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Sens Underground


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Sens Win Stanley Cup

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!

Give er!


S4 - Episode 23: Take it Behind the Barn and Shoot it.

It's........over. Done. Kaput. And so are we.

Like you'd do to an old dog that you love, we put this season out of it's misery this week with the season 4 finale. But we can feel good about it because we certainly can look forward to next season with more hope than we thought just a few short months ago. Yes, the play-offs have started without us but the Sens' play since Clouston took charge certainly gives us hope that we will be back in the hunt for the cup next year.

We recap the final two games of the season:

New Jersey 3 - Ottawa 2 SO
Ottawa 2 - Burke's Bozos 5

I know, it was a loss to the Leafs but seriously, who cares? The Sens didn't seem to, as this was as lame duck a game as you can imagine. A lot of you seemed very upset by this loss but don't read too much into it. Besides, this win was the worst thing that could happen to the Leafs. We explain why.

So, with the smoke clearing, we look back at the season, not too much though. We'd rather forget about it and look ahead to better times.  A part of those times will be Ryan Shannon, who signed a 1 year contract with the Sens. We're very happy about that but again, this raises questions about the future of Comrie, as did Murray's rather blunt assessment of his performance this year. It also raises questions about the line up of hotties attending games at SBP next season. Would we let Comrie go if it meant losing the Duffster? Apparently Campoli may be adding to the scenery next season as he's been rumoured to be involved with some rocket-hot honey. However, there are some other rumours about these two recent Isles that Stooli divulges this week that are a little disturbing. You'll find this interesting.

The final News segment, your year-ending e-mails and our look at the play-offs as we dance our way out of another season.

Of course, we can't sign off without saying thanks to you, our listeners, our friends. You guys make this show worth doing and this year we needed you more than ever to get through those bleak nights. You guys kept it fun for us and we can never thank you enough for spending some time with us each week. We'll be back in the summer, no doubt, to take a look at any moves Murray might make. Until then, enjoy the play-offs, have a safe and fun summer and shake that ass like there's no tomorrow!


S4 - Episode 23: Take it Behind the Barn and Shoot it.


New Site - Same Look...

As promised, the new site is finally here!

Looks pretty much like the other one doesn't it?  Well that's because I finished my part before StooLi finished his.  Look at this as Part 1 of the new website... Part 2 will include the new logo, colours and layout.

So everything looks pretty much the same except for the Forums.  It'll take some getting used to but it should serve us well for the summer.  The service we're using to provide forum discussions is being enhanced as we speak and we'll probably have it updated in time for Season 5 of the Underground.

Remember, all of the posts from the old site are gone... sorry, tried to find a way to port them over but it just wasn't possible.  Also, you'll need to re-create your accounts.  Once you're account is created and you're logged in, click on your name at the top right corner and edit your profile to change your display name.  If you don't, your full name will be displayed in your posts.

And finally, the RSS name and location for our blog, m4a and mp3 feeds have changed.  Your current subscriptions should automatically redirect to the new feed.  All feeds have now been combined into one and as mentioned in a previous blog post, the m4a (Enhanced Podcast) has been dropped.

Note: Your current subscriptions to the podcast will now show duplicate episodes for season 3.  Basically, all episodes in the new feed will appear as ready for download but the previous audio files from the old feed will still remain.  Sorry but that's a side effect from changing feeds entirely.

So create your accounts and let us know what you think... you can use the new Feedback page for that if you'd like?


S4 - Episode 22: Clouston, We Have a Contract.

What we all suspected was going to happen, finally did; Lindsey Lohan and her girlfriend broke up. But now, back to the Sens.

Yes, Cory Clouston was signed to a well deserved two year contract today. How could they not after the remarkable turnaround the team has undergone since he took over. Not surprisingly, this topic dominates this episode.

Since we last met, we have seen the Sens play 7 games (well, some of us have).

Ottawa 3 – Atlanta 6
Ottawa 3 – Tampa 0
Ottawa 2 – Florida 5
Ottawa 1 – Boston 2
Philadelphia 3 – Ottawa 4 SO
Ottawa 3 – Montreal 2
Boston 2 – Ottawa 3

We saw the Sens look like a team that knew it was over in the early games but the Montreal and Boston games were pure entertainment! Whatever Clouston has them buying into, we want some of it! The way they responded in back to back games against a desperate Habs team and the beasts of the east Boston was phenomenal and certainly gave us some warm fuzzy feelings that maybe the dark days are behind us and next year will see the return to glory for the Sens.

Murray was also given a vote of confidence by the owner and while Clouston’s contract was well received by Sens fans, Murray is still not off the hook, so it seems. Murray made some pretty frank comments of late about the team’s stars and his ex-coach. We couldn’t let that go by without discussing. We also talk about the futures of Comrie and Shannon, whether they can both find spots on next year’s roster and which pop starlet we can set up with Shannon so we can have the SBP threesome next year.

Leave Spezza Alone!!! is a battle cry this week and one more demographic is slandered thanks to Stooli. Your e-mails and information about our soon to be released new Website makes us a podcast.

Also, we will be once again hosting the Sens Underground Play-off pool. I wouldn’t suggest any Sens this year but tune in for information on how to join.

The Leafs signed a Hanson. You can’t make this stuff up. You just can’t.

S4 - Episode 22: Clouston, We Have a Contract.


Changes to Website Coming Soon...

I mentioned briefly in our last episode that I'd be making changes to the Sens Underground website. This will be happening soon. I just thought I'd give you guys a heads-up so you know what to expect and why the changes are coming.

