Ottawa Senators 2005-2006

TEAM NAME: Ottawa Senators

TEAM PAYROLL: $30 million

GENERAL MANAGER: John Muckler, third year with the Sens

HEAD COACH: Bryan Murray, first season with the team

———–

FORGOTTEN MOVES: Ottawa’s busiest time of the past two years actually occurred before the lockout began. It started the week leading up to draft day, 2004, when they traded third-line centre Radek Bonk to L.A. (who ended up trading him to Montreal) for a third round draft pick. This was a good move by the Sens, as Bonk, a former first round draft pick, never lived up to expectations in the nation’s capital. Another big move from the pre-lockout era came when the Sens signed future hall of famer Dominik Hasek. This move was met with both excitement and trepidation in Ottawa. Sens fans are excited about finally having a top tier goalie, but worried about whether Hasek can hold up throughout a full season. Hasek has only played 14 games in the past three seasons (due to a year of retirement, an injury and the lockout). To make room for Hasek, Patrick Lalime was traded to St. Louis for a draft pick. Backup goaltender Martin Prusek was also let go. The final move, and probably the biggest pre-lockout, was the firing of head coach Jacques Martin. The Sens brought in former Ducks GM Bryan Murray to head the team. This was important as Sens fans has lost faith in Martin, as he couldn’t get his team to deliver in the playoffs, especially against the hated Leafs. Where Martin focused on defence first, Murray will give the players a chance to use their speed and focus more on offence.

TEAM MODE: Have to win. Those three words sum up the Sens this season. Yes, they are a young team, and yes, they have some questions in goal. But they have been a young team on the verge of winning it all for several years now, and there have always been questions in goal. They are seen as a Stanley Cup contender, but have yet to prove it come playoff time. There are another three words that will have to sum up their season in a year: Beat the Leafs. The Sens could go a perfect 82-0 in the regular season, but if they lose to the Leafs in the playoffs, it would be seen as a disappointing season. They are 0-4 in playoff series against their provincial rivals, and it’s time they prove their worth in the playoffs. The new rules should benefit the Sens more than any other team this season. They are one of the speediest teams in the league, so the new two-line pass should really open up the game for them. They also had the best powerplay in the last NHL season, so if the parade of penalties continue throughout the regular season, the Sens will make the other teams pay for their indiscretions.

TO TAKE CHARGE!: There are lots of leaders on the Sens (Alfredsson, Redden, Heatley, Chara), but it’s time for young sensation Jason Spezza to lead this team. He should be on the top line of the Sens, and should be the top point getter. Yes, he’s young, but a lot of young players have been expected to lead their teams throughout the years. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a 22-year-old’s shoulders, but it’s up to Spezza to lead this team in both the regular season and the playoffs.

ON THE RUSH (OFFENSE): Two reasons why Ottawa will lead the league in goals: 1) 21.5%. That is the powerplay percentage of the Sens in the 2003-2004 season, when they led the league in PP. They also had the most powerplay goals (80), but was only seventh in powerplay opportunities (371). They also tied Detroit for the best home PP ( 23.6%), and third on road PP (19.1%). If the Sens get more opportunities thanks to new rules to remove obstruction, then expect more goals; 2) 262. That’s the amount of goals the Sens scored in 2003-2004, leading the league in that category as well. They led the league in first period goals (81) and second period goals (96). The Sens have a 67% winning percentage when scoring first. However, there are two reasons why the Sens won’t lead the league in goals: 1) Marian Hossa. The man was a machine for Ottawa. He was responsible for 17.5% of the team’s powerplay goals, scoring 14 of them, he also assisted on 25 others, meaning he accounted on 39 of the Sens 80 powerplay goals. Overall, Hossa scored 36 goals for the Sens the last NHL season. That type of offence will be hard to replace; 2) Shorthanded threat is almost non-existent. Ottawa scored only six shorthanded goals in 2003-2004. Martin St. Louis had 8 by himself that year, and only one team had less than five (Washington with four). For such a speedy team, they seem to hang back for short handed opportunities. With the team spending more time in the box this season (as will every team), they need to be more of a threat when killing a penalty. One final reason that’s a cause for concern: .346%. That’s the winning percentage of the Sens in one-goal games. They’re only .538 in two goal games, but .818 where a team wins by three goals or more. That’s not a good record in close games. To have a successful win-loss record, the Sens will have to get better in that area.

