Senators D Not Helping Cause

The Canadiens face the Senators in Ottawa on Saturday for the second weekend in a row. This will be the finale of back-to-back games for the struggling Sens, who are in Buffalo tonight.

They head into tonight’s game with a 1-4-1 record.  the same as New Jersey had prior to Thursday’s win in Montreal. But unlike the Devils, a talented club that had yet to find it’s (boring) rhythm, the Sens could be a team with some serious flaws. 

On Wednesday, GM Bryan Murray met with the local media, told them he was talking to other GMs about trades and in the words of Ken Warren of The Ottawa Citizen, was “brutally honest” about his club through six games, Warren summarizing it as, “They can’t defend. They can’t hit. They
can’t stop the puck from getting past their goaltenders.”


That sunny assessment has its roots in Sens the defence corps, which no longer includes Anton Volchenkov but does include Erik Karlsson, who had been impressive last year as a 19 year old rookie with strong skating and puckhandling.

When Filip Kuba went down with a broken leg in training camp, it disrupted coach Corey Clouston’s plan to play him again with Karlsson. So Clouston had to split up his projected veteran pair of Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips and move each of them with a younger defenceman. He’s been forced to constantly shuffle his pairings and that hasn’t worked too well.

Gonchar is often out against the other team’s top forwards but he and Karlsson are tied with a team-worst minus-4. Karlsson’s once-poised style of play has gone missing and he seems tentative compared to last year.

Wayne Scanlan wrote in The Citizen that Karlsson “has looked complacent, showing more of a sense of
entitlement than initiative” and wonders if Karlsson is out of shape.

Third-year defenceman Brian Lee has been so shaky that Murray recalled journeyman David Hale from the AHL this week.

Another youngster, third line center Peter Regin, hasn’t produced up to expectations either. He’s only got an assist in six games.

“In his discourse on Wednesday, Murray was arguably
tougher on his younger players than he was on his veterans, and there’s
a reason for that,” Scanlan wrote. “The veterans he expects to come around. The younger
guys he’s counting on to at least be the players they were last season,
otherwise there’s trouble right here in River City.”
Some of the veterans, of course, have underperformed as well and Alex Kovalev, as enigmatic as ever, is at the head of this list. He too has only one assist so far and Murray said he thinks Kovalev has not fully recovered from his April knee surgery. Kovalev didn’t agree with Murray, saying he thinks he’s skating fine.
Chris Neil has only two assists in six games.
The Senators power play at 2 for 24 is not much better than the
Canadiens, which is 1 for 20. Bruce Garrioch writes in The Ottawa Sun that Karlsson has been demoted from the first PP unit, replaced on the point by Daniel Alfredsson for tonight’s game.
*   *   *
Two of the concerns regarding the N.H.L returning to Winnipeg center on whether fans are willing to pay high ticket prices and if there is enough corporate support to make the team successful.
A pair of stories in the Winnipeg Sun suggest both could be non-issues.
Peter Friesen reports today that the paper contacted about one-third of the luxury suite holders at MTS Centre, and “17 of
the 25 executives we reached said they would renew their suites at our
predicted NHL price, which is triple the current rate.

“Three more said they’d reduce their portion of their suites but stay
involved, while three said they weren’t sure. Just two of the 25 said the high price tag would force them out of the

Freisen says the yearly cost of leasing a suite is expected to rise from an average
of around $60,000 to $180,000.

In another story, Friesen reported that in an online survey by the paper, 72 percent of the 410 repondents who answered the question said they are willing to pay at least $50 to see a single game, with
most saying they’d spend between $50 and $100.

The average price for a ticket in Edmonton is $50 and Friesen says the average projected price in Winnipeg would be between $50 and $60.

However, Rexall Place in Edmonton seats 16,839. The MTS Centre seats 15,015.

The fate of the Phoenix Coyotes is expected to include a return to Winnipeg if the complicated business arrangements to keep the team in Arizona, don’t work out favorably for the City of Glendale. The Winnipeg Free Press has a special online section that regularly tracks developments with the City, the NHL and the Coyotes.


  1. LA Loyalist says:

    I was shooting up in Muskoka once and it was raining so we couldn’t work, so the cops asked if we wanted to see Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn’s Victorian house.

    I said, um, “thanks, but that would be a ‘no'”

    They used to get quite a bump on the dollar about ten year ago. Don’t know if the trend will hold if the CDN stays so close to the U.S.


  2. LA Loyalist says:

    Bad news. Randy Quaid flunked the medical. He’s too tall.


  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Coaching staff on the Caps bench lets him take those shifts, Boudreau’s never tried to rein him in or anything, he’s just sent Ovechkin out there and said do what you like. Boudreau’s an AHL coach who just lets the boys run around. If Barry Trotz had that bench, even odds Ovechkin would have a Cup by now.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  4. TomNickle says:

    I wasn’t talking about interviews Robert.  Stamkos doesn’t take 3 minute shifts like Ovechkin.

    Know what kind of a message that sends to Ovechkin’s teammates when he does that?  

    One, that he doesn’t trust them to get the job done and two, that he doesn’t respect the coaching staff on his own bench.

