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Sens Underground


We're all volunteers paying out of our pocket. We operate on a loss.  If you'd like to help, it will be put to use running the podcast and we'll give you huge kudos on the show!


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S5 - Episode 5: Disaster Hits the Underground

Well, this didn't exactly turn out the way we wanted it to. We finally got the the video streaming running fine and wouldn't you know it, the gremlins got into the audio podcast. 

It is with great regret that we have to tell you we don't have a proper podcast for you this week. Shredder got himself a brand new fancy Mac, tested it out and it all ran fine...until we started to record. Turns out, there was a compatibility problem with some of our other gear and we lost the whole show. UGH!!! This has never happened to us in the 4+ years we've been at this and we feel terrible about it. You guys deserve our best effort and we pride ourselves in delivering but it was not meant to be this week.

HOWEVER!!! All is not lost. 1) We did manage to get the video stream working properly and 2) we managed to save a fantastic interview with former NHL star Ray Ferraro of TSN. (fromage alert!) Ferraro was a "Ray" of light in an otherwise frustrating evening. His candor and easy-going style is a perfect fit for the Underground and you'll love his comments on the Sens and Heatley, amongst other things. He also shares some interesting stories and tells us a few interesting facts about his playing days.

It's a real shame this happened because we had a lot of great topics and e-mails tonight but we shall persevere! We'll get this worked out. Shredder has been just busting his ass on this folks, and he'll hammer out the bugs for next week. Guaranteed! We thank all of you for your patience with us during our growing pains and a special thanks to all of you who hung out with us during the live stream. We know when it's all said and done, the Underground will be much better for it.  

Until next week, Leafs suck and the Sens won tonight! WOOHOO!!!

Ray Ferraro

A former NHL forward, Ray Ferraro brings a unique perspective to TSN's all-encompassing hockey coverage.

Prior to joining TSN in 2008, Ferraro worked as a game analyst on Edmonton Oilers telecasts for the past five years and as a studio analyst on ESPN's NHL2NITE. He also appeared as a studio analyst on the NHL on NBC and as an in-studio commentator for men's hockey during NBC's coverage of the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Ferraro is also a regular on the TEAM 1040 radio station in Vancouver and Canucks TV.

Ferraro played for six teams during his 18-year NHL career (Hartford, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Atlanta and St. Louis), scoring 408 goals and 490 assists in 1,258 NHL regular season games played. He also played in 68 NHL playoff games, recording 21 goals and 22 assists.

S5 - Episode 5: Disaster Hits the Underground


S5 - Episode 4: Streaming and Screaming

Hey everyone, here's our effort for this week. It was our second attempt at live video streaming and although there was a delay getting going, it went considerably better this week. One more show and we'll have this down pat!

First off, we just want to say thanks to the people who not only tuned in to watch the stream but also were very patient with us as we figured out what the glitch was that delayed us. You guys made it a lot of fun, interacting with us as the show went along. This is very much a work in progress but we can already see the possibilities, the fun we can have in future shows as we introduce more features. If you didn't get a chance to watch the live video feed this week, we invite you to join us each and every Wednesday at 8 pm. You can also join us in the chat provided. Judging by some of the posts and reactions this week, it's going to catch on big time with the show's listeners. 

As for the show itself, lots of great news to cover and some great discussions that get us going but the cool thing is, it's all about good stuff! First off, two wins for the Sens:

Tampa 1 - Ottawa 7 (Booyah!)
Ottawa 3 - Montreal 1

What a snot kicking that was on the Bolts, highlighted by Michalek's first ever hat trick (Dany Doucher who?). Follow that up with an entertaining win over the Habs where AK27 stepped up into spotlight and put it to his old team. Smiles all around the city this week as this new look Sens team seems to be falling right into the mold of the kind of team we've been craving in this town; good ol' hard working, honest hockey with everyone on board. NICE!