COVERING THE D-ZONE: This defence should be known more for its offensive punch throughout the league than what it is. In the 2003-2004 season, Wade Redden was tied for most goals by a defenceman with 17, while Zdeno Chara finished with 16. Redden finished that season with 26 assists and 43 points, good for 13th in the league. He also finished tied for first for powerplay goals by a defenceman with 12. Chara was also third overall for +/- with 33, and third in penalty minutes for defencemen with 147. The only defenceman who finished with a negative +/- (Todd Simpson) is no longer with the team. The defence also helped the Sens finished eighth in goals against, at 2.3 per game. Penalty killing needs to be worked on though, as the Sens finished tied for 17th with an 83.5% PK rate. Pretty much, the defence is the same as it was when we last saw them. One problem though, may lie with Chara. He is a tough, physical defenceman, but has already commented to the media that he thinks too many penalties are being called. He says players are trying to hit him, bouncing off, and he is getting called for the penalty. If he feels he has to change his game to adapt to the new rules, that is not a good sign for Ottawa. Wade Redden is one of the top defencemen in the league, and his name always appears on the list for world championships and Olympic teams. But when problems start occurring in Ottawa, his name is the first to come up by fans to get rid of. If there’s a big goal scored against Ottawa, he’s usually on the ice for it. Chris Phillips turns it on in the playoffs, and is a solid #3 d-man. Brian Pothier and Anton Volchenkov will get the job done. A prospect will also be rounding out the top six defencemen.

GUARDING THE NET: The Sens goalie situation has changed fully since the last time we saw them in action, so it would be useless to use stats from previous years. Gone is the starter (Lalime) and backup (Prusek). Instead is a new tandem, Hasek and Ray Emery. Hasek is the here and now. He is expected to come and help this team win immediately. However, there is some concern about how well his body can hold up over a full season, as he has only played 14 games in the past three years. Emery is the future for Ottawa between the nets. Highly touted, he is expected to be the number one guy in a number of years. If Hasek doesn’t get on track though, the pressure is on Emery to bail him out. It should make for an interesting year between the pipes for Ottawa.

TALKING ABOUT MY GENERATION!: When it comes to drafting, Ottawa is hands down the best team in the NHL. The amount of talent they discover throughout the draft would make any general manager envious. This is the reason why the team always seems to be young. When a veteran leaves the team, there is always a promising prospect to replace him. Due to the shifting of players on the Sens, Ottawa had a few opening for prospects. Surely, one of the most impressive rookie performances this preseason comes from Brandon Bochenski. This kid should make the team, and has looked very comfortable playing on the top line with Spezza and Heatley. He has already scored five preseason goals. Brian McGrattan is another prospect expected to make this team, but for different reason. McGrattan is a tough player, and not only did he lead the AHL in penalty minutes last season, he set a league record for most Pims. For years, the Sens have been seen as a soft team, but McGrattan will help erase that reputation as the season wears on. Finally, in net, there is Ray Emery. This goalie has been tagged as the franchise goalie for years. His time is quickly arriving, as he will be playing backup to Hasek this season. The starting job will be his within a couple of seasons. All three of these players are expected to be with the team for years. On top of this, the Sens farm team, Binghamton, was near the top of the standings last year, and have enough prospects to continue that trend this season.

PROJECTED LINES: With the addition of the prospects, the lines are taking shape in a way most people wouldn’t have expected before training camp. As it stands now, it should be:

Bochenski-Spezza-Heatley

Havlat-Smolinski-Alfredsson

Schaefer-Fisher-Neil

Vermette-Martins-McGrattan

Redden-Chara

Phillips-Volchenkov

Pothier-Meszaros

EXPECTATIONS: To be a top team in the regular season, and to go deep in the playoffs. Most of the players are on a short lease. Another year with an early playoff exit could mean big changes for this team. The fans in Ottawa are tired of losing to Leafs in the spring time every time they meet, so fans are expecting a big win over their rivals. The are expected to finish first in the northeast, top two in the conference and top five overall.

PROJECTED: Hard to say, but they should be pretty much what where they are expected to be. They should win the northeast division pretty handily, and will battle with Philly for the top seed in the conference. Of course, this all depends on their goaltending. Should Hasek falter and Emery not be ready to be a number one goalie, they may slip to the sixth or seventh seed. But provided Hasek plays his 60-65 games and is in hockey form, they should have no troubles.


