Ottawa Senators Thought Experiment - Macleans.ca
 

Ottawa Senators Thought Experiment


 

The scene: occupied France.

The time: 1943.

Jason Spezza is an allied spy during the Second World War – a man charged with protecting at all costs a code-breaking device that could shift the balance against the Nazi menace and preserve freedom for all. Imagine what happens next…

Spezza [handling over code-breaking device]: Here you go.

Hitler: Thanks.

•••

In other news… <shakes fist> SPEZZZAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

In other, other news, I’m a pretty even-keeled kind of guy. I’m not normally the type you’d find talking down the home team or heckling from my seat about a poor performance. But I forked out the money to take in last night’s Senators/Penguins game – and sweet bearded Jesus, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so dismal an effort at so critical a point in a playoff series: lousy goaltending, lousier puckhandling, lousierest decision-making – and two (2) (two!) penalties for too many men on the ice. I’m telling you: there haven’t been this many mental lapses in one building since Liberals got together and agreed on Stephane Dion.

The only thing that amuses me this morning is to think back to how wounded Spezza sounded last summer when he wasn’t invited to the Olympic orientation camp. The guy actually thought he had a chance to make the Canadian Olympic team. ADORABLE!


 
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Ottawa Senators Thought Experiment

  1. The Senators best players have been Neil, Ruutu and Kelly (and well Regin). That's the 4th line. It's nice and all when the role players are doing their job, but if they're your best players against anyone you're in trouble, let alone Sidney Crosby.

    • Neil was good last night, but more important he achieved something truly rare: he scored a goal and was assessed a penalty AT THE SAME TIME.

      Spezza also achieved something rare when he somehow refrained from turning over his power of attorney.

    • Neil was good last night, but more important he achieved something truly rare: he scored a goal and was assessed a penalty AT THE SAME TIME.

  2. I often get amused when Jeffrey Simpson gets all not policy like and also moans about his beloved Ottawa Senators. If only he had a blog, or a used clog.

    Actually, today's column has hidden meaning, if you read closely:

    Jeffrey Simpson
    Canada's [ie Ottawa's] a double-dealer in world trade [which in Canada is hockey, or unrefined asphalt for you Coby-like Oilers fans]

    We talk a great game [Cherry -picking], then defend supply-managed products [yeah, ok, another team for Hamilton – geesh, how many free Blackberries does that make?] with tiny import quotas [Pittsburgh isn't the biggest team, agreed] and stratospheric tariffs [I guess he bought from scalpers this go around] on anything above those quotas [wishful thinking – you're not getting past this round]
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/cana

  3. Listen, when you name a team "Senators," you're going to have to accept the odd episode of sleepwalking.

  4. That giveaway perfectly summarized Spezza's career. I swear, if you opened your window you could hear Ottawa shouting all at once <shakes fist> "SPEZZAAAAAA!" And I live in Quebec.
    WHat a failure his career has been. How has he ever fooled people into considering him a top echelon player? Why couldn't they have sent him to San Jose with that other playoff weakling (giving San Jose an unparalleled collection of that life form)?

    • I still remember when I heard about Spezza's $49-million contract extension. I was driving in the car with my then-six-year-old. I don't often make predictions that could be considered accurate (as anyone who reads my nfl picks can attest), but i used a very specific verb that day. That verb was "rue."

  5. Was the officiating as bad live as it was on TV? I can handle losing to the Pens – they are way better, but the refs were an absolute joke.

    • The officiating was spectacularly awful – although not particularly biased one way or another. They missed calls both ways. If you can divorce yourself from any rooting interest you might have in the game, it's actually pretty hilarious to watch how a game is called. Getting your stick parallel to the ice and gently placing it on the torso of an opponent is an automatic penalty. Not an automatic penalty: Getting your stick parallel to the ice and ruthlessly smashing it against the back of an opponent's head. Or elbowing a guy in the face. Or punching a guy in the teeth.

  6. I strongly believe that unwavering Canadian hockey fans are the reason this country hasn't seen a Stanley Cup winning team in 17 years.

    If we didn't flock to the games and tune in on television regardless of what product our Canadian teams actually put on the ice, then General Managers would be forced to try to put something good on the ice.

    Kindergarten kids in Toronto have not seen the Leafs go to the playoffs in their lifetime. And if you remember the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup, you also remember the moon landing. And yet if you attempt to buy a ticket to see the Leafs play on short notice your best bet is to watch them play on the road in Buffalo.

