Old man Murray was a sportcaster in Ottawa for 30 years. He did radio forever and was the TSN guy back in the late 80's and early 90's. I mention that only to lend some credence to his opinion about hockey. He's knows the game pretty well and sees it from a different perspective than most. He's unbiased towards any team, even though Ottawa is his team.
So...he and Mom watch every game (my mom says "we're total losers Marc...we have the schedule on the fridge and plan our week around it". Not losers, I say, but awesome fans!)
So...Dad writes to me after the Rangers game...
Sens smokin' ...................................................something. Man , is this entertaining. They seem to be having fun, again. Like they did 2-3 years ago. Last couple of years, they played like they were scared.....or intimidated...by the coach.... Or something. Is it the influx of American League (champion) players.....from Binghamton ? Anyway, Cory clouston's mojo didn't seem to work....It did, sometimes, but even then, the players appeared to be a bundle of nerves. They sure don't after 10 games with the walrus behind the bench....wonder if that's the biggest difference?
My reply to Dad -
no shit eh? I don't really expect it to last very long but then again, in this 'day and age' of the NHL, any team from year to year can go from bad to great. Ottawa had some major question marks at the start of the season.
Will Phillips bounce back? Will Gonchar bounce back? WIll Kuba remember how to play D? Is Karlsson going to break out or take a step back? Will Alfie be healthy enough to contribute and lead? Can Spezza finally stay healthy and put up some points? Can Michalek stay healthy? (*many people forget he was the #6 overall pick in 2003) What about Craig Anderson?
I'd say that all of the above, minus Anderson, have played out perfectly. If we can avoid major injury to one of the big guns and Anderson (or Lehner??) play well enough, we could compete with anybody. I think Paul Maclean has done an amazing job. He has rookies out in the final minutes defending leads. Talk about confidence! If I were a GM and I had the chance to take anybody, player/coach/scout out of the DET organization I'd do it. They don't accept anything less than 100%. If you can pull someone out of DET you should...
I like Daugavins too...and Condra IS Chris Kelly part 2....he even skates like him.
So, my question is. Were the Senators of 2009 and 2010 really a bad team or were they simply poorly coached and managed? It seems odd to blame terrible seasons by numerous players on coaching, but who knows what Coach Cloo asked of them. It certainly is interesting to think about....