Five Thoughts For Friday
It’s the Valentine’s Day edition!
At this time of year, in a season like this, these weeks tend to blend together, somewhat. It can be difficult to find five points worth talking about, but damn it, we’re gonna try. After all, what broke university student needs sleep?
Here are Five Thoughts for Friday, February 14th (yes, Happy Valentine’s Day, you godless heathens), 2020:
Won-ce in Awhile
Look, I’m all in on #TeamTank. I want the Senators’ final record on the season to be so bad that people give them hugs and try to slide $20 bills in their back pockets, but come on. I can’t watch them lose every game, to say nothing of ones in mid-February against the Arizona Coyotes, so this one was kind of fun. It was also their first win since January 28th.
The first period may have been Ottawa’s best frame of the season, with them flying out of the gate like we haven’t seen them do in some time. As good as losing is this season, these kids do need to win sometimes, in order to feel like they’re taking steps in the right direction. Hard-fought ones that build character are just gravy, baby.
I’m glad this one isn’t literal.
Mark Borowiecki, who less than a week ago was celebrating the birth of his son, sustained a nasty-looking lower body injury in the third period, on a collision with Lawson Crouse. I’ll warn you in advance, his right ankle bends in a way that ankles aren’t usually supposed to bend, so if you’re a bit squeamish, I’d avoid the next clip.
I'm not a doctor, but I don't think ankles are supposed to bend like that. Mark Borowiecki immediately left down the tunnel. Hasn't returned. #Sens pic.twitter.com/uo7FnUgk65— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) February 14, 2020
The good news is that D.J. Smith said the injury wasn’t as severe as initially feared. The bad news is that it’s likely a high ankle sprain, that will put Boro out for “some time”.
On the bright side, he’ll get to spend some time at home with little Miles.
Hogging the Net
Who’s ready for some goaltending controversy?!
The Sens are in a bit of a pickle when it comes to their netminders. Craig Anderson doesn’t appear to be going anywhere before the February 24th trade deadline, Anders Nilsson is due back from his concussion at least at some point his season, and Marcus Hogberg has unquestionably played himself into a full-time NHL job.
Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch suggested that Hogberg would, in fact, be sent down to Belleville, though, and Anderson/Nilsson would finish the season. While I’m fine with giving the kids meaningful minutes, this just doesn’t make any sense. Hogberg has vastly outperformed the other two goalies, and should be given this opportunity to ride out the rest of the season with starter minutes. I don’t care what the logistics of having three goalies on the active roster are, this needs to happen.
What’s the point of developing the kids if you don’t play them when they’ve earned it?
Give a Little Bit
On-ice product and ownership aside, if there’s one area in which the Senators have blundered over the past decade, it’s in public relations. Attendance is at an all-time low, fan trust in the organization is non-existent, and the team is less likely to make the playoffs than I am to get eight hours of sleep a night.
That said, it looks like the organization is making small steps in the right direction, especially evidenced by new CEO Jim Little’s comments to TSN1200 on Wednesday.
.@Senators President Jim Little: "First and foremost I want to bring the fans back"https://t.co/i5vE6JmfrY pic.twitter.com/nSiA2EgyNJ— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) February 12, 2020
Little spoke to the fellas at TSN1200, explaining his understanding that fans are frustrated, and that his number one priority is to earn their trust once again.
Words are just words until followed up by action, but at the very least, this is an improvement over the deflection of past executives like Tom Anselmi, and Nic Ruszkowski. Little seems to legitimately care about rebuilding this team’s reputation, and perhaps his most striking comment was his claim that he would become “the public face of the team”.
If all this proves to be true, and the Senators can retain Little long-term, it seems like things may finally be on the upswing in Ottawa.
I realize this one is off topic, but can someone please explain to me what the hell is wrong with Zack Kassian?
Disgusting play by Kassian here... he should get 5+ games #TBLightning #lightning #LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/ZVg2kDrJbF— Chris Mancuso (@cmancuso9797) February 14, 2020
This is a guy that, not long ago, signed a four-year $12.8M extension with the Oilers, and he goes and does a thing like this? If you’re making that kind of money, the desire is generally to positively affect your team, not try to reenact the well scene from 300 in an inter-conference game in TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA.
Putting aside the fact that he totally dodged it in the post-game interviews, saying he was just trying to shake Cernak off and get up, is this not the same guy that was ranting and raving about “The Code” a few weeks ago?
Regardless, you have to believe there’s a hefty suspension coming for this one.