Thursday, January 13, 2011

Slump Busted

Finally, a win for the Ottawa Senators.

And finally, it looked like they were actually having fun out there for a change. Which means the fans watching at home were getting entertained, something that hasn't been the case for most of the year, win or lose.

A good job by Cory Clouston and his staff for getting his players ready to compete right out of the gate, and in the process, showing management that his players haven't quit on the coaching staff just yet.

You have to wonder about the effect that the Chris Neil - Chris Campoli scrap in yesterday's practice had on this team and whether it went a ways towards waking them up out of their "woe is me" attitude that had definitely taken hold of this team ever since the calender turned on the new year.

Neil showed right there why he's the type of player who needs to be here for the "rebuild" that is apparently about to take place. This team certainly needs an infusion of youth but you also need veterans around who can set an example and take pride in what they do for a living. Neil is one of those guys. So is Chris Kelly. So is Daniel Alfredsson.

It's been a brutal season and there are sure to be a few more lows on the way, but there are still a lot of good reasons to keep watching the games and for fans to support the team. The drama of some longtime Senators possibly playing their last months in this city, and the promise that the youngsters bring, like Robin Lehner who won his first NHL start tonight against the Islanders.

What's going to happen next? Nobody knows for sure but you can bet it's going to be an interesting few months here in Bytown.

Black Aces Senators 3 Stars

1. Jesse Winchester
2. Sergei Gonchar
3. Chris Kelly

Honorable Mentions: Milan Michalek, Daniel Alfredsson, Matt Carkner

Hey, the Senators scored 6 goals and Sergei Gonchar was a plus 5. That doesn't happen .... ever. Cause for a little celebration don't you think?


Anonymous said...

I know it's only the Islanders, so it's important to keep things in perspective, but I believe in this team.

I'm not saying they're going to make the playoffs, but I think this group can and will turn it around. They don't need a rebuild.

We'll get a nice pick this year. Clean up the management toxicity and watch the guys bounce back.

Yzerman hasn't changed the core in Tampa. It's amazing how his presence alone has restored his group's confidence. They look like a brand new team ... and they're basically the same guys.

I'd bet that the Sens turnaround will be so drastic next year, that whoever takes over as coach is likely to win Coach of the Year.

The media will credit the coach, when the main factor will actually be that we got rid of the toxic atmosphere that was created by the management team.

As a sidenote, why is it that a fight between Neil and Campoli is considered a good thing, while a fight between Emery and whoever a bad thing? In fact, the media still reports that Emery used to get into fights with his teammates as a bad thing.

For the record, I think that in either case, it's a non-issue. These guys are together all the time and there's bound to be the occassional dust up. It's all good.

PEISenators said...

That video is beyond awesome.

It was nice change to actually enjoy watching a Sens game for a change even if I don't expect it to continue.

The Ghetto Blaster said...

Actually when talking about TB, their improvement started when they traded Richards who was part of their core, they then bottomed out and picked up this Stamkos kid who's pretty good.

Anonymous said...

The Ghetto Blaster,

But even with that Stamkos kid scoring 51 last year, Tampa ended up drafting 6th overall last year. The team was still performing poorly.

I'd argue that their unstable ownership and management were affecting the team to the point that it affected the guys on the ice.

I think Yzerman and Vinnick changed that. They deserve a ton of credit.

Sure, Stamkos is huge, but you still need the rest of the organization to be run properly or nothing works.

Sens said...

Actually, I disagree with keeping the entire core together. I'd like to see two of Kelly, Fisher, Phillips, Neil and yes, perhaps Alfredsson, gone from the team next year.

It really needs to be pointed out that this team has gone through three coaches, generously picked it spots when it will be playing with a maximum effort and has not been able to contain turmoil since Murray has arrived.

Moving one of those guys would say:

"The party's over gents. Your tenure here isn't as meaningful as the results, or lack thereof, you produce. You've never won a Stanley Cup and many of you have underachieved for a long portions of your career. You've picked your spots year in and year out and that is unacceptable. Good bye!"

If Melnyk or Murray did this, if they stood up to the players, got in their faces and shook up the locker room, I'd buy a season ticket.

Time for more than peripheral change.

The Ghetto Blaster said...

Yes I agree, Yzerman certainly added instant respect to the franchise, too bad we missed bringing him home by a year, he would have been perfect here.

With Leclaire and Kovalev coming off the books next year we can start in a new direction. I thought BM did a great job with the team and community, but a change is sometimes necessary. We'll bottom out for a year or two and take our lumps, but we'll end up stronger and better for it. I hope we do things the right way and draft players, not the leafs way.

The Ghetto Blaster said...

I'd actually like to keep Neil, I think he'd be a positive attitude in the dressing room for a young team. Everyone else is tradeable.

Funonymous said...

Gonchar back on proper side finally?
Gonchar goes a +5 on a night even with 4 goals against. . .

Do the knowledge.