164 Responses to Ottawa Senators 2005-2006

  1. Furlong19 says:

    Let’s see, when Ottawa was bottom of the NHL for 5 years, they had 3 first overall picks, 1 2nd overall and one 3rd overall. The three first overalls were Daigle, Phillips and Berard. Definitely not great 1st overall guys. The 2nd overall was Yashin and 3rd overall was Bonk.

    So you’re telling me the reason why they’re so good is because of these 5 picks? Give me a break. It’s because of smart drafting and smart trades.

    Look at these picks:

    1993: 227th overall – Pavol Demitra

    1994: 133rd overall – Daniel Alfredsson

    1996: 239th overall – Sami Salo

    1997: 12th overall – Marian Hossa

    1997: 119th overall – Magnus Arvedsson

    1997: 229th overall – Karel Rachunek

    1998: 44th overall – Mike Fisher

    1998: 161st overall – Chris Neil

    1999: 26th overall – Martin Havlat

    2000: 21st overall – Anton Volchenkov

    2001: 99th overall – Ray Emery

    2001: 223rd overall – Brandon Bochenski

    Anyone can see that those are some smart picks. Not all superstars, but roster guys. And when you get them late in the draft, there is nothing wrong with that.

    I can also mention some smart trades over the years.

    .

    Yashin for Spezza, Chara and Muckalt

    Donato for Lalime – sure Lalime ain’t great but he was a #1 for many years and they got him for a no namer.

    Berard for Redden.

    So don’t chirp Ottawa for only being succesful due to finishing last in the NHL for many years. Because Daigle, Bonk and company aren’t the reasons for their success.

  2. SensfanVone says:

    they kept redden from the draft they got Chara and Spezza for yashin and berard just updatin bud lol:)

  3. Montrealsdogg says:

    Spezza led the AHL in scoring last year with…

    117 points, how could he not POSSIBLY be close to achieving the same at the NHL level.. not saying he will, but it’s possible…

    i also wouldn’t count out that St-Louis/Lecavalier being in the same range of points.

  4. SensfanVone says:

    I strongly dislike leafs fans you always assume things will be the same year i year out I hope your precious leafs bomb this year!!

  5. SensfanVone says:

    agreed 🙂

  6. SensfanVone says:

    Mullet your clueless man leafs suck get over it they aint gonna beat the sens this year in the playoffs you know why? They wont make the freakin playoffs(hopefully for the sake of hockey)

    so you can have Lalime maybe he’ll get a bigger jersey this year and it will catch those wristers from the point his glove hand can’t!!!

  7. SensfanVone says:

    Mullet again you prove you dont understand hockey

    you think the leafs will win probably right cup bound bring it home to toronto………..

    thats a load of BS ottawa will prove you wrong so get a grip and quit denouncing this goalie I don’t see you in the nhl think you could do a better job than hasek?

    Maybe belfour should collect his pension for his back probs and retire!!!!

  8. SensfanVone says:

    Leafs fans get over yourselves!!!!!

  9. SensfanVone says:

    lol

    your right they all draft well…..meaning the sens

    avs and wings philly is good to but the leafs blow.

    nuff said:)

  10. SensfanVone says:

    go Sens Go!!!

  11. newfcollins says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

  12. skinny13 says:

    you obviouly dont know hockey

  13. newfcollins says:

    Re: Brandon Bochenski

    One thing I never mentioned in the article that I could have, but I didn’t know for sure:

    Bochenski and Spezza played on the same line in the AHL last season, when Spezza had 100 some-odd points and Bochenski had more than 30 goals. They have sustained chemistry. True, the NHL is totally different than the AHL, but it is something to keep in mind.

  14. newfcollins says:

    True, Heatley will make up for some of the goals. But just say Heatley gets 25 goals this season, but Hossa gets 50 in the new NHL. Are they then missing 25 more goals they could have had? Or still just the 11 in comparision to Hossa’s last season in Ottawa? (Ow, my head hurts).

    Plus, I didn’t have room to get into it, but there are some questions about Heatley as well. He hasn’t been the same since the accident, and has had some injury problems since then. Can he be the player he once was?

    I hope so, because I took him in my hockey pool.

  15. garyroberts7 says:

    Are you ready for 5 times in a row????!!!! Or is it 6????? I can’t keep track, we’ve beat them so many times.

