It seems like every time I get to write Five Thoughts, it’s been a crappy week to be a Sens fan. Granted, we don’t have too many resoundingly good weeks these days, but just once I’d like to pick a pack of positive puns and just have fun.
I can’t. I have to be the mean blogger again, and you can thank the Senators for following up a rare win in Carolina with a very meh loss to St. Louis, and an absolute dud of a defeat at the hands of the Coyotes.
As always, there are of course some positives too. So stick around for Five Thoughts For Friday, January 25th, 2019.
Cane and Abel
There’s a great movie called Hell or High Water. You should check it out if you haven’t seen it, it’s a hidden gem and can even be found on the barren wasteland known as Canadian Netflix. In the movie, one of the characters utters the Winston Churchill-esque phrase “Sometimes a blind pig finds a truffle”.
That’s how I feel about the beginning of Ottawa’s week (since last week’s Five Thoughts, shut up), and their stretch of winning hockey as a whole. The Senators somehow managed to systematically dominate the second-best possession team in hockey, and Anders Nilsson looked incredible, as Ottawa weathered the storm and beat the Hurricanes 4-1.
Of course, this win makes Ottawa’s next two losses even more puzzling, but this was a game where being a Sens fan was actually...fun? Hopefully these aren’t so few and far between down the stretch.
You Blue It
This one works on so many levels. I love myself.
Seriously though, this one made absolutely no sense, and robbed the Senators of at least a point. In the third period against St. Louis, with the game tied at 2-2, Craig Anderson covered the puck on a play at the net. At that very moment, the official developed X-Ray vision, and since he could see the puck because of said X-Ray vision, didn’t blow the whistle. Pat Maroon knocked the puck out of Andy’s glove, and it found Carl Gunnarsson for the eventual game-winner.
I was very much Guy Boucher when this happened. Finger-wagging and all.
Oh, and I really don’t want to hear from the “His glove was on Maroon’s stick, by RULE that play can’t be blown dead” crowd.
When does that ever happen, where the ref doesn’t blow the play down? It was way out of left field and yeah I’m still bitter. Fight me.
Phoenix Arizona Coyotes have...a lot of injuries. Antti Raanta, Nick Schmaltz, Christian Dvorak, Jason Demers, and Brad Richardson are all currently down for the count, and the ‘Yotes were seemingly ripe for the picking. When captain Oliver-Ekman Larsson left the game too, it looked the Senators had every reason to win this one.
Then, the puck was dropped.
The Senators looked anemic. They lost nearly every puck battle, could generate nothing offensively, and frankly looked like they had begun their All-Star break early.
Ottawa was lost out there, and turned the puck over so many times that it looked like they wanted to lose this one. They deserved far worse than a 3-2 final.
Ceci You Later
Being a Senators fan, I know better than to get my hopes up. I’ve learned that it’s best not to pay too much attention to what you hope will happen, lest the Hockey Gods smite you and leave you disappointed.
However, I can’t get help but get a little bit excited about this.
Dreger on TSN1200: "Cody Ceci's name is kind of in and out of that speculation but you can be darn sure that teams in the market for a good defenceman are making sure that they're keeping tabs and staying in tune with what's going on there."— Paul (@Sens_Army_) January 24, 2019
The angels are singing, the sun is shining, the children are outside playing, and we’re all going to be okay. The Ottawa Senators may soon be finally rid of Cody Ceci. If teams are still interested in Ceci after his play the last few years, it seems that the Senators might even be able to nab a decent return for him.
We have reached the All-Star Break.
Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel still are not signed long-term.
While it seems likely that Dzingel is going to be traded, it makes no sense that Ottawa hasn’t signed either of their Top-2 forwards. Mark Stone has 50 (FIFTY) points in 50 games so far this season, and has been Ottawa’s MVP. He currently sits at third in Frank J. Selke Award nominations, while playing on the last-placed team in hockey.
Matt Duchene has been the crux of Ottawa’s offence this year, and the Senators score vastly more goals with him in the lineup. He’s the exact kind of speed, and dynamic threat the team needs going forward.
You can find more of my incoherent ramblings on the topic in my piece from earlier this week, but the point here is very simple. There’s no reason that the Senators shouldn’t have had these extensions done by now, if they were in fact serious about doing business at the NHL-level. It’s extremely concerning that we are now into the All-Star break, with only a reported offer tabled to the Duchene camp to show for extension efforts.
I’d be wary of getting my hopes up for both, maybe even one, of these guys, to be back next season.