  5. observer says:

    If Ottawa and Alfredson play like last night and/or the Habs show up the same way they did vs. Jersey and it will be just another Habs loss.

  6. Duracell3 says:

    ….and that’s exactly what happened, he got bigger and doesn’t get outskated and pushed off the puck all the time so he can use what he has.

  7. Exit716 says:

    I think the Ottawa Citizen is far more objective than either the Ottawa Sun or the Team 1200.

    What does it say about your fan base when 75 per cent of Pierre McGuire’s segment each morning is devoted to either the Habs or the Leafs?


  8. ZepFan2 says:

    Well technically since it’s a quote, you wouldn’t be actually cussing.

    I almost forgot about this exchange…

    “Hey, I hope you don’t mind, I got up a little early, so I took the liberty of milking your cow for you. [Takes a drink from the bucket]

    We don’t have a cow…..We have a bull.

    I’m gonna go brush my teeth now.”



    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  9. Bugs says:

    One of the best lines in the flick, agree. First one I thought of, actually.

    But as you know, don’t like to cuss, me; why I chose another.

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  10. ZepFan2 says:

    Yup, and who can forget those immortal words…

    “Run for the hills everybody, there’s a giant shit-cloud coming.”

    Shakespeare had nothing on the Farrelly brothers.


    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  11. Bugs says:

    Absolutely correct, Zeppy. Feel a little ashamed not to have mentioned it first.

    “Hey, you leave Miss Rebecca outta this, mister!”

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  12. ZepFan2 says:

    Don’t forget Kingpin.

    Nothing beats an Amish Randy Quaid. Except maybe a one-handed Woody Harrelson.


    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  13. TripleX says:

    “never underestimate your enemy”

    Sun Tzu, The Art of War



    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  14. showey47 says:

    weber scores for the dogs’,thats 5 goals (9 points) in 4 games and 1 period. Al’s getting destroyed 40-3

  15. punkster says:

    By the way are you folks going to make the Summit?

  16. TomNickle says:

    Never give your opponent too much respect is a mindset better suited for a hockey team.

  17. TomNickle says:

    If Bryan Murray’s goal has been to assemble the laziest team in NHL history, he’s doing a bang up job.

    I honestly think he signed Kovalev so that people wouldn’t realize how lazy Spezza is.

  18. punkster says:

    Great. Looking forward to seeing you Jason.

  19. notbigbird says:

    Sounds a lot like Montreal and other Canadian cities, I imagine.

  20. showey47 says:

    You better believe it.

  21. Rob D says:

    The evil part of me is rejoicing in the early season Sens woes. Perhaps in reaction to all the “go go Sens!” propaganda disguised as commentary that many prominent Ottawa media outlets put out all year round. There’s very little criticism or honest appraisals done of the Senators who, much like the Leafs, are usually characterized as “one player away” from a SC parade. Every rookie is a bust out star in waiting..the vets like Alfie are just going to be THAT much better and that experience will push them over the top, and the mngmt. team is the craftiest in the land.

    It’s sickening and compelling to listen to at the same time. It’s like listening to a right  wing radio wonder how much of the stuff they spew they actually believe and what is paid advertising for the Sens. The media relies on the Sens for so much and the Sens know the media will kowtow to them lest we risk losing the team. Rod Bryden and his minions always held the threat of leaving town over people here. And the media still seems afraid to rock the boat and call a spade a spade..the Sens just aren’t very good.

  22. habs001 says:

    last year we finished 23rd in goals is still early in the season but counting games so far today we are tied for 23rd in goals scored….it is very clear for us to make the playoffs we have to be very good in winning one goal games and scoring pp goals….we have 4 players who have shown they can score in the nhl regularly plecks,gion,camm and ak46…with the exception of eller it is pretty hard to make a case for any of the remaining forwards that they are no more than 1 goal every 10 game scorers…

  23. TomNickle says:

    I’ve decided that Duncan Keith is the best player in the NHL.

    Just my opinion and therefore harmless.  But for my money there is no better player in the league.

    Including Crosby and Ovechkin.

  24. B says:

    The PP will improve, especially when Markov returns. The good news is that they are 8th in 5-on-5 goals for (last season they finished 30th).

  25. 24 Cups says:

    Randy Quaid asks for tryout with Habs.  G&G hope he will be able to grab a top six spot at forward.

  26. habs001 says:

    alfredsson 3 goals….blues beat hawks 4-2

  27. 24 Cups says:

    Step aside, Rob.  I was all over Stamkos even before he played one NHL game.  Now you come in and try and steal my thunder.  Who do you think you are, Duncan Keith:-)


  28. 24 Cups says:

    My thoughts exactly, Dave. 

    If we can’t win this game……

  29. krob1000 says:

    Stammer got a hatty! still think he is your Rocket Richard winner this season….over under of 60…..I go over.

  30. punkster says:

    Good. The heat will be off them tomorrow…I hope. Maybe we catch them gloating, napping or just feeling a bit too cocky.

  31. punkster says:

    This is an unpaid, unsolicited and shameless plug for an truly timely event presently underway on the West Island. Just off Brunswick between St Jean and Sainte-Charles (very close to Saint-Charles).