As some of you may already know, the current Sens Underground website was developed by me, from scratch, with help from StooLi in the graphics department. At the time, I thought it would be a good idea for me to develop the site, giving me complete control over some of the features we wanted to provide. The site is pretty basic at the moment but the intention was to continue to build on it, and we would eventually end-up with the full-featured site we had in mind.

The problem with this is that I was never able to find the time needed to enhance the site like we wanted. It's not that it's complicated, but when you design and code the components from scratch, it's just too time consuming and well... I'm a busy guy.

And... the other thing I didn't account for were all the headaches that come with hosting your own server. The Sens Underground site has been under Dictionary and/or Brute Force attack for the past year and a half now. Not only that, but spammers have succeeded in getting e-mails that originate from Sens Underground (specifically, our static IP) blacklisted from certain e-mail servers. They never managed to use our mail server as a relay server to send out their spam but they did scrape our SU e-mail addresses from our site and have been sending out spam (posing as Sens Underground) for quite a while now causing people on Yahoo and Rogers to complain enough that we can no longer send e-mails to Yahoo/Rogers accounts. There may be others too that we still don't know about.

Over the past 2 years, there have been some hosting sites out there that have come a long way in providing the tools necessary to create sites (like ours) and provide the same type of features and then some. So I finally decided that Sens Underground will now be ported over to a different host location. The site will be redeveloped and we will no longer be managing our own Internet server. Plus, the new host site provides services for features I wanted to provide in the first place and the beauty is that I can just tap-in to those services rather than develop them from scratch.

Let me explain what this will mean for you, our listeners:

  1. We will take this opportunity to change the look of the site and change our logo entirely. We weren't too happy with the current graphics we settled on... it's not that StooLi didn't do a good job, it's just that we tried to do too much too fast and ended-up settling with what we have right now. Expect our new logo to ROCK!!!! If you're a graphics designer and want to take a stab at designing our new logo, go right ahead and e-mail us what you got. StooLi will only start designing in about 2 weeks once his workload goes down a little.
  2. There will be a new feed... both the name and location will change. Your current subscription will automatically be redirected to the new feed. This applies to the 2 podcast feeds and the blog feed we provide. We will now just have 2 feeds... one for the blog/podcast and one for the blog comments.
  3. We will no longer provide an Enhanced version of the podcast (that's the audio files with the .m4a extension). All these years we've been providing 2 versions of our episodes and really, the only thing the enhanced version provides is chapter selections and chapter images. It's not really worth maintaining 2 feeds and doubling-up the amount of space required to host our audio files for those two features alone. Plus, the enhanced versions only really work on iTunes and iPods... the mp3 versions work just as well.
  4. Our forums will look entirely different. Some features you may like, some you may not. More on this later...
  5. You'll now be able to search the entire Sens Underground site (Blog/Podcast articles and comments, forum posts and replies, and other pages on the site).
  6. We will have an FAQ page. This may not make the cut but it may come in handy for the newbees and for those who want to learn about the new features provided by the new site.
  7. We'll still have a Downloads page and a Links page but these 2 pages will look better and will now be updated on a regular basis.
  8. We will have a photo gallery that our listeners will be able to contribute to. This page may not make it on the initial release but it will eventually be a feature we will provide. We've received many pictures of stuff over the years from our listeners... now you'll be able to post them on our site so they can be shared with the rest of the Underground community.
  9. We will now be able to appoint moderators for our forums (for whoever wants to volunteer). Rather than Russell and I do all the moderating, we can select a few of you to help us out in that department.
  10. Last but not least, and this is the feature I'm most excited about is... we will now provide the ability for our listeners to blog on our site. We did attempt this in Season 2 but things didn't workout that well. The site we had at the time didn't allow for people to manage and post their own blogs, they had to e-mail them to me and I would do the posting for them. The new site will allow us to provide certain users the ability to post their own blogs... with full-blown blogging features. You'll be able to upload you're own pictures to include in your blogs as well.

I'm very excited about the last feature I mentioned. As you've probably noticed, we haven't been big on the blogging over the past couple of years. It's something we've always wanted to do but we're just too busy to do it on a regular basis. I'm very proud of the Underground community so why not allow YOU to contribute to the Underground by giving you your own voice on our site.

I'm hoping the new site will go over well... I know some people don't like change too much. I can tell you right now, some of you will probably hate the new forums. There will be no "New Post" indicator beside each thread. There will be no automatic quoting feature either. There are no post counts AND... all posts from the old site will be lost. Having said all that, apparently the forum services from the new host site we're porting to, are working on new and improved forums that we will easily be able to upgrade to when ready.

You will all need to re-create your accounts on the new site. Members will be able to e-mail other members from the site without exposing your personal e-mail addresses. You'll also be able to subscribe (if you're a member of the site) to the blog and forums and by doing so, you will be notified every time a blog is posted, a comment is added, or a message is posted in the forums. Of course, it'll be up to you to decide if you want your inbox flooded by the Underground... could come in handy for game threads though.

Anyway, I think I've ended-up giving you more information than I had originally planned on giving but so be it.

I've been working on the new site for a couple of weeks now. It's almost fully functional, the main thing remaining is the look and feel. I'll be relying on StooLi to come up with some kick-ass graphics for the site.

Expect the new site to be released at the end of April or early May. I may be e-mailing a few of our regulars to help us test out the new site before we publish it for real.

That's it.