by SENShobo on 09/18/08 at 10:30 AM ET
I’ll say this to start off, I like to look at the news each day, a tradition started on my blog’s old home, and see what is out there with respect to the Sens. Every day, at some point, you should find an entry by me, letting you know where to find some interesting stories. Yes, some you might have gone looking for anyways, and I do like to keep a fairly consistent, if widespread, net out to get as much news about the Sens as possible. I’ll also contribute some thoughts of my own on the headlines, so you can get a quick idea of what’s out there, and also why it matters (or why it might not). With that in mind…
Today could be your lucky day as players are led by Alfie to deliver tickets to fans, the team gets a fresh start under Hartsburg with a new lineup and a hope that common goals can unite and strengthen the Sens, Carkner is willing to fight for a chance to play in the NHL as a right wing, and Winchester gets to play with the big boys as Hartsburg tries out some line combos to try to find that balanced attack we missed so much last year.
According to the Ottawa Senators’ website, you might get a visit from Alfie today. Well, that would be the case, if you’re one of the lucky suiteholders that will get a visit from the captain, along with a slew of other guys from the team. This would seem to mimic the move by the Penguins, which saw Crosby and others deliver season’s tickets to some lucky fans this year (and last I believe). I do think that their move might be better, since a season ticket holder could be a diehard fan, while I’m going to bet there are a lot more corporate suiteholders who might not have the time to host Alfie all that much. Still, it’s a generous move by the club, and here’s to hoping that you get a special visit today.
From the Ottawa Sun, it seems Hartsburg wants the Sens to get off to a fresh start. No focusing on last season’s meltdown, and he hopes that they won’t even focus on a mistake they made the shift before, only that they’ll keep looking to their next chance to leave their mark. Not a bad idea, using hope as a carrot to motivate the team, rather than the stick threat of icing the Big Line over and over until they fall to pieces. Better yet, having them focus on the positives, and what they can do each chance they get, should help to instill more responsibility in the team. When you mix up the lines, should Hartsburg continue this through the season, you should never have to witness Alfie, Heatley, and Spezza climbing the plus/minus ranks, while everyone else lingers. Every line and possibly every defensive pairing could have both youthful exuberance and energy, and the steady guided touch of experience, which should be a potent mix if everyone from the 7th defenseman up to Hartsburg himself buys into it fully.
The Ottawa Citizen has a report on many topics, including Carkner’s switch from defense to forward to try and help out the team. Indeed, since we traded McGrattan to Phoenix, we are missing a true fighter, and for the chance to play in the NHL, Carkner is more than willing to move up from defense to right wing. On one hand, I’m not a fan of pointless pugilism. On the other, I have read about the abuse that defenseless teams, such as the Pronger- and Laraques-less Oilers, have faced, and so I could see it being nice to have him to call up, rather than having Grats to sit in the press box game after game.
The way it’s written on the Sens’ website, a little less so from the Ottawa Sun and the Ottawa Citizen, you’d think it was some great surprise that Winchester was spotted today on a line with Spezza and Heatley. Really though, it’s been floating around for quite a while, and given the solid two-way skill he showed at the Rookie Tournament, including powerplay and penalty killing time, it should be an interesting line to keep an eye on. While Hartsburg says we shouldn’t read too much into the lines and defensive pairings he’s got at the Ottawa Senators’ Training Camp - and I certainly don’t expect that the line of McAmmond centering Zubov and Isbister will make many appearances this season, that from Sharp’s Binghamton Senators blog - there are some combinations that make sense.
I like seeing veterans Smith and Kuba together, extra fitting since Smith was supposed to be Meszaros’ defensive conscience. Ruutu, Bass, and Donovan has some real potential to be that fourth line that Hartsburg wants players to hate having to face. Kelly centering Foligno and Alfie is interesting: all three have played on the top line at some point, and all three have good defensive sensibilities, making for an interesting combination, just as Fisher, Vermette, and Neil have a chance at seeing some ice time during exhibition games at the very least. Certainly, those four lines would seem to have balanced scoring and an energy line stamped on them, but we’ll have to see how chemistry plays out. The one thing I keep hoping to see is the splitting up of Volchenkov and Phillips. Smith with Kuba, solid defensive conscience with a puck-moving defenseman, makes good sense. Considering the youth of our other puckmovers, namely Lee, Bell, and Picard, a good defensive conscience should not only allow them to focus on their puck-moving skills, but should also give them a solid defensive role model, much as Chara seemed to bring out the best in Meszaros. Besides, you can always toss up the pairings for better results on powerplays and penalty kills.
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Native of Northern California. Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.
I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle. I watch, I react, I write it down.
My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked. I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind. When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom. It hasn't, I don't think it will. At all.
Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.
I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.
I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org