  16. muckies says:

    Wow,

    all you Leave fans all get excited about the past, like when you won the Cup 600 years ago, and then all your past pay-off collapses.

    The reason : when we win the cup this year, and Toronto doesn’t make the playoffs, you guys will say, you wouldn’t have won it if you played Toronto.

    So have your little fun, it will only last 82 games, then you can jump on the Sens band-wagon.

  17. drgnhrt says:

    Why does everyone seem to think that Ottawa will even play against the “hated Toronto Maple Leafs” anyway? Ottawa may finish first and Toronto 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th and be eliminated in the first round for all we know (or the other way around, although not as likely). If the Sens’ only goal this season is to beat the Leafs, they may very well underestimate every other team in the league and get their ass kicked by somebody else. If I remember correctly, they lost to the Devils in the conference final just three seasons ago, so it’s not like their only weakness is the Leafs.

    Winning the cup is part skill, part staying healthy and part just being really damn lucky. It’s definitly not always the most skilled team that wins the cup. Everybody can lose to anybody.

  18. canadaownshockey says:

    lets not forget Vancouver, well maybe not anymore that Burke is gone but getting both Sedin’s was a nice move.

  19. SensfanVone says:

    Sorry man forgot about vancouver they also do a good job and your right about losing burke time will tell!!

  20. SensfanVone says:

    Its true its True!!

  21. SensfanVone says:

    I really liked the article, you did a really good job.

    I agree that Heatley Spezza and Bochenski should be kept together. They’ve been lightin everyone up specially the leafs so far!!!

  22. JeffBurnz09 says:

    I’d say that this is Ottawa’s year, but you never know. I still don’t know how they didn’t win last year…Leaf fans won’t admitt it, but Ottawa is a better, stronger team in almost every way, but they just can’t seem to get past them. I think on paper, Ottawa looks to be the strongest team in the NHL, but because of the past failures, I won’t say they’ll win the cup. They probably should win the cup, but you never know.

    I like Hasek. I hope he has a great year…but you don’t know what to expect from him. I don’t think he’ll be the game stealing goalie he used to be, but I can’t see him being the horrible flop others think he’ll be. I think he’ll be solid, but I don’t think he’ll be his old self. He’ll won’t win them many games on his own, but he won’t lose games on them either.

    Is Bryan Murray the right guy for the job? When the Sens were looking for a coach, he basically came out of nowhere. I didn’t like the move then, and I don’t know if I like it much now. There were better coaches available at the time…

    Should be Spezza’s year. He’s been ready for two seasons now, but Martin kept jerking him around. It’s time to put him in there and just let him go…

    I’m not sold on Heatley. He hasn’t been great since the accident, aside from one solid international tournement. I don’t think he’s near the player that Hossa is, but hopefully Ottawa has enough offense to make up for that.

    This is the year for Ottawa. They’re in a position where they’re bringing back all of the key guys they had when we last saw the NHL, while teams around them had to make moves because of the salary cap. They’re fully capable of winning the cup…but you don’t know with them. As I see it, their question marks will be

  23. JeffBurnz09 says:

    I’d say that this is Ottawa’s year, but you never know. I still don’t know how they didn’t win last year…Leaf fans won’t admitt it, but Ottawa is a better, stronger team in almost every way, but they just can’t seem to get past them. I think on paper, Ottawa looks to be the strongest team in the NHL, but because of the past failures, I won’t say they’ll win the cup. They probably should win the cup, but you never know.

    I like Hasek. I hope he has a great year…but you don’t know what to expect from him. I don’t think he’ll be the game stealing goalie he used to be, but I can’t see him being the horrible flop others think he’ll be. I think he’ll be solid, but I don’t think he’ll be his old self. He’ll won’t win them many games on his own, but he won’t lose games on them either.

    Is Bryan Murray the right guy for the job? When the Sens were looking for a coach, he basically came out of nowhere. I didn’t like the move then, and I don’t know if I like it much now. There were better coaches available at the time…

    Should be Spezza’s year. He’s been ready for two seasons now, but Martin kept jerking him around. It’s time to put him in there and just let him go…

    I’m not sold on Heatley. He hasn’t been great since the accident, aside from one solid international tournement. I don’t think he’s near the player that Hossa is, but hopefully Ottawa has enough offense to make up for that.

