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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!

 

Underground Hosts

Russell

Shredder

StooLi

Canuck

Pan

Kardinal

Sunday
Nov302008

Enough is Enough

 

This will be the second time in two weeks I have to admit Stooli was right so as soon as I'm done writing, I will be taking a scalding hot shower. (I feel so dirty!)

The Sens lost yet another game to the New York Islanders last night. Yes, those New York Islanders. That's three times in a row to a team that, on paper, shouldn't be able to win a single game against us. It wasn't so much that the Sens lost, it was, yet again, how they lost.

After three or four strong efforts, against mostly good teams, they had many of us believing they had possibly turned the corner and had found some chemistry that would lead to a consistent, solid effort every night from here on out. Apparently, we've been duped again for in what has become a very, very old story, the Sens came out and failed to play a sixty minute hockey game. Not only that, but they played down to what should be a weaker opponent's level.

This is where Stooli makes his disturbing appearance, for it was the highly-caffeinated Inked One who said on the show a few weeks back that he was tired of the same old stories with this team, that the same old problems never seem to go away. I didn't quite get what he was on about but it's pretty damn clear now.

Take these quotes from last night. The first comes from Alfie:

"I think we're a better team than we showed. It wasn't a great effort."

Really? You guys have been saying this for over a year now. Why wasn't it a great effort? What makes you think that you can beat anyone in the NHL with a half-assed effort? How many games do you need to lose to understand that? Have you looked at the standings lately? Maybe that's the problem, you think you're a better team than you are. If you really believe you are a better team than you showed then why don't you just go out and show it??!!?? And weren't the changes Murray made supposed to address the team's character so these type of things would never need to be said again? (This being said, I think Alfie is one of the few who are trying their best every night but even a Golden Gawd can't do it all by himself.)

The next quote comes from Hartsburg:

"I don't think we competed hard enough for 60 minutes."

If there is one thing a Sens' fan never EVER wants to hear again, that would be it. No other story line has worn as thin as that one. The time has come to put that quote to rest forever. The answer is as simple as this: If the players, or certain players, on this team can't find it in themselves and their enormous bank accounts to play a sixty minute game at maximum effort, THEN-FIND-SOME-WHO-WILL! Period. I've had it and I'm sure you all have too.

Enough is enough.

 

Tuesday
Nov252008

S4 - Episode 8: Pierre McGuire Goes Underground

A win!! Oh my God, A win!! Yippee! Yahooo! BAWLS! What could make us happier?

Having TSN's Pierre McGuire as a guest, that's what! Pierre is back again with us this season and we really think this may be his best interview ever on the Underground. Pierre goes over all the hot Sens topics with us, including the ever-present puck moving D-man issues, Spezza, and Ruutu but he has some cautionary words for Sens fans also.

But this is a time for celebration! The losing skid is over and the Sens seemed to climb out of their funk this week with 3 of a possible 4 points:

Montreal 3- Ottawa 2 SO
Ottawa 4 - NY Rangers 1

Surprise, surprise, a full 60 minute effort resulted in 2 points and restored some faith in the Sens fans. By the way, a big thumbs up to those same fans for the standing ovation and respect they showed Wade Redden on his return to Ottawa. Fortunately, the players themselves showed no such respect for him as he was victimized several times during the game. He's all yours, Mr. Sather.

Ruutu seems to also have won over many of the hometown fans with his effective play. He may not be quite so popular in NY though. As we discuss, Stooli was right and he basks in his glory.

The Sens bounced back from some bad bounces, and bad calls, this week and we talk about what that might say about the team. The muckers also get their due in this week's show and we discuss ways to plug a 5- hole.

The News, your e-mails and our inner fashion critics' opinions on the new threads for the Senators. That, for those of you keeping score at home, makes a podcast.

S4 - Episode 8: Pierre McGuire Goes Underground

Tuesday
Nov182008

S4 - Episode 7: Gord Wilson Goes Underground

When things are at their worst and you just don't know where to turn, there's always one guy who you can count on to put it all in perspective and provide you with a little hope: Gord Freakin' Wilson. The long-time colour commentator for the Ottawa Senators and Underground anointed "Nicest Guy in Hockey" joins us this week to help make sense of it all. Turns out he's pretty much as baffled as we all are but... he just has this way of saying it!

