Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fans In Panic Mode, Blogger Kevin Lee Freaks Out Completely

For all the panic that is raging in Ottawa about their beloved Senators possibly missing the playoffs (for the proof, see my description of Kevin Lee's blog at the bottom of this column), it should be remembered that Ottawa is actually closer to 4th place in the East and home ice advantage for the first round than they are to ninth place.

What are the chances that not only the Capitals surpass the Senators, but also Philadelphia and Boston? Not very good.

With a win tonight against a Montreal team ravaged by injuries, the Senators could find themselves in 4th place if the Islanders hold off the Devils to a single point.

The Senators have struggled lately but they are still over .500 in their last ten games with a 5-4-1 record. In comparison the Devils have a 4-5-1 record. Boston is treading water at 4-3-3 while only the Capitals are red hot right now with a ten game tally of 8-2-0.

Even if the Senators can salvage a single point out of tonight's game, they will still hold their ground with only two games left.

Things are tough lately, but the Senators are not exactly falling off the face of the earth.


Coach Bryan Murray has already named Martin Gerber as the starter against Montreal and he needs to come up with a big game to keep the ever growing chorus of doubters at bay.

Don Brennan came out in today's Ottawa Sun and predicted that it will be Ray Emery, and not Gerber who will be in the nets for Ottawa's final game of the playoffs.

In tangibles, there's probably not much to choose from between Emery and Gerber. Neither one of them is very likely to win you the Cup on their play alone.

But when it comes to intangibles, Emery has the definite edge. He exudes confidence. He has the experience. He played all 20 of Ottawa's playoff games last spring, and all 10 they had the spring before that. Thirty games. That's a lot of testing under fire.

Gerber has a lifetime playoff record of 1-1. He's totally unproven at this time of year. He's also coming off another sub-par performance, this time showing a slow trapper.

Meanwhile, Emery is resigned to the fact Gerber is the No. 1 goalie in town.

"I don't think you change your mind about things right now," Emery said. "Marty's played well, playing in all the games the past month or so. Right now, he's the guy."

Can't say I disagree with Brennan on those points and I'll jump on that bandwagon right now as well.

But let's be clear. If Gerber proves me wrong, he'll get his share of praise on Black Aces and it will be well deserved. He has a lot of pressure on him right now and it's do or die for him if he wants to remain a viable number one goalie.
There's pressure galore for everyone on the Ottawa squad and they might just be running out of gas in what has been an epically long two seasons that peaked with a trip to the Cup finals and bottomed out with two consecutive shutout losses to the Bruins and Leafs which sealed John Paddock's fate.
The simple fact could be that the Senators are exhausted, mentally and physically. Even Jason Spezza, who usually giggles like a ten year old boy in every exchange with the media was dropping bleeps yesterday on camera.
It's quite clear that Daniel Alfredsson is hurt and the team needs to rest him immediately if they have any hopes of going far in the post-season, a prospect that looks dimmer by the day.
Don't count them out, but don't be surprised if the adrenalin isn't there when it's needed.
By the way, Kevin Lee over at Hockeybuzz has written a ridiculous column castigating a group of Senators players for going out to a nightclub after losing to the Bruins, even though they had the next day off.
It's sad enough to see a hockey blogger obsessing about the personal lives of players, but his claim that he's writing it because he wants to see some "accountability" from the players is a joke.
Memo to Kevin Lee: Since the dawn of the NHL, teammates go out for beers, win or lose. They are allowed to by any definition.
Lee even says that fans should be questioning whether they should buy tickets because of this.
Are you serious dude?
Worst column ever written. Period.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I opened that Kevin Lee blog with the intention of reading it. Then I relized that I already knew Kevin Lee was an idiot, and I don't need to read another of his entries to reaffirm that.
As for Alfie, there is something to what you say. He looked good in the morning skate today (which I'm amazed to say I was at), though, after taking yesterday off.