The Dilemma in Ottawa

Last nights game was a huge litmus test for both the leafs and the sens. Along with the fight for first place for the foreseeable future anyway, the leafs needed this win after a trouncing at the hands of Ottawa last time. (Granted too many players were out of the game to call it a fair match up) And Ottawa needed this game to continue to flex their muscles in the east.In reality the only importance this game had was for points to stay in the top spot. The real question though is this game may have determined alot more for John Muckler in regarding trade acquisitions.

No I am not going to mention Lalime in this article, but this game left Muckler in a major bind.

The notion of Bondra coming to the Sens was raised again by the round headed Garrioch and others on the Hotstove. The main question Muckler needs to answer after this game is does he go for toughness or does he go for more scoring. Hell why not both, or will that change the team too much.

This game left both questions unanswered. The Sens went 1-14 on the PP and the only goal they scored was from a 5 on 3. This is the best PP in the league. These guys seem to always score on the PP. But tonight had nothing. Belfour was great but so is Brodeur and any goalie can get hot in a series so…is the answer getting Bondra.

As stated on the Hotstove, Bondra would make the second PP line or the first deadly with Hossa on the other side. Bondra would add strength to the left side creating an even more balanced offence.

Or, would you say that this game once again proved to Muckler and all Sens fans that they need to get tougher. I don’t know what game you saw but the Sens seemed to fold under the pressure. Hossa was a ghost, (granted Mcabe tried to lay him out a few times) but becuase of that Hossa seemed soft. The only real tough guy on that team is Chara in my opinion, and even he had to leave with an injury (after throwing another player around like a rag doll)

The Sens and their fans can complain all they want about how dirty the Leafs are. Some of those penalties were deserving, others though were a joke. The refs looked like teachers trying to protect the younger kids from the stronger ones in a gym class. (Aki berg’s slash, Joe Niewedyk GT interfernce come on)

This was the sens opportunity to do two things. Either play tough and show the leafs and all other teams that they are going to tough it out in the playoffs. Or it could have been a chance to show the teams to “go ahead play tough and get penalties, we’ll just burn the crap out of you with our PP”

Last night the Sens did neither of them. And you know that the word is out to all teams that are contenders in the east. Check hard, check fast, fight a few guys, lay a few cheap shots and the Sens will back down.

So again the question still remains. Does Muckler go for skill in Bondra to try to burn teams for getting penalties against the sens? Or does he go out and get a few strong and tough guys to protect his stars and take care of guys like Domi and Perrott, who were the preverbial pain in the ass for Ottawa last night. Love Domi or hate him, but he did his job last night and it helped the leafs big time.

This is a tough decision for Muckler, one that could really alter his team for the playoffs. Let’s hope he makes the right one. Or his team could again falter in the playoffs to a tougher group. (Not necessarily the leafs)

What would you do? and How did you see that game last night?

Were the leaf cheap shot artists? or did they play the perfect game against Ottawa?

Should the leafs get Bondra? Was that a fluke on Ottawa’s part for the PP and next game the leafs are dead in the water?

70 Responses to The Dilemma in Ottawa

  1. SaskSen says:

    I understand where your coming from, but hear me out on this. I played a very high level of hockey (AHL) and have a couple NHL camps. Ottawa being one of them, Van Allen is a class act and respected player in the NHL. As I am sure you know he is also not a fighter. I missed the first period of the game and was somewhat drunk for the second and third, and I must have missed the butt end. If that is the case it is a different story, but I ask why wasn’t there retaliation at the time???

    In hockey there is a an “unwritten rule” that fighter especially heavyweights do not fight players that aren’t even close to being in their league. It is just something you don’t do, a more likely scenario would be to send someone in their weight class after them. In this case sending someone like Nieuendyk (sp?) after Van Allen. It is just not appropiate for one of the toughest players in the NHL to go after an older, weaker, player at the end of his career, NO EXCEPTIONS. domi no matter how mad he was shouldn’t have done it.

    the reason I criticize Domi is for several reasons. I am a big fan of Niedermayer, and when Domi gave him that “cheap shot” a few years back that pretty much gave me my opinion on him. Then when I was part of the Ottawa org. I more intently followed them. The arvedsson thing pissed me off last year. This year Van Allen. If you could enlighten me to other heavyweights (I mean by that tough fighter in the NHL) who go after clearly players who don’t fight please do. AS I said before what would your opinion be if Worrell grabbed Sundin and started pounding in his face, even if sundin sticked him. If not sundin then Reichel, Stajan, or Mogilny. It is just something you don’ do. As for Van Allen running interference give me a break. If that was a reason to sucker punch someone than 95% of the players in the NHL would be getting sucker punched.