    Last week one of our esteemed posters, JD, mentioned the unveiling of
    the annual Halloween display on his street. I took the opportunity to
    zip by there this evening and I highly recommend you do the same if you
    have the chance. Be sure to bring the kids and rest assured it will
    awaken the kid inside you as well.

    But be advised. As Count Floyd would say on Monster Chiller Horror Theatre: “Ooo-ooo very scary”

  32. 24 Cups says:

    Ottawa defeats Buffalo 4-2.

  33. TomNickle says:

    Over.  And I’ll do you one better.  Over 70.

    Not just because of his hot start.  But because he knows how to score from anywhere, not just that onetimer.


  34. Ayan_SB says:

    After being fired by the Bolts 2 years ago:

    “Steven is not ready for the NHL,” Melrose stated on the Fan 590.
    “Steven is going to be a good player…right now he’s just not strong
    enough physically to play against defencemen who are 6’3″ or 6’4″ that
    can skate as good as him.”

    Oh Barry Melrose LOL.

  35. Bryan says:

    31 12 4 18 23 41 20

    Bonus: 16

    You heard it here first


    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    Update, make that 15 goals for Gallagher indeed, you can see the future… Quick! What are the Lotto Super 7 numbers???


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Didn’t mean t! But the way he’s rolling who knows whan his goals are going to stop? You may have just been forseeing the future 🙂


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  38. Bryan says:

    Well now you just made me look foolish.

    I forgot CHL stats pages update in real time.


    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    14th in 14GP actually but hey, he’ll probably have one next game as well.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  40. Bryan says:

    Surprise, surprise.  Brendan Gallagher has his 15th goal in 15 games after two period in tonight’s game.


    The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  41. Bugs says:

    Tell it to Letterman; I’ve been tryin to get on his show for years!

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  42. SeriousFan09 says:

    Ovechkin so far has demonstrated the resilience of Messier in his career. Only missed 14 games in his first 5 NHL seasons (and 4 of those games were suspensions) , I know everyone says that style will get him into trouble but right now his frame is like granite.

    I like Ovie’s exuberant style when he scores, I think guys like Toews are class acts but this league with it’s bland interviews with most of the stars because they’re coached to give party lines… stars have so little to say it’s nice to see some colour in some of the characters.  It’s a bit weird when the most amusing NHL player is a journeyman enforcer and what he writes on his Twitter.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  43. Bugs says:


    Just makin sure y’all were payin attention is all.

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  44. Xtrahabsfan says:

    And the Academy Award for best written impersonation goes too Bugs…..:)

  45. HFX-HabFan says:

    Independence Day.

    “Independance” sounds like some two-step for old folks.

  46. Bugs says:

    Just because he did some bad movies doesn’t make’m a bad actor.

    Randy Quaid ROCKED in Independance Day. “Hello, boys! I’m baaaack!”


    Oh, and he was excellent in The Ice Harvest too.

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  47. Ayan_SB says:

    Bad American actor? I’m guessing you haven’t seen the movie “Real Time” with Randy Quaid as a hitman and Montreal’s own Jay Baruchel with a gambling problem, set in Hamilton, ON? Wonderful little film, Quaid’s acting was fantastic, including a very impressive Aussie accent.

  48. 24 Cups says:

    True that.  But my family still gets a kick out of watching Randy in Christmas Vacation every holiday season.  It’s stupid, but it sure beats visiting my sister-in-law:-)

  49. TomNickle says:

    I’ll take Stamkos for his longevity and the humility he displays that Ovechkin does not.

  50. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’d still take Ovie for goal scoring, I think he’s got the widest toolbox in the league for making them happen.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  51. TomNickle says:

    Me too.  Nice night cap that was…..cheers.

  52. 24 Cups says:

    I’m going to call it a night but throwing all these names around just proves that we really need Price and Subban to become homeruns.  Not to mention re-signing Markov (not that I’m putting them in that elite class which would be unfair).

    I think all three will happen.

  53. Xtrahabsfan says:

    What is it with BAD American actors that want to live in Canada…the Randy Quaids and Billy Baldwins,just get out! Now George Clooney,Brad Pit and Angelina …come on in;)

  54. TomNickle says:

    And at the time he wasn’t.

    Stamkos’ emergence has come from a dedication to conditioning and building strength.

    He’d be the first one to tell you that.

  55. TomNickle says:

    Hey I don’t disagree that he’s the best goal scorer in the NHL right now.

    But I think Keith is the best overall player in the game.

    If any of Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin or Stamkos get matched up on him.  I’m picking him to come out on top offensively and defensively.


  56. Mattyleg says:

    Hoping to hit the Habs game at the Summit on Friday!

    Looking forward to it.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  57. 24 Cups says:

    Tom – I hear you on Keith (dream season by a guy who has taken it to the next level) but moving forward  down the road my top guys are/will be Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos and Doughty.  They should dominate for years to come.

    Stamkos is a local kid from York Region who is loved by everyone in the Markham/Unionville/Stouffville area.  He’s the real deal in every respect.

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