These are dark days in Ottawa. We watch our Sens struggle, we wonder where it all went wrong and more importantly, can it still be saved? This week did not give us a lot of hope:

Ottawa 0 - Montreal 4
NY Islanders 3 - Ottawa 1
Ottawa 2 - NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 1 - NY Rangers 2 SO

Four losses, one of which, the first to the Isles, might just have been the ugliest we've seen in many moons around these parts. The Rangers game did seem to provide us with a little hope that things might be getting better but Hartsburg's use of Antoine No-net in the shoot out ahead of Alfredsson left many Sens' fans wondering just what the heck he was thinking. We are no different.

An almost complete lack of scoring continues to plague the Sens and the D-zone coverage is still weak but Alex Auld has given us at least one thing to cheer about. We got to see a few new faces this week and Ruutu sat because of his elbow to a face which caused a difference of opinion between us in this episode.

The e-mailers responded to our call so there are lots of your thoughts to be found in this show, and an old friend sends along his own abbreviated version of the Underground.

Hope you enjoy the show.

Gord has been one half of the play-by-play team since day one with the Ottawa Senators. Listen to Gordie's work and you'll discover his true passion for hockey. He's enjoyed the unique experience of seeing first hand the Senators grow and evolve since their inception in 92-93. Partnered with Dean Brown, you'll be hard pressed to find a better team calling NHL hockey.

S4 - Episode 7: Gord Wilson Goes Underground

Saturday
Nov082008

S4 - Episode 6: Clam Up and Také a Pill

Don't worry... once you hear this episode, you'll know what that's all about.

This is kind of a strange episode. There seems to be a lot of unrest floating around the studio this week considering the Sens have actually been pretty good lately and are sitting right where we thought they'd be at .500. There's a lot of debate about Auld and Gerber, although they both looked fine this week. There's some concern about the style the team is playing even though we knew they'd be a different type of team. There's no placating Stooli who is tired... he's just so tired! This is where the pills come in.

A good start to the week for the Sens but a pretty ugly finish:

Washington 1 - Ottawa 2 OT 
Philly 1 - Ottawa 4
Ottawa 1 - Carolina 2

Two very strong efforts capped by a terrible one that we attribute more to fatigue than the goalie that night: Gerber. Fisher in finally off the schnide and back to being everyone's favourite man-crush. And in honour of Remembrance Day, there is some love for the foot soldiers on the team this week.

We, grudgingly, award the winner of our contest for the tickets to the Sens/Isles game, courtesy of the Ticket Guy. Underwhelmed would be an understatement. Your e-mails, various things to offend our female listeners and Stooli's News complete a rare afternoon game for us.

Happy birthday, Shredder.

S4 - Episode 6: Clam Up and Také a Pill

Thursday
Nov062008

He's Auld We Needed

 

Yes, I too have fallen victim to use of a cheap pun with Alex Auld's name. But you know me, let no cheese go unused!

Funny thing happened the other night while watching the Sens game. The opposition took a clear shot on net from well out.. and I didn't wince, my hands didn't begin to shake and I didn't expect it to go in! I realized that that is what I've come to expect as a Sens fan, that any shot on net, no matter how weak, could potentially elude our goalie.

But things have changed lately. Alex Auld has given us something we haven't seen in along time: solid, dependable goaltending. And what a pleasant surprise it is! I can finally relax a little watching a game and not feel this impending dread that the roof will fall in at any moment thanks to a softie slipping past a glove hand or under an arm. I cannot think of a single goal he has allowed that he should have had. This is new territory for me and I gaze with wonder as I travel through it.

Auld has not been brilliant. He has not been spectacular. I think the key to his success has been that he hasn't had to be because from what I can see, he is just a very solid, positionally sound goalie that always seems to be in control and never gets himself hung out to dry. Oh, and he's freakin' huge. That helps too.

Not to go unmentioned is the fact that he has benefited from much better play by the team in their own zone. There are very few second opportunities being given out these day. Now, that may be a result of the team simply getting better or it might very well have to do with being confident in the keeper behind them. Maybe both. Probably both. Certainly both.

The fact that the Sens' recent success started the same time as Auld took over the crease from Gerbs is no coincidence. He has given them exactly what they needed as they struggled to adapt to a new game plan, a new coach and find their game: just some solid, dependable performances.

We can't see the future and we don't know if this is a flash in the pan or if Auld can maintain this play for a full season. I do know that my hands shake less these days while watching the game and that means fewer beer stains on my shirts. That is truly Auld I can ask for. (What can I say, I am weak for the cheese.)