    As objectively as I want to look at this there is no way I can believe that Domi did what he did to Van Allen. People want to talk about lack of respet int he league, it should start here.

    That being said I cannot wait for Thursday. It is going to be a great game. No offence but I do hop we overtake you guys and eventually meet you int the playoffs.

  2. SaskSen says:

    majors and pims don’t always measure toughness.

    lok at laraque?? i might put him and from people i talked to would put him as maybe the toughest in the nhl.

    I simply used Worrell as an exmaple because I attended a Panthers camp a while ago. As far as any player I have been on the ice with he was the toughest. But your right there are other tough guys, i just have a habit of using Worrell. My bad I guess.

    But as for what I said feel free to substitute any tough guy into Worrell position.

  3. nocuphere says:

    Dude your preaching to the choir. Van Allen’s wife is from Bras D’or in Cape Breton. I live there. I play softball with the guy at least once a year. I know what he’s like. He’s quiet, but he’s nasty on the ice when he has to be. My only thought is that if Domi played for your team and he was jumping in to protect your key guys then you’d love him. It’s just a mindset. I hate Daniel Alfredsson, but i’d love him if he were playing with the leafs. Or Neil. I hate the fat headed bastard, but if he was the leafs tough guy he’d be a king.

  4. nocuphere says:

    Yeah Worrell got fuckin pumped by Hordichuk last week. A little off topic but what a fucking right hand that kid has.

  5. SaskSen says:

    point well taken. I am also sure if Domi was a Sen I could do a 180 on likeing him. My point though that Domi going after Van Allen is wrong. Even if it was in defence of a teammate.

    I will be the first to admit that after Domi hit Arvedsson last year, Alfredson jumped in and tried to help. In the process he swung his stick at Domi as if trying to spear him. That was wrong.

    Like I said earlier I missed part of the game and if Van Allen sticked Domi then that isa different story, but then I question why did Domi wait until the end of the game when Van Allen was a sitting duck and there was no chance of retaliation from a Sens tough guy to do anything? Don’t give me the excuse that he waited until the game was decided to do it, because we both know that’s off base.

    If Van Allen speared or butt-ended someone else, why didn’t they take care of it themselves? Were they scared of Van Allen? But like I said I saw nothing.

    What Domi did was bush league. You cannot really argue that. I haven’t heard you disagree that tough guys going after non tough guys is wrong. You haven’t given me an example of another tough guy that does this. I can name 3 Domi occasions. The guy is a good fighter, and a decently skilled tough guy, I am sure I could like him if he was on my team but still what he did was BUSH LEAGUE

  6. SaskSen says:

    11/13/2003 OTT CBJ Jody Shelley 3pd 12:43

    Comments: During play, they agree to go, dropping the gloves and tying up. Shelley misses with an overhand right as Neil moves his head to the side. Neil lands a weak right. Shelley nails him with a solid right of his own, then misses. Neil hammers Shelley with two lefts, the second one knocking the helmet off of Shelley’s head. Then they both swing at the same time, can’t tell if they landed, but Shelley loses his balance, going to the ice then quickly getting back up. They both land a right at the same time. A few glancing blows are exchanged before Neil lands a rock solid right to Shelley’s jaw. Shelley goes down to one knee as Neil swings again. He tries to muscle himself free of the grip Neil has on his jersey, but the linesmen come in and grab them. Shelley barks some parting words at Neil.


