Monday Links, News, and Notes

The situation in Europe, Women’s hockey showcase, and some Sens stuff

Going 5-6-1 in the month of February probably all but sealed Ottawa’s fate this season but March and April will feature lots of games against non-playoff teams (this week notwithstanding) so we’ll get to watch lots of competitive hockey down the stretch and probably another busy trade deadline of selling off rentals for good measure. I know that I personally live for a good old-fashioned Tuesday night showdown between the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils in late April with absolutely zero playoff implications (Tickets as low as 15$!). I’m not wasting my life, you are.

  • Starting with more serious news, hall-of-famer Hayley Wickenheiser minced no words calling out the IOC for their torpor when it comes to sanctions against Russian sports. While the Russian government has bigger proverbial fish to fry than sports right now, Wickenheiser echoes a sentiment shared by many (this writer included!) that if you can’t denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a manner pertinent to your vocation then you should answer for your complacency.
  • On that note, Dinamo Riga (Latvia) have withdrawn from the KHL in response to the ongoing invasion. Dinamo Riga joins Finland’s Jokerit among teams who have distanced themselves from the Russian league. Of note for Sens fans, Olle Alsing’s Barys Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) still could qualify for the KHL postseason should they choose to participate.
  • This past weekend at the Nepean Sportsplex, Ottawa’s own Rebecca Leslie scored the game (and tournament) winning goal at the Sonnet Showcase presented by the PWHPA. Team Montreal defeated Team Toronto by a final score of 2-1 in the final.
  • Getting back to the Senators, Wayne Scanlan wrote up at length about head coach DJ Smith and the challenges he has faced in Ottawa this season trying to get a young team out of the basement and having to do so with so many key players suffering long-term injuries. I can’t really argue with Scanlan here. Especially of late, the Sens have kept their games close  ,with half of their core players missing on some nights. While I joke about the futility of following the team down the stretch, Smith deserves partial credit for keeping this team watchable, all things considered.
  • And finally, while a lot of us have probably had enough of reminiscing about the spring of 2015 after that loss to Montreal on Saturday, Bruce Garrioch did an interview with Rick Wamsley to get the unique perspective of the goalie coach behind one of the most memorable seasons in franchise history. As much as the Hamburglar run took us all by surprise as fans, it says even more that the involved players and coaches themselves never really even believed it could happen to them.
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