In the Open Ice segment, we give credit to an ex-Sen for getting it right, a new Sen gets credit for paying his dues, a long term Sen gets the accolades he deserves for his new attitude and a rookie Sen heats up some debate about his possible future. (Hey Josh, we know we were hard on you this week but you know we love ya, bro!). The Birdman Al Strachan has once again been set free by CBC and this news was well received by the Underground. Now, the suspicious details surrounding his release are up for debate but why look a gift dink in the mouth? Some other possible line up changes we may see shortly stirs debate and some interesting stat comparisons. 

Stooli has his News and we name our new Sens Underground Ambassador to the UK. Next week, we do our show while watching a Sens game. That has to be good for a least a few bleeps.


S5 - Episode 4: Streaming and Screaming


In Defence of Erik Karlsson

About 18 months ago The Golden God took the stage at SBP to rapturous applause and told us that with their first pick of the 2008 draft the Ottawa Senators were pleased to select dman Erik Karlsson from Frolunda. Most of us reacted along the lines of "who the frig is Erik Karlsson?" Pierre told us not to worry and that he was really good. So we stopped worrying.

Everything seemed so positive, nice kid (emphasis on kid and that's important), level headed but with a nice air of confidence/arrogance about him. You got the impression nothing much would phase him. We all knew he would be playing in Sweden for another year and out of sight and out of print he just seemed to get better and better in our heads.

Actually he was properly forgotten by most of the hockey media who kept on soiling their underwear (front and back) with thoughts of Luke Schenn who apparently is Bobby Orr, Superman and Jesus all rolled into one. Soon we found out that TSN stood for The Schenn Network (copywrite Russell I think) who believe that he is the future of hockey and that his crap doesn't stink. He also wins every fight, mainly because we never see the ones he loses - his winning tactic seems to be pulling his opponent onto the ice and then giving the refs the bambi eyes treatment so they step in and stop it before any actual fighting takes place.

The world juniors roll around and some of us got our first proper look at him and Jesus he was good. He was easily the best dman on Sweden's team and easily outstripped Hedman who was still thought of by some as a possible No1 pick in the upcoming draft. Young Erik was voted dman of the tournament and this got us REALLY excited.

Suddenly he goes from being our top defensive prospect to being, helped by a relatively static Ottawa Senators 08/09 blueline, our saviour. Don't worry that Chris Phillips is having a bad year, next year we'll have Karlsson; don't worry that Jason Smith hasn't got any knees, watch out for Erik; don't worry that Brendan Bell is one of our top 6 dmen, Karlsson will make him redundant - and while we are at let's take all of our other defensive prospects and younger dmen like Campoli, Picard and Lee and make them all immediate tradebait because next year all our worries will be gone because we'll have Erik Karlsson playing for us.

Reading through various sens related blogs and forums (including this one) there was hardly a desenting voice, Karlsson was going to be great. Right from the get-go. No doubts, no worries, no problem. Actually more like no chance.

Karlsson is 19 and I don't know what you guys were like at 19 but I know that I wasn't one of the best in the world at what I do, I also know that I wasn't regularly in direct competition at my place of work against a whole bunch of people more experienced than I and better than I. I also know that at 19 people generally were prepared to cut me a little slack. Karlsson has not had that luxury. I'm not saying that he's one of the best in the world but he could be. I'm not saying that he's the best puck moving dman in Ottawa, but he probably will be one day and that day might come around pretty soon.

Karlsson has now played 6 NHL games and is on pace for between 25-30 assists this year which would have put him 2nd on the list for the sens last year. But this doesn't seem good enough. There have already been articles in the Citizen and Sun saying he isn't good enough. His GM and Coach have already come out publicly and said he needs to improve which is something we can all see. The forums are quick to judge and apparently Karlsson sucks or he should be in Bingo or he's done or he's not anywhere near as good as we thought he was. How can we honestly judge him so quickly. Hopefully he doesn't go anywhere, he stays in Ottawa and gets to play alongside a dman that is more imposing and more physical than Chris Campoli. We all know how good Meszaros looked alongside Chara, well I reckon Karlsson will look even better alongside a dman that can do some of the dirty work for him.