    History (DVD)

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    All FM Leaders

    Fight Log


    Chris Neil

    Position: RW

    Birthdate: 6/18/1979

    From: Flesherton, Ontario; Canada Height: 6′ 1″

    Weight: 210 lbs

    2003-2004 Regular Season Fights: 18 Date For Against Opponent Time

    10/9/2003 OTT MON Gordie Dwyer 2pd 05:30

    Comments: They come together along the boards and drop ’em. Lots of hugging in this one, mainly by Dwyer. Neil’s punches were a little more effective as Dwyer’s helmet came off early. Gordie also slipped at one point and went into the boards pretty hard. A lot of short punches in a fight which lasted about 45 seconds. You could tell they were both dog tired at the end.

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    10/23/2003 OTT WAS Jason Doig 3pd 19:52

    Comments: Rematch from last year. Neil got a small jab on Doig’s nose (could have missed), and Doig gets in a few good rights to the side of Neil’s face. Doig gets spun around and Neil hits him in the back of the head and they fall.

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    10/30/2003 OTT FLA Darcy Hordichuk 1pd 02:00

    Comments: The two agree to go right after the faceoff. They drop em, Hordichuk lands two, Neil lands two and misses with a third as Hordichuk spins madly off-balance. Neil then lands one on Hordichuk before the linesman jumps in

    1/22/2004 OTT PIT Kelly Buchberger 1pd 18:33

    Comments: This came about right after a Sens’ goal, and Kelly Buchberger once again tried to get the team fired up. The camera took a good 7 or 8 seconds to get on the fight, but when it did they were grabbing on. They each got the left free, threw 6 or 7 lefts, and each appeared to connect on a couple. Buchy went down for a moment, and then got back up and had his left cocked as if he were about to throw a big haymaker, but then he somehow fell down backwards before he threw and the fight was over.

    For the record Neil’s 18 fights are second only to Shelley and oliwa, 6 ahead of the Leafs #1 fighter.

    Just to let you know

  7. SaskSen says:

    Also funny little fact. For all the complaining the Leafs do about high sticking and no respect and all the other stuff. Guess what team leads the league in high-sticking penalties????

    You guessed it the Leafs, talk about no respect, it all starts at home.

  8. Wills says:

    Mabye my comments came by to strong, but I was trying to just point out that the Leafs have a very undisciplined team. Not sure but I thought I heard somewhere that they have taken the most penalites in the league. If they were to do that in the playoffs against a team with a hot powerplay, they would of lost that game for sure. I’ll give them credit that they are having a good regular season but when it comes to the playoffs its a different story. There is tough hockey then their is dumb hockey, and although the Leafs are tough they play the dumb hockey way to much. This team doesn’t need a trade like I hear everyday on this site, they need someone to teach them to keep their cool. The Leafs are in first right now but imagine how good they would be if they didn’t take all those stupid penalities night after night.

  9. Infu says:

    I totally agree with you on the part that the Leafs get called for high sticking, its the high sticking that does not get called that pisses us off. We might be leading in the penalized high sticking department, but when other teams arent penalized for it, it kind of pisses us off…

  10. bleedsblueandwhite says:

    That was really one of the few games this season where they really got in a lot of penalty trouble. Some of the calls were very questionable, 9 or 10 of them were warranted. While that is still a big number, it was also a bit time emotional game, they knew that is was a regular season game, and while first place in the division was on the line, they committed to playing a physical game and not worrying about losing as much as they would in the playoffs. Last year in the playoff they took significantly less penalties in the postseason, and I think this game was just an overdose of emotion.

  11. LondonK says:

    Exactly. Even early in the game. Domi was highsticked and the stick hit his visor right in front of a ref with no call. The CBC analyst crew (Cuthbert (the Western guy) -did you know Ottawa-Toronto is the Battle of Alberta?, Healy (ex-leaf), and crapper who should retire) we joking about how Tie was lucky that he didn’t get his head taken off. Meanwhile the whole fact that it was a highstick was ignored. The Dagenais play where he was suspended was not called. Nolan’s eye injury was not called. Prior to that Nolan had at least 5 non-calls on high sticks where he was bleeding, I don’t know how many where he wasn’t. Tucker’s eye injury wasn’t called.

    While the leafs lead the league in high sticks, theirs come from places where there are fights for the puck and it is noticeable because the refs are watching the play. The leafs have been victims of severe miscues by the refs regarding high sticks all year.

    And yes, I am positive that a few have been left off the leafs, but those that have been on the leafs and not called far outweight the called penalties.

