying spezza looks like he should make team canada

  • hq8

    the best thing i have liked tonight is karlsson’s game. he went up against datsyuk and zetterberg and i thought he has played his best game this year and has been very aggressive about it too.

    also chris neil had a shift against alfie. no event.

    zib is having quite the shifts late in this game.

  • hq8

    kinda fitting though, zibanejad’s NHL debut was against the wings too i think.

  • T K

    Woo Hoo!

  • SensChirp

    That was realllllly enjoyable.

    • bluebuyyoo

      Couldn’t have gone much better

  • aegiszx

    You get a point, you get a point, EVERYONE GETS A POINT TONIGHT! WHOOO! (Except the Red Wings, of course!)

  • SensFanInMTL

    Hi Alfie.

  • Conor_smythe

    Great game for….. Everybody!

  • http://www.Merchaholic.ca Merchaholic

    All my Sens guys were decent tonight in my Yahoo pool. Ryan, Karlsson and Turris! Wooo!! I picked Turris off the waivers lol.

  • SensChirp

    Quick post game wrap up here! See y’all over there

    http://senschirp.ca/news/spezza-ryan-dominate-detroit/