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Category: Ottawa-Senators

Rebuilding The Senators

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

Murray deserves his share of the blame for what’s happened to the franchise, but he also fits the criteria for director of the rebuild. He knows hockey and he knows talent and where he gets an edge is that he knows Ottawa’s problems from the inside out. Given Melnyk’s other problems, Murray is the guy Melnyk has to charge with fixing the Senators.

Goaltending will be a huge issue. Emery is as good as gone, likely via a buyout. That message was sent from the moment Murray nailed him to the bench in favour of Martin Gerber. Gerber wasn’t awful in the series, but he was never close to being a difference maker and if a team has Stanley Cup aspirations or even aspirations of making the playoffs (which will be both a singular and difficult goal for the Senators next season), that has to improve.

more

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Sens Season Is Now Complete

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

“It felt like the walls were closing in on us,” Jason Spezza all but whispered when all was over and done with.

He was speaking not just of the game — his Ottawa Senators’ 3-1 defeat by the Pittsburgh Penguins — and not just of the series, now embarrassingly lost in four consecutive games, but of an entire year clouded in mystery.

For a team that, not so many years back, came within a lighted candle of holding a séance to call upon the spirits of One-eyed Frank McGee for help, it was hardly surprising last night the Senators would be looking for a little magic.

continued

Update 2:00pm ET: From TSN,

Although Emery admits he did not perform up to standards this year, he said he would not be the fall guy for the team.

“Yeah it was a really bad year for me,” said Emery.  “The worst year I’ve had - on and off the ice - it just wasn’t enjoyable at all. I learnt a lot of things but that’s about it - not too many positives”

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Senators Season Is Over

from Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen

The Ottawa Senators’ 2007/2008 season came to an official, if not also ignominious, end Wednesday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins swept them with a 3-1 win.

The season, however, really ended a long time ago.

You can pick any number of incidents that might have been the catalyst.

But it might have starting going off the rails as long ago as last Sept. 5, when Ray Emery, on his way to a workout at the Bell Sensplex, got into a road rage episode with a senior citizen who had accidentally cut him off

continued

Update 10:18pm ET: More from the Canadian Press...

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Hossa Was a Great Deadline Gift

From the CP,

“I was definitely pleased,” said Penguins superstar centre Sidney Crosby. “I’d watched him play a lot and from what I had heard he was a great person and a great fit for our team. The thing I kept hearing was how complete he was. I don’t think that’s something he gets a lot of recognition for. But you know you’re going to get a chance to play with an offensively gifted guy that’s really responsible defensively.

“That was a great deadline gift, so to speak, for our team and for me personally to be able to play with. I was very excited for that.”

So instead of joining the Senators for a second tour of duty, Hossa has been busy trying to knock them out of the playoffs.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Senators Need To Calm Down Before Making Any Decisions

from Elliotte Friedman of the CBC at his blog From the Pressbox,

What Melnyk needs now is front-office stability. To fire the GM and the coach one year after reaching the Stanley Cup Final, well, that’s not intelligent. Good teams don’t do that. No one has a better idea of how to fix this Gong Show than Murray, and he deserves the opportunity. Let’s not forget that he was the architect of the current Stanley Cup champion and the bench boss of the reigning – but soon to be dethroned – Eastern Finalist.

Also, it would be a mistake to bring in someone new, since it would take that person time to evaluate the organization before making decisions. Critical decisions – such as dealing Jason Spezza before his no-trade kicks in – must be made before July 1. Any genius can tell you Ray Emery has to go, but only specific insight can figure out what’s really wrong in that rotten room. This is not something that can be considered into next season.

more

Update 1:02pm ET: More thinking about the Senators for next year, from Spector at FoxSports and Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated.

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Changes Ahead For Senators

from The Good, The Bad and The Duthie,

If (so tempting just to say “when”) the Senators are eliminated in the next few days, the window will not completely close on their chances win a Stanley Cup in the next three years.  Find a goalie, make a major shake-up trade or two, find a steal in the draft (any more Milan Lucic’s out there?) and this team could challenge again.

But the Senators need a fresh set of eyes in the front office to make that happen.  A season this apocalyptic mandates major change.

Bryan Murray knew that when he fired John Paddock.  He realized something drastic had to be done.

With one more loss, something even more drastic will have to be done.  And Murray probably knows that, too.

more

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Ottawa Faces Elimination

from the National Post,

A shirtless man in a red cape and metal helmet made one of his final, grating appearances on the big screens above centre ice midway through the third period on Monday night. He was dressed to look like the face of the Ottawa Senators, and he exhorted the crowd to make noise: “Sens Army, our backs are against the wall - we must defend, defend, defend.”

But the man, like the team, failed.

continued

Update 10:25pm ET: More on the game, the “half-naked gladiator” in the pre-game, and Daniel Alfredsson’s return in Tuesday’s Globe & Mail.

Watch the video of the pre-game…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson

Senators Update

Fan590 in Toronto reporting Bryan Murray stated this morning that Jason Spezza will play tonight and a small chance Daniel Alfredsson may play too.

added 11:31am, from TSN,

The Ottawa Senators received a boost prior to Game 3 of their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins as Jason Spezza will be in the lineup tonight as the series shifts to the Nation’s capital.

The Senators leading scorer in the regular season did not practice with the team on Sunday but took the morning skate Monday and declared himself ready to go.

Ottawa may also be getting a bit of a surprise boost as general manager and head coach Bryan Murray isn’t ruling out a return of Daniel Alfredsson to the lineup.

“I’m not shutting the door on it,” Murray told reporters.

continued

Update 12:20pm ET— From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun:

Jason Spezza is ready to roll, but the biggest surprise is captain Daniel Alfredsson will likely return tonight as well.

Senators GM/coach Bryan Murray hinted today that Alfredsson could be in the lineup tonight for Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins after confirming that the injured forward had also skated on Sunday.

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Which Senators Team Will Show Up

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

You never know how a team is going to respond when adversity hits but what we do know is that if the Senators play as soft and ineffectively as they did in Game 1, get out the brooms. Pittsburgh looks like a team that isn’t going to be denied but the question is whether the Senators are going to make them earn it or just hand Geno and Sid a free pass to the second round.

many more NHL bits…

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Like The Penguins Need More Motivation

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

In what is surely one of the stupidest and most ignorant moves going, somebody with the Senators organization decided to cover a wall near the Penguins dressing room in Scotiabank Place with a large mural. It’s a photo of the Senators shaking hands with the Penguins after the Senators eliminated them in their first-round matchup last spring.

It’s positioned so it is about the last thing the Penguins will see as they make the turn from the main hallway to enter their dressing room.

It’s right in an area where the visiting teams have been known to play their warmup game of “Keep Up,” bouncing a soccer ball around from player to player, trying to keep it from hitting the ground.

“That’s what they’ll be looking at when they play soccer,” said another player, with a shake of his head.

As if you need to give a team any other reason or motivation to want to beat you at this time of year.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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