Friday, November 23, 2007

Sens Start To Show Cracks From Unbalanced Ice Times

A very entertaining game last night with the Senators losing 6-5 in a shootout agains the Pens.

The coaching decisions of one John Paddock continue to confuse me though. Brian McGrattan only played 1:36 while his counterpart on the Pens, Georges Laraque played over 8 minutes. Some of this is due to McGrattan slightly injuring his arm in an abbreviated tussle with Laraque in the first but once he came back, he was relegated to the bench.

Now no one is saying that McGrattan should be getting over ten minutes a game, but he is a better player than many give him credit for (especially demagogic blogger Kevin Lee who constantly demands Bryan Murray trade McGrattan and Emery) and he always seems to bring some energy and a few good hits on every shift he plays.

Shean Donovan was playing the game of his life until Paddock benched him in the third, presumably because he took some penalties. But in my view, Donovan's penalties came from him hustling and playing aggressive hockey. Paddock is basically sending him the message to calm down which is not a good thing in my opinion.

Paddock should realize that four lines make a team. He's playing for broke in November and the team is starting to show signs of wear and tear with Daniel Alfredsson getting a groin injury. Maybe it has something to do with him playing over 25 minutes on back to back nights and three times in four nights.

If things keep going this way, the Senators will be dragging their asses come playoff time.
Alex Nikulin took a puck to the grill during the warmup and seemingly never recovered. One of his stated idols, Evgeni Malkin, blew past him at centre ice and scored a nice breakaway goal. Can't wait to read Nikulin's next blog entry.
Is it just me, or does it seem like Chris Neil is reluctant to drop the gloves nowadays. He's still effective but a dimension is definitely gone.
Christoph Schubert has been horrible for weeks now and Joe Corvo hasn't been much better.
Even though he's under the radar a bit with Sidney Crosby as a teammate, Evgeni Malkin is a freaking stud. With his size and skill, he reminds me of Mario Lemieux more and more every time I watch him.
And did anyone notice that the Senators are still using their old sideways profile logo during their pre-game light show? I thought that logo was retired. Maybe they're thinking of bringing it back next year as part of a 3rd jersey.
One can only hope that when the Senators retire their next number (Alfredsson), they go with the same barberpole style banner that number 8 Frank Finnigan has. It looks sharp up there in the rafters.
And lastly, why can't the organization get anything right when it comes to their pay-per view games? Last years broadcasts were troubled with major technical interruptions, screens freezing and the lack of an HD feed. They offered the HD feed last night but the signal went out at the start of the third period and they used the Penguins affiliate broadcast instead. So for those who paid over 12 bucks for the HD feed, I hope you get your money back.
Just get a dude in there who knows what the hell is going on with all those wires and satellites and buttons and knobs. Please. It's getting embarrassing and ridiculously expensive.


Peter said...

I agree about Donovan playing well, but I think Corvo looked pretty good last night. He looks like he's gaining some confidence, and is like a fourth forward out there--without significant defensive liability.
And I thought that Schubert was okay, and seems to be getting more comfortable on the wing with every game he plays. Plus he scored by standing in front of the net, which is exactly what he's supposed to be doing.

MikeM said...

I blame Redden's bad pinch more than Nikulin on Malkin's goal. Nikulin didn't do a great job playing it, but it was Reds pinch that put him in that one-on-one last man back situation.

I thought Corvo was actually pretty good last night.

I didn't pay much attention to the pre-game show but I hope they keep the side logo. Then again, I still wear the while circa '99 home sweater (which was their away sweater the last 3-4 years.