Monday, November 10, 2008

Reaction All Too Predictable

It's not that I have a problem with Craig Hartsburg challenging Jason Spezza to be a better player, it's just that it gives the whackjobs a reason to come out of the woodwork with their predictable "Trade Spezza" rants that clog up the sports radio airwaves.

Spezza is now in a position with the fans where he has to be perfect in order to avoid being thrown under the bus night after night.

Hartsburg is simply trying to antagonize that top line to play better with so many "4 point" games coming up against the Habs and the Rangers. It's a tactic to get Dany Heatley and Antoine Vermette going just as much as it is about Spezza.

People forget that it wasn't that long ago when Hartsburg was heaping praise on Spezza for being the hardest working player on the team at a time when he needed a confidence boost after the fans were after him for a bad giveaway at the start of the season.

But now Hartsburg's ploy opens the door for "commentators" like Glen Kulka to call him "soft" and not his "type of player" live on the air to his similarly reactive audience.

It's simply a stereotype of Spezza and one that is not based in reality. But in lieu of a more sophisticated knowledge of the game, the overplayed cliches will have to do for lazy fans and media personalities.


Someone else is taking up the worthy cause of getting Pavel Bure into the Hall Of Fame. It's a crime that Bure was not inducted today alongside Igor Larionov and Glen Anderson, especially when there were two player slots still open.

I wrote a couple of times about the Bure snub which you can read here if you like.


How long until the shit hits the fan in Florida? As Panther beat writer George Richards puts it, the team is miserable and defeated from years and years of losing and this season is no better.

"This team, for lack of a better term, is a mess. You can see it in their faces when they come into the rink. They are a beaten bunch. You can't help but feel bad for their rookie coach, a guy who has to deal with this and try and figure a way out. This team almost has to play perfect hockey for 60 minutes -- and even then they may not win."

If Jacques Martin can't convince franchise player Jay Bouwmeester to re-sign in Miami, how long until his job is in jeopardy?


Marian Hossa is still taking some heat for leaving Pittsburgh and it's one of his ex-teammates, Max Talbot, who can't seem to drop the issue.

"Oh, yeah," Talbot said. "There's [anger]. You can't forget about something like that because everybody in the organization and [the players], we expected him to come back. We thought he was comfortable here, and he was really good with [Sidney Crosby as his center], and stuff.

"The way he left was kind of, [a blow] to the heart, but you have to live with that. ... You have to respect his decision, but, for us, it's not the best thing that could have happened."

For the record, almost everyone else quoted in the article thought Hossa was a great teammate.


Anonymous said...

Personally I have often been one to criticize spezza....because lets be honest, despite his excellent point production he has been somewhat of a liability. That being said, this most recent round of criticism has no bearing in reality because in my opinion, Spezza has been playing his most well-rounded, structurally sound play ever and is having a great season. I guess ottawa journalists need something to write about, but why not an article about how Auld is currently the best goalie in the league (which seems to have gone unnoticed by everyone)

Ben said...

The Spezza criticisms are lame and lazy. The man's upside greatly outweighs his faults. I'm getting tired of the subject just commenting about it.

On Florida: If Jacques Martin preaches anything, it's patience. It took him a while to turn Ottawa into a respectable team when he was coach. They should give him the time as GM to work his magic.

Anonymous said...

As noted above, in prior years I also criticized Spezza, but he's been solid this year.

I agree - Paddock's WAY out of line here and that just proves what a mickey mouse coach he is. Hey John, if you want to throw someone under the bus why don't you throw Vermette? He's the one who really deserves the criticism! Or what about phillips or volchenkov with minus rating of -2 and -4, respectively.

What I really worry about is Spezza one day waking up and saying, 'you know what, I'm done here in Ottawa'. How many 4 point nights do you want him to have? He can't do it all for heaven’s sakes.

Can you imagine how good the Sen's would be if we had Ron Wilson as our coach? Look how good he's got that pile of potatoes playing... imagine the job he could do with the Sens.

Anonymous said...

Hey buddy above...

Ron Wilson is a loser. Leafs suck. Paddock was fired last February. Spezza's under contract... he can't just "up and leave".


Anonymous said...

first off i am not your buddy. secondly, have you ever heard of a player who quits on his team and asks for a trade?

Third off, clearly your a brainwashed moron who is programmed to say 'leafs suck'. I think everyone will agree that the Leafs have been playing above their caliber this year - thanks to Ron Wilson.

Press #1 if your new to hockey!