    This is the year for Ottawa. They’re in a position where they’re bringing back all of the key guys they had when we last saw the NHL, while teams around them had to make moves because of the salary cap. They’re fully capable of winning the cup…but you don’t know with them. As I see it, their question marks will be

  24. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Colorado and Detroit do draft very well…but they have had the advantage of A) Being able to sign big name free agents, B) Being able to trade for big names, C) Being able to afford to re-sign their draft picks once they became big names.

    Ottawa put this whole team, for the most part, together through drafting, and needed drafting to replace guys once they reached a point where they moved on to other teams. I guess what I’m saying is that while Ottawa, Colorado and Detroit are all very good at drafting, Ottawa depends on it more than Colorado or Detroit does.

  25. Esquire says:

    Its been “Ottawas year every year for the past 4 years.” Don’t hold your breath.

  26. sensin0506 says:

    C’mon, Burnzy, there’s more to the story than you’ve acknowledged here.

    – Hasek is one of the hardest working athletes in hockey and puts incredible pressure on himself to succeed. I think he’ll be fine.

    – Murray not the best coach? It depends on the needs of the team. We didn’t need someone to come in and work on drills and make them a more a talented bunch. We needed a motivator and a tough guy that will exploit the offensive skills of his players while letting them finish their checks and stand up for one another. In that sense, Murray looks like a great fit and has done a great job in camp so far, from the reports coming out.

    – Heatley has hardly had a chance to play hockey in the past few years. He came back and played 25-30 games in Atlanta last season and played in a couple of tournaments, but if pre-season is any indication (and I know that is debatable), he has looked great on Spezza’s wing. I think he’ll love his job with the Sens and will silence any remaining skeptics.

    Other than that, you’re right – this is the year. No more excuses. I think Mucks will find a way to keep Chara and Redden, but that doesn’t mean we want to win the Cup in two years – we want it now.

  27. TheCoach says:

    They actually drafted Bryan Berard 1st overall and swapped him for Redden who was drafted 2nd after Berard said he did not want to play for Ottawa.

  28. TheCoach says:

    – Bryan Murray may not have the biggest name, or most succesful coach out there, but I think he is definately the right coach for this team. You can already see the difference in work ethic, grit, etc in pre-season games. I’ve also been to a few practices and you can see it there to.

    – Heatley, when he came back, had a bad first 5 games. After that, he scored at a point per game pace for the rest of the season. I think he’ll be fine.

    Perhaps he isn’t as complete as Hossa, but I think he is more talented offensively. Hossa’s career high is 82 points, and that was in what, his 5th year? Heatley’s is 89 in his 2nd season. Not trying to bash Hossa, as he is a great player, but Heatley is probably better offensively although not as good defensively.

  29. noty87 says:

    You are flipping out, but you don’t consider two things: one, he was drafted second overall right behind THE ilya kovalchuk in 2001, and two, he did scored 117 (or something like that) points last year in the AHL. And seeing that the AHL last year was the most consistently competitive it has been in years, it shows Spezza’s talents that much more. The league IS a pro league, and many people tend to want to forget that.

    BTW: for the same reason i think Spezza will excel this year, i also think Bochenski will surprise. Their chemistry is above the league average and he is a talented player. Highest scoring rookie on the farm last year.

  30. noty87 says:

    Yea, exactly, he’s now with the Bruins. The leafs brass firstly doesnt have the patience for a guy like him, and they’re blind. sad but true.

  31. SensHavlat says:

    yea, thats correct. It was a three way trade that involved ottawa, toronto and Long Island

    OTT

    Damian Rhodes (from tor)

    Wade Redden (from NYI)

    TOR

    Don Beaupre (from ott)

    Kirk Muller (from NYI)

    NYI

    Martin Straka (from ott)

    Bryan Berard (from ott)

    Kenny Jonsson (from tor)

  32. sensin0506 says:

    It wasn’t just a swap of talent. Hossa’s expected salary (let’s say $5.5-$6 million, knowing that he signed for the latter), would have forced the Senators to lose at least one of Chara or Redden, maybe both depending on the seasons of others. I think this is the most important part of the trade and is often overlooked. Muckler wasn’t looking to move Hossa at all until he realized that signing him meant dismantling other parts of the team. The timing just happened to be right that another great player was on the market, as well.

    Talent was one part of the trade, but salary dump was crucial, too, leading to the deVries toss-in.