    • I was going to rebuff you, but then I realized the Flames only made it to the Final after many years of fickle fans.

    • I think you are bang on in another regard. NHL completely takes Canada for granted and why shouldn't they?

      For example, Winnipeggers go right on watching and drink the sponsor's beer. We fill the arena for exhibition games and pay more to see The Moose than it costs for deeply discounted Coyote tickets in Phoenix. Despite this demonstration of loyalty, does the NHL leadership say, "Well we must have made a mistake. If we put one tenth of what we've spent on propping up the Coyotes into the Jets, they'd be a league contender?" Do they ask "Why do 20 milion Canadians watch the Olympic finals, but not the NHL?"

      They don't ask these questions, and they never will if we keep on watching whatever product they flood the ice with. Maybe if the people of Winnipeg and Hamilton and Quebec City stopped watching the NHL would stop taking us for granted. Until then, we're like the Spiderman fans who hated the movie because it wasn't faithful to the original comics, and then went to see it 29 times to complain.

  7. To carry over the argument from a previous thread: no doubt that giveaway by Spezza last night was awful. But that's an adjective that can be applied to pretty much the whole team:

    Save % of Sens goaltenders: 0.833
    Stupid penalties: check!
    Multiple too many men penalties? check
    Shorthanded goal against? check
    Sens' "shutdown" D pairing: minus 3 on the night

    It would be just as appropriate to yell out "Elliotttttt!" or "Clooooooouston!" or "Muraaaaaaaaaay!"

    By the by, the top two stories on Ottawacitizen.com at the moment are "Fisher, Underwood build house in West Carleton", and "Sens' Fisher a fan of love handles?". Wow. This is a bad, bad, bad hockey city.

    • I'd defend Spezza under one circumstance – if the league starts handing out assists for when you help a team score a goal – regardless of whether it's YOUR team that scores said goal or not.

      If Spezza had an assist for every goal scored as a result of a perfect pass that he put right on the stick of an opposing player in the neutral zone I think he'd statistically be among the best players in the league.

      I do agree though that while he's the worst, he's got pretty stiff competition in Ottawa.

      • He was nowhere close to the top of the list in terms of giveaways in 2009-10. Granted, he missed 22 games, but he clocked in tied for 52nd with 558 turnovers. In fact, he had virtually the same number of turnovers per game as Crosby, and fewer than Ovechkin. Again, the hyperbole makes for great rhetoric, but it's not exactly accurate.

        It doesn't bother anyone that Elliott has the worst GAA and SV% of any goalie during the playoffs? Seriously? DFL out of the 17 netminders who have started a game, and no one cares?

        • We care. At least, I care. It's just that Spezza earns $7-million AND he has the strange habit of drawing the most possible attention to his miscues by ensuring THEY ARE GIGANTIC AND VERY CONSEQUENTIAL.

          Turnover stats are useless in the NHL. Turnovers that lead directly to the other team scoring within 10 seconds – now THAT's a category worth keeping, and one I'm confident that Spezza would lead the league in.

          • dude, i don't think you are gonna convince Spezza's dad Ed R. I tried all day yesterday, making clear that even though we can all agree that the Sens stink as a team, that Spezza is particularly odious.

          • Wow – sarcasm AND HTML tags! I know when I've been defeated! Q.E.D.!

          • Your point re: the memorable nature of some of his turnovers is well taken. It's just that he's not the biggest reason they're not winning right now. When the other team is clicking like Pittsburgh is, you're getting terrible goaltending and no one on your team (besides maybe Peter Regin) is stepping up, you're going to be golfing sooner than you had hoped. Every time.

        • Other players may give away the puck as often, or more, but I'm with Feschuk in believing that precious few in the NHL turn over the puck as often in scenarios in which their turnover could arguably be deemed to be an assist on the opposing teams immediate goal. Ovechkin may turn over the puck more often, but I've never seen Ovechkin tun over the puck and immediately thought, "Wow, that was an absolutely PERFECT pass if Ovechkin's intention was to assist his opponents in scoring a goal".

          I've seen Spezza make passes to someone on the other team that look better, more professionally executed, and are more consequential to the outcome of the game than any pass I've ever seen him make to a fellow Senator.

  8. There's hockey on?

  9. Okay so what happened t the live blog of the Sens game?