1. Broadcasters Still Complaining About The Shootout: Whenever a game goes to a shootout, 8 times out of 10, one of the TV analysts will inevitably say, “I hate seeing a game decided in a shootout”. Sports talk radio is even worse. It probably gets mentioned by someone at least once a day. The fact is that the shootout isn’t going anywhere and that most fans love it. So get over it folks.
2. Broadcasters Still Complaining About The Delay Of Game Rule: See above. I don’t really understand why everyone gets up in arms over this rule. It’s the same for both teams yet when one team gets the penalty, the TV analyst will imply that it’s an unfair rule. Essentially, this rule forces defenseman to make a play rather than wildly shoot the puck out of the zone. It creates more opportunity for turnovers and penalties, thereby creating more offense in the game. And that’s always a good thing. It sucks when your favourite team gets called for it, but it’s just as fair as a tripping or hooking penalty. Get over it.
3. Broadcasters Still Complaining About The Two Referee System: This isn’t as talked about as the above two rules but it still creeps up from time to time. How anyone can pine for the old days of the one ref system where obstruction was rampant is beyond me. The NHL will certainly never go back to the one ref but some diehards out there still prattle on about “the good old days”.
4. Goalie Equipment Is Still Too Huge: It seems like an issue that’s gone away in many people’s minds, but the Michelin Men are still out there. Have you seen the catching gloves lately? Tell me one reason why the gloves have to be that big? It certainly isn’t for protection. The NHL should finish what they started and shrink that equipment even more.
5. The Endless Head Shot Debate: Whenever a hockey player gets hurt, Canada goes into an outright panic. It’s funny that the public was unanimously against the players union in the lockout debate and constantly complain about inflated salaries, but if one of them gets hit, we cry like it’s our union brothers out there. Give me a break. The rules can certainly be tweaked to give more protection, but do we really need to talk about it every single day like it’s an epidemic? Those huge hits are actually pretty rare and at least half of them are perfectly legal. The sport it rough. Get over it.
6. Arena Name Sponsorships: I find it personally aggravating that every time I want to mention the rink the Senators play in, I have to give a plug for Scotiabank. It’s also next to impossible to identify the rinks where other teams play from year to year. I realize it’s not going away so maybe I should take my own advice and stop complaining about it.
7. The Thing That Everyone MUST Mention When Talking About Alexei Kovalev: Do we really need to hear it every game? “Kovalev is the most talented player in the NHL...when he wants to be”. “Which Kovalev will show up tonight?” We get it. It’s not something we haven’t heard before. This is almost as annoying as the “Keys To The Game” that nearly every broadcast feels the need to shove down our throats. Kovalev will never change. Get over it.
8. Trade Rumour Web Sites: In a league that has no trades, the existence of these sites seem to finally be waning. Yet they have probably permanently wrecked the reputation of bloggers everywhere.
9. Hamilton: No offense to the thriving metropolis of Hamilton, but it’s getting old hearing how every southern team might end up playing out of Copps Coliseum. It’s an aging, tired rink that the NHL will never embrace. I have no problem with another team coming to Canada but it’s also a little repugnant for Canadian hockey snobs to be openly cheerleading for other markets to lose their teams. What makes the fans in Phoenix any less important than the ones in Canada? It’s a tragedy when a city loses a team. Canadian fans should know that all too well.
10. Ugly Uniforms: You just have to shake your head sometimes. We’re lucky that vintage style uniforms are popular right now because it looks like Buffalo and Edmonton may be soon reverting back to their classic looks. But when vintage goes out of style, the NHL will no doubt be hiring some company like Reebok to design some more wacky pajamas for their athletes to wear.
Another tough shootout loss for the Senators on Saturday night. Yet, they keep getting points and otherwise playing tough, consistent hockey.
It was interesting to see Erik Karlsson get called up and Brian Lee sent down. I expected to see Karlsson back with the Senators but not this soon. I really like this move by Bryan Murray and he's made the Senators better for it.
Lee can certainly skate and move the puck but his upside is a fraction of what Karlsson's is. If Karlsson is good enough to play in the NHL, and he certainly is, then why block his way with Lee?
The Senators are not going to get close to a Stanley Cup with this defense. Why not start moulding your defense crew for the future? Karlsson is going to be this teams number one defenseman in a year or two and he offers more than Lee even at this early stage.
Of future moves the Senators might make, you have to think that Jonathan Cheechoo is going to start being made a healthy scratch soon. There can be no justification in the world to take Jesse Winchester out of the lineup, and Peter Regin and Ryan Shannon have improved of late as well. Winchester and Regin are going to be core players going forward and Shannon has so much more speed than Cheechoo that it's barely even worth arguing the point.
Since I missed blogging about the game on Saturday, here are the belated 3 Stars:
Black Aces Senators 3 Stars
1. Milan Michalek
2. Daniel Alfredsson
3. Brian Elliott