  33. SensHavlat says:

    I prefer it to be Ottawa’s year every year, rather than having a team that was excellent one year then mediocre the next. Eventually Ottawa is going to win the cup with the talent they obtain and develop. The only thing that lacks in Ottawa’s game was timing and luck in the playoffs. Im very optimistic, with Hasek and Bochenski in the lineup, it will bring this magic element to the their game and finally overcome their playoff curse.

    Hey the red sox did it…why cant we

    Proudly a sens fan, WE WANT THE CUP

  34. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    thats true prusek and legace were the 2 best backups in the league.

  35. dcz28 says:

    They didn’t trade Pusek…they didn’t re-sign him but i agree they should have kept him and let him learn from his idol Hasek

  36. UWSensFan says:

    Bang on…I totally acknowledged it right off the bat. This wasn’t a “Hossa and deVries for Heatley” deal, it was a “Hossa and deVries for Heatley, Chara and Redden (let’s hope!)” deal. My god, would it ever be nice to see this team stay together for a while and win a couple of cups…would sure show Hossa that taking Iginla money because you want to get lots of cash is not the way to do it as a team. I remember reading how Muckler offered Hossa, Redden and Chara the exact same amount each for contracts (or maybe extensions…it’s been a while), but Hossa was the only one that turned him down. Talk about Chara and Redden being team players…taking less $$ so that they can be on a more competitive team. That’s actually another reason the Sens have done decently well. Their talent has often taken less than they would get on the open market to stay with a team they WANT to play for.

  37. 92-93 says:

    first, let me start off with an olive branch …. ottawa has a great team. they will finish 1st in the division without a doubt and they’ll be #1 or #2 in the East. but i am a leaf fan right? so i have to inject some humour into this post as well. i love the article in the Ottawa Sun that suggests that Ottawa fans/organization cannot do anything without looking in the direction of the Leafs … which I think is a very very sad reality. Now, this is a pro-Sens “journalist” from Ottawa who is writing this:

    “That is the way it is here in Ottawa where, given history, the Senators worthiness is almost always evaluated through a Toronto looking glass.” (http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Ottawa/2005/09/27/1237504-sun.html)

    I agree with alot of Leaf bashers when they say ‘quit living off the past’ to Toronto fans. although i too revel in all the misfortune my Leafs continually dole out to the Sens, now that we are at the beginning of a new season (it is no longer an ‘offseason’) its time to shut up and put up results and I think the Leafs are in tough this year. However, I am happy that i cheer for a team that does have fans who constantly look around themselves insecurely at what other teams are doing. that’s just sad. it is getting so sad that the Sens and their fans might not consider this year a success if they don’t face the Leafs in the event that the Leafs don’t make the playoffs:

    “Well, first the Senators will need the Leafs to make the playoffs, which is no guarantee. (Not having the Leafs make the playoffs would be a bitter sweet turn of events for Senators fans. While many of them would probably take glee in that sort of Toronto humiliation, it would remove the opportunity for the Senators to send them home).”

    do you realize how pathetic this is??? i mean honestly! how much insecurity must this team and their fans have??? we’ve lost to NJ and Philly in 4 straight years and there isn’t that kind of insecurity among most of Leaf fans I know (although I am sure Quinn and co. do feel insecure facing Philly). but it seems that the Sens and their fans LIVE to play the Leafs. They have their entire season set around the 8 regular season games against T.O.! For the record, I think the Leafs will finish 7th and (hopefully) face the Sens in the first round because I do think its a cool rivalry. now, i am not boasting about Toronto as a city being THE BEST or whatever. alot of times, it seems whenever Canadian, non-Leaf fans get into debates with Leaf fans it often slips into some larger issue that pits central canada against the rest of canada. for the record, i am appalled at the way, throughout canadian history, central canada (ottawa, toronto, etc.) has benefitted at the expense of the rest of canada (out west and the maritimes). So i can see and understand alot of the resentment that bubbles to the surface whenever fans out west or in Quebec trash Toronto as a city or its people or whatever (although I do think its childish and people should stick to hockey especially now that we live in a capped NHL where Toronto MAPLE LEAFS doesn’t have the economic advantages it once did).

    that is why i love critiquing ottawa senators fans and their jealousy of the Leafs and of Toronto – because they too live in central canada and have no basis for a real beef with Toronto or the Leafs except out of the lopsided history between the two clubs and, subsequently, pure jealousy.