  12. SaskSen says:

    I am just saying I have heard many an interview where three or four Leafs came on and said they are sick of constant high-sticking, lack of respect, blah blah blah. It’s kind of ironic that the worst offenders are the biggest complainers. That’s all.

  13. davidhabba says:

    Hey dumbell, you may have noticed from my name that I’m a habs fan. What makes me biased about the Sens? Oh well, at least you didn’t make a racist comment this time, Mogilny89, good for you. Glad to see you making progress in your evolutionary development.

    As for watching a few hockey games, I work at one of the sports networks, I can watch any game I want from past to present. Nice try.

  14. TheShack says:

    If you want to nit-pick you could say that the Sens were missing 5 of the their best players on Saturday.






  15. TheShack says:

    I’m a Sens fan, so I am biased (for the Sens and against the Leafs) but there is no way the Flyers could handle either of these teams come playoff time.

  16. nocuphere says:

    Points well taken. I understood. I just wish the regulators of this site would stop posting so many leaf articles so I don’t feel obligatd to jump in and defend the leafs. Not the author. And well as far as playoff history, everyone chokes. The only non-choker in the league is New Jersey. So I guess my point is hey don’t shit on the leafs when they have just as much playoff success without a cup as philly. ottawa, St Lou, Vancouver, and the ranger fans here bashing the leafs is gross.

  17. LondonK says:

    That is true. But their complaint isn’t with the fact that they are getting called, it is the fact that they are not getting called when on them. It is fine that the leafs have a lot of highsticking penalties, but their concern is that they are not getting the calls in their favour too. Owen Nolan has been highsticked far too many times without calls. I even remember one incident (I believe it was a game against Florida) where he was highsticked in front of the ref and the ref didn’t make the call. Nolan talked to him after the incident and in the post game interview he said that the ref said that he thought he was faking the injury. So despite the fact that the infraction happened directly in front of the referee he made the decision that Nolan was faking, meanwhile his face is scarred up, mainly from this year. Look at Matt Stajan’s face. The kid is 19 years old and it already looks like he has been playing in the NHL for years the way it is chopped up. And yet he has been cut several times with no call. That is where the leafs concern is.

    The leafs know they play a physical game that balances on the edge. That is when they are at their best. In previous years they complained about the calls, but with the group of leaders they have on the team, they don’t now. They are upset with the blatant that should be called but hasn’t.

  18. Badf1sh says:

    I think a round of applause needs to go to the Leafs on this one. They came out mean and hungry … hence they won the game..convincingly.

    It wasn’t Lalime’s fault, nor Rachunek’s…wasn’t even Hossa’s. It was a TEAM loss.

    Belfour did what anyone would do, he chopped…got away with it..and continued to do so all night. The refs were going to let it go, so why not. Didn’t see White and Chara in front of the net for too long… did you? The Leafs were killing every penalty anyways.

    The Leafs were more prepared for this game than the Senators. Kudo’s to Quinn. Shame on Martin!

    At least this all happend now…not in April or May!

    P.J. Stock would be great for the Sens..(not my call, read it on this site and sounded too good not to mention)

  19. wayne2 says:

    As a sens fan,we got roughed up bottom line.This

    said,we do miss Fisher,Varada and Volchenkov and

    they arent coming back soon so we gotta make a

    deal.Rachunek`s play has dropped this year and

    Schastlevy has no heart at all and is also injury

    prone so here`s what i propose for trade:

    Schastlevy,Rachunek and a pick or maybe Langfeld

    to Edmonton for Isbister and Staios(rumored to be

    offered lately).This would fix a problem and without

    costing too much.

    Isbister could play with Bonk and Hossa since this

    is the only way Bonk performs(when he has protection) and Staios would be a great fit with

    Redden.I can just imagine come playoff time when

    everybody is healthy:





    spares would be Vermette,Van Allen

    and on defense:




    spares Pothier,Knidy

    we would have everything for the playoffs:

    grit,size,toughness.offense,defense the only thing

    uncertain is Lalime but if he gets his act together

    and plays like he played in the playoffs last year

    this could be the year.

  20. Badf1sh says:

    Quit worrying about Lalime

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