Just to get things off and running – and possibly get you shy bloggers to come out of the woodwork- I’m going give you four reasons why the Senators should have won the Stanley Cup this year.
Reason #4 - SC Finals hangover = over
This mythical excuse wheeled out yearly by hockey pundits. The team that plays further into the summer makes a boatload of money for the organization and little, outside of those idiotic playoff bonuses, for the players. What am I getting at? Well, maybe after a long hard playoffs and a short summer some players choose to give 80 to 90 percent. Oops, did I just call the players of our beloved game slackers? Yes I did.
So are the Sens the biggest tea-totaler’s in NHL? No. Apparently they were just waking up from the Ducks party when the Penguins held them down and dropped a dozen beer bongs down their throats. Its either that or...
Reason #3 - Coaching
We had an awesome coach! There can be no disputing that Craig Hartsburg was the man for the job. I’ve never seen the world juniors play like that in front of him so I can only extrapolate that the major reason behind this year’s strategy was management. I’ll venture to guess that he was told to “play safe” and keep the players subdued. What a crock. Give me injuries to half the roster and 10-4 games any day of the week. I would not have been as disappointed in this season if I would have seen more neutral zone regroups or even a defenseman standing up at somewhere near the blue line.
I want to see my Sens flying out there. It’s why I bought the crappy t-shirts and suffered through all the horrible marketing campaigns, because the Sens were playing the most spectacular hockey of any team in the NHL in the past few seasons. When you get guys like Heatley and Spezza on the Roster they are not there to play in their own end, let them play. When you hire coaches that have wide-open systems, let them use them.
Reason #2 - Fans
Don’t we deserve better? When a team, who we support, suddenly wants to air reruns of Passions through the locker-room I get sick to my stomach. I challenge you readers to pay a little more attention to one other team. Choose any team in the NHL and report back in the forums about all the locker room and off-ice antics you find.
How much more will the fans in Ottawa, or the fans OF Ottawa for that matter, take before they stop caring. I was pretty damn close this year. You can tell me how that sounds bandwagon until the cows come home, but I wasn’t planning on cheering for another team. Passions was cancelled people, goes to show you that only longstanding franchises can treat their fans like crap and get away with it (you know who you are).
Reason #1 – Alfie
What? You were expecting something else to be more important than the center of our universe. Not a chance. For everything that this man has done to renew my faith in the Senators team, nightly, he deserves better. As evidenced by his more apparent meltdowns late in this season, and the fact that he sat in the press box with an understudy during the Senators season finale, Alfie is not too long for the great big off-season in the sky. Give Alfie his due and his potential ticket to the Hall, in a Cup ring. I don’t care if you have to buy every referee from here to the finals. Make the call to Brian Burke, get their numbers and do your damn job!