    now before you respond and disagree (and i know you will), think about what i am saying… I am not even claiming that the Leafs are a better squad, that they’ll beat the Sens or that the Sens suck (they have an awesome line-up actually), all i am saying is that its a sad culture that has based its entire existence on beating another team. oh well, i know the kind of responses i am going to get. none that are actually going to discuss my points, and alot of ‘Leaf suck,’ ‘Leafs won’t make the playoffs,’ ‘Go Sens go’ and all that other kind of wonderfully enlightening stuff. so please, i beg you, i DARE you: prove me wrong Sens fans … prove me wrong. give me a response that is not immature, doesn’t name call and actually debates the points that i’ve made.

  38. 92-93 says:

    good point. i think the Sens should just focus on themselves and they should be fine. they are actually a tough, physical team this year if that McGrattan sticks with the team.

  39. 92-93 says:

    yeah i am a leaf fan and i totallly agree with you.

  40. muckies says:

    Hi,

    Its great the rivalry, and thats what it is, a rivalry.

    You stand on your pedestal and think that every fan in Ottawa measures the team success based off the Leaves.

    I don’t and lots of people who follow the team don’t.

    Nobody in Ottawa is talking about the leaves right now, we are talking about Heatley, the new Coach, Hasek, our stable of amazing rookies, and the future finances of the team.

    The media talks about this, like the writer, who did a good job.

    But i guess the reason that the Leaves get talked about so much is that there are alot of leave fans in ottawa and they are the ones you can get into a good-old fashioned my team is better then your team argument with in the bar.

    Its probably the same thing that Calgary and Edmonton went threw in the 80’s, now they don’t argue like that because the Flames sucked for years, and the Oilers were nothing to brag about.

    We should enjoy this rivalry, if there is one, because i really do think toronto is a non-threat like they were in the past. They used to be 1 of the 2 best in the northeast division. but i think they have been passed by Boston and Montreal. If the rivalry is there, great, if not, it could be 20 years like it was in Alberta before both teams are good enough to get the hate going.

    But i am going to tell you why its over now. The rivalry was one based on toughness vs. finesse. In Ottawa there is a new guy we call BIG BRIAN MCGRATTON and he is goiung to abolutely kick the day lights out of Tie Domi and take away any aura the Leaves had, when Domi goes down the Laeves organisation will be changed forever, and the rivalry will be dead, because the 2 elemnets that brought it to such a classic state in the minds of Ottawa fans will be gone, and the Leafs won’t be tough anymore.

  41. 21forsberg21 says:

    I clearly don’t have anything personally against Spezza. However, I do have something against the thought of anyone even having the audacity to think he will score 100 points this season, let alone actually saying it.

    Alright, 114 points in the AHL. You think he can score 100 in the NHL?!? You honestly think he’s going to go from 114 to 100 between leagues? And… during the lockout, the AHL wasn’t the premier league in the world. All the great players went over the play in Europe, what greats stuck around in the AHL? Chris Chelios?

    You guys must think I’m really biased here against Spezza, but frankly I’m not. And just because you say yourself that Spezza is going to score 100 points doesn’t mean he’s going to. I mean, c’mon, there’s no argument behind your words there. I’ve given plenty of reasons why this won’t happen. Look at the Ottawa lineup last season, the had a lot of stud’s in that lineup and I hate saying that as a Leafs fan. Alreddson, Havlat, Hossa… not even close to 100 points. Not bashing those guys, I’m still trying to decipher how Spezza’s going to score 100 this season… if that happens, Alfy and Havlat would be at 130 apiece.

    If I said the Leafs were going to finish 72-10 this season, you would all think I’m ludicrous, I would to. It’s the same when you guys actually fathom that Spezza will put up the century mark, absolutely outrageous, I’ll be the farm.

  42. 21forsberg21 says:

    I’ll be the farm…. I’ll bet the farm is more like it…. any takers?

