Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hartsburg Survives

If radio reports were correct, the players may have saved the job of head coach Craig Hartsburg with their hard fought road win over Edmonton.

Steve Lloyd, co-host of the Ottawa afternoon drive show on the Team 1200 confidently said that he had it from a trusted source that if the Senators lost in Edmonton last night, there would be major consequences for the coaching staff.

That execution has probably been staved off for at least a few more days.

In a flurry of ever-changing line combinations, the Senators Big 3 found themselves reunited and Jason Spezza played one of his best games of the season.

Of particular note was the newly formed line of Mike Fisher, Chris Neil and Nick Foligno who were a nasty force all night. Fisher and Neil have always played well together and Foligno seemed to instantly find chemistry with those two, also playing one of his better games of the year. He absolutely cranked Oiler center Marc Pouliot with a clean check along the boards and Pouliot never returned after getting helped off the ice in a daze.

Brian Lee looked like a young Wade Redden out there tonight, making crisp passes to forwards on the fly and venturing into the offensive zone, something unseen from Senators defensemen thus far this season.

Maybe it was the great ice in Edmonton. Maybe it was a team that was finally loose enough to play after hitting rock bottom in Vancouver the other night.

Regardless, the brutal 12 game road streak is over.

So what happens next?

More of the gong show or a modest turnaround in time to save the season?


Ian Mendes of Sportsnet asked Jason Spezza after the first period if the Senators needed "to win this one badly".

You think Ian?

But let's not to be too hard on Mendes. He's one of the best in the business and a funny guy to boot.


Ottawa hockey fans have already felt the sting of local cable carrier Rogers not offering TSN 2 in their package. Toronto Raptors fans are even more pissed.

They've taken to protesting outside the Rogers offices in Hogtown.

"A small, but noisy group protested yesterday against Rogers Cable, which is refusing to pick up TSN2 and its 23-game package of Toronto Raptors games.

The demonstrators carried signs, blew whistles and voiced their complaints outside the Rogers offices in downtown Toronto.

"Not a great turnout," said organizer Andrew Ebanks, a fan living in Toronto. "But a few were better than none. Eighty-three had signed up, but it was pretty cold out there."

Ebanks said he was encouraged by the reaction.

"The traffic along Bloor Street slowed down, even stopped," he said. "One guy got out and had his picture taken.

"People were honking horns and yelling support. Even the employees of Rogers gave us thumbs up, because they know the situation and they want to get it resolved as well."

-Globe and Mail


If you haven't seen the sweaters that the Hawks and the Wings will wear during the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, here they are below.

Once again, the NHL seems to always get it right when it allows teams to go retro. When they let teams design new stuff... well that's a different story.


Have a happy new year hosers.


Anonymous said...

I liked the Fisher-Neil-Foligno combo also. Fisher and Neil together just feels right. It seems that they were meant to play together. Foligno fit in well.

I hope Hartsy keeps the Fisher line together and keeps Spezz-Heater-Alfie together. No more innovation needed on that front.

I'm with you on the Lee assessment also. I hope Murray doesn't mess it up by sending the kid to the minors now.

Andrew said...

I hope the coaching rumors were false, because the Sens have sucked fairly hard under three different coaches over the past couple years, so I don't think that they're the reason for the continued poor play.

That said, I have no clue what the source of the issues are, aside from the obvious lack of secondary scoring (which cannot really be magically fixed by a coach).

Anonymous said...

Happy New Years, man. Keep bloggin' and all that jazz.

Anonymous said...

We bitch when they lose (often) so we must give credit when they win. Sens played well. Lee was solid, and is starting to look like he will be able to be a top 4 d one day. Spezza was great, Alfie OK, and at least Heatley looked like that anchor he's dragging around every game was slightly lighter. The Fish line was alright. A good 3rd line with little scoring upside. This game was fun but doesn't change much. This team still needs to rebuild, dump some contracts (Fish+), and nab some propects and early picks in the process.