With the puck everything looks great, he can pass we can all see that. Along the boards and against the forecheck he's less impressive, did anybody honestly expect anything else from him. My neighbour's dog weighs more than Karlsson for God's sake - so does my neighbour's wife but that's less amusing for my neighbour.

Let Karlsson settle and he'll end up being what we want him to be. Get on his back from the get go and he'll be bouncing around between here and Bingo and that won't do him a lot of good. Karlsson picked up an assist in last weeks demolition of Tampa - by the way did anybody notice how great Hedman looked in that game - i'll answer for you, no you didn't, all you noticed was when A-Train creamed him against the boards. You know why nobody noticed Hedman's greatness last week? It was because Hedman looked ordinary last week. Luke Schenn has looked less than ordinary all year and both of these players were picked far higher than our boy Erik. Karlsson can't fail - some of Alfie's Golden Godness will rub off on him but it's going to take some time and as fans of the Ottawa Senators we should give him that.

I'm writing this before the montreal game and regardless of whether Karlsson scores his first goal or gets a couple of assist or has a bit of a nightmare our expectations of him shouldn't change too much. We should give him that as well.


S5 - Episode 3: Lights, Cameras...

Sound... sound... I SAID SOUND!

Ok, we all know Rome wasn't built in a day (though it was visited in a weekend!) but we got through it! Our first ever live video stream show is now in the books but not without some hiccups along the way. Hey, there was a lot to do, alright!?

Seriously though, we had a great time and for our first try, glitches aside, we're pretty happy with it. As we do more of these, we'll get smoother at it and we'll be adding more and more content to the video aspect that'll make it alot of fun. Thanks to all that joined us tonight and of course you can listen to the podcast to catch the first part where the sound was missing.

Ok, back to the hockey part. We did discuss three games for the Sens this week:

Isles 2 - Sens 3 OT
Thrashers 2 - Sens 4
Penguins 4 - Sens 1

We really only get to talk about two of these games, however, because as many of you were very upset about this week, CBC decided not to broadcast the Thrashers game. There was no lack of outrage, and rightly so, from Sens Army about this and we reflect your dissent.

We touch on the bombs that Theo Fleury unleashed on the hockey world this week and discuss what, if any, repercussions they will have. The total lack of respect the NHL has shown for the intelligence of the hockey fan about his accusations is unbelievable and we rant away about it. We all agree that it's just another black eye on the NHL on Buttman's watch.

The Leafs...ahhhh, the Leafs. What would we do without them? They bring us so much amusement and for a show in which we didn't have a ton to cover, they give us so much material! From Bagpipes to Wilson, from Kessel to what might have been had the TRADE OF THE CENTURY taken place, it's all just so easy! We also have several e-mails regarding last week's discussion of the Sens-Laffs rivalry. The News with Stooli, People are Stoopid and whatever else we do to fill dead air.

We hope this new experience catches on with you. If nothing else, it gives us a reason to get back to the gym and work out. Gotta look good when you're on the tube!

S5 - Episode 3: Lights, Cameras...


Live Streaming Begins this Week

Starting this week, we will start streaming our episodes live.  Each weekly show will be recorded at 8:00 PM EST on Wednesdays where you can now tune in via uStream or directly from our site and watch us live as we record our podcasts. The page link to view our stream will be part of the header and will be visible first thing tomorrow morning.  There will be further instructions on that page.

You'll be able to chat with us live using uStream's chatting services which will also be available on our streaming page.  And of course, we'll be live on Twitter as well. 

Just so you know, the shows will not be recorded on uStream meaning a show will not be available for viewing after the live broadcast is over.  Not now anyway… once we've done a few shows and have gotten the hang of it, we'll start recording the shows and either make them available as video podcasts and/or keep them stored on our uStream channel for later viewing.

Please tune in if you can… your feedback is always appreciated (good or bad).