  43. 92-93 says:

    ah muckies,

    i can always rely on you to get things totally wrong BUT i am appalled at the fact that you actually made a good, mature post. i didn’t see that one coming and no i am NOT being sarcastic.

    i agree about your points on the rivalry despite the one-sidedness of it. i also agree about your guy McGratton which I mentioned in an earlier response in this Sens preview. Domi is getting up there and the kind of ‘dumb toughness’ that I see in Belak, Tucker, etc. is not the kind I admired in past years (aka Gary Roberts, although Jeff O’Neill might fill a tiny fraction of the hole left behind by Roberts). however, i do think you are underestimating the low-profile players like Wilm, Perrott, Kilger, and (hopefully) Thomas who will provide all the ‘smart’ toughness that the Leafs will need.

    as for your assessment about Montreal and Boston ‘surpassing’ the Leafs, well – the puck hasn’t dropped yet on the new season so that’s extremely assumptuous. i think the 3 are actually neck-and-neck with ottawa finishing first as usual (the only reason why the Leafs and Sens didn’t battle for 1st last year in the division was because of the Bruins ability to take games to overtime).

    my main point though is that the Leaf fans that I know don’t talk about ottawa that much. sure we talk about them a little bit more than most teams but not that much. i think we talk about the Flyers MORE to tell you the truth. the Sens are just good fodder for jokes but, like you said, that will probably change this year because I think this Sens team is a solid team (and tougher, more skilled then in past years). until the puck is dropped though its hard to say (and no, the preseason is not a good indicator of anything especially when it comes to the Leafs or Sens – as history will prove).

  44. habs_punk says:

    Not a chance.

    There is no way in hell Spezza nets 100 this year. Maybe in a couple years he will, but you are crazy. Yes he is playing with Heatley, yes Ottawa will be an offensive team, yes he put up 117 points in the AHL, yes he was drafted 2nd overall to Ilya Kovalchuk, but none of that means he will hit 100. It just won’t happen. I guarantee it. You Sens fans are going way over the top here. I can’t even remember a Leafs fan making this ludicrous of a statement. 80 is plausible, but again, generous. He just will not hit 100. Ribeiro had more points then him last season, and was a point a game in Finland, but you don’t see any Habs fans saying he’s going to hit 100. Skillwise, they are very similar. Ribeiro had a TON more points in junior than Spezza did. They both have incredible upside, but neither one will hit 100.

  45. 21forsberg21 says:

    Amen brother.

    The people who think Spezza will hit the century mark are out of this world, they must not follow hockey whatsoever.

  46. muckies says:

    thanks for the insult,

    but what to expect from an arrogant Leave fan,

    thats why people hate your team, the coach is cool, Sundin is cool, I’d love to smoke crack with the Eagle – but the fans are so damn arrogant, for no good reason.

  47. 92-93 says:

    they also say that Leaf fans can’t take a joke and i guess that’s transferrable to Sens fans like yourself.

    I started my response on a lighter note on purpose. i wasn’t being sarcastic when i stated that you made a good post and if you are insulted by me stating that you usually make comments that are ‘wrong’ then you obviously didn’t take it as a joke and took it seriously. my bad for not making it more clear that i was joking.

  48. SensfanVone says:

    I didnt say he was gonna get 100 I said he was

    gonna light it up!! How can you doubt how good this guy hes better than Havlat and Alffy with Heatley on the same line you should see some crazy stuff this year from the sens im predicting him and heatley to both have above 80 pts.

  49. muckies says:

    anyways,

    did you see the comments today by Quinn, who basically said the leaves totally neglected their farm-team to win a champioship, which they obviuosly failed miserably at, andnow the leaves organisation is starting from the back of the field uin the “new NHL.”

    nothing new about it in Ottawa, we have always built thru the draft and had to sign low-end players. the only thing new about it is in places like detoit and toronto.

    which makes me think about the entire “i’ll take less money to play in Toronto theory.” that now seems like a load of shit because before they could say to Roberts “don’t leave we’ll pay you 2 million MORE then anybody else can, or the entire Cujo scene, basically overpaying players and then when they stay all the leaves fans think, ohhhh toronto is the best place to stay.

    i know what you want to say, nobody wanted Lindros and him coming home is basically his last chance, and he is taking it in an organisation where he has alot of supporters to get him a new contract after Mike Fisher rocks his world. And the o’neill situatuion, if you want that fine, we could of kept Magnus Arvedsson for 800k, but we told him to get lost.

    I just don’t see that, “i want to play in Toronto thing being believable”, especially now that they are not going to be legit contenders for the cup like they sort of had been in the past.

  50. Mullet says:

    Bryan Murray has a speech impedament so it sounds funny when he says Zdeno Chara’s Slapshot is super slick!

Leave a Reply